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Family NP vs Psychiatric NP..whose more favorable / marketable

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Greetings everyone, i am a RN BSN and currently looking and deciding to return to graduate school for my MSN, I have worked as a psych nurse for 2+ years and 8 yrs as a nursing assistant in psych.my question is .. As someone who enjoys the clinical side of nursing, would becoming a FNP be more marketable in terms of stability and employment vs psychiatry? I hope my question makes sense. I really enjoy psych, I'm curious of the longevity.

mtsteelhorse

Specializes in Correctional Nursing; MSN student. Has 16 years experience.

Ultimately you need to decide what area you are most passionate about. I am in a PMHNP program. Marketability is, in part, due to your location. Are you able to relocate after graduation? Do you feel drawn to FNP vs PMHNP? Have you considered getting your MSN as FNP then adding a post grad cert in pysch? Or, vice-versa? You mentioned enjoying the clinical side of nursing...ask yourself which aspect do you enjoy? I think you can create exactly what you want. This is a great place to brainstorm. :yes:

In my state, FNP is more marketable and flexible. Marketability of each specialty depends on location. In fact, FNP or ANP can even replace PMHNP in my state. There is no specialty restriction here. Psych is within scope of FNP. Go FNP route first to keep your medical knowledge flesh and active, lots more things you can do with the degrees and a lots more jobs! You can always get another certification later.

Edited by harmonizer

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

A lot of people like to jump on the generalist bandwagon reagarding FNP training and certification. Even I have considered picking up the cert just to learn and be able to do if I chose to, and it's not a bad idea. If you want to be a psych specialist you need to study psych.

In my region, you can readily Google for openings in either capacity and find them. However, the FNP folks flock to those openings. There are so many people doing FNP right now that I think the market is going to flood within a few years, and my institution (a state medical school) has shut down the FNP program a couple of times to calm the waters in recent years. There are many more psych openings than there are PMHNPs, and generally the psychiatrists or facilities posting those want people with psych-specific training. If you do decide to go FNP, take a psychopharmology and/or psychopathology course. We get those along with all of the exact same -ologies that the FNP folks get. Also, solicit a semester of practical experiencing diagnosing and developing treatment plans for comorbid Axis I and II disorders.

Additionally, in my region the PMHNP can expect a salary of 10k-25k more than than a FNP depending on the setting.

PsychGuy said:
There are so many people doing FNP right now.

Do you what you like to do regardless of marketability. No one has crystal ball to see the longevity. Things can change. There are many people who do PMHNPs in the recent years and I will bet that this will not support more limited openings in this specialty. It is harder to find jobs now. With FNP, the sky is bigger and you can do more and you can branch into some interesting fields by working with specialist. My school just tripled the class size for PMHNP this year and one more school opens the program in my state. For term of long-term marketability, I think overall FNP is much better. It is very important to keep you medical knowledge active by practicing in FNP as a base and you can always go back for something else later. 10k diff in salary is nothing.

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

harmonizer said:
Do you what you like to do regardless of marketability. No one has crystal ball to see the longevity. Things can change. There are many people who do PMHNPs in the recent years and I will bet that this will not support more limited openings in this specialty. It is harder to find jobs now. With FNP, the sky is bigger and you can do more and you can branch into some interesting fields by working with specialist. My school just tripled the class size for PMHNP this year and one more school opens the program in my state. For term of long-term marketability, I think overall FNP is much better. It is very important to keep you medical knowledge active by practicing in FNP as a base and you can always go back for something else later. 10k diff in salary is nothing.

10k and not having to do a pelvic or DRE is EVERYTHING!

the market will always fluctuate. I have zero desire to be an FNP that is why I am getting my PMHNP. FNP will always have a need while PMHNP is a specialty and focuses on that one aspect of care. Case in point of needing here is unconfirmed graphical basis of desire for the two (indeed is a job search website that pulls from various sources (fairly good source for job market postings)).

PMHNP:

pmhnp Job Trends | Indeed.com

FNP:

FNP Job Trends | Indeed.com

there is a significant percent difference of job postings for FNP compared to PMHNP just in the postings alone. Yet, again this is based on just the search of "FNP" and "PMHNP" which does not carry all listings due to that I don't feel like really doing it.

FNP FTW, yet I still will find a job as a PMHNP doing mental health because there is still a demand.

PsychGuy said:
10k and not having to do a pelvic or DRE is EVERYTHING!

Yep but the job is not stress-free at all. Dramas, non-compliance, lack of personal insight to mental health, stigma, family issues, threats are rampant in this field and please consider that you have to deal with these chaos in "limited time frame" eg. 10-15 min "med check" or "crisis check" and not only that you need to document it! Actually, you might end up doing mentally more work and more charting than doing pelvic... and for FNP there are many things you can do more than doing pelvic exam. This logic is like not doing nursing because not wanting to deal with bedpan??- which is a very small part of what RNs do. There are many more important and interesting tasks as a nurse and as FNP.

