Best degree for APN interested in arts in medicine

Posted
by wama wama (New) New

Hi all,

I am finishing a MA in Art History and decided I would like to work as an advanced practice nurse but be able to provide arts in medicine/healthcare, but not necessarily as an art therapist.

My thinking was if I could work as an advance practice nurse but be able to offer art-related programs to the facility I end up working with, or even on a freelance basis or as a partner with a local art institution. But, since I have a humanities background and need to gain the healthcare certifications now, I don't know exactly what path would be ideal. I was originally thinking about doing an ABSN to get certified as an RN then going on to advance practice after some clinical experience, or there are some graduate programs for non-nurses to become certified then continue with advanced degrees. (University of Illinois Chicago is one). But, I am unsure which specialty would be the best fit (NP? CNS? Psychiatric NP? Advanced Community Health Nurse?) My boss, a museum educator who is savvy about the art education side of this said she would ideally partner with Public Health departments rather than RNs, but I don't think she is aware of the various advanced practice specialties available. I know art therapy is not an APN specialty and the most related seem to be psyc, but I like the many options Family or Adult NP provides. Any thoughts/opinions?

Thank You!

Stephalump

Stephalump

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience. 2,723 Posts

I think nursing would take you far away from your goals. First of all, health care is about money. Everything must be reimbursable, or no one is going to pay you to do it. If you partnered with an occupational therapist or psychologist, perhaps insurance companies would cover it, but as a practitioner, your job is to practice medicine. Even as a psych NP, any therapy done is very very short-term and the bulk of the feel good work is left with the appropriate staff who's scope of practice it fits into.

If nursing is your goal, I really think it needs stand alone. If you can incorporate art, great. But it's a long, stressful journey, and you can't know what you'll love until you're in the trenches. If you abhor your psych rotations, you're not going to be able to recreate it enough to suit you.

I would consider Public Health, Art Therapy, or even Occupational Therapy.

anonymousstudent

anonymousstudent

559 Posts

You really need to step back at this and take another look at art therapy. What you are describing basically leaves you doing activities using art. That's fine, if that will be enough for you. But if you really want to use art as the medium to drive therapeutic change, your hands will be tied. You can't practice AT if you're not an Art Therapist. From reading what you wrote, it looks like you think being a nurse will get you to your goal in a better way. From my view, it will hinder your goals and leave you doing activity based programs with no real value.

2BRN123

2BRN123

166 Posts

Uhh :uhoh3: You realize once you finish you're MA its not just a matter of getting healthcare "certifications". Doing what you're talking about is going to take YEARS....2+ for your BSN, then work experience (a lot of schools do not accept recent graduates into advanced programs without work experience) and then advanced education which could be 3 more years.

Nursing isn't like teaching or accounting where you can just go clep yourself a certification real quick (exaggerating). Advancing your education takes a lot of money and literally thousands of hours of clinicals.

As a person with a BFA that I don't want, I can tell you this. There are theraputic enviroments that you can use / practice art, but the way to do that would be to get a therapy certificate by way of a Social Work program (some can be done in months at community colleges), so that you are able to segue art into the avenues that you're looking to do so. I don't think adding nursing to the mix would help you and would just be a really big expensive distraction to what you're trying to do. You don't necessarily need a science or medical related degree to do the kind of things you want to do, you just need a facility or outreach program that is willing to house it a medical or science person to direct it, and your current education to facilitate it.

Edited by 2BRN123
damned oxford commas

wama

wama

5 Posts

Ok, maybe I phrased this wrong. I know that I want to become a nurse, am aware of what a nursing career is like, and am interested in advanced practice. I know that I definitely do NOT want to be an art therapist, but rather to have basic knowledge of alternative therapies to be able to suggest holistic options in conjunction with medical treatment to patients, which includes creativity and arts. I happen to be a facility that has an arts in medicine program (have you looked at Arts in Medicine at Shands Gainesville?) I would like to be a part of it, but I do not want my career to be solely art therapy. I'm just wondering what specialty would be a better fit for example, to see how people with dementia can use viewing and making art as a way of improving quality of life while living with their disease.

grownuprosie

grownuprosie

Has 1 years experience. 377 Posts

Maybe you could contact the facility where you want to work and ask what the qualifications are for the people performing the job you are describing? It sounds really niche so i am not sure you will find your answer from anonymous internet. All you will get here is probably guesses and i would not base YEARS of education and tens of thousands of dollars on a guess from a stranger. :twocents:

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Hospital belts are tight right now and they are not spending money. If it isn't billable and necessary....there isn't a real market right now. Unless you get into a major university and get funding somehow. It's a great theory, maybe in a children's hospital would be more likely.

Stephalump

Stephalump

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience. 2,723 Posts

Ok, maybe I phrased this wrong. I know that I want to become a nurse, am aware of what a nursing career is like, and am interested in advanced practice. I know that I definitely do NOT want to be an art therapist, but rather to have basic knowledge of alternative therapies to be able to suggest holistic options in conjunction with medical treatment to patients, which includes creativity and arts. I happen to be a facility that has an arts in medicine program (have you looked at Arts in Medicine at Shands Gainesville?) I would like to be a part of it, but I do not want my career to be solely art therapy. I'm just wondering what specialty would be a better fit for example, to see how people with dementia can use viewing and making art as a way of improving quality of life while living with their disease.

We have a program like that at MD Anderson. It's a great program, run by a psychologist and an artist.

I think the key would be to look at what facilities have these programs and go from there. The odds that, as an NP, you're going to bring these programs in are pretty darn slim. Like I said, it's all about money, and they're unlikely to hire an art therapist on your account.

Honestly, I don't think your speciality has much bearing on the situation, since -at most- you'd be simply referring patients to the person who WOJLD be doing the therapy. I would think it would mostly be children. Geriatrics and psych don't seem to have especially large budgets for those types of things.

But, really, I would just proceed and do what you find you enjoy doing during clincals and then work toward getting a job you've found those programs are located.

ImKosher

ImKosher

370 Posts

The only possibility is your profession as a APN who loves Art. I don't believe that you can treat patients with the use of Rembrandt or Picaso.