Why You Should Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
Are you thinking about becoming a family nurse practitioner but not sure if this is the right career path for you?
Would you like more money? More autonomy? And more interaction with your patients?
If yes, then you are perfectly suited to becoming an FNP.
Still need a little more convincing?
Keep reading to discover six benefits of being a family nurse practitioner that is sure to have you Googling FNP degree programs in no time.
Many industries are feeling the strain of the pandemic in terms of job security; however, nursing is not one of them. As you are probably all too aware, nurses have been needed more than ever in the past 18 months, and this has seen the employment growth figures soar.
Plus, pandemic aside, the effects of an aging population have exponentially increased the need for high-quality healthcare. This means that this growing demographic will need access to preventative healthcare and chronic and acute care for disease management, which you can provide as a qualified FNP.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of nurse practitioner jobs will increase 28% between 2018 and 2028. Furthermore, with a shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, family nurse practitioners are needed more than ever as they can carry out nearly all of the same duties as primary care physicians.
Good rates of pay
Once you have qualified as an FNP, which you can do either on-campus or online at a leading university such as Carson-Newman, you can expect to earn significantly more than those with just a registered nursing degree.
The average salary for a family nurse practitioner in the U.S. falls between $104,000 and $121,760. You should also bear in mind that this is without overtime which can add an additional $18,750 per annum.
You may enjoy other perks as a qualified FNP include tuition reimbursement, vacation pay, health insurance, 401k contributions, and professional liability cover.
Direct patient care
If you are looking for an advanced nursing career that is highly patient-focused, becoming an FNP is the perfect role. In the same way that primary care physicians work, family nurse practitioners work directly with their patients each and every day.
In fact, FNPs are often the primary care providers for families within their community, which means that you will be able to diagnose and treat the patients under your care. Typically, the role of an FNP is highly family-orientated, meaning you will treat patients of all ages, including infants, adolescents, and the elderly.
Some of the duties that you will carry out on a daily basis include:
- Performing routine physical examinations
- Performing and evaluating diagnostic tests
- Prescribing medications
- Developing treatment plans
- Making referrals to specialists
- Maintaining patient records
If you relish the prospect of being your own boss, then you will love working as an FNP. Many states in the U.S. allow nurse practitioners to work directly with patients without the need for physician oversight.
Furthermore, even if your state requires you to work with the supervision of a physician, you will still enjoy much more autonomy than registered nurses and build up a greater level of rapport and trust between yourself and your patients.
Finally, if you would like to be able to spend more time with each of your patients and not feel like you are playing a numbers game, you should know that the nurse practitioner model is much more focused on the overall wellbeing of each patient than on how many you can see per hour.
Serving the community
As briefly mentioned above, as a family nurse practitioner, you will be actively serving your local community. This comes with many benefits, such as you can really get to know your patients, see the difference you are making in their lives, and actively educate them on living a healthy lifestyle.
If you are wondering where FNPs typically work, around one-quarter of all nurse practitioners work in a private practice, and 14% operate out of hospital outpatient clinics.
Depending on the area of the country that you choose to work in, in some rural settings where primary care physician shortages are rife, FNPs are the sole healthcare providers and, therefore, provide a much-needed service to underserved populations who would otherwise have very limited access to healthcare.
As an FNP, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating your patients and play a key role in health promotion and education. This means that you are also in the perfect position to advocate for your local community and ensure they have access to the resources they need.
As mentioned earlier, if you decide to pursue further education to become an FNP, there are so many more degree programs on offer than there used to be. Most notably, there has been a huge increase in the number of high-quality online universities that allow you to study around your current work or family commitments.
This means that you don’t need to give up your current job or have to arrange childcare around your studies – you can complete your degree anytime and anywhere. Plus, if you are worried about online degree courses being inferior to on-campus ones, you should know as well as offering a high-quality learning experience, you will also have access to an experienced faculty of nurse practitioners whilst you study and be provided with clinical placements so that you are fully prepared to graduate and become a success wherever you decide to practice.
As you can clearly see from the above, there has never been a better time to advance your career in nursing and become a family nurse practitioner. So, whether you want to make a real difference to your local community, you want to enjoy more autonomy, or you would simply like the opportunity to earn more money, what are you waiting for? Start your journey to becoming an FNP today.