Quote from AnnieOaklyRN
I have a couple questions too...
How is the job market? (I know this can be dependent on area)
Do you have any regrets doing an NP program that is narrow based, meaning you are limited on your population? Do you get bored and wish you could change areas? If you do decide to transition to a FNP role would you have to start over or is there a bridge for that?
There is a shortage of NNPs, but not to the point where you can name your own price. You may not get your first choice job in your first choice city as a new grad, but after a couple of years I don't think it would be difficult, broadly speaking.
I do not have any regrets becoming a NNP. I have been asked that many times, some by well meaning relatives who work in healthcare. My answer to them is that I like babies, so why would I work in any other population? I've never taken care of an adult patient in my entire nursing career and have no desire to do so. The only exception might be women's health clinic doing antepartum, but that market for that is very small, poorly paid compared to my profession, and worse hours (IMHO- some would say that having a M-F 8-4 schedule is the ideal, but I like working my 6-7 shifts a month for full time work).
I've been in this field for almost a decade and while I don't feel the hungriness of my earlier days to take care of the sickest of the sick that comes from working in a Level IV NICU, I still derive a lot of satisfaction from my job. I now work in community NICUs (level II/III) and sometimes I feel like I have a bigger impact because there is such a huge need for experienced providers treating these sick babies. While I respect pediatricians and their knowledge to the utmost, they are not experts in neonatal care like I am and I enjoy teaching them what I know along with the staff nurses. I recently had to intubate a baby during a delivery and the nurse that was with me hadn't helped with an intubation in over a year. It was very gratifying to do the post-delivery debrief with her talking about what we did well and what we could work on for next time...
If you wanted to do another specialty, you would get a post-masters certificate which would take about a year or so depending on the school. Learning curve might be a little steeper than normal depending on your clinical background.