NNP vs PNP vs FNP

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    I currently work a cardiovascular TCU and love it. However, my goal is to work with kids and babies, hopefully even NICU. I did my ADN preceptorship in a pediatric ED as well as a preceptorship on a level 3 NICU and fell in love with peds. However, actually getting a job with peds is very, very difficult.

    I know in my heart I would like to advance to the NP level. But I'm stuck on which route to go. There are few schools in my area that have pediatric NP, one with NNP, most have FNP. Has anyone ever done FNP and got another certificate as a PNP? The reason I'm considering FNP is so I don't pigeon hole myself, even though we have a children's hospital in the area. Of course I think it would be to my benefit to actually try to transfer to the children's hospital when I'm able.

    I know regardless of which route I take, it's going to be difficult. I also know that if I even wanted to head in the direction of NNP I would definatly need to get a job in NICU.

    I hope I don't sound to rambling.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

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    Since you have never worked in pediatrics, I would suggest doing so before investing in a graduate education focusing on peds. Until you have actually had a job that involves working with a pediatric population, you will not know whether or not you will actually like it. You need that information to make an informed decision. You can speculate and imagine forever, but until you actually try it, you won't know. I recommend that you not spend any money on a graduate education until you get that information.

    A lot of people think they would like something ... but find out it's not really for them once they try it. Having been a student in peds, you have a strong clue that you will like it, but you need to actually work there for at least several months before you can know for sure.

    If you are not sure what population you want to work with, you are not ready to make the decision.
    babyRN. likes this.
  5. 0
    llg is right, you'll need that exposure to peds before investing so much money into a graduate program. At least you know you're flexible--working with adults, peds, and neo. I don't think I'd be able to stand anything but NICU in the clinical setting nowadays. However, when I was a student, I thought I "loved" working on a med-surg floor (did a few years as a tech on a trauma surgery floor). It was only when I got to NICU that I realized that it was 2309429038 times better for me.

    I will say that it would be hard to bounce back and forth between FNP, PNP, and NNP, so I'd focus on one degree with possibly another one. Realistically, you probably won't be able to work part-time as a NNP and part-time in a clinic as a FNP. It wouldn't be impossible, but it would be very hard to keep up your skills in both and find employers willing to do both...
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    Good points all. I really do want to work with kids again, not just because I hope to someday be a NP, but because I really want to. Even if the NP bug passes me by, I do want to be a pediatric nurse regardless. Also, I don't think I would attempt to go the NNP or PNP route without the requisite bedside experience to go with it. The one NNP in my area has a 1 year bedside requirement in a level 3 NICU so, unless I can get a job in one that route is just a pipe dream anyway.


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