Direct Entry MSN Programs-BSN to MSN Programs

From the AllNurses.com Post

This question was posted in the post. To view the entire post, please click on the link above.

"A big controversy remains concerning entry-level MSN programs: Are graduates adequately prepared for advanced practice nursing? What is the job market for advanced practice nursing graduates from these programs? Are they taken seriously by prospective employers? Many people are of the opinion that advanced practice nursing is just that – advanced practice. Critics assert that registered nurses need at least 2 years’ experience at the bedside before entering into advanced practice."

I place pediatric nurse practitioners at children’s hospitals and clinics nationwide and I work with a lot of direct-entry MSN students. There are a lot of very good reasons why a person would pursue a direct entry degree. The graduates I work with are very well educated and prepared through coursework and clinical experience. The place where a direct entry graduate can find it hard to get a job is when they want to work in a specialty care unit but they do not have any experience in that unit as a RN. You cannot work in a critical care unit if you do not have critical care experience. That is true for a PNP who has 20 years nursing experience in a non-critical care environment or a direct entry candidate who has very little RN experience. That being said, there is a difference between a RN who is recently graduated and certified as a PNP with 4-6 or more years RN experience and one who has graduated with no RN experience. One is considered an experienced PNP by most hospitals and one is not.

I strongly encourage anyone in a direct entry program to work as a RN as soon as they can in a hospital. Additionally, I encourage them to work in a unit that they think they might want to continue to work in as an advanced practice nurse. If the program takes 3 years and a student receives their BSN after 1 year, they will have 2 years of RN experience by the time they graduate. Many times I encourage new graduates from a direct entry program to continue or start a RN position until they get a job. That could be another 2 years but they are getting the experience necessary to be an effective nurse practitioner in a hospital environment. In one of the comments, working as an RN was referred to as doing time. I would look at it as a gift of being able to learn to provide the best care possible for your patients in the specialty area of your choice.

One of the exceptions to this can be in a clinic or ambulatory hospital situation. It is possible for a direct entry graduate to receive a job offer as a Nurse Practitioner in a clinic and some ambulatory hospital settings. The overall preparation does prepare a graduate to work successfully as a Nurse Practitioner but cannot possibly prepare every student in every specialty area of the hospital. That is why working in as a hospital RN, especially in a specialty area, is strongly encouraged to build necessary experience for a new graduate. From, Jill Gilliland, President Melnic Consulting Group.

To inquire about jobs visit Melnic Consulting Group or contact:

Jill Gilliland

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