I've been an ICU nurse for four years and will attending an FNP program in the fall. I was going to go for my CCRN while I'm still in bedside practice, but in looking at the renewal requirements, I will either need to remain practicing at the bedside (probably not going to happen) or keep taking CCRN exams over and over in order to renew; this is worrisome because I will probably grow out of touch with new critical care developments while working in primary care.
Pluses to getting my CCRN certification: I will earn a little more money from my hospital while working at bedside (they bump your pay with each certification). I will have a few more letters to tack onto my list of credentials, theoretically making me more competitive for whichever job I pursue, even if it's in family practice. If I wish to teach an ICU clinical at some point, I will have something to recommend me. Lastly, it's a point of pride.
Cons: spending the money for the exam. Taking the time to study for it instead of preparing for my FNP program. Probably looking at it expire at some point unless I sink a lot of time into studying for it again every few years, with it being an area with which I will become less and less familiar (this is the big issue). Not directly relevant to my upcoming focus of practice.
What would you do?