Should I Become a Nurse Practitioner?

  1. I've always wanted to work in the medical field. Specifically, I'd like to be able to treat gunshot and explosion wounds. After I become an RN I was going to jump for becoming licensed as a Nurse Practitioner, and I was thinking of joining the military or something similar.

    Would a NP be able to treat or perhaps even save someone who had suffered a gunshot or grenade explosion? Or is that out of their skill set? Do you think training for ER work would prepare me for such things? What specialty should I go in?

    I'm also male, is it normal for a male to become a Nurse Practitioner?
  2. Visit RevolverOcelot profile page

    About RevolverOcelot

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 2


  3. by   BostonFNP
    If you only want to work with acute gunshot wounds and explosions, you are looking at a very very small niche that as a new grad you will have a hard time moving into. Your best bet for that experience is working in a inner city ER, or as a EMT/Para, but even then it will be rather rare. As far as I know, most military trauma is handled by medics (EMT-Bs) on the scene and then transported to field hospitals.

    You doubt you'd see much as an acute care NP; in the VA system you might get non-acute cases. It also depends on what capacity you want to be involved. The real hands on work will be done by EMT/paras and then by trauma surgeons with help from RNs on the trauma team.
  4. by   jjrodriguez
    I'm not familiar with NPs working in the military, but I just want to say that there is nothing "abnormal" about a male pursuing the NP route. I'm a male and plan to go for FNP. Yes, we may be the minority, but that doesn't take away our value in this field.
  5. by   RevolverOcelot
    Would an Emergency Room RN be more capable of treating acute physical trauma than an EMT-P?
  6. by   Esme12
    Even inner city emergency departments see more that gunshot woulds. in the US we see little explosion wounds. The military or international nursing areas of the world that remain war torn.......would probably be a focus for you. As a new grad, as you have been informed on your other thread, will be a tall order for most of these areas require experience.

    Most nurse practioners are not front line medics or nurses. Even trauma flight nurses while masters prepaired are usually not NP's.....but even as traume foight you see more than ginshots and explosion injuries. These injuries are handled by trauma surgeons and the military medics.......maybe a PA.

    What is your passionate interest/draw with treating just gunshot wounds or explosion injuries? What draws you?
  7. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from RevolverOcelot
    Would an Emergency Room RN be more capable of treating acute physical trauma than an EMT-P?
    They practice very differently. The EMT-P sees things at the most acute and attempts to stabilize. A trauma flight RN works in the same capacity. RNs have a larger scope of practice in most aspects. Our med flight team here does have NPs.

    An I am a male NP and get nothing but compliments for being male.
  8. by   tothepointeLVN
    If there is an inner city ER that's getting a lot of "explosion" wounds let me know and I'll stay away from that city. Have you considered becoming a medic. I don't have personal experience with that role but a couple of my adrenaline junkie (male) friends were medics prior to become nurses and they are still chasing that kind of experience.
  9. by   OB-nurse2013
    My husband works as a paramedic in an inner city and sees lots of stuff that you would robably like but I'm not so sure you are going to find a lot of grenade action.
  10. by   tothepointeLVN
    Do civil war reenactors use granades?
  11. by   Esme12
    NO...... They do use smoke bombs though.
  12. by   PixieRN14
    OP I don't see why not. University of MD is currently developing a RN to DNP program dedicated to trauma, critical care and emergency nursing. I would look into this program if that is what you really want to do.
  13. by   Patti_RN
    I worked (briefly) in a trauma ICU that had a Level 1 Trauma ED. Most of the serious gunshot cases came through our ED and if they survived they showed up in our ICU. I didn't see these patients in the ED, but from my understanding serious gunshot victims simply passed through the ED on their way to surgery. Their 'treatment' was being put back together--this was done by surgeons, not NPs or PAs. Once they came to us, they were short guts or amputees or multi-system failure patients.

    Like Esme, I can't imagine what you're thinking. Do you plan on being first on the scene of a shooting? As a trauma worker, you'll see mostly auto accidents, and a wide assortment of injuries that often followed ETOH consumption (as many of the car accidents do). If you plan on specializing in gun shot wounds, you'll have to race other providers to the scene and chase them away from 'your' patient. But, as an NP, there isn't much you can do within your scope of practice. Maybe you should become a surgeon?
  14. by   Piglet08
    Well, I'm sure you can find a place with a high number of gunshot wounds. Explosion wounds might be harder to come by. I find myself both intrigued and disturbed by your passion for them, though.

    Maybe that's just me.

    I do think perhaps you have an unrealistic and romanticized view of what it would be like to do that kind of work. You haven't even worked in the medical field yet, and you're wanting to "treat and even save" people with these kinds of trauma, and "maybe join the military".

    I dunno, this post almost seems like a fake. Or like the poster is quite young. I may be wrong, and I don't want to jump to conclusions. But I think the first step would be to get some "work in the medical field" or "join the military", either or both, before you make plans to be an NP and save lives. Walk, then run.