I'm about to graduate from my undergrad (BS in Psychology) and I plan on finishing up the prereqs necessary for ABSN and become an RN through that. I don't want to stop at being an RN though, I would love to further my education and make it to NP. I know I'm a bit of a ways away from that step, but I still want to ask: do NPs get to work in the field of neurology? And if so, how can you get there and what does the work consist of?
All I've ever wanted is to work in neurology. I've always loved learning the anatomy of the brain/nervous system and how it works. I originally was pre-med, aiming to become a neurologist, but personal reasons got in the way of me working towards med school so instead I am working the nursing route, which I'm still happy with. I'm just trying to get as close as I can to that point ("that point" as in being a neurologist) because I can't actually reach it - or at least not in the near future.
I have seen that you can become a CNRN (certified neuroscience registered nurse), but that isn't for NP (although I am interested in that certification once I get experience as an RN). I'm also aware that when you go for your Master's you pick a specialty somewhere there (please correct me if I am wrong), but the thing is is that I've only seen psychiatric NP and while I will have a psych degree, I'm not sure if that's what I want to do career-wise. I would rather work with the actual physical brain and nervous system, rather than the mind and mental health.
Another question though relating to the CNRN: to get certified you would need experience in neuroscience nursing practice, but how would you get that experience? Would you just try to find a job as an RN in some neurology/neuroscience department?
Anyways, I'm sorry if I sound dumb or completely naive. Like I said, I am only about to graduate from undergrad, so I'm still in the process of learning everything I can about what's to come!
P.S. Also please do enlighten me about anything I should know about NP or even neuro NP!
To the best of my knowledge there isn't a specialty NP neuro certification at this time but NPs do work in neurology. The few I know are not especially independent and mostly have routine cases turfed their way if that is something that matters to you but I suspect somewhat practice specific also. Attempt to shape your clinicals and RN work experience toward this specialty so you can generate professional contacts and find supportive neurologists you would like to work with when you get your NP. Good luck.
Thank you so much for the response! That's definitely a good idea and I'll keep that in mind!
Get a job in a neuro unit, preferably a neuro ICU, work there for a couple years and then perhaps aim at an AGACNP program (Acute Adult NP) with the view of working in an inpatient neuro specialty as an NP.
I second what Rocknurse stated above. In our hospital, we have a med-surg neuro unit, a step-down neuro unit and a neuro/trauma ICU. You can start as a new RN in the Neuro med-surg unit, get some experience and then transfer to neuro step-down. After some experience there, you can move up to neuro/trauma ICU. The NPs that cover neuro/trauma are ACNPs, so you'll need that ICU experience to get accepted into a reputable ACNP program. Most of the NPs on that unit were RNs in the neuro/trauma ICU or main ICU prior to joining that specialty group.
Thank you so much! I'll definitely remember this as I move forward
Thank you!! That sounds like a good plan as I move forward, as well as a plausible/logical progression to where I want to be. I'll keep this in the back of my head as I keep going through school/jobs!
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