Info on Adult NP Curriculum/Job Prospects?

  1. Hello,

    I'm a psychiatric RN (new to this board) thinking about returning for my NP. I'm interested in both psych and primary care and am hoping some of you can give me more information about the adult NP programs/job prospects. Do adult NP programs focus more on primary care, or medical/surgical management? Would FNP be a better way to go? I've thought of this, but I don't really want to work with kids..

    Also, would someone who has no medical-surgical experience (besides as a CNA for a few months & in school) be disadvantaged in an Adult NP program? I feel as if I've lost a lot of my med-surg skills by doing only psych for the past 2 years. I also haven't been working ull time, as I've been finishing up by BA (in psychology).

    I guess part of the reason why Im interested in the adult NP programs is that it gives more options, esp in this economy. I also like the idea of working at a community health clinic or "Doctor's office." However, I'm not a fan of medical/surgical nursing (IV's, catheters, chronic complex medical conditions..). So Im not sure if this would be a bad choice...I just figure that if I am going back to school, it's better to do it all at once!

    Those of you who are ANPs/are in adult NP programs: what are the goals/foci of most students? What is the emphasis of the curriculum?

    Thanks, guys and gals!
  2. Visit ivyleaf profile page

    About ivyleaf, ASN, RN

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 293; Likes: 106


  3. by   sandnnw
    I don't think you'd be at a disadvantage. My ANP program's focus was on cardiovascular, consisting of blood pressure control, diabetes, cardiac, endo and was loaded with primary care, pain, derm, male/female issues. We even had 1/2 semester classes devoted to Gero and adolescent issues, focusing on dementia, acne, common sexual, psychological teen related discusssions, etc.

    I think it's good to have options. I've thought about going back slowly to get a few counseling classes myself. I've always wanted to be able to offer some counseling to patients or volunteer my time during evenings/weekends for those who just need someone to talk to (or even a suicide hot-line, etc). Working in an ER, I really look up to the Psych folks...don't know how you do it.

    To me, ANP and med/surg are two different animals. There is no time in the ANP program devoted to surgical issues. I'm sure there are programs which can be modified or customized for this, but I'd guess the ACNP folks are the ones who study this area. I know at my school, the ACNPs could choose to specialize, but not the ANPs. Now, if I'd wanted to chose a surgical preceptor, that might have been an option, but the ANP exam had nothing about surgical issues on it, so my director might have had issues w/this.

    I think you're headed in the right track if you wish to work in a community health clinic. ANPs deal w/this type of work everyday. Health maintenance, primary care, etc. Good luck!
  4. by   nursetim
    I am a recent ANP grad and everyday I look for employment I kick myself for not getting FNP, you have been warned.
    There are very few jobs for adult nps out there. Sorry but someone has to tell the truth.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    That was my take on it too: get the wides focus you can: FNP.

    I'm an adult health CNS (same scope of practice as NP in IL) and I'm back in school for family/peds CNS so that I can see everyone.
  6. by   sandnnw

    I'm sure you had your reasons for not wanting to go FNP in the first place. I too struggle to "find that job" but my situation is a little different. I chose to take the offer of a federal stipend, thus owing the government three years for my southern IVY tuition. I have applied for almost every NP job in my federal facility and have yet to hear a word, HR states, it's related to funding. Thus, I am forced to try and find a part-time job locally.

    This too has been a challenge. I have to explain why I am tied to the government and cannot work full-time. I also am being offered jobs that are what I would call, less pristine as far as focus (e.g. pain clinics, weight loss, etc). I have about a year and a half left on my government contract and am hopeful that I'll find something within the medical center, otherwise, they are going to lose me.

    So far, I tell myself, I am working as an RN, which when you consider the critical care diff and almost weekly OT, I'm making more than an NP would (for less headache). But, I do yearn to start work as a PCP. I don't want to waste all this grad school experience. My mentors keep telling me to be patient, some of this is related to the economy. Good luck and keep us up2date!
  7. by   jonasv1233
    I had no problem getting a job as an ANP because I wanted a specialty like cardiology who only sees adults. We can see ages 12 and up. I would guess it depends on your area and how many NPs are needed. I was a critical care RN and had no problems transitioning, but we do treat holistically and do mostly primary care. Urology offices, cardiology, pulmonary, etc would take you and train you in that area based on your primary care knowledge. Good luck.
  8. by   mrspopeye
    Nursetim is right about their being fewer jobs available for ANPs than FNPs. I have been an ANP for 4 years and I just knew when I started school that I wanted nothing to do with peds, and I had my dream job already lined up in internal medicine. When that did not work out as planned, I found myself struggling to find a job and luckily I did, but I know of several who have not been and resort to working RN jobs. I went back and got a Post-master's FNP this year, not because I had to, but because it made me more marketable. I have 2 colleagues, one ANP and one ACNP, who are going to do the same FNP program in the fall. FNP is the way to go and has the most job opportunities by far.
  9. by   jonasv1233
    MrsPopeye and Nursetim,
    So sorry you guys had problems. I am lucky I live near a city that needs both FNP and ANP. I find too that many places don't know the differences between ANP, FNP, ACNP, etc., even when their practice doesn't see "kids" and it wouldn't matter if the position was filled by an ANP or FNP. Some girls in my graduating class who live 2-3 hours from me are more marketable with an FNP, so you really have to have a good understanding of the market you are in. I am sorry you will have to go back to school, spend more money, just to get a job. Good luck to you guys!