Considering a change, will this make finding an ACNP job more difficult?


I currently work nights in an ICU and am in school to become an ACNP. I'm burned on nights but can't work 12 hour days because of child care.

I'm considering a change to 8 hour days in a PACU but am worried that leaving the ICU won't look good for my ACNP program (I.e. finding clinical placement will be more difficult and then finding a job after graduation will be more difficult). I don't graduate for another 2 years.

Any thoughts/experience with this?


Specializes in Surgical Oncology. Has 10 years experience.

How long have you worked in ICU? If you've been there for a decent amount of time to gain adequate experience (i.e. > 12 months), and especially if you've made good connections, then I think a move to a unit for better scheduling is fine. Schools and employers know that it's a challenge to juggle both school and work while maintaining a family life, and neither expect you to run yourself ragged. When you interview, you're building your story - You started in ICU to get the best experience, moved to PACU to broaden that experience and allow for a more accommodating schedule so you could focus on performing well in school. I don't think any school or employer would look poorly upon that. Best of luck to you!

Has 7 years experience.

Do you have connections? Are your preceptors already lined up (verbal agreements)? Finding a job in an inpatient environment will be a cinch as an ACNP. Only FNPs really need to have current RN experience like that. For example, WVU Ruby Memorial's postings for critical care APPs say, "ACGNP certification, ACCNS-BC certification or ACNP required, but would consider FNP willing to complete either certification within first full credentialing cycle." UPMC and AHN in Pittsburgh have similar requirements. The ACNP certification matters. More than most people are aware or are willing to admit. If you are already in the program what you are doing as a RN matters very little. I switched to IV team once in school. Didn't make a difference (except I got great at using US for vascular access placing PICCs).


24 Posts

Thank you for the feedback! This really makes me feel so better. To answer the two previous posts, I have 1.5 years of ICU experience and do not have yet have my preceptors lined up as I don't start clinicals for over a year. I will be looking to line those up in about January per the school's suggestion.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply!


96 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I'm watching Paw Patrol so I didn't read everything. Let me state, I'm watching Paw Patrol with my kiddo.

Lots of nurses take jobs that make school feasible. I only worked as a RN during grad school and (never as a RN to be a RN) and changed jobs each year based on my schedule. Worked well for me.