FNP without Acute Care Experience?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I graduated with my BSN in 2015.

    I pursued work as a RN Supervisor in a subacute for 5 months. I then worked as a credentialed school nurse (and obtained school nurse services credential) for 3 years.

    I am currently seeking work in acute setting. However, I have had difficult finding work in acute setting due to no recent patient care experience.

    It is further complicated with myself in my first semester in a live-online FNP program. I was recently hired at a subacute and plan on moving in half a year to inpatient if presented with opportunity. My questions are: 1. If I transition at that point to acute will it will be difficult while pursuing my FNP or is it manageable. 2. Will I have the leg room to request part-time basis at the inpatient facility without prior acute and only subacute experience to better manage my time with my school work?

    Dear in FNP school,

    Your plan is to land your first job in acute care while in an FNP program. Many nurses work full time while in school, but it is not recommended to attend school full-time during your
    first year of acute care nursing. There's a steep learning curve in the hospital and your focus will be divided.

    Likewise, it's not recommended to work part-time your first year to two years. You will be functioning as a beginner, and it requires all your energy and dedication.

    You are pursuing 2 different goals at the same time that are usually pursued sequentially. While many will disagree, you do not need acute care experience to be an FNP. Clinical practice bedside nurse and FNP are two different roles.

    It's definitely helpful in many ways to have acute care experience, but because you already started your FNP program without acute care experience, you need to prioritize one over the other.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,536; Likes: 4,549
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


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