which dept to get experience in

  1. Hi,
    I'm in nursing school right now & am considering becoming a FNP down the line. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the best departments for me to work in as a staff nurse b/f grad school?
  2. Visit crazylilkelly profile page

    About crazylilkelly

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 378; Likes: 24
    Cardiac RN, BSN; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in OB, Cardiac

    7 Comments

  3. by   Spacklehead
    Personally, I think the ER is a good choice. You see the whole range of patients you would see as a FNP (newborns to geriatrics) and a lot of times, people come to the ER with the same complaints that they could be treated for in a doctor's office.
  4. by   crazylilkelly
    Quote from Softballmama
    Personally, I think the ER is a good choice. You see the whole range of patients you would see as a FNP (newborns to geriatrics) and a lot of times, people come to the ER with the same complaints that they could be treated for in a doctor's office.
    thanks! that definitely makes sense.:wink2:
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I really enjoyed my 10 years in a level one trauma center - learned tons. Would also qualify you for ACNP.
  6. by   ERNP
    I agree with the previous posts. ER is the front door from which all the other departments receive patients. You see a little of everything and all ages.
  7. by   NC-RN
    I am starting my FNP program and I went to the ED as soon as I could for precisely the reasons listed here. I really would not want to work anywhere else in the hospital and think it is very good preparation for being a FNP. On a day-to-day basis the majority of ED patients are ambulatory and at an acuity similar to primary care settings. Of course you will also see much higher acuity patients daily, which is also excellent experience. In the ED you will also do a lot of teaching to both patients and their families. Additionally you will care for patients across the life span.

    Probably the best thing I can think of about the ED in relation to a future FNP career is that the majority of patients require you to really use your assessment skills to listen to the patient, look, feel, auscultate, etc. Is a stroke or Bell's palsy; too many tacos or a MI, menstrual cramping or an ectopic pregnancy? You get the idea.

    From my experience, in the ED you also work with the MDs more closely. They are always there which gives you as nurse an advantage to learn and be part of the diagnostic process.

    Before jumping into the ED as a new grad do some homework. Does the ED have a solid preceptorship program? I would suggest three months under a preceptor as a minimum. Do you multitask well? Is the hospital committed to training and education? The ED where I work has a great bunch of nurses who really work as a team. In contrast, the ED at another hospital in my area has a reputation as "you're on your own" type of place to work.

    Good luck!
  8. by   ChiaLing
    I rotated through the ED as a student, and felt so overwhelmed with the stimuli, the noise, the chaos ...

    I am currently precepting in the ICU, and am loving it so far.

    Am I at a disadvantage in a future FNP role if I hated being in the ED? Would critical care provide a good background for future FNP practice?

    Thanks.
  9. by   NC-RN
    ChiaLing,

    Please don't worry. The ED is by no means the only or best path, I was just staing the reasons I like it. Critical care will also give you very good assessment skills and provide a solid foundation.

    Good luck.

close