Vanderbilt ACNP Intensivist Program

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    I'm very interested in it, and would like to hear from graduates of the program. I have an ACNP program available to me here in Jackson, MS but it doesn't have an intensivist focus. My fiance and I are strongly considering moving to Nashville next spring to establish residency and go to school at Vanderbilt. I'd like to hear some of how graduates feel about how the program prepared them for work as an intensivist, how difficult is was finding a job, and just anything you have to say about it.
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    Can't help you with what the Vanderbilt program is like as I didn't attend there. I just wanted to say that I am an ACNP and have been working in critical care since 2004 in an "intensivist" role (in quotes because I'm not sure if that is a physician title that is regionally accepted for NP's elsewhere since we call ourselves Critical Care Nurse Practitioners here).

    Many but not all ACNP programs have the ability to prepare you for an "intensivist" role. ACNP didactics are broad and covers a wide range of emergent, acute, critical, and chronic issues in the care of adult and elderly patients. The certification exam requires that the program is that broad. Clinical hours are more loosely defined and many programs try to go above the minimum hour requirements set by the boards. You may find ACNP programs advertising as Cardiology-focused or Critical Care-focused or Hospitalist-focused but the difference is only evident in the way clinical rotations are set-up, because classroom content should be consistent regardless of institution.

    If you prefer a Critical Care-focused program, the institution should have established relationships with area medical centers to ensure that students have clinical placements in ICU settings and are precepted adequately to manage patients and do procedures. That can be hard to accomplish in a distance format. Not all ACNP programs can claim that capability and Vanderbilt for sure employs a team of Critical Care NP's in their medical centers so they can easily accomplish that goal. That makes this school a good option for you as it sounds like you plan on establishing residence in Nashville. There are other well-known ACNP programs around the US that have the same capability as well and they are primarily in schools with an affiliated academic medical center.
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    Thanks for the info. The program here in Jackson is through the University of Mississippi and its teaching hospital, including a level one trauma center. Cost is a major difference between the two programs, and with Vanderbilt starting an "intensivist fellowship" program for ACNPs, that is also a viable option. I guess I just have a lot of thinking to do. 16k for my ACNP or 70k. That's a lot of money!
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    I'm a Vanderbilt student although not in the ACNP program. The intensivist focus is brand new at the school and I'm pretty sure they have not graduated the first class yet. I have a friends in both the intensivist and general ACNP tracks whose goals are to work exclusively in ICUs. I know the program director who has credentials in a number of advanced procedures which most ACNP programs don't teach and many NPs in ICU setting aren't trained in. I'm not sure exactly which of these will be included in the intensivist track but I would imagine a good deal of them. However, if cost is an issue, you could also pursue more advanced skills training through conferences/workshops either during or after your ACNP program. If you would be looking to stay in the Nashville area after graduation, I would warn you that it is next to impossible to get a job as an APN. The area is absolutely saturated and Vanderbilt does not hire many APNs. It is a phenomenal school though and has an excellent reputation around the country. One other option, if moving is not an issue for you/your fiancée, there is an excellent ICU fellowship for NPs which is salaried so you could boost your experience without increasing your student loan debt. St. Luke's - Trauma Critical Care - PA-NP
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    They have actually graduated several classes of the ACNP Intensivist. I recently graduated from this program. I will be happy to give you more info in PM form if you would like.
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    Hi lvICU,

    I wanted to PM you to ask about your experience at Vandy's Intesivist program but since I'm new to allnurses, it won't allow me to use PM. Whenever you have some time would you try and PM me with some info like:
    1) The website says you have to be on campus from January to August, but I want to know if I can do the first semester from a distance?
    2) I will have to move there without my family and I was wondering how often you think I might be able to go home and see them, in other words, how many hours a week are you in the hospital, classroom, homework, studying?
    3) I know there is no on campus housing for grad students so I was wondering what are should I look for an apartment in?
    4) How long after applying did you get accepted?
    5) Did you like the program, do you feel it prepared you enough?
    6) Have you been able to find a job since graduating?
    Anything else you want to share with me would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions but I'm so eager and excited at the possibility of attending this program and can't wait to apply.

    Thank you so much!
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    Hy lvICU,

    I'm new to allnurses and instead of replying to your comment I posted a new one asking you a bunch of questions about the Vandy ACNP Intensivist program, so I'm going to try this again by copying and reposting what I wrote yesterday...

    I wanted to PM you to ask about your experience at Vandy's Intesivist program but since I'm new to allnurses, it won't allow me to use PM. Whenever you have some time would you try and PM me with some info like:
    1) The website says you have to be on campus from January to August, but I want to know if I can do the first semester from a distance?
    2) I will have to move there without my family and I was wondering how often you think I might be able to go home and see them, in other words, how many hours a week are you in the hospital, classroom, homework, studying?
    3) I know there is no on campus housing for grad students so I was wondering what are should I look for an apartment in?
    4) How long after applying did you get accepted?
    5) Did you like the program, do you feel it prepared you enough?
    6) Have you been able to find a job since graduating?
    Anything else you want to share with me would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions but I'm so eager and excited at the possibility of attending this program and can't wait to apply.

    Thank you so much!
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    Loyola University Chicago and the University of Maryland have additional course work in critical care included in their ACNP programs. You can choose to focus on either critical or emergency care at Loyola. Both programs include both online and in-person course work. They're both affiliated with academic medical centers and provide clinical rotations for their students. U of Maryland also has post-graduate fellowship programs in trauma and critical care for NPs at their medical center.

    Good luck in your journey!!
  11. 0
    Hey lvICU,

    I got your PM and I tried to respond but I'm not sure if you got my message as I'm still not allowed to PM so I'm going to respond to you here and I hope u see this. I am still very interested in the Vanderbilt Intensivist program and would love to hear your answers to my questions or anything you would like to share with me. Thank you so much


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