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Hi ! I would greatly appreciate your advice about choosing to go for NP or PA... because I am so confused now :confused:

 

At first I wanted to be a doctor but got refused, so I got into Architecture and completed my degree with a low 3,3 GPA...and hated it.

 

I then learned about the NP profession and thought that this would be perfect. Now, after 2 years of nursing school (3,9 GPA), I've just learned that the requirement of 2 years of experience that they are asking to get into a NP program is more 4-5 years in reality..! They didn't accept anyone with only 2 years of experience in Quebec (well from what I have heard). I don't want to wait more than 2 years!

 

So I am now seriously considering moving to Manitoba and become a PA there. I would only have to do the biochemistry prerequisite course, and depending on the competition...maybe I could be accepted.

I'm not that confident about Ontario, since they look at the cummulative GPA. I don't know if I am competitive...I guess I am not, what do you think?

 

About NP, do you know if it's the same thing everywhere in Canada, is the experience requirement always more than 2 years in reality ???

 

Thank you :)

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Have you checked out Allnurses.com? You may find insight there. I believe the experience should be specific (ie in surgery or ICU nursing). If it was outside of that, say in LTC or other non-hospital based nursing, that experience may not be held to the same value and more years may be required to offset.

 

It is also very difficult to get hospital jobs in nursing, let alone ICU nursing which may also lengthen the time between starting your career and getting into NP training. I also get the sense that there is a preference to have the older nurses go for these positions and someone new to the profession would likely need more time to be competitive.

 

This is very much a guess, but that was the impression I got when I looked into it.

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Are you talking about NP programs in Quebec? I know a friend starting the NP stream in Manitoba he only had 2 years experience in Emerg. Have you looked into CNS role?

 

I also wouldn't hold your breath for the PA program apparently its harder to get into than medical school (statistically). I think they have 20 seats or so in Manitoba.

 

Oh and NP programs don't care how you did in the first 2 years they only look at your last 2 years I think the cut off is around 3.8 for most schools but they post 3.0

 

.

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Guest Raj123
Have you looked into CNS role?

 

 

 

.

 

 

Hey Hexonu, do you know how to become a CNS in ontario? I haven't found anything concrete regarding the process after being a RN.

 

Will appreciate your help!

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Being an NP is probably a much easier and fulfilling route if you're already a nurse. The two years of experience should be specific to what you will train in as an NP. Have you looked into their specialties? That may be a start as to where you can look for work. They can do many different areas and having that background as a nurse for two years will greatly come in handy for the application. PAs are much different than NPs in scope of practice and jobs. A quick google search can give you more depth on that. Do you really have that much of an issue waiting? You will be making money while you wait and gaining more knowledge, it is not all for waste. Don't let the time of two years decide your entire twenty-year-long or more career. Go and work as a nurse in a fuel that can be later specialized by an NP first. If you don't like being a nurse, you will know and then making a switch to PA might be better. If you like being a nurse and how they practice but want more autonomy, better pay and hours then go for NP. Work first, decide later. Keep your options open now and really look into the professions. There is a lot of information out there already, especially for this debate.

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Have you checked out Allnurses.com? You may find insight there. I believe the experience should be specific (ie in surgery or ICU nursing). If it was outside of that, say in LTC or other non-hospital based nursing, that experience may not be held to the same value and more years may be required to offset.

 

It is also very difficult to get hospital jobs in nursing, let alone ICU nursing which may also lengthen the time between starting your career and getting into NP training. I also get the sense that there is a preference to have the older nurses go for these positions and someone new to the profession would likely need more time to be competitive.

 

This is very much a guess, but that was the impression I got when I looked into it.

 

Thank you, I will go on that forum to see what they think ! Here in Quebec it's easy to work at the ICU or ER right after university, but yeah they seem to have a preference for older nurses...

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Are you talking about NP programs in Quebec? I know a friend starting the NP stream in Manitoba he only had 2 years experience in Emerg. Have you looked into CNS role?

