I have been a nurse for 12 years- started as floor nurse med/surg/tele (5 years), then moved to ER (3 years), changed to case management (3 years), and then went back to ER (mostly for the schedule flexibility) last year while I do the FNP program. While I think the ED experience will help me personally as I move into FNP, especially since I desire to do urgent care, I do not think ER experience is a necessity. I think more employers will care more about your FNP knowledge and education over prior RN experience. You already have a broad range of experience. The FNP aspect is so focused on primary care (none of which you will receive in the ER) that it will not help you in the long run especially if you have other nursing experience in acute care. Most EDs are hectic that you will have little time to learn much that will apply to FNP. Honestly, I would stay focused in the program and finish. I truly understand the burn out, and have tinkered with the idea of taking time off to change out of the ED due to the stress of managing work, family, and school. HOWEVER, I think it is more of the idea of reducing the stress than it is the need to change specialties. My advise is to stay focused on school. Reduce your work hours in your current position if possible. Good luck. If you do want to gain emergent or urgent episodic care experience for an advanced practice role then completing clinical hours in that setting would give you the most bang for your buck.