Hello all. I am currently in an ACNP program and i'm wondering if its worth it. I have been a critical care flight RN for 7 years and an ED RN for 6 years before that. I accepted a spot in an NP program because I want to advance my career, maintain the autonomy that i get as a flight RN and honestly, get paid more.
As i traverse the NP program i'm left wondering if its worth it? The time, commitment, money spent.
I truly do enjoy learning more, but in the end, it seems that some NPs go back to working in the unit because they make more as a floor RN. Some wind up simply writing orders for a trauma service but never actually get to DO anything.
Im at a crossroads. DO i continue on with the NP commitment hoping ill be happy with the pay, duties, etc.
Basically, what's it like for you APRNs out there? Would you do it again?
Is it worth it?
Or are you disappointed with the end results? (pay, job, etc.)
Why are you having these doubts? How far into the NP program are you?
Since you have a lot of RN experience, you may indeed have to take an initial pay cut as an NP, but over the long run you will make more money as an NP and w/o having to work a lot of OT to do so.n You need to research ACNP pay in your location or locations of interest. Pay varies widely by location.
If you practice in a state with independent practice authority for NPs, you will certainly have a lot of autonomy.
As far as practicing hands-on patient care, Urgent Care centers are usually staffed by NPs and PAs. Work in a busy UC and you will have nonstop action and variety. I would imagine the same would be true of a busy ED.
Yes, some RNs regret becoming an NP, but I would say they are in the minority. If you really are passionate about being able to assess, dx, and treat, then the NP is the way to go. Another option is to become a PA. Or you could even go to med school.
Your career is what you make of it. Not all NP jobs are fantastic and sometimes you can become locked into a contract. However, most of us are at least happy with the decision to become an APRN even if we don't necessarily love our jobs. (Does that make sense?)
If you are planning to stay in your city or area, you need to know the culture of your local hospitals. Do they give NPs a lot of autonomy? Are the acute care NPs doing the full spectrum of patient care they were trained for, or are they considered (more or less) subservient to the surgeons? It all depends. An acquaintance is very happy doing acute care in a small hospital because she is given a lot of autonomy and has been able to rachet up her skills even more; she is a "big fish in a small pond", or at least that's how she tells me she feels. Some of the very large hospital systems around here "get" the NP role and utilize NPs fully, while at others, my friend would be a "small fish in a big pond" and would not feel as fulfilled.
Must Read Topics