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How did you know which speciality to choose?

NP   (839 Views 3 Comments)
by avery avery (Member)

avery has 4 years experience and specializes in CVICU, CV Transplant.

2,517 Profile Views; 135 Posts


I just started school last week to become a NP. I was wondering how you chose what speciality to go into? Am I more marketable if I do the FNP route or does this depend on location? How can I find out what the demand is in my area as most NP jobs are not listed in the paper?

I currently work in a level one trauma center in a very high skilled CCU. We do lots of transplants, balloon pumps, swans, and also get trauma and other various ICU overflow. I was thinking of doing acute care adult but wonder if it will be hard to find a job with this speciality? Anyone with any helpful hints or advice is appreciated.


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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 155 Articles; 20,878 Posts; 188,501 Profile Views

Hi and welcome. Choosing a specailty is very important. Can you talk with some of your fellow NPs and find an NP who has some insight into what your area is hiring?

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

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One way to find out which specialty fields are hiring NP's is by asking NP's themselves. If you know some NP's where you work, they can usually tell what the job market is like in your area. You can also find some information through your state APN association. NP openings are sometimes posted in their website (granted the association owns a website).

As far as training, FNP does seem like it covers a broad range of medical problems across all age groups. But as I've also learned in this forum, some states are stricter as far as NP's practicing within their scope of training. In such states an FNP may be legally unqualified to assume acute care NP roles. In the same manner, an ACNP may not be hired in a primary care role. It is important to know where the job openings are so you can plan on training for specific fields where you know you'll land a job easily.

Another issue to consider in your case is that you have an acute care background as an RN. It would be easier to transition into ACNP and build up on your ICU background. However, ACNP training tends to gear the NP towards specialty medical fields in a hospital setting. It is not uncommon to find ACNP programs that prepare students to focus on a specialty based on the student's stated goals. The disadvantage is that this may limit your job prospects.

The pattern I'm seeing is that rural areas usually have a demand for primary care providers. Thus, FNP's and ANP's are in demand in those areas. Large metro areas like where I live have an abundance of primary care physicians. In such areas, the specialty practices are the ones that are hiring mid-level providers.

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