Today, more than ever before, people seek ways to balance their work and personal lives. For many professionals, such as family nurse practitioners, this means finding jobs that offer flexible work hours. For others, it could mean telecommuting options, or it may mean a higher salary or a move from one place to another.
Nevertheless, it seems that in the digital age, there’s more complexity. For instance, some people seek information on jobs you can get with a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). Regardless, this article will explore the profession of family nurse practitioners. Due to the large aging and younger populations, many opportunities exist for these medical professionals.
So, if you’re a nurse wishing to remain in healthcare or looking to strike a better balance between your professional and personal lives, keep reading. In this post, you’ll learn why becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP) may be your answer. You’ll also see why it’s become so popular among professionals looking for new career opportunities. With that said, let’s get started.
The basics of being a family nurse practitioner
Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have undergone additional training and education to provide medical care to patients. Importantly, they’re often the first healthcare professionals seen by patients. As a result, they are trained to diagnose and treat various illnesses and injuries.
FNPs work in multiple settings. For instance, they work in hospitals, clinics, health departments, private practices and nursing homes. They can be certified to care for individuals of any age, including infants, children and older adults. In some states, FNPs can write prescriptions, independently offer healthcare services and develop long-term care plans. In other states, a physician may supervise their work. So, it’s always a good idea to know the state requirements for FNPs in your state.
Working conditions for FNPs
FNPs often provide care to younger or older individuals than nurses typically do. Sometimes, patients may be frail, disabled or dealing with issues that make it difficult for them to interact well with healthcare professionals. Depending on your medical setting, FNPs often work full time and may be on call when they’re off duty. Also, they may have work shifts during weekends and on holidays. FNPs may work in less controlled environments than traditional hospitals, such as clinics. They may also be exposed to various infectious diseases when working with immunocompromised patients.
Job prospects for FNPs
The job prospects for FNPs appear very good. An increased demand for FNP services is expected, and it’s one of the fastest-growing professions in the coming years. Many reasons exist for the increased demand for FNP services. For instance, there’s a large aging population and an increased need for long-term care. There is also an increase in the number of individuals with chronic conditions.
Many healthcare organizations are shifting away from traditional models of care. Meaning, they’re moving away from patients seeing a physician for every health issue. Instead, they’re moving to care models that include working with team-based care. As a result, FNPs play a significant role in these new models of care. This allows patients to benefit from team medical expertise while also gaining the advantages of lower costs and shorter wait times.
5 reasons why you should consider becoming an FNP
On your social media, you may have noticed more friends becoming FNPs. That’s because it’s a rewarding career with abundant growth opportunities. An FNP is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training in family nursing. They could also have a concentration in pediatrics or gerontology when becoming certified as an FNP.
An advanced practice nursing role allows you to focus on a specific medical specialty. You provide care in that specialty with greater depth. As a result, becoming a family nurse practitioner requires pharmacology, research and disease management knowledge.
Let’s explore five reasons you might want to turn to a career as an FNP.
1. You can follow your passion
Firstly, you should consider becoming an FNP because you can follow your passion. Passion is crucial when pursuing a nursing career. It’s a profession where people should be emotionally and mentally prepared to deal with difficult situations while providing sensitive care. When you’re passionate about your job, you’re naturally more resilient. When you follow your passion, you’re more likely to thrive in your career and be successful.
2. There are many opportunities for growth
Another reason to consider becoming an FNP is that many growth opportunities exist. With an advanced practice nursing degree, you can access many job opportunities. You’re also equipped with the necessary skills to become a leader in the field. You can focus on specific areas of study, gaining greater knowledge and skill sets. If you become one of the best nurses in your field, many growth opportunities exist. For instance, you could teach, consult or even enter leadership roles in a hospital setting.
3. You will earn more money
An additional incentive to become an FNP is that you’ll make more money. Becoming an FNP allows you to focus on a specific medical specialty in family nursing. For instance, you could decide to focus on pediatrics or geriatrics. As a result, you’ll be more valuable and helpful to employers because you can provide specialized care in that field. Also, you could manage more complex cases and situations, which makes you more marketable.
4. High demand for registered nurses
A fourth reason to become an FNP is the high demand for registered nurses. The healthcare field is seeking many more registered nurses. After seeing what happened during the pandemic, the immense need for talented nurses became obvious. Nursing remains a promising career path. Becoming an FNP is a great way to enter the nursing field with a specific focus that is in high demand. Therefore, more employment opportunities exist. As a family nurse practitioner, you’ll be more competitive in the job market.
5. It’s a gateway to advanced nursing careers
A final reason you should consider becoming an FNP is that it’s a gateway to advanced nursing careers. You can continue to build your skills and experience with an advanced practice nursing degree and certification. Once completed, you can apply it to various nursing specialties. As discussed, many advanced nursing careers exist that you can pursue with an FNP degree and certification.
So, becoming an FNP is a smart career choice to pursue. An advanced practice nursing role allows you to focus on a specific medical specialty. In addition, you can provide care in that specialty with greater skill. Remember, becoming an FNP requires learning pharmacology, research and disease management. In short, you can follow your passion, pursue growth opportunities and earn good money.
7 things to know before getting started in your career
In the field of healthcare, many different jobs exist for different people. So, you might want to take your passion for helping others and combine it with something that gets you excited about going to work every day. If that’s the case, becoming a family nurse practitioner might be the right fit. Working as an FNP is quite rewarding and challenging at the same time. It requires preparation before you can officially begin your career as one.
If you’re up for the challenge, let’s explore seven things to know before starting this career.