 

I also wouldn't hold your breath for the PA program apparently its harder to get into than medical school (statistically). I think they have 20 seats or so in Manitoba.

 

Oh and NP programs don't care how you did in the first 2 years they only look at your last 2 years I think the cut off is around 3.8 for most schools but they post 3.0

 

.

 

Yes I have looked into the CNS role, but that's not really want I want...

That's good to know that someone got in with 2 years! And that they look at the last 2 years !

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Being an NP is probably a much easier and fulfilling route if you're already a nurse. The two years of experience should be specific to what you will train in as an NP. Have you looked into their specialties? That may be a start as to where you can look for work. They can do many different areas and having that background as a nurse for two years will greatly come in handy for the application. PAs are much different than NPs in scope of practice and jobs. A quick google search can give you more depth on that. Do you really have that much of an issue waiting? You will be making money while you wait and gaining more knowledge, it is not all for waste. Don't let the time of two years decide your entire twenty-year-long or more career. Go and work as a nurse in a fuel that can be later specialized by an NP first. If you don't like being a nurse, you will know and then making a switch to PA might be better. If you like being a nurse and how they practice but want more autonomy, better pay and hours then go for NP. Work first, decide later. Keep your options open now and really look into the professions. There is a lot of information out there already, especially for this debate.

 

I am working as a Nurse (student) right now. It is okay but disappointing. I want to be able to do more. I don't like the fact that most of the time, we cannot use our jugement to decide. I suppose the real problem is that we don't have enough time to fully use what we have learned at university, because we have other things to do (paperwork...vital signs...and every thing else that doesn't require a lot of thinking). It's sad to think that we learn so many things but can't really use it at the hospital. Also, I want to know more about the medical stuff. If I could study all my life, I would !

 

but yeah I guess I could wait 2 years knowing it would be two years, but let's just hope it won't take 5 years to get into a NP program ! I will definitely look more carefully into the PA profession...2 years of study seems short to me... I wonder if I could have all the autonomy I want as a PA or if I would still be frustrated and disappointed...

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Hey Hexonu, do you know how to become a CNS in ontario? I haven't found anything concrete regarding the process after being a RN.

 

Will appreciate your help!

 

Not sure about Ontario since I'm not from there but basically you would apply to a masters program into the CNS stream for advance practice nursing. I know at UofA they have four different areas for a masters - NP, CNS, Education and Administration. I know a CNS and she had 2 years experience when they accepted her and it was fully funded by the government, but that was awhile ago. Also the CNS stream is two years whereas NP is closer to three, because the masters is 2 years + 1 more to get the NP certificate/diploma.

 

 

I am working as a Nurse (student) right now. It is okay but disappointing. I want to be able to do more. I don't like the fact that most of the time, we cannot use our jugement to decide. I suppose the real problem is that we don't have enough time to fully use what we have learned at university, because we have other things to do (paperwork...vital signs...and every thing else that doesn't require a lot of thinking). It's sad to think that we learn so many things but can't really use it at the hospital. Also, I want to know more about the medical stuff. If I could study all my life, I would !

 

but yeah I guess I could wait 2 years knowing it would be two years, but let's just hope it won't take 5 years to get into a NP program ! I will definitely look more carefully into the PA profession...2 years of study seems short to me... I wonder if I could have all the autonomy I want as a PA or if I would still be frustrated and disappointed...

 

I think you're getting way ahead of yourself. It's good to have goals but you haven't even graduated yet so you have little to no experience in "real world" nursing. Trust me, what they teach you in school does not parallel the real world. You also have to understand the *MINIMUM* is 2 years experience or 1900 hours working. The most successful NPs I've known were nurses for a decade before starting an NP program. I will also add that when they consider your application grades aren't as important as experience and qualifications.

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You also have to understand the *MINIMUM* is 2 years experience or 1900 hours working. The most successful NPs I've known were nurses for a decade before starting an NP program. I will also add that when they consider your application grades aren't as important as experience and qualifications.

