Nailya Muganlinskaya, ACNP-BC, DNP, MPH
I just retired from a long career as an NP in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology. It's a great profession. It's challenging, interesting with constant professional growth, and has the potential for good life/work balance.
1. I recommend getting your BS in Nursing first then working for awhile to get experience in multiple fields of medicine to see what specialty excites you.
Working as an RN will help you learn how to manage people with serious illness or injury before you become the one directing care as a provider/NP. I started in the ICU/CCU which gave me a broad perspective and taught me how to recognize people who were seriously ill. The Emergency Department would be a good starting point too. (I wouldn't recommend either for a career because neither gives you the rewarding, long term relationships you get when working in a medical practice where patients return for follow-up on your treatment recommendations.)
2. After you have worked as a Nurse for 3-5 years, then research NP programs. I don't agree with the strategy of the combined BS/MS NP programs. Those programs generally don't give you enough clinical experience or exposure to know which direction you want to go with your career or experience working with people who are seriously ill.
I agree with all the other statements above.
Good luck! You will love it.
Mary Beth’s Answer
Remember, there is NO rush. So take your time in developing your skill set, knowledge base, and know yourself and what kind of nurse you want to become. There are far too many out there now who only went into nursing because it pays well today, and sadly it is showing in the decline in quality care and patient safety seen. Be the best you can be, for yourself and for those you care for in the future.
Never stop dreaming or reaching for the stars…
Mary Beth recommends the following next steps:
2.) Apply to college (one that has an RN and NP program)
3.) Complete your RN degree and bridge to the NP program (if this is still an option) - do your research beforehand.
1.) Research the type of NP you want to be - there are several options. If you can meet and talk to anyone in your desired field before you choose, it can help you make the right decision for you. Ask questions such as, " can you tell me what a typical work day looks like for you?" Also, "are you happy doing what you do everyday?"
2.) Research funding sources for school - there are a lot of grants available to nursing students.
3.) Prepare to commit to working hard - It is a rewarding career, put you have to put in the work!
Hope this helps!
Blessings to you,