ANP vs. FNP - who gets hired?

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    First off, apologies if I have missed the answer to this question in another thread.


    I'm about to start an adult health NP program. When I started this application, I chose adult health over family practice because "family practice," to me, sounds like "miserable primary care doc who sees 1000 patients/day and makes $0." But I've recently been looking at job listings in my area (SoCal) and everybody seems to be looking for FNP's rather than ANP's.


    I'm not really sure what subspecialty i'm interested in. I like complex medicine - so maybe something ICU/Cardio-related, but honestly I'm still pretty clueless. What I do know for sure is that I'd like to be employed after I graduate !

    So. Is a FNP more market-able ? In terms of eventually developing a subspecialty of interest and trying to get hired - is an ANP or FNP more flexible? Will the alphabet soup really impact my career trajectory?
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    I was an ICU nurse and nurse anesthetist with minimal Pedi experience, so I had originally applied to an ANP program. Then I bumped into an old friend who was an FNP working in an allergy practice. She convinced me that the ANP was too limited. If I ever wanted to work in a practice like hers, or in an area like, for example, dermatology, I would have to be able to treat patients under age 21. I didn't want to limit myself and wanted to be as marketable as possible, so I switched to an FNP program. I think since you are not sure what area you want to practice in, it may be worthwhile to consider an FNP track.
    celclt, happy2learn, and FNP2B1 like this.
  5. 1
    I always vote for the widest patient base possible. I did an adult health CNS figuring "I never wanna see kids." Well, that was kinda dumb because I limited myself and in this job market, that's not a good thing. So, back to school for another post-MSN peds CNS certificate.

    I will say though that having completed two programs is helpful in that I feel much more comfortable with kids than even my FNP friends.
    celclt likes this.
  6. 0
    If you are in So Cal I would suggest FNP. I've been looking at the job listings too and see FNP everywhere but rarely see listing for AHNP.

    FNPgrad...how do you like going from anesthesia to primary care? I was halfway through my CRNA training and switched over to the FNP track as I wasn't enjoying being in the OR all day. I'm planning on doing derm/aesthetics once I graduate. I like the 8 to 5 schedule of being a FNP compared to the 0500 to whenever schedule of the CRNA.
  7. 5
    Honestly, I've never been happier. I was strongly encouraged to go into anesthesia by coworkers, CRNAs and even my unit manger when I worked in the ICU. I had no idea that I could hate any aspect of nursing so much! I thought the OR was sheer living hell!

    I hated the icy cold room, absence of windows, wearing the mask & hair net, lack of patient contact and being confined to a little tiny space at the head of the bed for hours on end. I became physically ill during the program, developing severe allergies and asthma, had to take multiple medications (advair, allegra, singulair, albuterol) and high doses of prednisone (which caused me to gain a ton of weight), lost about 1/3 of the hair on my head, had painful cystic acne where the mask sat on my face - it was the worst time in my life!

    I completed the program but never practiced. I am now happy, healthy, thin and asthma/ allergy free. I take no medications at all and love my life. On rare occasions, I regret not staying in it for the added income and financial security that comes with being a CRNA. However, there is more to life than money
    AtomDc, PatMac10,RN, BluJay27, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    FNPGrad why did you leave anesthesia?? Just curious. It seems like most CRNA's would rather have multiple root canals than give up passing gas.
  9. 0
    Must have bee slow on the send button Thanks for the response FNPGrad!
  10. 3
    I hated the same things you did and felt the weight gain as well. Since I've been doing FNP clinical work I'm in great shape, happy and look forward to every day that I'm working. Anesthesia was just a totally miserable experience for me. I know FNPs who do medspa work that make as much as CRNAs. You were right though.....money isnt everything and doing anesthesia for sure didnt make me happy. Glad to see another gas passer on here who switched from the dark side!
    PatMac10,RN, Designer NP, and BluJay27 like this.
  11. 0
    Thanks for all the helpful responses. (also interesting to hear the flip-side of anesthesia!) Guess it's time to call the ole grad school and see how to change the letters behind my name.


    I had a PPD done at a CVS clinic today, and the (F)NP there even told me I should do FNP! In fact, she stared intently at me and just repeated "Family. Family. DO FAMILY." over and over again. Got it!
  12. 0
    Quote from coast2coast
    Thanks for all the helpful responses. (also interesting to hear the flip-side of anesthesia!) Guess it's time to call the ole grad school and see how to change the letters behind my name.


    I had a PPD done at a CVS clinic today, and the (F)NP there even told me I should do FNP! In fact, she stared intently at me and just repeated "Family. Family. DO FAMILY." over and over again. Got it!
    The other thing to consider is ACNP. If you are interested in ICU work then thats more appropriate scope wise. Our hospital has not hired an FNP in some time. ANP for the IM clinics. ACNP for specialty clinics and inpatient work.

    David Carpenter, PA-C


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