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FNP vs PNP vs PMHNP

Has 7 years experience.

Hi all!

Thanks in advance for coming to my thread and answering my questions! I am currently a Bachelors prepared RN looking at a few different schools for my NP. I am stuck between three different specialties.... FNP, PNP, and PMHNP.

I like the idea of an FNP because you are not very limited in your scope... you can generally find a job pretty easy and can work with all age spans. I also like the idea of having a better family oriented schedule and a decent salary. Cons of this position is you usually have to get more certifications in order to work with certain settings (acute care for hospitalists, etc). I've also found that FNP's seem to be on the lower end of the salary range in FL- ranging from 85,000-100,000. Still a good salary but some other specialties make a lot more money with the same degree (MSN)

I've always been drawn to pediatric patients. I LOVE working with kids, babies specifically. Not wanting to do NNP because you are very very limited in scope (can only work with patients up to 2 y/o and usually in a NICU setting so the hours are crazy).... still working nights, weekends holidays as well. If I did PNP I would most like do primary care so again, I can work a better schedule to be with my family. A con for this is again, limited scope as I could only work with patients under 18 and jobs are few and far between where I work. My biggest fear is not being able to find a job once I graduate school.

Then there is PMHNP. I have worked psych for years in the past... not as an RN though. I have always LOVED psychiatry. In my research I have found that PMHNP can work in acute or primary settings and with all age spans. It's just obviously very different scope of practice because I would be working with those who are mentally ill and not necessarily physically ill. I have also found that psych NP's make significantly more money in my area... upward of 110,000-130,000 a year.. and I wonder why? Is it because the demand is so high for the providers?

If anyone can please shed some light for me...help me on making this decision and answer the questions I have it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!😀

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 12 years experience.

Yes, pmhnp is one of the highest paid specialties. Specialty usually pays much higher than regular family practice, same as a family doctor doesn’t get paid as much as a psychiatrist. Demand also plays into it, there is a shortage of providers as you mentioned.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

Yes, for the time being demand>supply for psych and that's what driving the higher pay. My area's job market has begun to tighten for psych.

I would suggest digging deep and asking yourself what you want to do. If you love peds and psych, C&A psych can be a good choice, but C&A psych can be challenging (psych itself is) so have a realistic view of what you will get involved is crucial. I suggest talking with some experienced NPs.

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