FNP to PA?

  1. Hello

    Are there any FNPs in this forum who regret becoming an NP? Not in the context of advancing their education and moving into a provider role but that they went to NP school instead of PA school?

    I have beyond frustrated that the only jobs I am able to get and eventually work in are primary care clinics. I know the FNP role was developed as an outpatient primary care provider but I didn't think specialities like EM, cardiology or orthopedics would be closed off to me. I have also been applying for fellowships and most of them only want PAs (even if we are all new grads). Hindsight is 20/20. I also did a direct entry program so I have limited RN exp (which was fine with my because I always wanted to work in a provider like role). I just didn't realize how much it would be used against me compared to new grad PAs.

    Do you know of any FNP who went back and became a PA? Or would that just be ridiculous?
  2. Visit danceluver profile page

    About danceluver

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 648; Likes: 32

    23 Comments

  3. by   Oldmahubbard
    I am fairly sure almost none of the coursework would count.
  4. by   danceluver
    Definitely wouldn't that I am aware of
  5. by   ICUman
    If you had the RN experience would it have helped provide better job opportunities to you now?
  6. by   djmatte
    Quote from ICUman
    If you had the RN experience would it have helped provide better job opportunities to you now?
    Debatable, but possibly. My pain management and RN experience came in handy landing my first job. Being able to talk to it in the context of problems primary care providers are experiencing with the opiate crisis gave me an edge. But too be honest, I think if you can sell yourself right then in many cases it probably doesn't matter. The sad part is the op is not able to expand their expertise with a post masters acute care because no RN experience. That's why I recommend anyone considering de to just go the pe route. It gives them the broadest expertise and opportunity.
    Last edit by djmatte on Aug 5
  7. by   Jules A
    Quote from danceluver
    I also did a direct entry program so I have limited RN exp (which was fine with my because I always wanted to work in a provider like role).
    Unfortunately it was "fine" with you until you realized what you didn't know. If you had been a RN you would have had professional contacts and a better handle on the nuances of the FNP as a PCP vs opportunities to specialize without a specialty certification.

    If you are not able to find anything you want to do and feel the direction you want to go would be better served by becoming a PA I would consider it. Wouldn't it only be a matter of a couple of years more schooling? I know there are RNs here that went the PA route but haven't heard of a NP. I would suspect you would make an attractive PA candidate, especially because you can politely lament frustration with the bill of goods NP schools are selling anyone with tuition dollars.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    There was a program in North Dakota that was 13 months long for RN to PA. Don't know if it still exists or the name - sorry.
  9. by   FullGlass
    The FNP is primary care. Get some work experience and then you should be able to go into a specialty. As a new grad AGPCNP with no RN experience, I got offers in Neurology, Cardiology, Sleep Medicine, and Occupational Health in addition to primary care. Once you have primary care experience, Urgent Care is also an option.
  10. by   popopopo
    Where I'm from, most PA schools require hundreds of hours of clinical experiences to be a competitive applicant. One school near me has 1k+ hour average for their matriculated students. Your NP clinicals *might* count, but even then you would have to eloquently explain the switch from your current role.
  11. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from traumaRUs
    There was a program in North Dakota that was 13 months long for RN to PA. Don't know if it still exists or the name - sorry.
    Stanford also has an 'accelerated' PA program for people with a background in healthcare (i.e. nurses). That said, I think they expect several years of experience, which wouldn't really apply in this case.
  12. by   core0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    There was a program in North Dakota that was 13 months long for RN to PA. Don't know if it still exists or the name - sorry.
    I believe you are thinking of the University of North Dakota PA program. This was a MEDEX program primarily for RNs. They have changed the structure and now have two arms one which takes clinically licensed or certified providers with three or more years experience. This arm requires you to apply with a family practice physician as your primary preceptor.

    There were two other dual NP PA programs at Stanford and UC Davis that offered PA and FNP certifications. Stanford no longer offers the NP option and its expected that UC Davis will stop offering the PA option when they change to a DNP program. Actually looking at their web site it looks like the FNP and PA programs are separate programs. Its not clear that you can be dual certified.

    For the OP I see a number of obstacles. That's not to say its impossible, but the odds are certainly against you.

    The primary issue I see is convincing a program director to take you. You have already completed training as an FNP but are unhappy with it. There is a limited number of PA seats so you would have to convince someone to take a chance on you.

    You would have to complete the pre-requisites which involve 1-2 years of coursework. Much of this has time limits such as within the last 5 years. Much of your nursing pre-requisites will not count.

    While some programs do not require medical experience preference goes to applicants with medical experience. Generally time as a student doesn't count. Its unclear if you have worked as an NP. That time would count.

    An approach with a higher element of success would be to do a post grad ACNP program with a program that will provide clinicals in the areas you are interested in. This could be followed by a post graduate course. FNP/ACNP would help see the full spectrum of patients. Some areas such as ortho would still be difficult but possible specially with a residency.
  13. by   ApolloC
    I am aware of FNPs who are in the OR as part of a surgical team. They were first assists when they were an RN then they had their scope expanded when they became an FNP. The job evolved while they were getting their education.
  14. by   djmatte
    Quote from ApolloC
    I am aware of FNPs who are in the OR as part of a surgical team. They were first assists when they were an RN then they had their scope expanded when they became an FNP. The job evolved while they were getting their education.
    Few people qualify for this. And going forward as consensus model becomes more standard, fewer states will let an fnp near a hospital regardless of RN background. but that is a whole other discussion.

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