FNP or PNP?

  1. 0
    I am ready to take the leap and apply to an NP program. I really want to continue in peds and am attracted to the PNP program, but am thinking that FNP would give me more employment opportunity. My thinking is that as an FNP, I could work in peds but the reverse is not true, and in this economy maybe it's best to be as flexible as possible.

    But given that I'm a peds nurse through and through, would I hate some aspects of the FNP program? Should I do PNP knowing that it might take longer to get a job?

    Any advice on which way to go?
  2. 18 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I vote for the broadest scope of practice.

    Otherwise, you will end up like me: I'm an adult health CNS who is now back in school for a peds CNS so I can see kids...which I never thought I would do...
    *ac* likes this.
  4. 4
    I'm a big believer in "following your bliss" -- you're going to put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention $$$) into getting any graduate degree in nursing; if you're going to put all that effort and expense into it, it might as well be for the degree and career/role you really want. I've known lots of people who went into a career track not because it was what they loved doing but because they thought it was the "smart" thing to do, who ended up being sorry they had made that choice.

    What would you like to be doing most of the day, most days, for most of the rest of your life??
    StaRNew, ChristineN, *ac*, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    So it's 50/50.

    You've both explained how I feel, which means I still don't know what to do.

    App is due by Sept 1st - I guess I'll dwell on it a little bit more.

    Any more input is welcome.
  6. 2
    :heartbeatMy advise is to train as a Family Nurse Practitioner. An FNP can practice in pediatrics, but a PNP cannot practice with adults. When I went to school years ago I had applied for woman's health NP and FNP. I ended up getting the FNP. I have never regretted my decision. I have precepted NP students from a major university for 13 years, and some of them have been NP's from other disciplines returning for their FNP. They have to do extra training to do that! FNP's are free to work in almost any discipline. They work in ER's, surgery, women's health, pediatrics, etc. The only areas I can see that need different programs are neonatal NP and similar fields.
    SandBetweenMyToes and *ac* like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from FLARNP
    :heartbeatMy advise is to train as a Family Nurse Practitioner. An FNP can practice in pediatrics, but a PNP cannot practice with adults. When I went to school years ago I had applied for woman's health NP and FNP. I ended up getting the FNP. I have never regretted my decision. I have precepted NP students from a major university for 13 years, and some of them have been NP's from other disciplines returning for their FNP. They have to do extra training to do that! FNP's are free to work in almost any discipline. They work in ER's, surgery, women's health, pediatrics, etc. The only areas I can see that need different programs are neonatal NP and similar fields.
    This is kind of how I'm leaning. The thing is that I, like most peds nurses I know, cannot imagine working with adults. Of course, in the future that could change. Also, I'm afraid that Pediatric Nurse Practioner will be too limiting; especially because there are two tracks I would have to choose from, one being acute care and the other being primary care.

    I just hope that if I go the FNP route that I would still be considered a good candidate for a peds position if there's one out there. What do you think?
  8. 1
    Quote from *ac*
    This is kind of how I'm leaning. The thing is that I, like most peds nurses I know, cannot imagine working with adults. Of course, in the future that could change. Also, I'm afraid that Pediatric Nurse Practioner will be too limiting; especially because there are two tracks I would have to choose from, one being acute care and the other being primary care.

    I just hope that if I go the FNP route that I would still be considered a good candidate for a peds position if there's one out there. What do you think?
    Well, obviously, you would not be as strong a candidate for a peds position as someone who specializes in peds ...

    The bulk of your FNP education is going to be adults, with some peds added in. A PNP program is exclusively peds, so you're going to go into a lot more breadth and depth in pediatrics. If you were hiring for a peds position, which person would you rather hire?
    *ac* likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    Well, obviously, you would not be as strong a candidate for a peds position as someone who specializes in peds ...

    The bulk of your FNP education is going to be adults, with some peds added in. A PNP program is exclusively peds, so you're going to go into a lot more breadth and depth in pediatrics. If you were hiring for a peds position, which person would you rather hire?
    Wouldn't my several years of acute care peds experience as an RN be helpful?

    Oh, I just don't know. If the FNP treats peds as an after-thought, I could end up very unhappy - or it could open my mind to other things. I'm so conflicted. Some of the coursework is the same for both programs, so maybe I could start with that and not preclude changing midway. I don't know how the school responds to that.
  10. 1
    Again, any graduate degree you get in nursing is going to require a huge investment of time, effort, and $$$. I would just encourage you to not rush into anything, but take the time and put in the effort up front to figure out for yourself what you really want to do, and which degree and career path you're going to be happiest with.
    *ac* likes this.
  11. 2
    In my opinion. anyone hiring you is going to look at your NP designation AND your previous RN specialty. For my money, if I were hiring you, I would want the FNP with a peds background, because then you have the experience I seek plus an excellent generalist NP specialty (which includes peds). Interestingly, the closest large urban medical center to where I live does not even specify the specialty of the NP for ANY of the varied NP positions across 8 hospitals...just that you hold a masters level NP and are registered (passed exam) in any one of the major categories. I would not go more specific...I would go with the generalist, because as you and others have said: You can work in Peds with FNP, but you are locked into peds with a PNP. You may decise at some point to venture out of peds...have you ever worked outside of that specialty? Is it a comfort zone issue? You may find if you go the FNP route that you enjoy your clinicals in a varied practice setting. Just my 2 cents... Best of luck to you!
    ICU11 and *ac* like this.


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