I have read a lot of misinformed comments from poopooers of the advanced practice nurse’s level of education lately. It seems that now is the right time to list the courses needed to achieve the BSN and then the MSN. The MSN is the current minimum in order to sit for the certification exam for nurse practitioners. In 2015, the minimum degree will be the DNP or Doctor of Nursing Practice.
There is no liberal arts degree first for nursing. You start right off getting the BSN with heavy-duty courses.
This is my list of courses I have taken and will take to finish my BSN and now my Master’s in nursing: (not necessarily in order)
- Anatomy and Physiology I and II
- Developmental psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Community health
- Nursing theory
- Evidence based practice
- Fundamentals of nursing practice and 9 more nursing courses including medical, surgical, pediatric, geriatric, etc.
- Health assessment
- Hundreds of hours of clinical time in nursing homes, hospitals and community clinics for BSN
- Professional roles for advanced practice nursing
- Advanced pathophysiology
- Advanced health assessment
- Advanced practice procedures (suturing, etc.)
- Primary care of adults (use the same Harrison text as MD students)
- Primary care of children
- Advanced primary care of families
- Over 600 hours clinical practice
All on top of many, many years of actual nursing experience.
Application to graduate nursing school is extremely competitive, you can’t just walk in. There is a rigorous selection process to find qualified students.
Don’t tell me my MSN is meaningless. Yes, there is nursing theory, but the content of the education of a nurse practitioner is relevant to patient care and understanding of disease, wellness, and the way to get a person from one to the other, or keep them well in the first place. We learn holistic care of the patient, their family and the community they live in.
Hardly a paper-thin degree as one medical student put it.