• Thank You Doctors, Love, Proud Nurse

    Dear Doctors, 

     

    Thank you so much for the work that you are doing regarding the extremely subpar Nurse Practitioner training. I graduated from an FNP program in 2003 from a respected nursing school in New York City. I Immediately suspected that something was terribly wrong with the training. I received my undergrad at the same university and the assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology classes were basically the same course as in nursing school with "advanced" added to a the syllabus. The ball was not at all moved forward. The exams were take-home. I was shocked at the attitude of the professors in that one actually said that primary care physician were "over-educated" for what they do. It was as if the NP training was an alternative to MD training, much like DO training. I worked full time during my two years in school in the ER, took vacations, etc. The schooling hardly interfered with my life. It seemed that everyone received an "A" It was as if grad school was a just a hobby. My clinicals, mercifully assigned by the school, were scattershot, the best being the one hundred hours of woman's health with an MD. In many of the clinicals, I actually felt that the NPs did not have a complete grasp and were "faking it until making it." Good plan in a job such as fashion design, but disturbing and dangerous in patient care. 

    It was shocking what the program did not teach or relegated to just an afternoon seminar—lab interpretation beyond the basics, X-rays, EKGs, antibiotics, even how to treat a patient with co-morbidities. I learned massively more medical information as an emergency room registered nurse. My graduating class was small at the time, only fifteen. Now the same school is graduating nearly a hundred, flooding the market year after year.  

    I suppose patient care is so easy, that anyone can do it, and they are. I wisely decided that I will NEVER work as an NP in direct patient care. The most frightening NP is one who doesn't know what they don't know, and I don't want to be that kind of NP. The graduate degree did open doors for nurse research and nurse coordinator jobs.  

    I think that there is more trouble on the horizon. The family nurse practitioner now is rather out of fashion, being replaced with acute care nurse practitioner. I know many new and arrogant, nurses that are in that program with the deluded goal, of becoming a "hospitalist". If I wished to switch to acute care, or psych., it would only be three semesters in a certificate program. 

    Trust me, many, if not the majority of NPs feel the same way as I do. I considered getting a doctorate so I could teach, but decided that I do not want any part of the broken system. The work that you are doing will actually save the profession from imploding, which it will if it continues down this path. I think it needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt. I am now getting my masters in an entirely different field, one that has some modicum of standards. 

     

    Sincerely,  

    Proud Nurse