Being a registered nurse means you already have a fulfilling and challenging career. In the current health care environment (post-COVID-19), a nursing career is an intelligent choice, as the job itself presents you with countless benefits and growth opportunities. Speaking about growth, however, if you genuinely love what you do, you should not stop at RN.
Today, we will discuss the advantages of embracing a Family Nurse Practitioner career path and the steps you need to take to get there.
Why Do We Need More Nurse Practitioners?
We are dealing nationwide with a progressively ill and aging population; there is no secret about that. In this context, it is no surprise that there is an increasingly higher demand for nurse practitioners. Therefore, you can understand why you should take your RN graduate certificate and try to upgrade it to a master’s degree so that you can become a nurse practitioner.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nurse practitioners, in general, is on the rise. The overall employment of nurse practitioners has a projected growth of 26% from 2018 to 2028. However, so far, we have been discussing nurse practitioners in general and not family nurse practitioners.
How Do You Become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Why Is It Important?
As a registered nurse, you can advance in your career by becoming an expert healthcare provider. As nursing degrees go, a family nurse practitioner is a primary care provider that works with individuals and families of all ages in preventative care and the treatment of acute/chronic illnesses.
Completing a postgraduate program for the family nurse practitioner role, you will expand your career horizons, knowledge, and clinical experience. What you should also know is that in most educational environments, FNP is a specialization available not only to registered nurses but also to Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and BSN to DNP students.
As an FNP, you can work in various healthcare settings, including but not limited to urgent care centers, hospital outpatient clinics, private offices and clinics, community health centers, nursing homes, and more. It is one of the significant advantages of pursuing such a career, and we will discuss the rest in the following chapter.
The Benefits of a Family Nurse Practitioner Career
Besides the projected growth in demand for your specialization and very attractive salaries and bonuses, an FNP career comes with unbeatable advantages and professional/personal opportunities.
1. Patient Diversity
As a family nurse practitioner, you will provide primary care to patients of all ages, backgrounds, and clinical needs. The broadness of the patient base allows you lifelong learning opportunities together with ever-changing professional challenges.
You could teach a mother to breastfeed correctly one day and help an elderly patient gain better mobility the second. Moreover, your role as a healer expands to the entire community as well, as you are also a health promoter.
2. Geographical Diversity
The underserving of rural or remote communities from a healthcare point of view progressively becomes outdated. Now, the employment of family nurse practitioners is growing across the nation, with exceptionally high demand in some states or areas.
In other words, if you do not want to work in a big hospital but want to make a change in a smaller community, you will find work quickly.
3. You Work Directly with People
Contrary to many roles and specializations in the healthcare industry, family practitioner nurses still keep direct contact with people.
If you chose a career in nursing to contribute to others’ health and wellbeing, an FNP role would allow you to preserve this privilege and not become one of the many anonymous professionals stuck in bureaucracy behind the scenes.
4. You Are Integral to Your Patients Improved Lives
In comparison to other healthcare roles, a family nurse practitioner engages directly in the prevention of diseases, healthcare education and counseling, family assistance, health promotion, and more. Your job will be so much more than just understanding a diagnosis and providing treatment.
By providing holistic and personalized care to each patient, you become an integral component of your patients’ recovery, satisfaction, and happiness.
5. You Could Be the Change You Want to See in the World
With everything that is going down in the healthcare system, nurses of all roles and degrees are assuming more and more responsibilities as change factors. Besides acting as spokespeople and supporters of coherent health care reforms, nurse practitioners are becoming politically active, changing the healthcare industry for the better.
Registered nurses who want to grow in their profession and follow a career as family nurse practitioners also have the benefit of entering specialization programs at a fraction of the price. Because of the high demand for this profession, many employers are willing to cover a large part of the educational costs. Moreover, you could also work while you study for your specialization, as many schools are offering the opportunity to take an online FNP degree.
While nobody says it will be easy to deal with the many challenges of this profession, becoming a family nurse practitioner in the current healthcare landscape is the right career move you should make.