Published Jun 2, 2009
I am working towards becoming an NP, and I was hoping to get advice from othe NP's out there or students looking to become NP's. My problem is I want to be a Family Nurse Practitioner, but I also want to be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and work with children and I also want to work with pregnant women and deliver babies. Any ideas anyone on how to really decide which program I would be more interested in overall? Is it possible to have more than one specialty.
To work with pregnant women and deliver babies, certified nurse midwife is the track. CNM opportunities can be limited depending on what part of the country you are in. Family nurse practitioners can see all age ranges. If you really truly want to work with children, pediatric nurse practitioner is more focused (obviously) with all pediatric specific assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology and clinical hours. One can obtained a master's degree with any of the above specialty tracks, and then obtain a post-master's certificate in an additional track. For example, a FNP could obtain a post-master's certificate CNM. OR become an FNP and obtain certificate in PNP for the additional focused training. Its all in the goal . . .
I was in the identical situation a few years ago. I was at the orientation for the midwifery program I had applied and been accepted to, when reality struck.
For me, I had a family and a job so being woken to attend deliveries throughout 2 years of clinical at school and forever in a midwifery career completely changed my mind. In addition, the unaffordable malpractice ins. rates that I had to pay personally as a student would have been a financial hardship. The malpractice rates had forced many MDs to "lay-off" midwives in my area at that time.
Ultimately I transferred to the FNP program and have had no regrets. You may be lucky enough to find a position in a family practice office that does OB which would fulfill all of your desires other than delivering babies. As the other poster said, you can always get post-masters certificates to attain additional certifications you desire (such as midwifery).
In my area, FNPs work in just about every specialty including peds, ob/gyn, and acute care. So becoming an FNP does not necessarily mean you are only marketable in family practice.
ghillbert, MSN, NP
This is very state-specific, depending on scope of practise rules etc. Agree that FNP is good overall if you are undecided.
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