Are med surg skills important for a nurse practitioner?


Are med surg skills important for a nurse practitioner?

It seems like there are a lot of med surg type skills that most RNs regardless of there specialty would benefit from spending some time in med surg. Do NPs ever really deal with IVs and stuff like that?

Maybe this is a silly question, but most of my contact with NPs is in a doctor's office type setting.


61 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, Anesthesia, Education, etc..

In terms of IVs, it depends on the area you go into. Most NPs are in an office/outpatient setting and don't deal with IVs. I think more important than med-surg skills is developing very strong clinical assessment skills - like learning heart sounds, lung sounds, etc. In my opinion, the benefits of med-surg experience include practicing assessment skills, learning time management skills, clinical reasoning, experience in patient teaching, developing communication skills, and gaining confidence that comes from experience. I personally do not think med-surg nursing experience is a necessity for NP school. Working in a clinic, office, or even long-term care would be just as good, if not better than med-surg experience. (Unless you are going for ACNP/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or want to work in an in-patient setting as an NP). Hope this helps :)

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Totally agree with FNPgrad - its the assessment skills that you need. I work in outpt hemodialysis for the most part of my day and we do have codes, I do have to draw blood occasionally and believe me, these folks are HARD sticks and do have to do "nursing" things too occasionally.

The ability to tell "sick" from "not so sick" is not something that can be taught in school IMHO. Its something learned thru the experience of dealing with pts.