Choosing a Specialty


  • Specializes in ER, SCTU, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

Hello all,

I am an RN with almost 8 years of critical care experience, and I am 10 months away from my AC-AGNP. I am trying to decide on where to go from there. My interests include, in no particular order:

- ICU NP - the hospital closest to my house cannot justify an intensivist for an 8-bed ICU but it would benefit very much from a dedicated provider located inside the ICU. Right now they are relying a hospitalist, who is often pulled in 10,000 directions (ER admits, floors, inpatient rehab, post-op management, and the ICU).

- Trauma Surg NP - help augment trauma coverage for either the hospital close to my home, or the big "mothership" 45 minutes up the road.

- Cardiothoracic Surg - work with PAs who currently provide care and run the CVSICU

- Cardiology NP - we have 2 NPs that work in the Cath Lab, I'm not sure if a position can be carved out for a 3rd.

- ER - while I've worked in both hospitals' ERs, I'm not an ideal candidate because I don't have FNP training. This ER would not be my top pick anyway, mostly due to management issues.

I'd love to hear from anyone that works or has worked in these specialties, and the pros/cons for each one.

Thank you,


juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.

You'll have to evaluate your own preferences. I've worked in critical care for over 11 years 4 of which were spent in an adult CVSICU. You'll have to sacrifice for the need to be working shifts, holidays, and weekends. In CVSICU, you'll constantly be called day or night for up to minute to minute changes happening with your patients and will be calling the surgeons a lot. I like my current mix of various ICU's and being a consultant in many of them. Few of my co-workers have done trauma and like it for the continuity (seeing pt in the ED up to discharge and out-pt follow-up, some even going to the OR as first assist).