Updated: Jan 21, 2022
As a high school & college student I was so confused by the pathway to get from RN to NP. Can you relate?
🩺When you graduate as an RN, you can go into any patient population (think oncology, pediatric cardiovascular unit, adult emergency room).
🩺But, NP is a little different. Your degree is more POPULATION focused. Let me explain!
✨What is an APRN Advanced practice registered nurse?
Nursing professionals who have earned a master’s (MSN) or doctoral (DNP) degree to take on advanced roles in health care
💊Nurse Practitioner (NP)
💊Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
💊Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
💊Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
💊Categorized by population
💊You have to pick one, there is no “general” nurse practitioner” although are more specific to one type of patient population.
✨Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Primary Care (this is what I did!)
✨Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Acute Care
Note there are programs to get DUAL certified, the boards for each are different)
✨Neonatal nurse Practitioner (NNP)
✨Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
✨Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
✨Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
✨Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
✨Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP)
💕Subspecialize: If you want to subspecialize even further (for example to work in a cardiology, pulmonary, endocrinology, or gastroenterology outpatient clinic OR to work in the emergency room or cardiovascular ICU,) like I did, as an NP you can.
You don’t necessarily need another degree or certification to do that. You need your job to mentor and train you as a new grad in that specific specialty or experience as an RN in that specialty.
For me, I work as a PNP in Gastroenterology and Nutrition but I didn’t have to take extra courses to subspecialize.
Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner students and new grads: check out my pediatric resources and cheat sheets here!
Are you a new grad nurse practitioner? Check out my blog post "How to Get an NP Job as a New Grad" here.