ABSN or ELMSN-FNP?

  1. Hi everyone!

    I've received an acceptance for an ABSN program and an entry level MSN FNP program and am having a difficult time deciding.

    I like the idea of the ABSN because it's only 12 months, I'd get to work as an RN to gain experience and figure out what I want to do in nursing, and then apply for an MSN for some type of APRN degrees while working part time.

    The ELMSN-FNP route looks enticing because it's 3.5 years and I'll graduate with an FNP. I'd get financial aid and scholarships that cover a huge chunk of the tuition. However, I have several concerns about whether or not FNP is the route for me. I haven't done any clinicals yet so it's difficult to say that I'm definitely interested in being a family nurse practitioner. I feel like I wouldn't know what I would be interested in until I start nursing school. Also, I'm scared about how it limits me in terms of where I would work in the future as an FNP. What if I really like working as a peds/NICU/L&D nurse or just some really specialized area? Would I have to go back and get another certification? Or would I still be able to get hired for those positions?

    Any advice would be helpful! Thank you!!
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  2. Visit espressome profile page

    About espressome

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 23; Likes: 23

    7 Comments

  3. by   inthecosmos
    So, usually, if you are a FNP you can find jobs in the settings you mention. The only one that is questionable is the NICU setting, I am not 100% sure on the criteria there, but there are Neonatal NPs. You can ALWAYS get certified in something else down the line.

    Honestly, I would HIGHLY recommend shadowing a FNP and determining if you just want to jump in. At some point during the program will you obtain your RN? I am not sure how direct-entry works, but if it were me I would forgo the ABSN program.
  4. by   Wuzzie
    Pediatrics and Neonatal both have their own graduate paths to NP. Highly doubt you'll be able to find a job in those specialties, especially as a direct entry FNP. You'll be passed over for other candidates with experience in those areas. It doesn't sound like you really know what you want to do in the end. Maybe getting some experience as a nurse first would be of benefit in this case.
  5. by   inthecosmos
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Pediatrics and Neonatal both have their own graduate paths to NP. Highly doubt you'll be able to find a job in those specialties, especially as a direct entry FNP. You'll be passed over for other candidates with experience in those areas. It doesn't sound like you really know what you want to do in the end. Maybe getting some experience as a nurse first would be of benefit in this case.
    FNPs in my area work in pediatric clinics. FNP covers from 2 and up. I agree, however, that experienced nurses will have the upper hand.
  6. by   espressome
    Yes, I would get to take my NCLEX after the 4th semester. Many of the students work as RNs during the second portion (the post-licensure, FNP part) of the program. I guess my main concern is the flexibility of FNPs. I've read that they're the most flexible in terms of job opportunities. However, I keep reading comments from others talking about how the BON is cracking down on their scope of practice and with an increase in specialized NPs, FNPs will have a more difficult time finding positions in the hospital. However, I haven't worked as a nurse and don't know if any of that would apply in the Bay Area.

    Also, does getting certification for something else equivalent to taking another NP program? Or are there other shorter post masters programs if you're already an NP?

    Thanks for all the replies!!
  7. by   inthecosmos
    Quote from espressome
    Yes, I would get to take my NCLEX after the 4th semester. Many of the students work as RNs during the second portion (the post-licensure, FNP part) of the program. I guess my main concern is the flexibility of FNPs. I've read that they're the most flexible in terms of job opportunities. However, I keep reading comments from others talking about how the BON is cracking down on their scope of practice and with an increase in specialized NPs, FNPs will have a more difficult time finding positions in the hospital. However, I haven't worked as a nurse and don't know if any of that would apply in the Bay Area.

    Also, does getting certification for something else equivalent to taking another NP program? Or are there other shorter post masters programs if you're already an NP?

    Thanks for all the replies!!
    From what I've observed, they're just as long due to the clinical hour portion of the program. I think it depends on where you live. In NC and Virginia, the two areas I'm closest to, they hire FNPs in acute settings. If you know for a fact you want to do a specialty, that's what I would recommend going for. My friend started as Adult and decided halfway through to change to FNP. Now she's looking at another year.
  8. by   BCgradnurse
    I'd go the ABSN route if you're not sure what you want to do. Work as a nurse for a year or two and see what area you like. I'd nudge you towards ELMSN program if you were certain you wanted to be a NP and work in the outpatient setting. You might be able to find a job as a FNP in the acute setting, but a FNP program focuses on primary care, not acute care.
  9. by   espressome
    Thanks for all the advice! I think I'll do the ABSN route. Something about bedside nursing, inpatient settings, and just exploring the nursing world really appeal to me right now. I'm still relatively young so I could always pursue an NP or some advanced practice in the future once I have everything figured out. Also, my moms health isn't too good right now so I think it's best that I get my BSN and start working to help out with my family. I'm definitely coming back for that MSN (or DNP) in the future!

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