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Moving from primary care into specialty practice

NP   (2,593 Views 8 Comments)
by BCgradnurse BCgradnurse (Guide) Guide

BCgradnurse has 9 years experience and works as a Allergy and Asthma NP.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 48,911 Visitors; 1,653 Posts

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I'm a little over one year into my first FNP job, and I have another year to go to fulfill my obligation to the National Health Service Corps. I'm reasonably certain I won't stay at my current position after I've "served my time", as it doesn't make economic sense to do so. So, I'm starting to think about what I'd like to do next. I do enjoy primary care, but my passion has always been heme/onc. I have loads of experience in hematology and bone marrow transplantation from a laboratory and research perspective, but not in direct patient care. I'd like to work in an outpatient clinic with patients with blood disorders/blood cancers, and there are many such clinics in my area. However, is it too soon to think about making the switch, given that I'll only have 2 years experience when I start job hunting again? Has anyone made the jump from primary care to specialty, and how difficult/easy was it?

Thanks for any insight you can offer.

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5,495 Visitors; 261 Posts

I actually had one yr experience and I went to a speciality praxtice (ENT)...not my fav but have learned alot and don't know if any more years in primary care would have helped me...speciality is soo different it is soo much more in depth than what we learned in school..i have had to pretty much be a student again ...but if it is something you really want to do (I want to do geriatrics) I say go for it

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orangepink has 3 years experience as a NP and works as a FNP.

7,695 Visitors; 289 Posts

I'm currently in the FNP program. My goal is to work as FNP for 1-2 yrs and then move on to a specialty like cardio/ortho. Do I have to earn another certificate program for that? Are there training programs for APNs that help them move into a specialty?

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3,269 Visitors; 80 Posts

I wondered the same thing, but I think proving you are knowledgeable with education and experience is all one might need. For example, RN work in that specialty, Preceptorship with NP in that specialty and CE from conferences focused on that area.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

15 Followers; 134 Articles; 186,535 Visitors; 20,712 Posts

My nursing experience was mostly ER and I ended up in nephrology. The main reason I got the job was they liked that I could handle high acuity pts.

I had absolutely no nephrology/renal experience.

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kanzi monkey has 5 years experience.

12,535 Visitors; 618 Posts

My first NP job (the one I have now) is pretty specialized. When I was applying I found there to be a wide variety of specialty positions open to NPs--and many were open to new grad applications. If heme/onc is what you want to do, I think making the change after 2 years in primary care sounds like a perfect plan.

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235 Visitors; 1 Post

Has anyone here ever gone from specialty to primary care? I am thinking of doing some locum work and my degree is FNP but I have only worked in pulmonology and CT surgery for the last 2 years since graduating. Was wondering how hard of a transition that may be?

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sailornurse has 39 years experience and works as a FNP;Urgent Care; Asthma-Allergy-Immunology.

16,980 Visitors; 1,231 Posts

I know one person that straight out of school went into orthopedics for 3 years. She did encounter some difficulties and was told twice in interviews that since she had not done primary care she was not what they were looking for. Weird cuz they will hire new grad NP into primary care.

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