Acute vs. Primary Care NP? Can't decide - page 2

by EGVnurse 11,873 Views | 12 Comments

For about a year I've been working as a RN on a 30-bed med/surg unit (post renal transplant and orthopedic) in an urban 926-bed Trauma 1 hospital. I'm interested in going back to school to get my Master's. But I can't get... Read More


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    Just a comment on autonomy, my experience has been that clinic based NPs have a lot more autonomy than inpatient ones. In the inpatient setting, there are so many people checking things behind you, questioning orders, discussing plans of care, etc. that you are a lot more constrained in what you can do. Whereas, in the clinic, you see your own patients all on your own. No one else is assessing them, treating them, etc. I think the clinic setting is more routine, so it depends on if you'd find that boring, but I don't think you need to worry about not having enough autonomy.
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    Quote from narcolepticnurse
    I too struggled with this. Right now I'm in an FNP program. I definitely want my career to end in primary care, but I also love the fast paced environment of acute care and thought I might want to continue working in that setting for awhile. The FNP path was the only option when I started, but the university will be starting its ACNP program soon. The advice I was given (and this might only be applicable to my area) was to finish out the FNP program because I would have more options as far as jobs. I could then just keep taking classes and also get my ACNP certification so I would have that option available as well- it wouldn't take that much more time. Right now, that's my plan.
    Does anybody know exactly what it takes to get the ACNP cert after accomplishing the FNP? I'm in the process of starting applications and am struggling with the very same FNP (or AGNP) vs ACNP dilemma...
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    Quote from n.a.norcal
    Does anybody know exactly what it takes to get the ACNP cert after accomplishing the FNP? I'm in the process of starting applications and am struggling with the very same FNP (or AGNP) vs ACNP dilemma...
    It depends on the school.

    Typically, such question is easily answered if you are planning on attending the same school for your post-Master's. You would put the curriculum from both programs side by side (i.e., FNP vs ACNP) and figure out what courses are the same for both and which courses are not present in the second NP specialty you're trying to obtain.

    It can be tougher doing the post-Master's in another school where similar courses you've already taken are known under a different name and would need to be assessed for equivalency. The short answer is that since ACNP programs tend to be shorter than FNP (less total credit hours due to less content as courses only cover adult population), 4 semesters worth of courses (or less) would likely cover what the FNP program lacked to enable you to earn ACNP certification.


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