I'm a psyche RN, been working for a year and a half now. I would really like to go into an FNP program but without medical nursing experience I'm afraid I won't be able to hang with the rest of the class. I do however have great study skills, I got straight A's in nursing school while everybody else struggled. I really want to get into medical and family practice but I'm just not sure if the schooling will be extra difficult for me because of my limited experience. Have any other pysche RNs out there chosen FNP rather than PMHNP? Was it a difficult transition?
Jun 29, '12
Quote from nursegirl2001
......When I first began nursing, I understood that working in medical-surgical or geriatric care would sharpen and hone my skills as a nurse clinician. I am sooooo glad that I spent numerous years in medical surgical and home health nursing. Here's why....psyche patients often present with other physiological/medical health issues. Psyche RNs who lack this experience in the clinical setting are cheating themselves out of being more competent and capable as professional nurses. When I care for psyche patients, numerous times I have been able to accurately assess a patient who was in serious crisis and lives were saved as a result of yes medical surgical experience.
....I believe that every nurse should have either worked on the floor for a year or more as a CNA or as an LPN/RN in med-surg for 1-3 years prior to moving in another discipline or pressing towards a degree as an NP. This experience proves valuable because assessment skills are learned which greatly aid the NP in the family practice setting. As you know, in family practice the patients seen cover the life span. Otherwise, if psyche experience is all that you have, pursuing the PMHNP tract would be more applicable to your situation. Medical knowledge incorporated with mental health is a necessary and vital part of healthcare and is a must when treating patients effectively. I am speaking from experience and have done both over 17 years and am sooooo glad that I did. I worked with nurse colleagues in psyche who didn't have the medical experience that I did and were glad that I was there to recognize a patient with crisis symptoms....I took care of patients with mental and medical issues and I cannot stress the importance of such competent nursing practice. If you heed this advice you will never regret it......I hope that this response has helped you reach the right decision for you.......I am speaking from living, working experience.
thank you for your comments. I wish I was able to get a job in med-surg right now to start gaining that experience. The only problem is that all the hospitals where I live require experience to get a job! I wish the job market wasn't this way but it is what it is. I am pursuing the FNP degree because I want to work in Rheumatology as a nurse practitioner. I have spoken with several Rheumatologists that say they have to teach both nurse practitioners and PA's everything about Rheumatology because they just don't learn it in their programs. I am sure that the FNP degree will provide a great foundation for me but learning how to treat sore throats, UTI's and how to provide well woman and well child exams are going to do little for me as a Rheumatology nurse practitioner. Since I have no desire to work in family practice, I am considering entering a FNP program without the clinical experience of a med-surg unit. I have a Rheumatologist who has already offered me a job as soon as I'm certified and who is willing to train me specifically in Rheumatology. What are your thoughts on this? I do have some experience in family practice because I work part time in a family practice clinic and it has been a valuable experience to help with my assessment skills.
In fact, lately I have been thinking more about the Adult Nurse Practitioner. There are some Rheumatology patients under 18 years old but the majority of them are over 40 years of age. I have been thinking about the ANP lately for two reasons:
1: I think I would get a greater understanding of problems specific to that age group as well as more training in polypharmacy which would be useful in Rheumatology while treating patients in that age group.
2: Maybe the ANP program is less competitive than the FNP program since everyone wants to go FNP?
Last edit by rynophiliac on Jun 29, '12