do any NPs wish they did something else

  1. Ok so here is the deal I have been a ICU nurse for 8 years, I was thinking about doing CRNA and had worked towards that goal but something inside me keeps saying wait maybe thats not what you want to do. Im not sure I want to be part of an assembly line of surgeries the rest of my life. I want real patient care. Now after reading some in the CRNA forum on this site it seems many are upset with their current work situation. Still though I want to do more with my education. So I am thinking FNP. But I want to know are there any NPs out there who wish they did something else...or maybe choose a different sub-speciality?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Dodongo
    I only wish I did it sooner. I agree about the CRNA path. Every CRNA I spoke to said they loved being an ICU nurse and wanted to take it to the next level. Well, I didn't want to continue being an ICU nurse. I wanted to be very much out of that role. I love the NP role. But there was no way I wanted to be an FNP either. You're trained for primary care/outpatient care. I only wanted to do hospital based medicine so it was a no brainer to choose ACNP.
  4. by   Oldmahubbard
    I, too, wish I had done it sooner, although various laws and insurance regulations would not have been in my favor at the time, back in the day, as a PMHNP.

    I never expected the PMHNP role to expand the way it has, with Medicare and other insurances giving parity by law to mental health problems. At least superficially.

    Life is a bumpy road, and the job market changes every few years. Employers will change as well.

    You don't know the real story until you yourself are in it. And your perspective will change with each job.

    In my field, I have known a number of people who think that 15 or 20 minute appointments with Psych providers are horrible, abusive, constitute malpractice, etc.

    With all my experience, I feel exactly the opposite. Of course, there are times where a longer appointment is needed.

    However, in my experience, most longer appointments are not just wasted, they are counter-productive.

    They feed into the dysfunctional narrative.

    Either rehashing the same old trauma story from 30 years go, or trying to convince the patient to do something they really don't want to do.

    I am so glad to be in a job now where I seldom have to deal with this.

    So, the very odd thing, haha, is that different people perceive the same job so differently.

    In my field, LTC consultant, most of the PCP's appreciate the relatively low stress level. The ability to make your own schedule and work at your own pace.

    But there are some who don't like it, and feel like they have to do too many visits, although the expectation is only about 12-15 a day.

    I had an intense desire to become an NP, long before there was any money at all in it. I wanted to work in health care and had been burnt to a crisp as an RN.

    I would have been satisfied just to escape all that BS and disrespect, with no raise at all. Thankfully raises did eventually come.

    The market is so different now. Of course CRNA and FNP are very different paths.

    Overall, if your heart isn't really in it, you will probably have regrets.
  5. by   WestCoastSunRN
    I'm an ICU nurse. I've decided to stay an ICU nurse - I do like it and I make good money - too much for it to make much sense doing an NP Program now - what with the additional stress added of learning a new role. I made certain life choices I do not regret that postponed my grad school plans.

    Knowing what I know now - and I were still geared up for an NP Program, I would choose acute care NP for many of the reasons Dodongo has.

    I always knew I didn't want to be a CRNA. Don't get me wrong, I like keeping organs alive and all, but I like the art of nursing too much to leave it behind the way I think I would have to as a CRNA.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    For me as for many others, nursing was a second career. I became a nurse at 32, worked for 12 years as an RN (ICU and ER) and then became an APRN.

    Do I wish I had stayed an RN? Yes, some days I do - I'll be honest. I've been an APRN for almost 12 years now, the first 11+ in nephrology where the same repetitive narrative finally got to me. So, I switched to cardiology where yep...the same repetitive narrative is already getting to me...

    However, I like the paycheck and thats the rub. In my area, unless I want to work 60 hours/week as an RN, I won't make what I'm making now.

    And...like others, I did put off my nursing education for a variety of reasons....
  7. by   Rocknurse
    ICU nurse here too. I've been in this game for 28 years and I love the ICU but nursing started to wear on me several years ago. The stress, the demands, the ever changing face of healthcare...it's exhausting. I switched to informatics and I work in a really good environment but it's not really me. I miss the science, the codes, the critical patient on 17 gtts, IABP and CRRT. Right now I work per diem in the ICU but my body is tired. I'm in my final year of the AGACNP program and I want to stay in critical care once I'm an NP. I could not imagine working in primary care seeing patients on a conveyor belt. I know I would hate that. I'm glad I did the acute program...it's fascinating and I get to learn all the skills: putting in central lines, arterial lines and so on. Not to mention that hospitals are leaning towards only hiring ACNPs in inpatient facilities. I wish I'd done it sooner though, and student loans are daunting, but I know in a couple of years it will pay for itself. I can't see myself being at the mercy of the ICU schedule as an RN. I won't work swing shifts so I'd have to do night if I did ICU full time. I don't want to be older and having to do that. Some days I'm terrified and wondering what I've done, and others I am so excited to get out there. Life is for living and so don't have any regrets. Just do it.
  8. by   8-ball
    Wow, thanks for tall the replies everyone. I currently work as an ICU travel nurse (last 2 years) I really was thinking about ACNP but in the last 2 years I haven't seen any ACNP used at the facilities I have worked at, so I was thinking maybe that it was a harder job to find and keep. I have been thinking about FNP because I would like to work in the rural setting doing clinics with low income or indigent people, or maybe even mission work. but this is all thought right now I still need to narrow things down.
  9. by   BlondieMSNRN
    Well, sounds like CRNA isnt what youre looking for anymore.
    Compared to being an RN, I currently much prefer being an NP and I also loved being an inpatient RN. (Although i do think about going back sometimes!) If you love being an ICU nurse, I would caution you against becoming an FNP. While I do not work in primary care (I work ambulatory oncology) there's juuust enough overlap that I know I would be miserable if I ever had to do that. At least with ACNP you have the ability to work shifts or specialty clinics in many areas of the country.
    And if the idea of direct-entry NPs rubs you the wrong way, just stick w the acute care route.
  10. by   8-ball
    Quote from BlondieMSNRN
    Well, sounds like CRNA isnt what youre looking for anymore.
    Compared to being an RN, I currently much prefer being an NP and I also loved being an inpatient RN. (Although i do think about going back sometimes!) If you love being an ICU nurse, I would caution you against becoming an FNP. While I do not work in primary care (I work ambulatory oncology) there's juuust enough overlap that I know I would be miserable if I ever had to do that. At least with ACNP you have the ability to work shifts or specialty clinics in many areas of the country.
    And if the idea of direct-entry NPs rubs you the wrong way, just stick w the acute care route.
    Actually I am seriously considering ACNP but as I stated I have only witnessed a few instances of them being used in the ICU environment and I worry about the job market for them...but I am still in the research phase of all this. (see my new post on ACNP).
  11. by   inthecosmos
    This was the thread I didn't know I needed. So insightful!
  12. by   rnBSN223
    tramaRUs, how do you like cardiology? are you a Primary care NP or Acute care? I am about to accept a position in cardiology as a NP. This is my dream job, just curious your experience. Any recommendations/suggestions?
  13. by   MikeFNPC
    I love being an NP. The only thing I'd do different would be to have gone to med school early in life. Not that NP isn't amazing, it is. But I went back to school later in life making it not really that practical with family and expected work years left for me to justify med school. This job is so easy that getting paid twice as much for doing almost the same thing would have been nice.
    Last edit by MikeFNPC on Feb 3 : Reason: Correct spelling, lol!
  14. by   Oldmahubbard
    It is just so sad to me that the NP is typically doing the same job for half the salary, and sometimes less.

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