Trauma NP Background/Specialty


While sneaking down to watch a trauma come in at work today, I noticed one of the individuals on the trauma team was an NP. I tracked him down after the trauma was over and talked to him. I told him I was very intersted in what he does and that I was planning to eventually become an ACNP. He stopped me there and told me that was a bad idea. He told me if I plan to work in ED/Trauma to do FNP. He told me EDs won't employ you otherwise because you can't see kids (unless you did ACNP and PNP or something). He said it is a myth that FNPs can't work in hospitals and can't work in an acute care setting. He said he feels like his FNP program prepared him quite well for the job he does and he appears to be extremely well respected and liked by all employees at the hospital. One of the trauma surgeons will only work with this NP.

Is my hospital and my experience with this NP unique? Will going FNP limit my chances to work in a trauma/acute care setting in a hospital? Should I still go ACNP? Plan to do ACNP and PNP?

What background do most Trauma NPs have?

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,214 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Well, you caught me as I head out the door for clinicals for a peds CNS - lol. My nursing background is level one trauma center - 10 years plus a few other years here and there. I became an adult halth CNS in 2006 and work in a full time position where I rarely see kids. However, about a year ago I took a prn position in a community hospital where obviously I must see kids. So, I'm back in school to get that.

In IL, CNS and NP have the same nurse practice act. An FNP is okay but most of the program is spent in the outpt setting, not an acute setting. Also, some states are more tightly regulated regarding which NP can see which type of patients. In some states, an FNP can't see ER pts.

So....the end result is "it depends" on what your state allows. Good luck. Personally I think ACNP and PNP are a good combo.

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