I am asking for honest and sincere advice from you guys whom might have been in my dilema position. I am a new grad working in critical care. Before going into my nursing program [An ADN/ASN] I was attending a university major in Public Health; currently I only need 3 classes to complete this B.S. in Public Health. In terms of experience, I worked as an EMT prior to becoming an RN.
I am looking into my future and trying to see which of the following roads I would like to take. I would like to become a midlevel provider because of their big role in society and I love the clinical/disease process. I have looked into CRNA, but honestly I dont see myself in an OR all day being in the back of the patient controlling drips/sedation and such things; to me this would be very monotonous.
I am debating in either going into a Masters Program in PA or NP. I like how PAs follow a more disease process rather than so many nursing theory stuff and how it seems that as a PA you can virtually jump to any specialty ranging from family practice, to ER, to orthoepedics, to surgery, to ICU, to other medical subspecialties as compared to NPs whom are simply more known to do family medicine. I know of some NPs who do ER and ICU, but these are ACNP, rather than FNPs.
Its know that there is a lot PA residencies that further specialize you in an area as compared to NPs where the program basically trains you in a program, yet in the real world makes it much more difficult to jump specialties than PAs. I would like to do ER, ICU, but also Family Practice. I honestly love nursing, I have learned so much and there is much more I will be learning ,so this in now way is disrespect to the nursing progression.
The dilemma is if I should go back to school, finish my B.S. in Public Health and obtain a minor in Biology and then apply to PA school. Or, finish my B.S. in Public Health and also enrolled in a RN-BSN program? I know I can still apply to PA schools with a BSN degree, but I feel that if I take the extra "science' classes in the minor in Biology it would look better to the admission personnel.
I am very confused on what to do; I like PA for the reasons mentioned, but I understand that an NP can practice in the same role, except with the specialty jumping ability. I am not saying I will be jumping continously, but would hate to do FNP, start family practice and then 10 years later not being able to transition into lets say ICU or Rheumatology as easy as a PA could.
What could you advise me? Now that you have taken this path, what do you sincerely regret of being an NP/PA etc?
Thanks in advance.
You might keep in mind, too, the add on certifications available after finishing your FNP - if, in 10 years, you wanted to go ICU, you could do an ACNP add on in about a year - update with current information - while still working in your FNP role.
On the other hand, if you have any leanings toward independent or pseudo independent practice as a care provider, as an experienced FNP you can open a clinic in several states; a few with no input from MD. As a PA, you have to be supervised by a doctor. No minute clinic type things.
FNP can cross train to rheumatology; actually almost any adult specialty that manages chronic but controlled disease, by finding a doc willing to train - same as PA.
If you love nursing, I'd stick with nursing TBH. We've got a strong lobby and a good foothold in public opinion and policy at the moment, and we have our own regulatory boards. I don't think PA is going anywhere, but they do exist at the whim of BOM in every state.
Last edit by SCSTxRN on Mar 9, '13