FNP vs PNP vs MD

  1. This will be an odd admixture of questions, but I will try to explain as best as possible. I am a first-year nursing student in an ASN program. Eventually, I would like to become a NP. Everyone I know that wants to be a NP beelines straight for the FNP certification.

    I want to specialize in pediatrics only. I have explored FNP options, but I want a strict focus on pediatric care, not just some focus on pediatrics and some focus on adults. I am concerned that if I am a PNP, that I will not be as marketable as a FNP, nor will I have the flexibility that FNPs have to move from different settings. PNP is my desired specialty, but I am worried I will be limited.

    Aside from that, I have had small thoughts of foregoing nursing altogether and pursuing medicine instead. I am a caring person, and I like the nursing model of care better than the medical model because I am all about patient-centered care, not necessarily a focus on just the disease/condition. However, there is a lot of criticism for NPs by Physicians these days, and I really do fear said criticism. Going against that, my life priorities are to actually have a life, family, and avoiding mountains of debt and over a decade of school. For nursing students/pros out there that have felt this way, how did you get past those small yet intensely negative thoughts that you should be a Physician instead of a nurse? I personally think it stems from my own feelings of inferiority, but I would like to hear what everyone thinks.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from sjh226

    Aside from that, I have had small thoughts of foregoing nursing altogether and pursuing medicine instead. I am a caring person, and I like the nursing model of care better than the medical model because I am all about patient-centered care, not necessarily a focus on just the disease/condition. However, there is a lot of criticism for NPs by Physicians these days, and I really do fear said criticism. Going against that, my life priorities are to actually have a life, family, and avoiding mountains of debt and over a decade of school. For nursing students/pros out there that have felt this way, how did you get past those small yet intensely negative thoughts that you should be a Physician instead of a nurse? I personally think it stems from my own feelings of inferiority, but I would like to hear what everyone thinks.
    There is a huge difference in education between a doctor and a nurse. If you think you'll be "inferior", you're right ...in terms of status, income, education, etc. you will be the lower person on the totem pole. Of course, there will be people "above" you and "below" you no matter what you end up doing for work. That's simply reality.
    As far as "pursuing medicine" goes, it will take more feeling inferior to succeed. Do you have a realistic chance at admittance to medical school? Take a hard look before anguishing over this "decision".
    Last edit by Sour Lemon on Oct 22
  4. by   klone
    I think, before you can make a decision, you need to examine and resolve your feelings of inferiority over the idea of being an NP instead of a physician.
  5. by   Julius Seizure
    Consider the physician assistant track as well. Less schooling/less debt, but the flexibility of not specializing in just one area.
  6. by   Jaide06
    Quote from sjh226
    This will be an odd admixture of questions, but I will try to explain as best as possible. I am a first-year nursing student in an ASN program. Eventually, I would like to become a NP. Everyone I know that wants to be a NP beelines straight for the FNP certification.

    I want to specialize in pediatrics only. I have explored FNP options, but I want a strict focus on pediatric care, not just some focus on pediatrics and some focus on adults. I am concerned that if I am a PNP, that I will not be as marketable as a FNP, nor will I have the flexibility that FNPs have to move from different settings. PNP is my desired specialty, but I am worried I will be limited.

    Aside from that, I have had small thoughts of foregoing nursing altogether and pursuing medicine instead. I am a caring person, and I like the nursing model of care better than the medical model because I am all about patient-centered care, not necessarily a focus on just the disease/condition. However, there is a lot of criticism for NPs by Physicians these days, and I really do fear said criticism. Going against that, my life priorities are to actually have a life, family, and avoiding mountains of debt and over a decade of school. For nursing students/pros out there that have felt this way, how did you get past those small yet intensely negative thoughts that you should be a Physician instead of a nurse? I personally think it stems from my own feelings of inferiority, but I would like to hear what everyone thinks.
    So I think that first you need to decide if you want to be a nurse or if you want to be a doctor. Based on what you said, you only think you may want to be a doctor because you are afraid of what other people will think of you and you fear criticism. Every things else you said after that regarding your life priorities, debt, patient centered care, points to nursing. So if the criticism or feeling inferior outweighs the benefits of being a nurse, you need to be a doctor. So you need to figure out how to not care what other people think about YOUR career choice. As many have said before, most nurses don't become nurses because they can't be doctors, they choose nursing.
    As far as PNP vs FNP... a part of making decisions is knowing that you can't have it all. It sounds like to me that you are NOT ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you want to be a PNP. If you were certain, it would not matter that it is less flexible. If you want flexibility, obviously you choose FNP. It's the best of both worlds, you can work in peds and with adults and have different jobs at different times in your life
    If you want to specialize in Peds only (like you said), why does it matter if you are marketable in FNP, you said you didn't want to do that.
    Really the only decision that need to be made NOW is if you want to be a doctor because if you are in nursing school now, you are spending time and money.
    Deciding on what kind of NP can wait because I have heard that all of this can change in school and after graduation based on your experiences in school and after.

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