AGNP + FPMHNP? worth it? how best to do...


  1. What do you think I should do?

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      Wait for the FPMHNP program first. If you don't get in frist try, then do the AGNP or a Fall 2015 program for FPMHNP.
    • Do the AGNP first and then the post-MSN FPMHNP, since I will save time.
    • Skip the medical certification altogether, until I have worked a while in FPMHNP, then see if I still want it.
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      Other Option (not DNP first, nor dual; those are not available for practical reasons--yet, anyway):

3 members have participated


I was in an online FPMHNP and very excited to be making good grades, and about to start my clinicals. Then, a month ago, I had trouble connecting to a proctored exam, and was required to forfeit the exam, and so the course, and so be sidelined for a year until I could re-enter the sequence. No make-up, transfer, or other options are allowed. I'm still appalled that could happen, but that's another story.

I left that school, and am in a big hurry to get into an NP program again. I had intended from the start to also earn an AGNP or FNP, but wanted the psych first as my main focus, and the medical for exactly the reasons one gave in his/her comment--thorough assessment of medical complications with (or imitating) psych dx's, comorbidities, etc.

I decided to go for the AGNP vs. FNP because in psych I don't intend to do peds, and because pediatric medical needs that greatly affect cognition and mood could require neurological and perhaps genetic evaluation in many cases....I doubt a part-time FNP would be fair to tackle that.

But anyway, I have found 3 quality programs for FPMHNP, one right here in my home state that didn't exist when I was applying before. (That one also has the AGNP and DNP! I'd LOVE to get in there--but am not counting on anything now.) But the earliest any FPMHNP program starts is in the Summer, 8-9 mos from now, and I've already lost 6 weeks. I was devastated, but am now focused on moving on, and feel that getting back in before I lose momentum would really help me remain upbeat, and to not focus on the lost money, lost time, and repeated courses. Not to mention my massive student loans wouldn't exit the grace period.

A good local school which has an online AGNP option had already accepted me, and the offer is basically still open. If they had psych, I'd be tossing a coin between these 2 in my state. But they don't. However, they do have January 2015 entry, and I'd be finished with the AGNP in December 2016, going into the post-MSN FPMHNP asap after.

With the FPMHNP first, I could only enter in May 2015 and be there 7 semesters (because their 5-semesters is too intense for employed nurses.), finishing the MSN/FPMHNP in December 2017, a full year later! Of course, I'd have many online options for AGNP/FNP/DNP, as opposed to the relative rarity of psych NP programs online!

I had thought to wait for the AGNP 2nd-closest entry date, which is March 2015, but would not be hearing of my acceptance or denial regarding the FPMHNP until March 1st--too late to back out of the AGNP program, especially as I declined their invitation last Fall very late as well for a similar timing reason. I don't want to "burn" them by going even closer, or actually starting!

(I may go there for the AGNP post-MSN, even though the other (FPMHNP) school has AGNP, too, because of the site visits 400+ miles away. But if I wait until May entry into the AGNP, it will be June 2017 before I graduated there, too, losing any time advantage I gained by doing the AGNP first. And it doesn't seem ethical to get that close on purpose, which is not how it went last year.)

All other FPMHNP programs start in the Fall of 2015, and last 2-2.5 years, meaning I'd graduate December 2017 or even later. (As a 3/4-to-FT employee, I can cut my hours once I enter practicum, and flex somewhat even before then...but am not able to work and do an accelerated FT track; not and do it justice.)

So, I would be very glad to hear from those who are dually-certified or work with those who are, and hear that it not only makes them better at FPMHNP, but in higher demand or better-compensated (for loan payback, too). Are they glad they did both? Did they do both on purpose, and if so, which first? Do employers express appreciation? How useful is it, day-to-day, and is it hard to maintain the medical certification while doing essentially MH full-time? (Can you use your admission physicals and orders for inpatients as part of the practice requirement, perhaps? I'd like to moonlight as an AGNP, too, very PT. Or have a job that really used both, such as bariatrics.)

Did you perhaps do both FNP or AGNP and FPMHNP yourself? Or consider or even start it, and then change your mind, and are glad or sorry you did?

Any feedback on what you'd do or recommend in my shoes? Time is my second highest priority, especially as, though I'm by no means over the hill, I won't be among the youngest students they have.

I hope you might have personal experience yourself or close second-hand feedback. I have spoken to a wonderful mentor/future preceptor here who is both AGNP/FPMHNP, and she went to the same school systems for each. She agrees the AGNP is well worth doing, but suggests the FPMHNP first and foremost, esp if I may not get to both in the end.

If I missed any "Spring Entry" FPMHNP programs online that are quality and for which the deadline has passed, I would be curious to know. I think I'm going to stick close to home, though, as I now believe a local school may be more invested in my success.

Any feedback you may have is most welcome, including PMs.