I recommend FNP route. The ratio of FNP to PMHNP job on indeed is like 9:1. So of course, there needs to be more FNP graduates. Therefore, logics that everyone flocks to FNP is flawed. Of course, there are much more FNPs around because there are many more openings.. it makes sense right? Like puravidaLV mentioned, FNP will always have a need while PMHNP is a specialty and focuses on that one aspect of care.

But again, do what you like regardless of the perceived "longevity". Allnurses.com is not accountable for your decision 🙂

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

puravidaLV said:
the market will always fluctuate. I have zero desire to be an FNP that is why I am getting my PMHNP. FNP will always have a need while PMHNP is a specialty and focuses on that one aspect of care. Case in point of needing here is unconfirmed graphical basis of desire for the two (indeed is a job search website that pulls from various sources (fairly good source for job market postings)).

PMHNP:

pmhnp Job Trends | Indeed.com

FNP:

FNP Job Trends | Indeed.com

there is a significant percent difference of job postings for FNP compared to PMHNP just in the postings alone. Yet, again this is based on just the search of "FNP" and "PMHNP" which does not carry all listings due to that I don't feel like really doing it.

FNP FTW, yet I still will find a job as a PMHNP doing mental health because there is still a demand.

Plus there are far less PMHNPs competing for those same positions. My PMHNP class has seven people. A cohort at the same point of the FNP has 40 something.

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

harmonizer said:
Yep but the job is not stress-free at all.

Yeah, there's stress and drama with any job. I'm ok with that.

Dramas, non-compliance, lack of personal insight to mental health, stigma, family issues, threats are rampant in this field and please consider that you have to deal with these chaos in "limited time frame" eg. 10-15 min "med check" or "crisis check" and not only that you need to document it! Actually, you might end up doing mentally more work and more charting than doing pelvic... and for FNP there are many things you can do more than doing pelvic exam. This logic is like not doing nursing because not wanting to deal with bedpan??-

Funny that you mention that. It's one of the reasons I won't work a hospital unit as a RN anymore.

which is a very small part of what RNs do. There are many more important and interesting tasks as a nurse and as FNP.

I recommend FNP route. The ratio of FNP to PMHNP job on indeed is like 9:1. So of course, there needs to be more FNP graduates. Therefore, logics that everyone flocks to FNP is flawed. Of course, there are much more FNPs around because there are many more openings.. it makes sense right? Like puravidaLV mentioned, FNP will always have a need while PMHNP is a specialty and focuses on that one aspect of care.

But again, do what you like regardless of the perceived "longevity". Allnurses.com is not accountable for your decision 🙂

Thanks for kicking it back and forth with me, lol. I just like promoting my chosen field. ;)

PsychGuy said:
Less PMHNPs... My PMHNP class has seven people. A cohort at the same point of the FNP has 40 something.

That's completely fine (1 in 5 ratio) because that's still even more than the ratio between FNP and PMHNP job availability is.... I know schools that produced quadruple that in recent years and near future.... anyway.. So?.. it makes senses to have less PMHNPs grads than FNP grads... just like we need less CRNA than FNP.... less psychiatrist than family doctors... the number is not supposed to be equal; otherwise.. you know... some of us would have been unemployed... and going back for FNP..:)

Gentleman_nurse

Specializes in Behavioral health.

harmonizer said:
In my state, FNP is more marketable and flexible. Marketability of each specialty depends on location. In fact, FNP or ANP can even replace PMHNP in my state. There is no specialty restriction here. Psych is within scope of FNP. Go FNP route first to keep your medical knowledge flesh and active, lots more things you can do with the degrees and a lots more jobs! You can always get another certification later.

This is so wrong. You can really hurt someone if you don't know what you're doing. I've seen it

Gentleman_nurse

Specializes in Behavioral health.

OP, have you considered doing a PMHNP and taking the a class or two from an ANP program? Also look into continuing ed class. I've seen a few that address PMHNP managing non-psych medical issues.

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

NY_teach said:
OP, have you considered doing a PMHNP and taking the a class or two from an ANP program? Also look into continuing ed class. I've seen a few that address PMHNP managing non-psych medical issues.

I've never seen that. I've got my eye on a three day CE course I've seen on the internet that teaches skills such as office surgery, simple and "complicated" suturing, radiograph interp., longbone fx mgmt., etc. Sure, I'll likely never do it, but I feel the desire to learn it. I'd like to go back over 12 lead again later too even though even EKG interpretation is outsourced these days.

Gentleman_nurse

Specializes in Behavioral health.

I don't remember who offered it but it was affiliated with the APNA. I'm a member so I get a lot of junk mail from vendors offering training.