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Masters of Nursing FNP vs. Post masters FNP certificate

Specializes in School Nurse.

Hi all,

I am looking through various online FNP programs and am wondering what the pros and cons are with getting a Masters:FNP vs. getting a post Master's FNP cert. Obviously you already need a MN to do the cert, but is there any reason someone who wants to do the FNP would do a "regular" (our local University has a MN in community nursing or education) Masters and go back and do the extra year or so for the FNP cert? Which I assume allows you to sit for the FNP boards?

The "post-Master's certificate" programs were originally developed to allow people to change advanced practice specialties (or add to their current certifications) without having to repeat the "core" MSN courses.

Quite a few people post here that they're going to go to the nearest/cheapest/easiest MSN program in some specialty that has nothing to do with what they ultimately want to do, and then do a post-Master's certificate in whatever advanced practice specialty they actually want. Maybe I'm just dense, but the logic of this escapes me. Any MSN program is going to require a significant investment of time, effort, and $$$ (not to mention blood, sweat, and tears :D). I can't figure out why people who know that they want a particular advanced practice specialty would do a different MSN first and then do most of an additional MSN in order to end up at the place they could have gotten to by just going to a program in the specialty they want in the first place.

Maybe someone else will come along and explain this in some way that will make sense to me ... :)

well I can answer sort of.

when I started my adult NP program, I thought I only wanted to work with adults. never worked in pediatrics other than when I was floated to the pedi floor at my hospital job as an rn.

so........fast forward.........I realize after being out of school, maybe I would like to work with kids...........uh oh, my cert is only for adults, ( adolescent age and up ), so any job like ER, urgent care, family practice is OUT for me now.

so for me i didn't think it thru completely when I started.

I was accepted into the two programs I applied to, one being an FNP.

one school was 40 miles away, and one was 20 miles away, honestly since i didn't think I wanted to see pedi patients in practice I went with the closer school which was also the adult program.

now I am looking to do that post masters cert for fnp so I can expand my options.

ChristineAdrianaRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

I think elkpark means why would anyone go into a Master's program for a specialty they know they don't want going into it, with the plan of getting the post-master's cert. Makes total sense if you change your mind mid-program. But I don't understand why anyone would, ahead of time, plan on doing both, either. Maybe they really want to do adult or peds, but they do their FNP just to have it so they aren't pigeonholed into a specialty if they change their mind later, or if it impedes upon a job they want? I dunno.

I know there are general MSN programs out there, that don't include a specialty. Is that the question the OP was asking?

I think that would work. One of my friends went straight to her MSN through the University of Iowa, and then later became a CRNA at another school. Obviously, the education for a CRNA vs. an NP is different, but I think that the general masters helped her avoid at least a few classes. I would think for NP it might be even more, but I could be wrong.

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