How did you decide?

Posted

Has 9 years experience.

How did you decide how to specialize? It seems so daunting, to spend a bunch of money on school to do one thing for the next 30 years. 

I feel like I want to do everything, but I don't see myself being a bedside nurse forever. I worked in the OR during nursing school- loved the idea of being a CRNA. Ended up in NICU for my senior practicum and wasn't about to turn down a job offer! Loved NICU, thought about NNP (I'm sure I would love it), but they aren't used a lot in my area. Moved to adult ICU for the required experience- also love it here (even with covid). Found out my local teaching hospital has an acnp ICU fellowship. That sounds amazing! 

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 4 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,397 Posts

You do not sound like you are ready to be an NP.  I am sick and tired of RNs who think that the next logical step in their career is NP.  It is not.  

1   You don't appear to know what you want to do.  Figure this out first.

2   You don't have a focused interest,  That is fine, but then you may be happier remaining an RN.

3.  You don't want to do bedside nursing forever.  There are a lot of other options for RN career advancement, so look into those.  

PLEASE do not become an NP just because you think it is the next step for an RN.  It is NOT.  Only become an NP if you are passionate about becoming a provider.

 

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 10 years experience. 371 Posts

On 1/6/2021 at 4:02 PM, FullGlass said:

You do not sound like you are ready to be an NP.  I am sick and tired of RNs who think that the next logical step in their career is NP.  It is not.  

1   You don't appear to know what you want to do.  Figure this out first.

2   You don't have a focused interest,  That is fine, but then you may be happier remaining an RN.

3.  You don't want to do bedside nursing forever.  There are a lot of other options for RN career advancement, so look into those.  

PLEASE do not become an NP just because you think it is the next step for an RN.  It is NOT.  Only become an NP if you are passionate about becoming a provider.

 

I agree. NP is more of a career change than it is career progression, as the role itself really has nothing to do with nursing, "advanced practice" title notwithstanding. It's just that the change is predicated on first being an RN.

PaulL

Specializes in Paramedic. 19 Posts

On 1/6/2021 at 4:02 PM, FullGlass said:

 

PLEASE do not become an NP just because you think it is the next step for an RN.  It is NOT.  Only become an NP if you are passionate about becoming a provider.

While I'm not an NP or even an RN, I think this problem will continue to be widespread due to nursing schools actively recruiting those without any experience in healthcare, RN or otherwise into direct entry RN to DNP/APRN programs.

Many PA programs require at a minimum some exposure to patient care as well as shadowing, however many of the direct entry programs I've seen require nothing from their applicants except a limited pool of prerequisites and a bachelors degree. I've met many great NP's working in my current role, so I can't honestly make a judgement call as to if these programs tend to churn out successful students.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 4 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,397 Posts

18 hours ago, PaulL said:

While I'm not an NP or even an RN, I think this problem will continue to be widespread due to nursing schools actively recruiting those without any experience in healthcare, RN or otherwise into direct entry RN to DNP/APRN programs.

Many PA programs require at a minimum some exposure to patient care as well as shadowing, however many of the direct entry programs I've seen require nothing from their applicants except a limited pool of prerequisites and a bachelors degree. I've met many great NP's working in my current role, so I can't honestly make a judgement call as to if these programs tend to churn out successful students.

This topic has been beaten to death.  RN experience IS required to become an Acute Care NP.  It is NOT required to become a primary care NP because the EVIDENCE indicates it is not especially beneficial.  One could argue that a person who knows from the get-go that they want to be a provider and immediately becomes an NP will do better in that role.  

 

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,944 Posts

On 1/6/2021 at 4:02 PM, FullGlass said:

You do not sound like you are ready to be an NP.  I am sick and tired of RNs who think that the next logical step in their career is NP.  It is not. 

Part of the problem is that many nursing schools are touting becoming NPs before students have even graduated as RNs. There's no more acceptance for wanting to become an expert at entry level of practice, everyone wants a "five-year plan" and if you don't express ambitions to move on to the next level, you're considered lazy or dumb. 

OP, I have also enjoyed each of the positions I have held as a RN. I've worked in long-term care, med-surg and now ICU. The great thing about nursing is that you're NOT committed to one thing for 30+ years, there are options. Not all of them require immediately returning to school for an advanced degree, you may come across a niche that fits your perfectly. Good luck with your future plans.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 724 Posts

Yowza, you triggered some people on here. 

I work in an FQHC which means we have primary care, pedes, women’s health, and psych, all outpatient. What I eventually realized is that when the psych providers are discussing cases, I am absolutely eating it up. I’m fascinated by it and will read the DSM in my spare time and could talk to the psych patients for hours. Whereas the primary care patients— I do not get as excited about their T2DM and asthma. It’s important for me to know about the common chronic medical problems, so I have learned about them, but it just isn’t as interesting to me. 

That’s just my experience, and I don’t necessarily think you have to have a “passion” to be successful in any given field. But I do think that as you gain experience, you’ll find certain types of patients that you are drawn to and others less so. 

NICUmiiki, DNP, NP

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Has 7 years experience. 1,770 Posts

I started a FNP program. Realized I hated clinics, and adults, so....

I switched to NNP before I was too far in because I was having negative emotions about leaving the NICU also. I have no regrets yet. And much better paying job offers than I would have gotten as an FNP in my area.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 5 years experience. 1,198 Posts

On 1/25/2021 at 8:27 PM, NICUmiiki said:

I started a FNP program. Realized I hated clinics, and adults, so....

I switched to NNP before I was too far in because I was having negative emotions about leaving the NICU also. I have no regrets yet. And much better paying job offers than I would have gotten as an FNP in my area.

Smart move