ACNP or FNP and future repurcussions

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I am about to begin applying to Masters Entry Programs in Nursing and am having a dilemma. I am very interested in working in the ER, ICU, OR, trauma, etc. Initially it seems that the ACNP program would be perfect. However I am worried that down the road I might want to transition to more of an FNP role, work in a smaller clinic, provide primary healthcare, etc.

    My questions are:
    1) What limitations would each of the degrees impose as far as job role responsibilities? (Ex. Are there job roles for ACNPs in small clinics or positions for FNPs in the ER?)

    2) Which would provide a better opportunity to work in both settings

    3) How easy it would be to move from one to the other later on?

    I appreciate any and all input.
  2. 2,910 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from rfis95
    Hello,

    I am about to begin applying to Masters Entry Programs in Nursing and am having a dilemma. I am very interested in working in the ER, ICU, OR, trauma, etc. Initially it seems that the ACNP program would be perfect. However I am worried that down the road I might want to transition to more of an FNP role, work in a smaller clinic, provide primary healthcare, etc.

    My questions are:
    1) What limitations would each of the degrees impose as far as job role responsibilities? (Ex. Are there job roles for ACNPs in small clinics or positions for FNPs in the ER?)

    2) Which would provide a better opportunity to work in both settings

    3) How easy it would be to move from one to the other later on?

    I appreciate any and all input.
    In my area the FNP is the more marketable of the two. I am OB-GYN and family practice. I found out very early on that the former was too narrow and the latter offered me much more opportunities.

    I do not see many ACNP in my area working ER. I do ER call all the time and my experience is invaluable for this area. The clinics that I have experience with have not voiced a preference for ACNP vs. FNP.....


    It really depends upon your area/state and the demands. You should investigate the need/s in your area.

    What motivates your desire to be ACNP over FNP? Just wondering.

    Good luck.
  5. 0
    Thanks for the response Siri. I think part of the problem is that I am unable to find a comprehensive list of job functions for both ACNP and FNP. Obviously they will very dramatically depending on where you work. Can you tell me what types of things an ACNP can do that FNP cannot do? Would a FNP be just as suited as an ACNP to work in acute care?
  6. 0
    I am in an adult med-surg clinical nurse specialist program and I find confusion to be the norm. It seems (at least where I live) that no one really has a good grasp on what should be, shouldn't be part of the APN's scope. It seems though that the field is open to what you want out of it.
  7. 0
    Quote from rfis95
    Thanks for the response Siri. I think part of the problem is that I am unable to find a comprehensive list of job functions for both ACNP and FNP. Obviously they will very dramatically depending on where you work. Can you tell me what types of things an ACNP can do that FNP cannot do? Would a FNP be just as suited as an ACNP to work in acute care?
    The answer to the last question is, yes....the FNP is just as suited as the ACNP to work in acute care. I do acute care. I take ER call frequently and am utilized as the sole health care provider in this acute care setting. The ACNP and FNP overlap in many ways. I manage my patients in the ICU/CCU setting.

    I know of several ACNP (not in my area) who are employed in the hospital setting.....ICU, CCU. I have 2 friends, ACNP, who work in a large cardiology practice. So, I suppose my experience with the ACNP is in the post surgical/cardiac settings.

    I do everything in family practice from birth to death and all in between, acute, chronic, etc. I am also certified as OB-GN NP as well as FNP. But, as I have said before, the former role was too narrow and the latter much more marketable.
    The role of ACNP and FNP overlap in many areas.

    Hope this helps.
  8. 0
    Quote from siri
    The answer to the last question is, yes....the FNP is just as suited as the ACNP to work in acute care. I do acute care. I take ER call frequently and am utilized as the sole health care provider in this acute care setting. The ACNP and FNP overlap in many ways. I manage my patients in the ICU/CCU setting.

    I know of several ACNP (not in my area) who are employed in the hospital setting.....ICU, CCU. I have 2 friends, ACNP, who work in a large cardiology practice. So, I suppose my experience with the ACNP is in the post surgical/cardiac settings.

    I do everything in family practice from birth to death and all in between, acute, chronic, etc. I am also certified as OB-GN NP as well as FNP. But, as I have said before, the former role was too narrow and the latter much more marketable.
    The role of ACNP and FNP overlap in many areas.

    Hope this helps.



    Siri, I have no doubts with your extensive experience you are a great asset in the ED as a FNP. I do think though that from an education standpoint, the ACNP tract prepares someone more for caring for patients with acute and critical illness than the FNP tract. Not trying to seek out flames as I am cetainly not trying to devalue FNP's at all.

