<p>Okay, so my gf wants to become a pediatric nurse. What steps would she have to take to become one? Do you need a bachelor or would an associate degree be okay?</p>

<p>She will need a degree from a 3 or 4 year program to be eligible to take the nursing exam to become a registered nurse. Most programs are 4 year bachelors degrees. Some are 2 year programs after you complete 2 years of college, including a number of prerequsites (mainly science classes). Other programs are 3 year nursing schools (often affilated with hospitals), but many of those programs are disappearing because many employers want bachelors degrees. </p>

<p>If a person wants to further their education, they are best off with a bachelors degree program. Some bachelors degree programs require students to apply for transfer to the program after 2 years of college, while other programs are "direct entry" - you can apply from high school. </p>

<p>You can become a practical nurse with less education (mainly an associates degree), but that involves less pay, less authority and less room for advancement. </p>

<p>Some people become a practical nurse and then work and find an employer who will help subsidize their education to become a registered nurse.</p>

<p>There also are many programs for people who already have a bachelors degree in another field to become an RN.</p>

<p>After becoming an RN, do you need to take another certified test to specifically work as a pediatric nurse?</p>

<p>Once you obtain your initial Assoc. or Bachelors degree in nursing you are considered a generalist in nursing. You have to then pass the NCLEX exam following graduation in order to get a license to work as a registered nurse (RN).You could then work in any setting although many pediatric settings only hire nurses who have had experience working in pediatric settings. Therefore the initial problem would be finding an entry level position in a pediatric setting (not impossible but tough to find). She might initially have better luck finding a job as an RN in any setting, establish some contacts in this setting, and then possibly transfer to a pediatric unit/setting. As things stand now once a person initially gets a BSN degree and obtains their RN license, after working a year in any setting, they could then return to college to get a MSN degree as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (takes about 2-4 years depending on whether you go full-time or part-time). You then have to pass another certification exam in order to obtain a license to practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Unfortunately it looks like by 2015 most all NP programs at universities will require a person to obtain a Doctoral Level degree to obtain NP status (this would require 4-5 years of post BSN study to obtain). If your GF has not even started college yet this would then probably apply to her if she would want to work as a Pedictric Nurse Practitioner. However you don't need this degree just to work as a general RN in a pediatric setting. At this level you do not have to take another certification test just to work as a general RN in a pediatric setting. Hope this info is helpful.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info. You helped me clarify what I needed to know. Will the new requirement you stated be required throughout the U.S. I live in California to be a little more specific.</p>

<p>Yes it is national (unless something happens to delay/postpone its implemention).</p>

<p>Just a clarification to some of the posts. You CAN get your RN through many community colleges in a 2 year degree. Those are pretty brutal schedules, and most end up doing them in 3 years instead of 2, but it can be done in 2. It is not an LPN level.</p>

<p>wait, by 2015 we need a doctorate degree in order to get an np license??? I'll be graduating in 2015 with a bsn degree. If I got my msn, would I still be considered only a registered nurse? and I wouldn't have any other opportunities without a doctorate?</p>

<p>Beginning in 2015 (unless things are delayed/postponed) Nursing Programs in colleges/universities will no longer be offering NP degrees at an MSN level, only at a doctoral level. If you are graduating with your BSN in 2015 you will have to complete a doctoral level program to become a Nurse Practitioner. Other MSN programs will still be available but not in the area of becoming an NP. Licensure is different from degrees. States require students to pass a national certification exam as an NP before they can receive a license to practice as an NP (process similar to NCLEX for BSN graduates to get an RN license). It is my understanding that if a BSN nurse starts an MSN/NP ptogram before 2015 they can still complete it and would still be allowed to take the NP certification exam and then get their NP license. But beginning in 2015 there will no longer be any MSN/NP programs to enter, so you would have to obtain a doctoral degree to be allowed to take the NP certifcation exam. This is not good news for students who want to be Nurse Practitioners but it looks like it will happen. Sorry. We can only hope for divine intervention.</p>

<p>awww...that makes me sad :( So is there really no point to getting a masters? I would still be considered an RN, right? So it would just be a waste of time? And how does a doctorate degree differ from a masters degree? How many years is a typical masters program versus a typical doctorate program?</p>

