(Closed) Any NP or PA's on the bee?

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 2
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Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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FutureMrsJLB:  I’m a CRNA and I’m so glad I did it. It’s a pretty cushy job and better compensated than most PA or NP specialties. Not gonna lie–the schooling sucked. But it was worth it. You have to do a minimum of 2 years critical care for most schools and then the programs tend to be in the ballpark of 2.5-3 years.

Post # 4
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Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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FutureMrsJLB:  Well the pros are that you work pretty independently. You have “supervision” by an anesthesiologist, but I really work alone and call them in as needed for any problems. The degree to which you are supervised varies by institution and state. This may be a surgeon thing, but it seems like the surgical NPs and PAs where I work are like permanent residents who have to do the grunt work for their docs. Overall, I would say the CRNAs have much more job satisfaction where I work.<br /> The pay is also at the top of the nursing specialties. My starting salary was $150K. I also spend most of my day sitting on my ass, which I like because I’m lazy. But you do have busy days when you do a ton of short cases…like in an endoscopy suite. If you’re more of an adrenaline junky you can work in a place that does trauma and whatnot. I work at a surgi center and do mostly outpatient stuff.

The downside is the schooling. It’s far beyond the requirements of almost any other Masters program. I did over 30 hours a week in clinical time (which account for a whopping 1 credit) while taking 4 or 5 classes per semester. And the classes are not easy. On top of this, my clinical site was always changing and most of places I went to were 60 miles from my house, so add another 2-3 hours in travel time to a 10 hour shift. Working during school is pretty much out of the question, so by the time I graduated I had $210K in loan debt (also including undergrad with nusing as my 2nd degree). Definitely a downer, but the payments are very manageable with the salary. It’s also very stressful when you first graduate. After all, you can really kill someone if you don’t know what you’re doing. But after a year or two you settle in and it becomes second nature.

Post # 5
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2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

OP, I am an RN and have done a lot of research about going back to school, although I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I think choosing the NP or PA path will depend on what speciality you want and what your goals are. Depending on your state, they may have different scopes of practice and their models of care are different.

Although you probably know most of this, for an NP, you need to decide a speciality which you do not need for a PA licence. The most generalized NP is a FNP so if you are not sure what field you want, that would probably be your best option. Also, you have to think about DNP- there are rumors that it will be mandatory to have your DNP to practice in the next few years, which is even more schooling.

Most NP programs will want you to have a few years of RN experience before applying, which is not a bad thing. For PA school I would assume you could start right away, assuming you have all of the undergrad credits you need.

allnurses.com is a great resource for any nursing/schooling related questions. I would read the boards there if you haven’t already. Good luck with your decision!

Post # 7
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Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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FutureMrsJLB:  I have beek working in L&D for about a year now (after 2 years in the ER) and I can definitely see myself staying in OB. It’s a very fun and rewarding specialty!

If you want to be a midwife and WHNP, I definitely recommend a few years of RN experience first. I would really reconsider going back to school without it. Those years of learning are critical. You need to learn the organization, prioritizing, and critical thinking skills that you just simply need experience to learn. I would personally never back to school without working in that field for a few years. It’s just SUCH a steep learning curve… Being a doula will certainly help, too, but nothing will beat that RN experience. Just my two cents.

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