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Switching Specialties as an NP Student?

NP Students   (633 Views | 7 Replies)
by Nurse_Lo Nurse_Lo, BSN (New) New

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Hi! This is my first post. I am currently in a DNP Midwifery program and have been thinking a lot. While I love midwifery I have a hard time staying motivated in it. My heart isn’t in it and I have been thinking about switching to the FNP specialty within my school. I figured that I do love midwifery but I want to be able to do more outside of women’s health as well.


I am wondering if this is something that is looked down upon? I want to speak with the director about this but I don’t know how she would respond to it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

 

xoxo

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umbdude has 3 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

3 Followers; 1,049 Posts; 14,750 Profile Views

Generally, schools don't like people switching specialty and it's uncertain whether you can guarantee a spot. They'll likely want to know the discrepancy between your love for midwifery and the inability to remain motivated in studying it, and whether the same will happen once you switch to FNP. But you'll only find out if you ask.

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1 Follower; 455 Posts; 1,638 Profile Views

What I have noticed is, in general, when schools have you pick a specialty, there is no switching.  

I don't know if it's "looked down upon," but I think for most schools they choose you due to your application materials.  I'm guessing somewhere in your essays you spoke of why you would make a great midwifery practitioner.  This is why you were chosen.

Give it a go and ask because you never know.  I just don't think I would use the words " I have a hard time staying motivated."  Your school just might think you're unmotivated regardless.  Try to find a better way to word what you are feeling and why the move to FNP.

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Numenor has 8 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Internal Medicine.

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15 hours ago, Nurse_Lo said:

Hi! This is my first post. I am currently in a DNP Midwifery program and have been thinking a lot. While I love midwifery I have a hard time staying motivated in it. My heart isn’t in it and I have been thinking about switching to the FNP specialty within my school. I figured that I do love midwifery but I want to be able to do more outside of women’s health as well.


I am wondering if this is something that is looked down upon? I want to speak with the director about this but I don’t know how she would respond to it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

 

xoxo

Strange going from a niche specialty to something completely saturated...I don't really understand but worth trying I suppose.

Also me thinks you might lose motivation in FNP school as well. I would reassess going to grad school in general first

Edited by Numenor

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verene is a MSN and specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

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It will depend on your school. Some programs may allow switching up to a certain point. Others do not allow it at all.  Based on my own program it would be extremely difficult to switch as everyone started with at least one specialty specific course in the first term - and all programs had very limited seats.

 

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NurseKnope has 8 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Neuro, Education.

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I had this question about switching when I was in school. My school basically told me I'd have to apply to the program I wanted to switch to, and then I would be considered along with the rest of the candidates.

I agree with the person above who said it may not be the best move to change from midwifery to FNP. Where I live (and I think a lot of other places too) the FNP market is so saturated, there are several new grad FNPs that are having to continue to work on their floors as RNs sometimes for 1-2 years before they find a job, and then the pay for FNP is not much better than what they were making as bedside RNs at that point. There also is the question of litigation issues when you have someone who is a licensed NP working as an RN, which has always been questionable where I work.

I also think that as a FNP you may not have the option of doing women's health/peds. Where I'm from at least, they would prefer to keep specialist NPs in those specialties and the FNPs usually get stuck doing just adult/geri health/gen med.

Just something to think about, but you have to do what sounds best for you! My opinion of the midwives was always that they were hardcore, passionate caregivers and serious advocates for women's health issues. They went into that specialty because that's where they thought they could make the most difference.

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On 5/11/2020 at 10:55 AM, umbdude said:

Generally, schools don't like people switching specialty and it's uncertain whether you can guarantee a spot. They'll likely want to know the discrepancy between your love for midwifery and the inability to remain motivated in studying it, and whether the same will happen once you switch to FNP. But you'll only find out if you ask.

Thank you for your advice! I understand what you are saying about the possibility of not being motivated in FNP either. I am going to continue with the program as I do love midwifery and want to stick to this specialty and possibly pursue an FNP certificate after I finish and practice for a couple of years.

On 5/12/2020 at 2:11 AM, Numenor said:

Strange going from a niche specialty to something completely saturated...I don't really understand but worth trying I suppose.

Also me thinks you might lose motivation in FNP school as well. I would reassess going to grad school in general first

Thank you for your advice, I did think about wanting to go to grad school while I was in nursing school and I did decide and still wish to become a mid-level provider. While I love being a nurse I want to expand my scope of practice and have more autonomy. I decided to stick to the specialty! 

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On 6/9/2020 at 6:18 PM, NurseKnope said:

I had this question about switching when I was in school. My school basically told me I'd have to apply to the program I wanted to switch to, and then I would be considered along with the rest of the candidates.

I agree with the person above who said it may not be the best move to change from midwifery to FNP. Where I live (and I think a lot of other places too) the FNP market is so saturated, there are several new grad FNPs that are having to continue to work on their floors as RNs sometimes for 1-2 years before they find a job, and then the pay for FNP is not much better than what they were making as bedside RNs at that point. There also is the question of litigation issues when you have someone who is a licensed NP working as an RN, which has always been questionable where I work.

I also think that as a FNP you may not have the option of doing women's health/peds. Where I'm from at least, they would prefer to keep specialist NPs in those specialties and the FNPs usually get stuck doing just adult/geri health/gen med.

Just something to think about, but you have to do what sounds best for you! My opinion of the midwives was always that they were hardcore, passionate caregivers and serious advocates for women's health issues. They went into that specialty because that's where they thought they could make the most difference.

This comment helped me so much. I am glad that I am not to only one who considered switching while in grad school. For a while I had the idea that I would want to do more with an FNP degree and possibly go into Women's health but I figured that people go to school to get a women's health degree, which would make them more suited for the position. I do love midwifery and I think I was just losing a little bit of motivation because my classes that I am taking right now are non-midwifery related and I am not working in maternity (I have been working as a nurse for a little over a year in cardiac intermediate care, and will be switching to urgent care), so the lack of exposure made me forget my passion for midwifery. I have decided to stick to it and if I still have the desire to obtain an FNP degree I will get my certificate afterwards. Thank you for your help!! 

On 5/16/2020 at 5:37 PM, verene said:

It will depend on your school. Some programs may allow switching up to a certain point. Others do not allow it at all.  Based on my own program it would be extremely difficult to switch as everyone started with at least one specialty specific course in the first term - and all programs had very limited seats.

 

thank you! 

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