Either. A lot depends upon your clinicals as well. I'd suggest the ACNP as you will get a lot more of the acute cardiac (inpatient) versus maintenance with the ANP. I'm an ANP that focused on Cards and asked for an inpatient rotation. Very interesting as I floated from the clinic, cath labs, echo lab, lipid clinic, device and heart failure. All of my preceptors, but one, were ACNPs. When we discussed this issue, they advised ACNP as many of them went back for post-masters from CNS and FNP. There is opportunity in Cardiology, esp if you work alongside an interventionalist or EP doc. Best of Luck!
Jul 15, '11
Hi, I am going in the Cardiac NP direction as well. I applied to one school down here in Texas with the ANP focus in mind. I don't really want to spend another year getting ICU experience before I go, but I might do it. I'm in ER right now and kinda hating it. Do you think ER experience is helpful to your practice now? I actually want to do more outpatient maintenance.
Jul 15, '11
funny. I'm actually in the ED now, not cards. I left a combo MICU\CCU as an RN starting grad school, thinking I would learn more. Sure enough, I did. Your assessment skills and review of systems will greatly improve while in the ED, learn to move much faster than in the ICU. If you plan to stay outpatient, ANP is fine, just ask for a cards rotation. You will appreciate all the testing and dynamics of cardiology. Again, its growing by leaps!
Jul 16, '11
I'm thinking of specializing in Cardio myself... it's all I've done as an RN. I'm currently in a FNP program and I work in stress lab/cath lab and with EP docs so I'm hoping with my contacts that I'll be able to land a job with one of the many doc's that I work with. The PA's and NP's are helping me now with obtaining clincial spots for my FNP (must be family practice and in office setting). However, they have told me I'm welcome to come with them when I'm ready for my cardio rotation. In my area (South FL) it's harder to get jobs (to your liking) because of the many schools. But, in the mean time I'm networking and proving myself as an RN.
Jul 16, '11
I was almost going to go ACNP for the reasons listed above - I thought that even if I wanted to work in a clinic I'd get more in-depth knowledge of body systems and complex illness from Acute classes. That may still be true, but in my area there are lots of ANPs doing inpt and outpt, and they've had no trouble finding jobs from what I hear. And if I don't find a job in Cards, ANP opens me up to more positions that wouldn't lock me into the hospital and nights/weekends/holidays. I've thought about FNP too, but figure that would just spread learning too thin. In any case my time in a CTICU, while very cool, has also told me I want OUT of the hospital. At least for now. So, I guess that's something to think about. ACNP lets you move into various outpt specialties, but really the learning is geared towards inpatient care. Do you want to be mainly inpatient?
Have you read DaisyRN's posts? Hee hee, she was my inspiration a few years ago as I plotted my career change. Alas, I'm going a different path. From what I've heard the on-the-job training is adequate, so I think I'll be OK. Goodness, though, if I cycle back through all my marked threads on here I could change my mind again. It's hard planning when everything varies geographically and we don't know where we want to live in a few years. And oh yeah, nursing can't get its national act together and create some consistency
Jul 17, '11
What if your dilemma is ANP versus FNP?
Background: I currently work full-time on a "cardiac stepdown" unit at a medium-sized community hospital. I say "cardiac stepdown" because it's really just another med/surg unit, but put all your patients on telemetry et voila, instant "cardiac stepdown" unit!
Snark aside, I really do enjoy the cardiac aspects of my job, and am interested in working in cardiology as an APN. Problem is, the school I'll probably be attending only offers ANP and FNP; there is no ACNP option. Any opinions on which way to go?
Jul 18, '11
There are arguments both ways. What has been pointed out to me is that while FNP covers all ages and is thus considered more marketable by many, your learning is crammed in. More breadth, less depth so to speak. And if you wanted to add elective clinical rotations, there's less wiggle room as you need to have women's health and peds in addition to adult primary.
Some areas also seem to view the ANP as more appropriate to straddle the line between inpatient/specialty outpatient care of adults, and view the FNP as more strictly primary only.
I've been struggling myself, as my local cheaper school where I already have some credits offers ACNP and ANP but is not yet accredited for FNP. So I either wait, do ANP/ACNP, or pay exorbitant sums to the private school that offers FNP. For my local market, ANP seems to do OK.....I think you need to talk to local practitioners to get a feeling for your area. If you're sure you want cardiology I can't imagine you'd need FNP. Why dilute your learning then?
Every time I make up my mind it starts reeling the other way in a couple days. I could argue for any of the three!