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ACNP - Will I be missing out?

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by Apple2020 Apple2020 (Member) Member

518 Profile Views; 17 Posts

Greetings,

This is my first post on here and I thank the community here for their knowledgeable contributions as I frequently read the articles and discussions. So I am currently a BSN student with one semester to go to finish my program. Over the past year I have worked in a hospital as a float tech and found a liking to the ED, particularly the Trauma bays. The staff at my hospital is phenomenal and nurses, NPs, and MDs alike have all taken the time to teach me and get me involved in helping them during trauma cases and severe medical emergencies within my limited role and scope allows.

Regardless, I have always had intentions of going on to become a Provider and now emergency and trauma appear to be the strong specialty that I gravitate towards. As far as theory goes, the nursing approach is by far what I love more and educationally I would be setup to be far more prepared for an NP program just be virtue of the fact that I am getting a traditional BSN. So my question is this, will I be missing out as an NP working in emergency / trauma? Will I be viewed as less than and be less adequate to provide trauma and emergency care? Choosing between NP and MD is quite difficult and they both have some attractive qualities. Thanks for any input as far as this goes. 🙂

- T

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ghillbert has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in CTICU.

1 Follower; 3,650 Posts; 41,475 Profile Views

If I knew I wanted to work trauma/ED, even if I was a nurse, I would apply to PA school. As an NP, you are reliant on either being adult or pediatric, acute or primary care etc. There are some dual programs aimed at ED but PA would give you more clinical time. It really depends where you live and intend to work - some places prefer NPs and some prefer PAs. Know your market.

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17 Posts; 518 Profile Views

@ghillbert , thank you for your response and honesty. I have heard a similar response from many of the RNs I work with at the hospital. It seems the medical model route (either PA or MD) seems to be the most ideal for the trauma world. Definitely food for thought as I begin looking at preparation for grad school and pre-requisites! Thanks again for your response 🙂 

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39 Posts; 1,850 Profile Views

I am a FNP and I work in the ED in the same capacity as my ED PA colleagues. We are, in fact, literally interchangeable as far as our jobs are concerned (even to the point of staffing model/swapping shifts, etc.) so in terms of PA vs. NP, I don't think you'd be missing out on anything. Now, if you're talking PA/NP vs. MD, that's a completely different story.

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

3 Followers; 8 Articles; 3,934 Posts; 59,016 Profile Views

Specific to the OP's question about ACNP's in the ED, I would agree with @ghillbert. You are taking a bit of a gamble with a training that does not cover all ages. There are certainly adult-only or peds-only ED's out there (ours is set-up that way). We have ACNP's and (PA's) in our adult ED. However, a vast majority of ED's across the country treat all ages and all levels of acuity so much so that it would be hard to sell yourself as an appropriate candidate in those places with an ACNP given the limitations in your scope of practice. Some posters in the past have suggested dual certification in Adult and Peds ACNP. FNP's have worked in ED's for years but research that option extensively before proceeding.

 

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Momma1RN has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

213 Posts; 6,287 Profile Views

What about FNP with a post masters ACNP or ED certificate?

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

166 Articles; 21,045 Posts; 191,293 Profile Views

On 9/7/2019 at 11:59 AM, juan de la cruz said:

Specific to the OP's question about ACNP's in the ED, I would agree with @ghillbert. You are taking a bit of a gamble with a training that does not cover all ages. There are certainly adult-only or peds-only ED's out there (ours is set-up that way). We have ACNP's and (PA's) in our adult ED. However, a vast majority of ED's across the country treat all ages and all levels of acuity so much so that it would be hard to sell yourself as an appropriate candidate in those places with an ACNP given the limitations in your scope of practice. Some posters in the past have suggested dual certification in Adult and Peds ACNP. FNP's have worked in ED's for years but research that option extensively before proceeding.

 

Exactly - make sure that the certification focus you train for is what they hire for? Look up consensus model and LACE. 

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91 Posts; 2,983 Profile Views

I know it’s good to plan your route and all. But please get at the very least a FEW years of experience and do all you can to excel in that role. There are so many things to learn as a ED nurse and trauma nurse that will benefit you in the long run and make you a more capable and prepared provider.  Some people say “RN experience doesn’t matter” but I can tell you as a student and as an ICU nurse the difference is very obvious to people who know what they’re doing. 

 

With regards to your question. Do the FNP and complete a post masters in emergency NP. They’re more widely available and FNP will prepare you for many common ED ailments. Packaged with a few years of ED/Trauma experience you’ll be well prepared. 

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