hi! I found this thread also & am happy to see a recent post on it.
Good info below re. which certifications are worthwhile (ACSM & ACE, it seems). I have spoken w/ ACSM - you can not get the top cert.(physiologist) from them w/o a degree in exercise science. I would argue that as a FNP, I have more ed & exp than those masters' degree holders, but this is a professional turf issue. --- I find it very difficult to translate nursing experience into other fields (I had looked at doing volunteer work for Red Cross in mentla health counseling post disasters, but RC would not allow it, even tho I had diagnosed and medically managed these pts. for years 0 in that case, the counselors & psychologists had the field advantage.).
The next lowest ACSM cert is the specialist, but any BS/BA in an "allied health" field with exp. in fitness rehab can sit for that cert. exam. My experience is far above a BS -trained person.
I would add that fitness "trainers" are paid very low, compared to a RN or NP. To use yer RN degree & make decent pay, commensurate w/ yer experience & ed., I think one has to start one's own business. That might work in some markets, but in my mid-sized city, the gyms have the fitness/training market, & they would not pay more for the RN/NP experience.
I sure would like to see a franchised chain of RN-owned health & wellness centers! Wouldn't that be great?
I may go for the cert. if only for my own health maintenance, but I do not expect it to pay off. If you dislike nursing , & I would completely understand why! -- I advise going for the MS in exercise science. See the degreedirectory website to explore the topic.
Let me know if anyone has ideas re. how to parlay our skills into doing the work we love, which America so much needs!