Peds CNS...did I make a bad decision!?!?

Specialties CNS


Specializes in Pediatrics: ED & Inpatient.


I recently switched from an MSN-PNP program to an MSN-Peds CNS program and am terribly worried that I made the wrong decision!!! My reasoning for switching to the CNS was mainly that I am not interested in diagnosing patients (as most NP's do)...however, I am now finding myself in quite a pickle.

I am three classes away from graduation, and will not be able to afford the out of pocket tuition to complete these three courses (I qualified for loans to cover the 33 credits I have taken so far...and I do not qualify for the majority of the scholarships out there). Also, I am not even sure what I want to do with this CNS degree! Additionally, there seem to be NO CNS jobs in this awful economy.

Did I make the wrong decision by jumping out of the PNP track? Would it be more beneficial to suck it up and complete the PNP degree in order to be somewhat more marketable? (fyi: I live in Maryland...CNS is not even recognized as an APRN)

I am feeling so lost and full of regret...can someone please provide some advice/insight?!!? I would sincerely appreciate it.



Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Ouch - what is it you want to do? That should guide which degree you finish.

I did an adult CNS and just completed a peds CNS but I live in IL where CNS is an APN.

If you don't want to be diagnosing/treating kids, then a CNS would work for staff development, change agent, expert clinician.

However, (this is my personal opinion), the PNP would give you more latitude and a wider variety of jobs.

Specializes in PICU.

I'm no expert but the PNP seems to be much more marketable in OH. My 2 cents is that yes, I'd suck is up and complete the PNP.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

My children's hospital is almost always looking for qualified Peds CNS's. At the moment, we have 4 vacancies for peds CNS's. The local nursing schools are also permanently on the look-out for people who can teach peds clinicals to undergraduates. Some are so desparate that they will even consider people with only BSN's.

Specializes in Transplant, homecare, hospice.
I'm no expert but the PNP seems to be much more marketable in OH. My 2 cents is that yes, I'd suck is up and complete the PNP.

I would have to agree. I am working on a similar degree and have already had many thoughts of either switching or adding another major (crazy, I know). Do what you were doing....especially being so close to graduation...or if it's really in your heart, keep looking for d'money.

Best wishes!


Specializes in pediatrics, ed, public health.

Oh what a pickle! Can you some how get dually certified as a CNS or PNP? It may be cheaper to get both degrees now than finish one and then have to do a post degree later (in case you change your mind).

I am dually licenses from a California program 10 years ago. When I first entered the peds NP program as I called it, I knew that I wanted to be in clinic dx and tx pts. I had no intention of using my CNS but in all honestly I prefer to be a CNS specializing in education. Clinic was non stop shortage of sick patients, responsiblity, long hours and the pts tended to be the highest risk (at least at my practice). I got burned out as NP especially as the pt. populations insurances/economy turned. I went into acute for experience and to start teaching. Well, doors opened b/c of the CNS/MSN. I was able to working in a nursing and a staff education department. More doors opened with advancement (hospital CNS paid substanially more that NP private practice). I am so happy that I pursued my CNS also. I know that I could find work in either speciality, especially if I moved into an area with a large childrens hospital.

Hang in there, you will find your way...

Specializes in Gen Peds, PICU/Stepdown, School Nursing.

I know this is an old post, but I thought I'd respond anyway. I know excatly what you are feeling. I am currently in a Peds CNS program, scheduled to graduate June 2012. Lately I have been wondering if I made the right decision and I am leaning towards switching to the PNP program at my school. Like many on this board has stated, I believe it will give me more marketability.

Best of luck to you....

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I'm an adult health CNS and also peds CNS (take my test next month) and wish in the beginning I had just done the FNP!

I grew up with post WWll, depression era parents. They always said. "no matter what happens to you in life, no one can take away your knowledge. Whenever one of us would question why we were continuing down a path they would say "No education is ever wasted." During my cynical years my sister and I would say "yeah, I'm so glad we got our degrees in the fine arts." However, her english degree opened the door to writing articles and my art classes added to my self discipline and creative thinking in wound while starving sucks...don't quit on something you really are interested in to do what might be more comercially profitable.

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