<p>Thanks, you've been so helpful!</p>

<p>My D will be a freshman this year at the University of Pittsburgh's school of nursing. Her plan all along has been to become an NP. We were told at orientation (and it is also spelled out on Pitt's website) that beginning with the year 2015, Pitt's NP program will only be offered at the doctorate level. There are still master's level programs available (such as nurse anesthesia) and others. Pitt's program is three years of schooling year round (after completion of your BSN) in order to be an NP.</p>

<p>My D was pretty disappointed, but has figured she'll just take it one step at a time (especially since she hasn't even started college yet).</p>

<p>at the same time, many if not most of the doctoral (DNP) programs give you your master's degree during your studies once a certain amount of credits are completed.</p>

<p>@kef318 I'm going to be a junior at pitt in the nursing program! good luck to your D its a wild ride but I would never think of going anywhere else for nursing school..simply amazing here. HAIL TO PITT</p>

<p>It is my understanding that Pitt Nursing is not waiting until 2015 and has already implemented this change. They are no longer accepting applications for the MSN/NP degree. You have to apply to a doctoral level program to obtain NP status. I would guess other major University Nursing Programs will soon follow Pitt's lead. While I agree to some extent (in principle) with AANC in making this change I believe it will have drastic negative effects in the Healthcare system overall as many fewer clinicians will be available to provide care. I really don't see why both levels of degrees (MSN/NP and DNP) cannot both still be offered considering the probable increase in need/demand with the impending Healthcare reforms. Maintaining income for clinicians should not be the driving force.</p>

<p>MwallenMD, love each of your posts..not sure that Pitt is" leading" this charge? there are so many other schools that are already doing the same.</p>

<p>I know of a number of universities that have begun to offer Doctor of Nursing Practce Degrees but Pitt is the only one I know of that has now (well before 2015) stopped offering MSN/NP degrees and now will only accept students into a Doctoral Program to become an NP. I would be interested in which others have also done so (stopped accepting students for MSN/NP and now only offer NP on Doctoral Level). Thanks.</p>

<p>I've heard some states will not license np's without a doctorate degree after 2015. Do you happen to know which states? Also, I don't suppose anyone knows if UCLA has any plans of discontinuing their masters program for an np license anytime soon? (I'll be starting at their school of nursing in the fall as a freshman) Thanks, you're so knowledgeable and helpful!</p>

<p>I've looked into this and am feeling much more comfortable that the DNP will NOT be a requirement for new NPs by 2015. It is important to realize that it is the 50 individual state boards that determine the level of education required for LICENSURE. To date, no state or certification board has adopted the DNP requirement (one exception may be for nurse anesthetists). For a clear explanation, do a Google search for "aacn 2015 deadline" and click on the first item which takes you to the relevant page of a book (published 2011) explaining why the 2015 deadline should in all likelihood not come to pass.</p>

<p>Why Pitt has gone ahead and eliminated the masters program going forward and replaced it with a DNP program is puzzling. I will be interested to ask the Nursing School that question if the opportunity arises. My daughter will be a freshman there this fall. I had hoped she could stay there through completion of her masters to become a NP. At the moment, it's apparent she will need to go elsewhere to get her masters.</p>

<p>My D will be a freshman at Pitt this year as well. Her goal has been to be an NP and to complete all of her schooling at Pitt. This could all get very interesting.</p>

<p>I'm not sure why some people find this disconcerting. Isn't there a specified path from BSN to DNP? There is at USF and many other schools. Just get the Doctorate. Wasn't that the objective on the way to becoming a Nurse Practioner? If you're at Pitt, then enroll into the DNP. Just being at a school with a DNP program is a benefit. Who cares if they drop the MS level, if the intent is to become a DNP? One who is ready and able to tackle graduate level can do either with equal fortitude.</p>


<p>I read through the information in the pages of the book you mentioned. It certainly is encouraging to see that it would appear unlikely for the AANC changes to be fully implemented by 2015 (or even in the foreseeable future). It does appear that there are still too many "loose ends" with multiple other Nursing Organizations/Accreditation Organizations/Licensure issues etc. that will need to be resolved before the changes could fully take place. I am also therefore puzzled why Pitt would move ahead with making this change effective right now. Surely the "Big Wigs" in Nursing at Pitt must be aware of all these "loose ends". So either they know something we don't know or they are taking a calculated risk in support of the AANC position. In fact there are many Nursing sites on the internet that are are highly supportive of these changes being made as scheduled (including the site right below the one you identified). I wonder if Pitt might have been one of the driving forces behind this change back in 2004 when the AANC voted to make this change (just guessing about this). I agree with kef318 that "this could all get very interesting".</p>