    I agree with all who said the exact role of the ACNP is not clearly defined, but it also is a very "new" specialty in the role of advanced practice nursing.

    OP, I chose ACNP as a specialty because of my love of critical care nursing. After I initially applied and was accepted in a FNP program. I thank the program director there who talked with me at length about why I wanted to be a "FNP". She had more insight than clearly I did at that point and explained to me that FNP education is very broad covering all ages. ACNP tract has a more narrow spectrum but is more in depth in that particular area.

    I do agree with Siri, that in my area the FNP seems to be more marketable, but part of my responsiblity is to market myself and educate potential employers about the role of the ACNP!
    Kristie
  9. 0
    Quote from Kristiern1
    Siri, I have no doubts with your extensive experience you are a great asset in the ED as a FNP. I do think though that from an education standpoint, the ACNP tract prepares someone more for caring for patients with acute and critical illness than the FNP tract. Not trying to seek out flames as I am cetainly not trying to devalue FNP's at all.

    I agree with all who said the exact role of the ACNP is not clearly defined, but it also is a very "new" specialty in the role of advanced practice nursing.

    OP, I chose ACNP as a specialty because of my love of critical care nursing. After I initially applied and was accepted in a FNP program. I thank the program director there who talked with me at length about why I wanted to be a "FNP". She had more insight than clearly I did at that point and explained to me that FNP education is very broad covering all ages. ACNP tract has a more narrow spectrum but is more in depth in that particular area.

    I do agree with Siri, that in my area the FNP seems to be more marketable, but part of my responsiblity is to market myself and educate potential employers about the role of the ACNP!
    Kristie
    And, I could not agree more.......the ACNP IS more educationally prepared to handle acute care settings. My ability to do ER was NOT from formal education and I wish I had had that type of background. Mine was definitely on-the-job-training. Took me years before I was ready to solo in the ER.

    Yes, we NPs MUST be able to market ourselves. As I have said before, the nurse really is not educated to be business minded. We have to develop that technique......takes trial and error to do this.

    And, you are correct in the fact there are no clear "written definitions" or job descriptions outlined regarding the many different roles of the NP.

    No, no flames.....not on this board. This is most important for the NPs to know. The only way to gather this info is to ask.

    Thank you so much, Kristiern. Your input is most appreciated.
  10. 0
    Thanks everybody for your input. It sounds like FNP route allows more job flexibility and access into multiple areas whereas ACNP is the way to go if you are absolutely sure that acute care is where you want to be. It's hard to make a definitive decision having never worked in either job role but seems that FNP is the safer bet.
  11. 0
    Hello all!
    I too have the same question about the future for NPs in these specialties. It seems like the NP tract itself is always evolving into many different specialties. In a way, this can be a good or bad thing. Good because, it doesn't limit us as NPs. Bad because it leaves everyone else in the medical and public arena confused. Again marketing for NPs becomes even more important. PA's have one program to go to which allows them to practice in a variety of settings. NP programs are specialty oriented.
    I am trying to decide which route will be better in the long run as well.
    There is a program at Vanderbilt that focuses on FNP and ACNP. This sounds like a great program. I wish there were more! If anyone has any further info about this program or any other ACNP/FNP programs please post!!
    Hope to hear more from our fellow NPs and NP students!
  12. 0
    Quote from FINDURPASSION
    Hello all!
    I too have the same question about the future for NPs in these specialties. It seems like the NP tract itself is always evolving into many different specialties. In a way, this can be a good or bad thing. Good because, it doesn't limit us as NPs. Bad because it leaves everyone else in the medical and public arena confused. Again marketing for NPs becomes even more important. PA's have one program to go to which allows them to practice in a variety of settings. NP programs are specialty oriented.
    I am trying to decide which route will be better in the long run as well.
    There is a program at Vanderbilt that focuses on FNP and ACNP. This sounds like a great program. I wish there were more! If anyone has any further info about this program or any other ACNP/FNP programs please post!!
    Hope to hear more from our fellow NPs and NP students!
    Hello, FINDURPASSION,

    Yes, the NP is a highly specialized career. MANY disciplines from which to choose. And, yes much confusion regarding the various roles. Just have to educate the other health care professionals as well as the public.

    Have you tried Allnursingschools.com? They list a fair amount of the NP programs that have FNP and ACNP as well as other disciplines.

    Vandy has a great program I might add. Loyola University in Illinois has a wonderful program as ER NP as well as ACNP and CNS in ER. Although I am not familiar with the program in Texas, (Texas A and M University), I have heard their program in FNP and ACNP is good.

    Hope this helps and good luck!!


Top