Quote from bbear
I'm new to the forum as of last night. I must say, there are a lot of very interesting conversations going on and I believe this forum will prove quite informative. Having said that, I really need some input regarding a couple of NP specialty tracks I'm considering and what I can anticipate from them.
I will be matriculating into a graduate ACNP program this fall at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt offers a couple of specialized tracks through its ACNP program that interest me--emergency medicine and cardiothoracic first assist. I've been vacillating back and forth trying to make a decision regarding which one to pursue. I guess I could really benefit from some of you giving me some feedback.
Here's what I've been tossing around in my male-pattern balding little head:
Pros of CV first assistant: Best of both worlds--extensive patient interaction and the ability to participate in highly technical procedures. Perhaps more opportunities to work in private practice vs. for hospital? Probably better earnings potential?
Cons of CV first assitant: Probably fewer job opportunities. Long hours and extensive call. Probably not as much diversity of disease/populace.
Pros of ER: Probably more available positions. Probably more opportunities in hospitals, but still opportunties in private practice. Could easily re-direct into other sub-specialties if interest comes along. Probably better hours? Lots of diversity in patient care--never know what's coming through the door next.
Cons of ER: Probably more patient interaction at the cost of less involvement in technical procedures. Probably less earning potential?
I would really appreciate any feedback offered. Are my pros/cons realistic expectations, or are there things I'm missing? This is all I've been able to come up with so far and I feel like there's something I'm overlooking, but I just can't pinpoint what it is.
Here's my 0.002 cents...
It depends on the MEDICAL demographics of where you live...that will help you get the most out of your training and career. If there are lots of CV practices there where you live...lots of (this may sound cold
) people that frequent MacDonald's and may soon need bypass, etc....then, becoming an ACNP-FA is for you! If on the other hand...if there are more ER's there that hire NPs and if you like the adrenaline rush of this setting...and surely, ER's won't run out of patients coming in...especially in these times of unaffordable health care insurance...which prompts people to make the ER their "doctor's clinics"...then, being and ACNP in the ER is for you!
But, the question that you need to ask yourself is this: WHY DO I REALLY WANT TO BE AN APRN (Advance Practice RN)? And, WHAT SETTING DO I SEE MYSELF BEING THE MOST COMFORTABLE IN and HAPPY IN?
I too, am an NP. I also debated between becoming an ACNP or FNP (ACNP would be more attractive if I decided to become a CRNA later on). I chose to become the latter (It didn't matter if I were an ACNP...since I got accepted to CRNA school recently).
I practice in a level 1 trauma ER as an NP. I function as an ACNP. Trained by the docs and practice under their protocols. I enjoy this kind of stuff...hands-on...etc. But, I also can practice in the private clinic setting (which I have done)...since I have FAMILY PRACTICE TRAINING. I chose this area of advance practice, so that I can pretty much have the flexibility of practicing in different settings. Especially, after finishing CRNA school...I can practice in rural areas both, as a FNP and CRNA (have the best of both!).
So, the point of my 0.002 cent advice is...take the time to sit down and focus on what area of advance practice are you really turned on by. Where do you see yourself 10 yrs from now...and will you get fullfilment out of it?
Good luck with what you decide.