Advancing your degree: FNP vs ACNP

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Interested in advancing your career as a Nurse Practitioner? Well be prepared to make some decisions. The profession has become specialized.

Episode 14 of my Podcast The Nurse Niche talks about some decisions you’re going to have to make when you decide to walk in the shoes of a Nurse Practitioner.

Here’s the rudimentary transcript (with grammatical errors):

What’s up everybody welcome back to the nurse needs podcast on your host Sean thanks for tuning it is always start today’s episode off little housekeeping issues or housekeeping thoughts as always thanks for tuning in you know that I’m on iTunes under the nurse niche you can also find me on my blog my strong medicine the podcast the interest in the podcast and the word out on the streets is is is growing slowly getting contacted from other nurses out on twitter talking about the podcast liking it so greatly appreciate the feedback please keep it coming still keeping it simple yup in the iPhone haven’t been able to make the leap into something a bit more advanced but trust me I am working on it all right today’s topic talking about nurse practitioners and I had a interesting brief conversation with a fellow nurse talking about want to go back to school and interested in becoming a nurse practitioner thank you the decision on which direction to take as a nurse practitioner and the ultimate question being FNP versus ACNP which in nonnursing terms means do I go for a primary care physician position working in primary care with patients across the lifespan or do I specialize in acute care which is more inpatient and while it’s mostly working with the adult population can also work with the pediatric population depends on the program in which you enroll in this is a legitimate and real concern for all the nurses out there who are making the leap to advance their career and become a nurse practitioner gone are the days where you can just enroll in nurse practitioner program and then when she graduates say I’m going to be a primary care or family practice nurse and on the work in an office boom there you go or after I graduate I decided I want to work in the hospital and I want to work with the cardiologist boom there you go those days are gone they no longer exist and you can thank it in part to the national Council State Board of nursing who created what is called the consensus model and the short short brief short personal version of that basically means is that all nurse practitioners are now becoming specialized you have to pick a specialty or you have to not pick a specialty you either have to be specialized in acute care or you go into primary care which is called family practice the big major difference two major differences in that is that first you have to take your population family practice is the lifespan from birth to death in a deal with infants the children the teenagers and the adults in acute care you have the lifespan of an adult which is usually 18 years and older there are some programs out there that allow you going to acute care for pediatrics or neonatal but those are very very specialized and very few programs out there right now that is a growing Avenue of interest so while it’s out there it’s not easy to enroll so basically in acute care nurse practitioner is an adult nurse practitioner here’s where the problem lies is that say you decide on the nurse to become a nurse practitioner and I enroll in my nurse practitioner school program and you are not exactly sure where you want to go the DIY work in primary care family practice FNP for I want to go to adult care acute care working in a specialty program sidebar when I say acute-care that means any kind of specialty you can work in cardiology in the acute care setting in working pulmonology renal you can work in oncology and any of the acute care settings and I say cute care it means not in the office it’s in the hospital or in a specialty clinic okay out of the sidebar back to my scenario nurse graduated nurse practitioner choosing FNP primary care or do I do adult acute care and then halfway through the program or after I graduate I figure out that you know what I didn’t really want to work in primary care I liked it in the inpatient setting I like it in and I will be biased I liked it in the ICU setting here’s where the problem lies is that 99% of the employers out there are following in line with this consensus model so very rarely can you be an FNP and work in an acute care setting Nile is a very rare but it’s almost not allowed in most states because you’re not properly trained education is one thing you get the same amount of education granted in family you do a lot more pediatrics across the lifespan as opposed to just adult but as an FNP you do not enroll in a lot of the acute-care critical care sort of education so you miss out on a couple things not neither good or bad is just the way the programs are structured now so when a nurse decides they want to become a nurse practitioner they really have to do some digging within themselves and within their experience as a nurse their professional experience as to what tripped their trigger what was it that interested them the most about becoming a nurse practitioner I do get this question a lot asking mean the advice which direction should I take and here’s my best piece of advice and was a piece of advice that was given to me by my old program director I don’t know what I just mean that my program director for I decided years ago to become a nurse practitioner I asked the same question Jago FNP or should I go acute care and here was her answer and I still think it holds true today think about where you want to be in five years after your out in practice who do you want to take care of where do you see yourself practicing now if you’re willing and wanting to change gears and to change your profession altogether if you were an ICU nurse and you really feel that you want to be in primary care than by all means you deftly should go into the FNP program but if there’s a shred of you that enjoys acute-care enjoys the critical care portion enjoys the specialty areas and you should reconsider where you’re going to start sure after it’s all done and over with as FNP graduate you truly do want to go back you truly want to be in acute care there are options there are bridge programs you can go back and get your post graduate certification that that’s more schooling and that’s more money so if you do it do it right the first time because nobody likes having to spend more money on education last time I checked I don’t have a lot of money to throw to the schools the also have the time investment you have to make in order to go back and the reversal is true as well I is an acute care adult nurse practitioner if I decide that I want to go into primary care and the FNP route there are options out there forming there is post graduate certificate programs out there that are and anywhere from nine months to 18 months some were very some very depending on where you go but it’s still extra time extra money so if you’re going to enroll in a nurse practitioner program trying to just trying to do it once and only once as an adult nurse practitioner myself I’m in acute care nurse practitioner I can care for anyone who was an adult in the acute care setting in the inpatient setting and in some instances outpatient setting but it has to be acute care so I could take care of patients in a clinic or in an outpatient office that is specialty so I could care for the cardiology groups patients or the nephrology groups patient so if you have to think of it in terms of what patience am I caring for in the hospital I could also see out of the hospital obviously I care for the in the critical it critically ill patients in the ICU when they get out of the ICU they have a whole slew of chronic problems that they had prior to seeing me and more problems with their habit have to have taking care of after they seem so can’t really use that as a example there’s no right answer there’s no wrong answer everyone’s answer is different when it comes to making that big decision I would just make sure that you take the time and make the effort to speak to those who already doing it speak to the program directors speak to other nurses try and get a sense of what it is that you want out of this I would hate for you to go through school and then realize after tens of thousands of dollars that you have to go back and get a postgraduate certificate any nurses out there interested in becoming a nurse practitioner have these questions by all means give me a shout contact me on all of my social media outlets best way to find me is Sean Dent.com I’m there and my landing page you can find all my social social media, social media handles I’m on Twitter I’m on Facebook I have a personal Facebook page I have a fan page I have my blog I also have this podcast and of course amount their own Google plus oh I forgot Instagram also out there on Instagram my personal Facebook page in my Instagram countercurrent of a mix of nursing as well as my other passion of fitness and exercise if you haven’t figured out by now I’m also a CrossFit coach and a weightlifting coach a Olympic weightlifting coach so that interest you by all means hit me up thanks for tuning in checking me out have a listen be sure to leave a comment let me know what you thought of the episode and as always

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