1. Is this career your passion?
The FNP often takes a patient’s medical history, performs physical exams and performs various diagnostic tests if required. Doing so helps to obtain a clear picture of the patient’s condition. Once this information is available, the FNP creates a plan of care with the help of other medical professionals. Some people become family nurse practitioners because they enjoy working in a clinical setting and helping others through the healing process.
An FNP might be your right career path if you enjoy helping others with their medical needs. Being an FNP may also be a good choice if you’re interested in the medical field but don’t want to become a doctor. Becoming an FNP requires less schooling than becoming a physician. So, if you’re looking for a career requiring less education but still allowing you to make a difference in the lives of others, it’s an excellent option.
2. What are the education and certification requirements
You can find many different approaches to become an FNP. The type of program you decide to attend impacts the amount of schooling you need. So, if the program length is essential, research the amount of time it takes to graduate. For instance, some tracks allow you to earn your FNP certification in about a year, but others may take two years.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: You can achieve a degree in nursing and select the nurse practitioner track. This track will likely require you to take a combination of nursing and medical courses. In short, it depends on the program you decide to attend.
- Post-Baccalaureate Degree: If you have a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing, you can pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in nursing. You can then select the nurse practitioner track.
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification: The certification process can take anywhere from six to 12 months. It requires you to pass a certification test. First, you need to become a registered nurse (RN). Afterwards, you can obtain the FNP certification.
3. What are job descriptions for an FNP
If you’re thinking about becoming a family nurse practitioner, you should learn about the job descriptions for an FNP. As mentioned, the FNP is a primary health care provider who diagnoses, treats and manages a person’s health condition, ranging from children to the elderly. The FNP may work in a medical practice or a hospital, nursing home, urgent care center, school or other health care facility. Family nurse practitioners are trained to perform a wide range of services, including:
- Family health care: Family health care may include providing counsel and education to patients and their families. For instance, it includes preventative health care, self-care and health maintenance. It also includes regular health screenings.
- Well child care: This includes regular checkups and health screenings of infants, children and adolescents. Well child care aims to ensure the healthy growth of young patients.
- Immunizations: FNPs could focus on administering vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. This is an area of focus, especially in pediatrics.
- Health maintenance: Health maintenance refers to keeping an eye on current health conditions and seeking treatment when needed.
- Chronic illness management: Chronic illness management is long-term health care for patients. It may include conditions such as diabetes or asthma that require a lot of attention.
- Family planning and pregnancy: Family planning and pregnancy services refer to birth control and prenatal care.
- Health education: Health promotion involves educating and encouraging people to take better care of their health through lifestyle changes, such as helping patients to quit smoking or eat better.
4. What are employment options for an FNP?
Family nurse practitioners can work in various settings, allowing you to choose a career that fits your lifestyle. Some of the most common options include working in:
- Urgent care centers: Urgent care centers are designed for people needing immediate medical attention. They are often walk-in clinics that can handle non-emergency situations that don’t require an emergency room.
- Hospitals: Hospitals are spaces designed to treat patients who require critical care. Family nurse practitioners may work in either an outpatient or inpatient setting.
- Nursing homes: Nursing homes provide long-term care for patients who can no longer live independently. FNPs focusing on geriatric medicine may choose to work in nursing homes.
- Physicians’ offices: Family nurse practitioners can work independently or in physicians’ offices. This may include seeing patients alone or with a physician.
- Schools: Some schools employ FNPs to provide students with health care and first aid. Also, they support youth sports programs within school settings.
- Community health centers: Community health centers are designed for community residents who otherwise could not afford health care. The intent is to offer quality care regardless of income.
- Hospice: Hospice is a type of health care setting that provides individuals with end-of-life care. This care could happen in a specific building, but may also occur in a patient’s home.
5. Learn the advantages of being an FNP
As you see, many advantages exist to becoming an FNP. For instance, you can make a difference in people’s lives by helping them manage and overcome their health conditions. If you’re interested in medicine, becoming a family nurse practitioner is a great idea to help people by providing medical care and treatment. As stated, family nurse practitioners help patients with various treatments. This could include healthcare for chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma, vaccinations or urgent care visits.
6. Be mindful of the disadvantages of being an FNP
There are many advantages to becoming a family nurse practitioner, but it’s also important to be mindful of the disadvantages. One disadvantage is that you may experience an increased workload in your daily life. This is because many settings where FNPs work have high work demands. A second disadvantage is that you will often work during hours when most people have time off. So, it can make balancing your work and personal life more challenging. A third disadvantage of becoming an FNP is that many of these settings have high-stress levels, which can increase the risk of developing stress-related health problems such as depression and anxiety.
7. Take care of your wellbeing
As with any other career, it’s critical to take care of your wellbeing before and during your time as an FNP. One important thing to do is to make sure that you maintain a healthy diet. Doing so helps you stay energized throughout your workdays. It also helps you to avoid experiencing any health issues. Another vital thing to do is to get enough sleep, which can be challenging for people in this field, but it is still crucial for your health and wellbeing. You should also consider getting involved in things you enjoy outside of work. This helps you stay motivated throughout the workday and allows you to have fun. Finally, it’s vital to have a support system in place, which will help you stay motivated and give you people to lean on during challenging times.
The role of family nurse practitioners in healthcare
In conclusion, family nurse practitioners play a vital role in modern healthcare. There are immense job opportunities for FNPs. Individuals interested in this profession are encouraged to pursue their dreams. However, before getting started, it’s essential to understand the basics of being an FNP. It’s a big decision, so you should know about the working conditions and job prospects as you consider becoming an FNP. It’s also important to understand what other advanced nursing roles are available, specialties and the rewards and challenges of becoming an FNP. You’ll make the right decision for your life when you do those things, and hopefully, you’ll set off on a long and rewarding career.