Acute Care or FNP?

  1. 0
    I was looking to apply for a nurse practitioner program and was not sure which one I wanted to do more? I honestly don't care much for kids or babies, but I wouldn't mind working in a doctors office.

    Can anyone help explain these two and what jobs I would expect to find with these differnt degrees?
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I'm kinda in the same boat. I am torn between ACNP and FNP. My understanding is that ACNP is more of a hospital setting track with all the ups and downs that come with working in a hospital. While FNP is geared toward primary care. Both have a wide range of opportunities, more so with FNP though. There are a couple of ACNPs on here that can give you a better answer.
  5. 1
    Great question, and one that I think lots of nurses considering NP programs ponder.

    I am currently in an FNP program and debated heavily over this issue as well. My background is critical care nursing, I have my CCRN, and really love what I do. So why FNP?

    It was honestly multiple factors. Where I currently live, ACNP's are rarely sought after and within my hospital system, only 2 are on the provider list. I also have yet to see a job posting for an ACNP in my region, where FNP positions are always posted and are in demand. In addition to that, I like the broad education you get doing the FNP route. Although babies and maternal nursing isn't my thing, I'm thankful for the education because it allows me to have a broad practice that an ACNP degree will not. Finally, although an acute setting is fun, it can also be draining, and long term I think a clinical setting is more desirable.

    When determining which route is right for you, look at you current location and assess the job market. Additionally, ask yourself where you want to be in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Finally, ask yourself what you like and what you want to do with your degree. If the hospital acute setting is where you think it's at, ACNP is probably right for you. If opening your own practice or working in a clinic sounds fun, the FNP route is probably your best bet.

    Now having said all that, after I finish my FNP in 2014, I plan on enrolling right away to get my post masters ACNP, because like many of you I am still torn. I think the versatility of being able to practice in a clinical setting and also manage more acute patients would be very valuable. Opening my own clinic is my dream, but I don't want to abandon the acute setting completely either.
    zmansc likes this.
  6. 0
    If you want to work in a clinic and you don't want to work with kids then you want to do an ANP, not ACNP. Acute care has two divisions, adults or peds. Both are degrees that are geared toward working in an inpatient setting and/or specialty clinic with more complex patients such as cardiology, hem/onc, neurosurgery, etc. If you want to do primary care (well visits and minor/common illnesses) then there is adult, family and peds. Different states have different requirements or are used to a certain type of certification, so your own experience on which degree does what may vary, but those are the general categories. If you don't like working with kids, then do the adult primary care degree. It will allow to only focus your studies on the content that you are interested in, and you will be better prepared for that population after you graduate.
  7. 0
    Quote from Annaiya
    If you want to work in a clinic and you don't want to work with kids then you want to do an ANP, not ACNP. Acute care has two divisions, adults or peds. Both are degrees that are geared toward working in an inpatient setting and/or specialty clinic with more complex patients such as cardiology, hem/onc, neurosurgery, etc. If you want to do primary care (well visits and minor/common illnesses) then there is adult, family and peds. Different states have different requirements or are used to a certain type of certification, so your own experience on which degree does what may vary, but those are the general categories. If you don't like working with kids, then do the adult primary care degree. It will allow to only focus your studies on the content that you are interested in, and you will be better prepared for that population after you graduate.
    It isn't as easy to pick as you make it seem. I want to work acute care, but would like to have the option to see adults and peds. I am getting an FNP, even though I have little interest in doing outpatient work. Ideally I would like to work in an ER. I am also thinking about doing the post-Masters ACNP program.
  8. 0
    Quote from Riburn3
    Great question, and one that I think lots of nurses considering NP programs ponder.

    I am currently in an FNP program and debated heavily over this issue as well. My background is critical care nursing, I have my CCRN, and really love what I do. So why FNP?

    It was honestly multiple factors. Where I currently live, ACNP's are rarely sought after and within my hospital system, only 2 are on the provider list. I also have yet to see a job posting for an ACNP in my region, where FNP positions are always posted and are in demand. In addition to that, I like the broad education you get doing the FNP route. Although babies and maternal nursing isn't my thing, I'm thankful for the education because it allows me to have a broad practice that an ACNP degree will not. Finally, although an acute setting is fun, it can also be draining, and long term I think a clinical setting is more desirable.

    When determining which route is right for you, look at you current location and assess the job market. Additionally, ask yourself where you want to be in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Finally, ask yourself what you like and what you want to do with your degree. If the hospital acute setting is where you think it's at, ACNP is probably right for you. If opening your own practice or working in a clinic sounds fun, the FNP route is probably your best bet.

    Now having said all that, after I finish my FNP in 2014, I plan on enrolling right away to get my post masters ACNP, because like many of you I am still torn. I think the versatility of being able to practice in a clinical setting and also manage more acute patients would be very valuable. Opening my own clinic is my dream, but I don't want to abandon the acute setting completely either.
    Thanks for your insights. I've debated this as well and your feedback to the OP is actually incredibly helpful. Lol I feel like I have a better sense of direction!!


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