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Is being an FNP worth it?

I'm currently in a part time online FNP program right now while working full time. I'm a year into the program. I've been having some doubts though whether when I graduate that I will be ready to be a provider for patients and be able to competently prescribe medications, tests, diagnose, etc. I just feel like the program so far hasn't really taught me as much as I've been hoping to feel ready. I'm wondering if anybody else have had those same thoughts? And whether you think becoming an FNP was worth it?

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 7 years experience.

I wonder what program you are in. I wonder if it's a quality program or not. Perhaps you should consider your future and figure out if you even want to be an FNP before spending more time and money in the program. Not calling you out - far from it - but lately I do feel that there are many who are pursuing NP careers because it's the latest thing, almost fad like, without really considering all the pros and cons of the NP profession itself, and of the various specialties. I feel that there is this social pressure that somehow being an RN isn't good enough, as if NP is somehow the pinnacle of nursing.

Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful....if you're into it because that's what you truly want to do, not because it fulfills some status 'thing' within the nursing community. In many ways, I think the nursing profession is experiencing a bit of an identity crisis. But that's a topic for another post I suppose.

DizzyJ DHSc PA-C

Specializes in DHSc, PA-C.

Most providers don't graduate feeling competent practicing. Competence is developed after time in practice. Have you done any clinicals yet?

noyesno, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Family Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

I'm a new FNP.

I did not feel ready when I secured my first NP job (family practice) and I still don't (10 months in). I just do the best I can to look everything up and learn as I go. I work with a rather challenging population who cannot get into specialists easily (state insurance) so I have to almost serve as a stand in specialist for so many conditions until they can see someone more qualified.

Get an UptoDate subscription. I've logged 335 hours on the app, haha.

I also spend hours listening to primary care/medicine podcasts. Some of my favorites: Cardio Nerds, JAMA Clinical Reviews, Conversations with Dr. Bauchner, The Curb Siders, Real Life Pharmacology, Primary Care Update, Anals on Call, The Primary Care Podcast, AFP, medgeeks, Physician Assistant Exam Review.

I also subscribe to Medmastery, an online review for doctors. It is pretty helpful.

I think becoming a FNP is worth it. Higher level of respect. Not as stressful at hospital nursing. The pay is better. Higher level of responsibility but I think that is what makes it rewarding.

I wouldn't worry about listening to all those apps and studying UptoDate right now because you are probably so busy with work and school. When you start working, learn as you go.

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

On 8/20/2020 at 9:08 AM, noyesno said:

I think becoming a FNP is worth it. Higher level of respect.

That depends. I've ran into plenty of pt's and physicians who still look down on NP's.

noyesno, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Family Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

7 hours ago, OUxPhys said:

That depends. I've ran into plenty of pt's and physicians who still look down on NP's.

Totally true. My experience also. I do feel more respected as an NP than I did as a bedside nurse. That's not saying much though.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 2 years experience.

8 hours ago, OUxPhys said:

That depends. I've ran into plenty of pt's and physicians who still look down on NP's.

That has not been my experience. My MD colleagues treat me as a peer. I've only had a couple of patients disrespect me for being an NP instead of an MD, and my MD colleagues and CMO have always come to my defense.

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

15 hours ago, FullGlass said:

That has not been my experience. My MD colleagues treat me as a peer. I've only had a couple of patients disrespect me for being an NP instead of an MD, and my MD colleagues and CMO have always come to my defense.

That is great to hear. I would say at my current job it is more like what you described. My old employer....not so much.

To be quite honest, I think some of the "being respected more" has other things in play. Age plays a factor in this. Race plays a factor, and yes, sex plays a factor as well. The respect does not come automatically; often you have to prove it. That has been my experience.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 2 years experience.

3 hours ago, db2xs said:

To be quite honest, I think some of the "being respected more" has other things in play. Age plays a factor in this. Race plays a factor, and yes, sex plays a factor as well. The respect does not come automatically; often you have to prove it. That has been my experience.

Well, I'm almost 60, fat, female, and mixed race. I think that one must bear oneself with dignity and professionalism. I also think having some gray hairs is a good thing in a provider - people assume you know more (LOL). It's weird - I have actually stood next to female MDs and the patient assumes I am the MD! Used to be a business executive, which helped me develop "command presence."

I agree with you that having grey hairs helps. Medicine/healthcare is one of those professions where that gives more patients assurance.

I have experienced the sex thing with male nurses. I will tell the patient something and then they tell me, "Oh, you know, the doctor told me this and so I believe him." I ask them, "Which doctor?" and they name the male nurse. The information could be wrong and they will trust him over me because they assumed he was the doctor--because he was male and maybe because he looked older than me? Who knows

On 8/20/2020 at 9:08 AM, noyesno said:

 

Get an UptoDate subscription. I've logged 335 hours on the app, haha.

I also spend hours listening to primary care/medicine podcasts. Some of my favorites: Cardio Nerds, JAMA Clinical Reviews, Conversations with Dr. Bauchner, The Curb Siders, Real Life Pharmacology, Primary Care Update, Anals on Call, The Primary Care Podcast, AFP, medgeeks, Physician Assistant Exam Review.

I also subscribe to Medmastery, an online review for doctors. It is pretty helpful.

Did you also look at Amboss as well and their new online mobile diagnostic algorithms, differential diagnoses, and emergency evals? 
If so can you compare and contrast the two services? Im not sure I can afford both, and would like to pick the best one. 

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