So confused about whether to continue in FNP or transfer to WHNP help me please!!!!!!

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    I am currently enrolled in a FNP program and have completed one semester so far so just 3 classes (9 credits). My love and my heart belongs to women's health. That is all I have wanted to do my entire life. I have been a nurse for 5 years and have only worked in obstetrics and mother/baby which I love. I wanted to be a WHNP but everyone kept telling me that I should do FNP because I would be more marketable and there are more jobs available. I know that I don't really want to do anything besides women's health. I use to live in GA and i was thinking about possibly moving back and starting a WHNP program there. The only thing is the program I was interested in only accepts fall applicants, so I would have to wait another year to start school with the hopes that I even get accepted. I called an admission counselor at the school and she said to go ahead and apply and that the 9 credits that I have already taken may be able to transfer. So do you think that I should stop the program I am at now and just apply to the WHNP and wait and start Fall 2013 or do you think this is absolutely crazy and I should just stay and complete the FNP program that I am in now and am due to graduate in Dec 2013? Also do you think I will be able to get a job in women's health as an NP because this is really all I want to do??? PLEASE HELP ME!!! I AM BEYOND CONFUSED!!!!!! LOL THANKS!
  2. 8 Comments so far...

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    I think you should do what you love. You seem to be very certain that WHNP is what you really want, so don't waste anymore time on the FNP. FNP might be more marketable, but it's not good if you don't like it. It's less likely you will get a strictly Women's health job with FNP than with WHNP. Would you be interested in doing a CNM program? You could also look into some on-line programs for either CNM or WHNP, so you wouldn't have to relocate. I wish you the best, no matter what you decide.
    Jonesy37 likes this.
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    Follow your passion. I was thinking the same way...only want to do WHNP, but warned against "specializing". I looked into several FNP programs, but keep coming back to WHNP. My own FNP did just what you did--let others talk her out of following her true passion. She only had done women's health such as L&D and mother baby. After several years as a FNP, she returned to school and is just finishing up her midwifery degree because she missed women's health. She does an excellent job as a FNP, but it is not her calling. She is my inspiration to do what I love and not worry about being marketable. The previous poster is right; being marketable does not matter if the jobs you can get are not what you truly want to do. Please do what will make you happy.
    Jonesy37 likes this.
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    Thank you both so much for the advice. I will definitely take this into consideration as it does make more since to do what I love! I really appreciate you both for taking out the time to help me out with my decision. Best of luck to the both of you!!
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    I don't disagree with the other commenters, but here's one devil's advocate point: as a FNP you can care for babies as well as their moms. Then if you also went for IBCLC (lactation consultant) you could do the primary care for both the mom and the baby, help with breastfeeding etc (and be able to prescribe meds for thrush if that came up during bf'ing, etc). So one thought is whether that appeals to you.

    Another thought - if you love mother/baby wouldn't CNM be a better match?
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    Quote from Esnooopy
    I don't disagree with the other commenters, but here's one devil's advocate point: as a FNP you can care for babies as well as their moms. Then if you also went for IBCLC (lactation consultant) you could do the primary care for both the mom and the baby, help with breastfeeding etc (and be able to prescribe meds for thrush if that came up during bf'ing, etc). So one thought is whether that appeals to you.

    Another thought - if you love mother/baby wouldn't CNM be a better match?
    I never thought about it like that....I'm about done with my FNP program and struggled between that and PNP or even WHNP for the longest time. People warned me against specializing due to marketability, so I decided to proceed with the FNP route. Plus there really aren't anymore PNP WHNP programs in my area, which also helped me decide. My background is nicu, mother/baby as well, and I feel like this is more of what I wanna do. Can an FNP really work in an area where they care for mom and baby? If so, where? I feel like that would be my ideal job!
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    Well opportunities depend on what's going on where you are and, possibly/eventually, what you make for yourself. I wonder if you have enough hours of breastfeeding assistance in your previous employment to count towards becoming an IBCLC? If you worked within a family practice, or started your own, that could be your niche. Even without / before getting certified as an LC, I'm sure you could sell yourself as good w moms and babies.
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    Is there a big difference in womens health? (My area doesn't have this concentration available) I know that jobs in my area are post for FNP and then in some descriptions of the job will say high level of female gynecological care. One job even posted there would be children for female visits. I would look at how jobs are posted in your area. Also, can you do a post master certificate in women's health?? Some offices have you see for routine care in addition to their gyn care so FNP would be the way in those situations.
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    I have struggled with a similar problem. One of my friends in an FNP program chose to attend several of the WHNP lecture to expand her knowledge but I don't know if your current school has that option. Depending on your school, you could try to arrange an extra clinical rotation in gynecology if you have the time in your program and that way you have more experience than the typical FNP new graduate.
    FNPs do get jobs in women's health but the learning curve might be steeper when they first start depending on how their program content. As WHNP student, half of the appointments are gyn and the others are prenatal/postpartum. The FNP program at my school only has 40 hours of women's health clinical versus the WHNP 600. To me its a calculated risk between the chance you will get the job you want vs when the loan payments start. Look into the market where you plan to practice. I know that the market I am looking out has few WHNP jobs, so I have decided to finish the ANP portion of my program. Unfortunately the WHNP/ANP is no longer being offered at Emory. It is hard to choose and to stick to your choice but you could get a post masters in either specialty or just expand your own skill set through self education (learn more gyn as an FNP).
    While WHNP scope usually include the primary care of women, it has been suggested in some discussions at school that a WHNP practicing in a primary care practice including the treatment of non-gyn conditions could create some legal risks.


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