Originally posted on Reddit. Lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
A short background: I graduated as a biology major in 2015, worked as an outpatient surgical assistant through 2019, then went to get my BSN, RN.
This BSN, RN program was accelerated, one year long, and designed for students with a past BS degree. I was well prepared for the NCLEX (I passed with minimum number of questions) and 100% of my cohort also passed on first try. Overall, it was a good program that got the job done.
Where I was duped....the BSN program fed straight into a three-year DNP program. I am almost done with the first year. At the start of the BSN portion, we were told NPs can “diagnose, treat, and prescribe” and I happen to be in a state with full independence. For an “older” student looking for career autonomy it sounded amazing! Now that I’ve done more research and have actually experienced NP school I feel like I was “led on”. I suppose some of that is my fault, but these schools are really good at making it seem like a good idea!
I’m frustrated with the curriculum. The pathophysiology is weak, weak, weak - I had more challenging biology/biochemistry in undergrad. We are often told which drugs/conditions/etc. we should NOT treat (e.g. don't ever prescribe digoxin on your own!) which I can appreciate as it is outside the scope of practice. However, being told what I can and cannot do has been the bane of my existence since I was a child. Furthermore, we are shown weird EKGs, talk about unique conditions, then are told “you don't need to know any of that”. Umm, then why am I here?! And the amount of times we are told to “refer” is bonkers. Anything outside of basic/stable warrants a referral...to an endocrinologist, neurologist, etc. for things I’m 100% certain a primary care MD could manage. I imagine these specialists would laugh at us! And the amount of time we spend on crap that is sooo elementary...patient with a muscle sprain? Lets talk about RICE ad nauseum even though children know to ice a sore leg. WTF. Oh, and we have weekly discussion boards with the MOST RIDICULOUS TOPICS!!! “Why is smoking bad and how does this affect your practice as an NP?” I wish I had trolled my professor and wrote about how smoking alleviates stress, encourages social behaviors, etc. No shit it's bad. Why aren't we doing case studies???? We are coddled beyond belief. Our health assessment final isn't called a “final” because its too scary sounding (????); instead its some god-awful, long acronym I can't remember right now.
Sorry for the rant. I’m taking a leave of absence after this semester to study for the MCAT. I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a little girl but have never felt more strongly about it than now. I’m upset that I wasted time in this program, but am grateful I have a BSN/RN to fall back on.
I’m not sure what I’m expecting anyone reading this to say. Any MDs or med students have advice? Am I making the right decision? I hear studying for the MCAT can take 2,000 hours. I plan to start today! (Maybe during my boring ass NP lecture 🤪).