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Concentration dilemma

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by BHrn BHrn (New) New Nurse

BHrn has 18 years experience and specializes in ER.

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I am desperate for advice. I am currently torn between pursuing pmhnp only or a dual concentration in pmhnp/fnp. I have weighed pros and cons, talked to NP friends and am still at a loss. Psych is a passion but having been an ER nurse for over 15 years, family medicine would definitely be within my comfort zone. The question is it worth the extra year of school to have the flexibility and marketability of both certs? Has anyone completed a dual concentration and if so, do you regret it? I have to accept or decline admission to the schools that have accepted me within two weeks. Input????? HELP!

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FullGlass has 2 years experience as a BSN, MSN, NP and specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care.

9 Followers; 2 Articles; 1,140 Posts; 10,672 Profile Views

I would advise picking one or the other. After you are an NP, you can do a post-master's certificate in the other area if you want, and you can do that while you are working.

Realistically, I don't see a dual concentration being useful. An employer will want an FNP or a PMHNP and they will expect you to work in one area full-time. You are going to have a lot to learn in your first year, and it is best to focus on one area during that period. It's also an additional year of school when you could do one concentration full time and then get working.

There is a higher demand for PMHNPs and the pay is higher in certain parts of the country. There is always a need for FNPs, but the pay is less. Decide what you really want and go for that. Please do some research on the job market where you want to live and work. Evidently, some areas are "oversaturated" in some specialties. If you are willing to relocate, then it won't be an issue.

I am an AGPCNP and there are parts of the job that I really enjoy - the physical exam, being able to "fix" someone in a tangible way, often quite quickly. After 2 years of this, I will be starting a post-master's PMHNP program this fall. Psych is not for everyone - a lot of people just want to do it for the money, but it can be very hard on an emotional level for the provider. I did some pure psych work as an NP and even though I am passionate about it, it can be gut-wrenching to a far greater degree than primary care. Change in psych patients is often slow, some may never change, with steps forward and back.

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Is being in your "comfort zone" something you'll be passionate about in 1 year, 5 years, 10, or even now?!

Ultimately no one can decide this for you. Generally speaking, I like to do what I'm excited to do. I also worked in primary care for about 7 mos before switching to psych. It'll almost be a year in May working in psych, and what I can say is that people are a lot more motivated to change and adhere to your recommendations than in primary care.

I think this is because people can FEEL the effects depression and anxiety have on their lives, than hypertension or diabetes, which often have no sxs unless severe.

As mentioned above, it's not for everyone, and does have its own set of problems. But I like the idea of being a master of one, than a master of none.

I also plan to go back to school to get my post-masters in psych and would recommend going this route than getting dual certified if you aren't certain you want to do both.

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