How important is the first RN job for a future NP?
- 0Dec 3, '12 by bdyeamansHello everyone. Let me elaborate. I am a new RN and former teacher. I entered nursing school intending to go on and get my FNP, and still intend to. I am interviewing for my first RN job, and wonder how selective I should be with my FNP goal in mind. Obviously, I don't intend to go into hospice or mental health presently, but I am interviewing for an IMCU position at an outlying hospital and a NICU position at a centrally located hospital. I am both ACLS and PALS certified. Everything I have read and heard stresses that advanced practice nurses need critical care experience. The IMCU position requires ECG knowledge, and I was thinking that it would be a good way to get some experience that I could later parlay into a position in the CICU or another ICU or the ED. It seems that the NICU would not be as advantageous for my long term goals, but I wonder whether that may be an incorrect assumption, or whether that might be outweighed by the fact that I could, at some point in the future, try to transfer to another department in the hospital. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
- 1Dec 3, '12 by ChristineNIf you want to specifically be an FNP and not an acute care NP, then I personally do not agree that the ICU is the best place to be. You will learn things, but if your goal is to work in primary care with stable pts, ICU is nothing like that. I am not familiar with the term IMCU, is that a step-down unit? I think a step-down unit would be a good place for a new grad, especially one that wants to go back to school.
I personally think that if you have your choice of units, ER would be the best at preparing you for FNP. You will see the critical care pts like in ICU, but will also have stable pts that will come in for antibiotics or a splint or whatever. It is hard for new grads to find work though, so I would just take whatever you can get.
- 0Dec 3, '12 by bdyeamansChristineN,
Thanks for answering. I am interviewing for the two positions this week, so I may not have to choose if I don't get an offer. It sounds like you agree that the step-down unit would be more advantageous for someone who wants to be an FNP, and I had thought the same. Take care.
- 0Dec 4, '12 by HouTx GuideI agree with PP - FNP work is focused on outpatient/clinic care. Good assessment skills are very important, but acute problems are quickly handed off to appropriate settings. The AP programs that require ICU experience are CRNA & those that focus on inpt care, such as NICU or Acute Care NP, who may work with Hospitalists/Intensivists to manage critically ill patients.
PP is also correct - new grads very rarely have an opportunity to 'pick and choose' these days. You may have to just take what is offered and go from there. FNPs work with all ages of patients, so a broad base of clinical experience would serve as a great foundation for this type of practice.