I am applying to Master's Entry programs to become a nurse practitioner and we have to choose a specialty before school starts. I want to work in hospitals with pediatric patients. I already have some experience with pediatrics. I definitely do not want to just do check ups and diagnose colds. So I was thinking I would become a pediatric oncology np or palliative care pediatric np or acute care np or something along those lines.
But at work last week the NP was telling me that if you are the specialized you really limit yourself job wise. She was saying that as a FNP you can work on a peds floor in a hospital or at a pediatric hospital, but if you super specialize it's harder to find jobs so she suggested I do family. But I really prefer to work with pediatric patients. Should I just become a pediatric nurse practitioner? From what I've read that's mostly primary care and not really hospital centered and I am really not interested in working in a school or a clinic. Or is she right that I can become a pediatric nurse practitioner and still work on a peds oncology floor or something?
Basically what should I specialize in if I want to work in a hospital with pediatric patients with more serious illnesses, but still having the opportunity to find a job anywhere?
Sep 18, '12
The answer depends somewhat on which state you live in, but some states will not allow to work in the hospital without having an acute care specialization. I would suggest looking at some of the hospitals in your area and see what they are looking for in terms of experience for their NP jobs. Something else to think about is an FNP degree is a primary care degree, so that is what you will be learning and where you will be doing your clinicals. If you aren't interested in primary care, I think it would be really painful to have to complete a primary care degree. I only had to do 50 hours of primary care for my degree and that still felt like a lifetime. I can't imagine doing 1,000 hours primary care. Plus, if you don't want a primary care job, does it really matter that you are getting a degree that doesn't allow you to apply for them? Just something to keep in mind
Sep 19, '12
I only want to do Peds so that's where I'm headed...primary care ped np. I'm probably going to to a post masters certificate in acute care down the road. I didn't consider FNP because I won't consider working with adults. Specializing too much can be an issue but i believe not specializing some can also be an issue.
Sep 20, '12
The children's hospitals in my area are going to requiring acute care PNP certification to work in the hospital. If you know that is what you want to do, I would go for acute care PNP. I can't tell you how happy I am that I went that route. I don't feel limited in the slightest. Actually, when I interviewed at a major children's hospital, they were thrilled that I already had my CPNP-AC. Two of the three PNPs interviewing me had their primary care certification and are now having to go back for their post master's certificate.
Sep 20, '12
Thanks for the info. Yeah my research is showing me I should just go straight for the acute care pediatric nurse practitioner. It's what I want to do so I'm not too worried about limiting myself.
Mar 9, '13
In the program that I attend (UT@Arlington), adding PNP to Acute Pedi is only one more class - I would absolutely take that extra class, just in case there are no hospital jobs available when/where you need to work. Were I you, however, I would not do FNP because you obviously do not want to BE an FNP.
I know this is an old post, so not sure if you will see this, but just wondering if you did go the PNP route and what you think. I am in this dilemma now and vascilating. In my heart, though, I simply know I don't want to work in adult medicine. The only thing I would think about is OB, but I still prefer Peds, and do NOT want to do well child checks all day. Hope whatever you decided you are loving it!
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