 

I agree. There are entry-level MSN/NP programs that one can get into from any undergraduate degree in the USA. However, you would have significant difficulty securing a job without the bed-side nursing experience to back it up.

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that's a tough decision!

 

for me, being from Newfoundland, becoming a PA would mean that I would be completing a program that is not yet recognized in my home province, thus, I wouldn't know when it would become accredited and when I could get a job here. so depending on where you are from, this may impact you or not. if you would like to move away (for years, depending on where you are from!) then its not so much a big deal. if you're already from a province that hires PA's, then that is even better!

 

honestly, i would just take some time to do some soul searching and find out as much as possible about the two professions. i know you (like me!) probably hate when people say this, but, "you are young". take some time to work as a nurse, embrace the health care opportunities that come your way, and use this time as a way to learn more about yourself, your patients, and where you want to go with your life. you are already in a unique role which gives you an incredible opportunity to see many sides of health care, and most importantly, an outlet to really help people. work hard and save your money. i know its hard to believe now, but two years will go by so fast! use this time to really flesh out what you want to do and gain some motivation to do whatever it takes to get there.

 

for me, becoming an NP (likely someday if medicine doesn't work out!) gives me a little more flexibility to work in my home province, elsewhere in Canada, and in the US. i will use the two years off from school (gaining clinical experience to apply) to work, save some money, be an adult, and enjoy the clinical experiences that come my way (good and bad). i may even pursue NP in the US to get a change of scenery!

 

good luck!!

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I think you're getting way ahead of yourself. It's good to have goals but you haven't even graduated yet so you have little to no experience in "real world" nursing. Trust me, what they teach you in school does not parallel the real world. You also have to understand the *MINIMUM* is 2 years experience or 1900 hours working. The most successful NPs I've known were nurses for a decade before starting an NP program. I will also add that when they consider your application grades aren't as important as experience and qualifications.

 

A decade...! I'd better try to go for MD then..! :rolleyes:

It's been more than 3 years that I work in hospitals as a ''nurse aid'' (or something like that) so I have had the time to see how it works and you are right, it is not the same as in school.

I need to decide this summer because I would have prerequisite courses to do next year, depending on what I plan to do as a master, that's why I am asking you help ;)

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that's a tough decision!

 

for me, being from Newfoundland, becoming a PA would mean that I would be completing a program that is not yet recognized in my home province, thus, I wouldn't know when it would become accredited and when I could get a job here. so depending on where you are from, this may impact you or not. if you would like to move away (for years, depending on where you are from!) then its not so much a big deal. if you're already from a province that hires PA's, then that is even better!

 

honestly, i would just take some time to do some soul searching and find out as much as possible about the two professions. i know you (like me!) probably hate when people say this, but, "you are young". take some time to work as a nurse, embrace the health care opportunities that come your way, and use this time as a way to learn more about yourself, your patients, and where you want to go with your life. you are already in a unique role which gives you an incredible opportunity to see many sides of health care, and most importantly, an outlet to really help people. work hard and save your money. i know its hard to believe now, but two years will go by so fast! use this time to really flesh out what you want to do and gain some motivation to do whatever it takes to get there.

 

for me, becoming an NP (likely someday if medicine doesn't work out!) gives me a little more flexibility to work in my home province, elsewhere in Canada, and in the US. i will use the two years off from school (gaining clinical experience to apply) to work, save some money, be an adult, and enjoy the clinical experiences that come my way (good and bad). i may even pursue NP in the US to get a change of scenery!

 

good luck!!

 

Thank you !

Yes I will try to find the more information about the two professions...I would have to move out of my province (quebec) to work as a PA so I need to be sure it is really what I want !

 

The thing about waiting a couple of years is that I would prefer to study while I don't have any kids...I am already 24. This is the main issue I have with waiting ! I know NP is a hard program and so I would like to dedicate all my time to studying, to become a great NP!

 

Good luck you too !

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