AGNP vs FNP

  1. So I know there are many threads on this already, but I have a predicament. I was recently accepted into Villanova's AGNP program. When I first started my graduate applications I thought that was the program I wanted to be in. I currently work as an Occ Health RN, and before that I was in the Surgical/Trauma ICU. After stalking allnurses and speaking to other grad students, it seems like everyone is saying go the FNP route so you are more marketable. I do want to get a job when all is said and done. I don't plan on working with children, but it seems more and more employers want FNP vs AGNP.

    I emailed the admissions director about switching tracks. She emailed me back and wants to talk to me about my reasons why. She doesn't think "being more marketable" is a good reason. Frankly, I don't either, but I also don't want to be looking for a job 1 year after graduation because I chose the wrong track.

    Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You!
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    About flipper628

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 115; Likes: 47

    26 Comments

  3. by   futureeastcoastNP
    If you want a guaranteed job after graduation, become a PMHNP. They are recruited BEFORE they even graduate.

    Lately, everyone is switching to FNP because they think it's more marketable, but I honestly think it's a huge mistake. There are specific roles for each type of nurse practitioner, and you should choose a program based on the role you feel is best for you. What is the point in being marketable if you end up taking a job you hate after graduation? Furthermore, I think within the next 2-4 years, the competition for FNP jobs is going to be through the roof. EVERYONE is going to school to become an FNP (since lack of standards have made it easy to just do it in your spare time online while still working) and the market is becoming flooded. Many FNPs still work their bedside position. I think any competitive marketing advantage that FNPs DID have is going to be completely wiped out by this moving forward, so you might as well pick what you want to do. There may be less overall AGNP jobs when you graduate, but there will also be less people competing for them. FNP jobs are going the way that RN positions have gone - 400-500 applications per position.
  4. by   BostonFNP
    This is your investment in your future: the program administrator isn't investing a significant amount of money and time in this, you are. Do what youthful gives you the best possible future not what the program admin wants.

    Take all your advice here with a grain of salt as it comes from a variety of sources including prospective students, students, disgruntled unemployed graduate NPs, and working NPs. Everyone has a wealth of advice on the topic but very little may actually relate to you.

    As for my opinion in the topic, FNP gives you more flexibility without any added cost to you. Any adult NP position will consider FNP and AGNP equal as novice NPs: being an AGNP will not give you any added bonus applying to a practice with an adult population. The FNP will open up other doors: retail clinics, urgent care, etc.

    FNP graduates are exponentially increasing, and the market may flood at some point, but NPs are very well positioned in the future healthcare system and healthcare is one of the few markets adding new jobs.

    Most quality NP program graduates have jobs lined up at graduation or have offer a made in the first 3-6 months. My alma mater has a 100% employment by 6 months for the past four years.
  5. by   BostonFNP
    As for the last part of your post: network network network. Nearly all good novice NP jobs come from either your clinical rotations or from a personal network contact.
  6. by   flipper628
    Thank you Boston, great advice!
  7. by   mountainaireNP
    Just make sure you don't plan to work in an area saturated with NPs of any kind. I live in Middle Tennessee, which as anyone here can tell you, everybody and their brother is an NP around here, and jobs are very difficult to come by. I'm going for a post-graduate FNP because it's been two years and I still haven't been able to find a job with my AGPCNP-BC credentials.

    PMHNP is the way to go, but every program I checked into wants you to have psych experience.
  8. by   flipper628
    Im in Philadelphia, there are alot of schools in the area, but I was work for a large healthcare network so I am hoping I will be able to find something.
  9. by   zmansc
    I second the comment about building a network. This will be vital when you get to the point of looking for jobs, but it will also be vital while you are in school, especially if you go to a school where you are involved in finding your own preceptors. The longer your relationship with those individuals, the more likely they are to help you out either themselves or point you in the direction of someone who might be able to help you out.
  10. by   TammyG
    When I was applying for schools, I knew that I had no interest in working with babies, doing well women, OB or peds, and so going the FNP route just made no sense for me. Even if those jobs are more available, I wouldn't want them. So I went the AG route. Like futureeastcoastNP said, no sense in studying to get a job you don't want.
  11. by   flipper628
    TammyG, do you feel like I will be hindered in trying to find a job when I graduate? I'm just so scared of making the wrong choice and then having a degree that I can't do anything with.
  12. by   zmansc
    I see your point TammyG and that is why I almost did the same thing you are doing. However, I was discussing it with a couple of NP friends of mine, and they suggested that I look at it a little differently. I have no plans on having any of those populations you list be my primary population, but one scenario they suggested happens on an infrequent basis, but does happen to them is when someone who is a pt of theirs has a family member that needs to be seen for something, and they would like you to see them. In our location, there is quite a dearth of available providers, so being able to take care of the 12yo son, or whatever is much appreciated and something that the FNP is able to do.
    The second scenario is to either work in or do part time work in urgent care or the ER. In both cases you will end up needing to see pts of all ages even if pediatrics is a very small portion of that pt population. So, I went FNP, not because I expect to have a large amount of ped or OB pts, but because I expect to have the occasional pt in these populations that I need to see. Now, if I end up specializing in say, cardiology, then I will never need that flexibility, but if I do need it, I'll have it.
    So, then the other side of the coin is, what is lost by going FNP vs. AGNP? From an education standpoint, I think there might be a course or two that I will be taking, that I wouldn't need if I was to do an AGNP track. I also will have to have a certain number of pt encounters in each of these populations in my clinical settings, so I either need to go over the minimum # of hours to compensate or I will have a few less visits in my primary population when I graduate and start working. From a practice standpoint, I could find no additional limitations in going FNP vs. AGNP.
  13. by   TammyG
    Flipper628, I am not sure what to tell you. I am in the same boat. I figure I can always work as an RN if I can't find a job. And I have confidence in my ability to figure out what to do to find an NP job, even if it means starting out as a volunteer. Until I read it here a few minutes ago, I was unaware that there were 400 applications for each NP job. I graduate in December and its too late to quit now. You can analyze every situation to death but at some point you just have to take a leap.
  14. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from TammyG
    Flipper628, I am not sure what to tell you. I am in the same boat. I figure I can always work as an RN if I can't find a job. And I have confidence in my ability to figure out what to do to find an NP job, even if it means starting out as a volunteer. Until I read it here a few minutes ago, I was unaware that there were 400 applications for each NP job. I graduate in December and its too late to quit now. You can analyze every situation to death but at some point you just have to take a leap.
    Just remember you can't work as solely an RN forever once you take your NP boards!

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