Direct entry nursing is a program that allows people who hold a bachelor’s degree in other non-nursing courses to directly join nurse practitioners master’s level program. A direct entry program allows students to become licensed as a registered nurse and be credentialed as a nurse practitioner. The program takes two or more years.
A nurse practitioner is a nurse practitioner who has qualifications to treat some medical conditions without direct supervision by a doctor. Nurse practitioners provide advanced primary as well as specialty nursing services. Their duties include:
- Patient assessment
- Creating strategies for managing or improving patient health
- Introducing habits to promote health
Advantage of Direct Entry Nursing
Admission for any degree holder
Applicants to nursing do not have to hold a bachelors degree in nursing but any other. Students get into direct entry nursing (MS) program using their undergraduate non-nursing degree after completing the program of the prerequisites. It can also help RNs to qualify for advanced positions but mostly targets those with a bachelor’s degree in a different field to earn a master’s degree in a shorter time. It allows anyone who has an interest in nursing but had pursued another degree to train for their desired profession.
Shorter study time
Direct entry nursing programs allow a student to earn BSN and MSN degree at the same time so they can immediately pursue advanced positions. The time to earn an advanced degree takes the same time as that of a bachelor’s program. Students with experience in the medical field usually graduate in 3-4 years when studying part-time.
Direct entry programs usually cost less than the amount that students pay to earn a BSN and MSN separately. Online options are of more benefit to the working professionals with busy schedules but with interest in becoming a nurse practitioner.
Direct-entry nursing program requirements
Admission requirements for nurse practitioner programs usually vary depending on nursing school. Applicants to any programs should hold a bachelors degree. Some programs prefer the applicants to have a degree in a field relating to nursing or healthcare, but many programs accept a bachelor’s degree for any major.
The academic background by each student impacts the number of prerequisite courses to take early into their program. For instance, students without a nursing background might need to complete the foundational coursework for nurses. The coursework at this level cover chemistry, anatomy and biology. Some of the programs even require prerequisite courses in psychology, nutrition and statistics.
Many programs build the prerequisite courses into a curriculum rather than require them before admission. Other includes the prerequisites in their admission requirements if they require students who have a background in nursing or relating healthcare field. There are also additional requirements varying from one program to another, but often applicants must submit letters of recommendation, a written statement with details of professional goals and the recent GRE scores.
Direct entry Nursing Courses Curriculum
Coursework in direct entry MSN programs includes the classes in leadership and healthcare policy. It also includes fundamental topics like health assessment and nursing informatics. Each school has its unique curriculum but below is a list of typical courses for direct entry nursing program.
Health assessment: This is a prerequisite foundational course or at times can cover more advanced health assessment topics. Students explore the value of performing comprehensive physical exams and digging into medical histories throughout a lifespan. They also learn to accurately assess body systems.
Nursing management: A course examining physiological, psychological, ethical and cultural aspects of a nursing case management. Students who discuss and explore the concepts of advanced nursing practice. These concepts include management of nursing teams and departments. The course emphasizes on inter-professional and interdepartmental collaboration with the other medical professionals.
Pharmacology: A course emphasizing on research in the pharmacology field. Students learn about the way drugs move in the body (pharmacokinetics) and the way they function (pharmacodynamics). Students will then discuss the implications of both within their field.
Psychiatric Nursing: Students learn about appropriate methods for managing mental illness, including the application of pharmacology in treating symptoms. Students explore research in psychiatric nursing to analyze practical applications for the data they find. They also examine the implications of psychiatric nursing within communities and across the lifespan.
Pathophysiology: A course examining processes involved in the diagnosis of disease or injury and treatment.MSN programs emphasize critical thinking, generally taking an advanced generalist approach. Students consider applications of the pathophysiological concepts to advanced and critical care nursing.
Careers after the Direct Entry Nursing Program
Graduates after direct-entry MSN programs usually secure advanced nursing positions. They can work at hospitals as charge nurses who manage others within a department. Other direct entry graduates can work at private practices assisting physicians. Advanced nurses should be ready to work for long shifts and spend much time moving around or standing. The requirements by most employers are that advanced nursing professionals engage in continuing education to keep up with new methods and technology in practice.
These are the common careers for direct entry nursing graduates.
Nurse practitioner-Nurse practitioners work besides licensed physicians. They often perform similar tasks to the doctors that they are helping. Nurse practitioners can perform examinations, diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication.
Certified nurse midwife- Direct entry MSN holders can earn certifications in midwifery to be assisting women in labor and delivery. They also assist with other procedures to ensure female wellness. Certifies nurse midwives work with obstetricians and also OB-GYN physicians.
Certified registered nurse anesthetist-Nurse Anaesthetists administer anesthesia before surgery. They must take care of patients before surgery, when under anesthesia and after an operation. A nurse anesthetist must be a holder of MSN degree and pass the certification examination.
Psychiatric nurse practitioner-These nurses perform the traditional functions of a nurse practitioner but in psychiatric care. They monitor and treat patients with mental illness or disability.
Nurse educator – Practicing nurses, after direct entry nursing graduation, can work as nursing educators like any other MSN. Their role is to assist in the nursing programs by teaching in the continuing education classes and the other nursing courses.
Do you have years of professional experience but want to switch your career to nursing? Joining a direct entry nursing program is the most favorable pathway. It takes lesser time by combining BSN and MSN degree. The cost is less and successful graduates start their career at an advanced level.