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Neuro Nurse Practitioner


Specializes in Emergency. Has 1 years experience.

I want to be a neuro nurse practitioner--specifically working with patients before and after and also assisting during neurosurgery. Does anyone here know if FNP would be the best route? (Due to the ability to work with both pediatrics and adults) And then possibly get a post-masters certification in ACNP?

Any neuro NPs out there? Thanks!

PumpkinEater, MSN

Specializes in Neuro/Neurosurgery/General Surgery. Has 13 years experience.

I don't often check this site but saw your question and thought I'd offer my perspective. I got my ACNP in 2011 and started work as an NP with a Neurosurgery department several months later at a Level 1 trauma center. I think ACNP is the way to go. I'm not sure which degree would be most useful with the impending "Consensus Model" though, you'll have to do some research.

In terms of my job, I round with the team in the mornings then see patients on the wards (wards only, no ICU) throughout the day, writing orders, following up consults and, primarily, trying to discharge people. About ~5% of my patient load are pediatrics on the wards.

Most of my colleagues work in the clinics with no, or very little, inpatient work. I only do inpatient.

If you were looking at an NP job with Neurosurgery, I'd expect full time Mon-Fri work, some clinic, some inpatient (ICU included possibly).

As for the OR, well, heh, I'd be astonished if you could be involved at all. Just doesn't seem likely although I have known PAs to be first assists in Ortho, vascular, etc.

Good luck, p

I don't know that much about it, but when I was working on a neuro med surg floor, there was an FNP there that did rounds with the doctors. She seemed to do mainly the same things they did, and once while talking to a patient I heard her say "let me look at those stitches on your head, oh yeah I did a nice job on those they look great" so she would have had to of been in on the surgery and assisted as well. She also explains things to patients from the OR that would require first hand knowledge and I doubt if she was in for the surgery she was just watching, so I assume she assists. If an RN can assist with 6 months training (to be a first assist) then I assume an NP can assist in some way as well. I remember once in nursing school a very nice lady assisting in a CABG - she harvested and prepped the saphenous vein on her own, another "main surgeon" grafted it in while she sewed up the leg, and then once it was all in working order the main guy left and she cauterized and sealed the chest, complete with wire rods. I thought for sure she was a resident or doctor, but she was actually an RN trained for first assist. She said its only a 6 month program once you're an RN

When I worked in CTICU we had a NP who would round with the surgeon & also harvest veins during CABG & he was trained by the PA & MD so surgery can be an option I believe it is up to the MD....& when I worked at a Level 1 Trauma center the Neurosurgeon had a FNP that did rounds & saw clinic patients so its def possible @ least here in New York State.


Specializes in Emergency. Has 1 years experience.

Thank you all so much for your knowledge and information! I think that it does depend on the MD and your ambitions. (I completely believe that if you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to get it.)