Family nurse practitioners are registered nurses having advanced practice qualifications; they care for patients of all ages and work autonomously. Acting as primary care providers, they offer a wide range of clinical competencies and a comprehensive skill set. Their additional experience and qualifications mean they excel at patient assessment, diagnostics, and medical reasoning. Family nurse practitioners tend to perform a range of tasks over an average day; they will usually be involved with physical examinations, developing treatment plans, updating health records, and prescribing medications.
Working independently and in collaboration with others
Although their work is very similar to that of a physician, FNPs focus on the delivery of primary care, which is a more generalist field of practice. FNPs collaborate with other health professionals to achieve better health outcomes, but physicians are called upon to diagnose and treat patients with more complex conditions.
Being the person that individuals and entire families rely on
For many nurses, choosing to be an FNP is about advancing their skills, experiences, and salary without having to compromise on the time they spend with patients. In some clinics, family nurse practitioners will assist multiple generations of the same family. They are at the frontlines of healthcare in the US, offering support and insight to doctors as well as patients. It’s a very gratifying position in which practitioners get to build close relationships with their community, and one that’s in high demand across the US.
The training is excellent
Upskilling to become a family nurse practitioner can be a good choice for ambitious registered nurses wanting to pursue a more senior route in the healthcare industry. For those who want to graduate while working in their current role, online Family Nurse Practitioner programs, such as those offered at Marymount University, are an excellent choice. The Master of Science in nursing combines clinical placements with academic study and is designed to prepare RNs for roles as family nurse practitioners in primary care positions. It provides them with the essential skills and knowledge to provide compassionate, high-quality care to individuals and families in a variety of healthcare settings.
It’s a diverse role
As well as working with diverse groups of patients, FNPs can draw on their knowledge and experience to offer a wide scope of practice. They aim to promote a healthy way of life for every age group in the long term. Their focus is on preventative care, so educating patients is a big part of what they do. FNPs also order blood tests or other diagnostics and help formulate and implement treatment plans. Patients living with chronic conditions rely on their FNP to help them manage their symptoms, and the FNP also acts as a point of communication between the patient and their physician.
FNPs can choose how and where they practice
Several states allow FNPs to open a private practice, prescribe independently, and work without a licensed physician acting as a supervisor. It’s hard work, and self-employed FNPs have to take responsibility for their office’s compliance and legal obligations. However, it can often be the case that FNPs with their own businesses are better paid than others; they also get to choose their team and take vacations when it suits them.
Aside from private practices, FNPs can find employment in many different areas of the US healthcare system, as well as in education. They might work in community health clinics and hospitals or on the medical faculty of a university. Once an FNP has settled into a position, they can choose to pursue a range of specialisms, such as weight management or women’s health. These mean more opportunities to provide expert help to patients and a higher wage.
The salary is generous
We all want to have a home and a car, as well as the ability to pay our bills. Choosing a career as an FNP can certainly make this a reality, as the finance side of this role is impressive. Along with a generous starting salary, practitioners can expect to earn more year after year as they gain skills and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a full-time nurse practitioner has an average wage of $123,780 per year. The final figure that an individual receives will depend on several different factors. If they have a specialized skillset, if FNPs are in high demand in their state, and whether they work independently or in a clinic, all these factors will impact their monthly take-home pay.
Coupled with a reliable schedule, paid vacations, and other in-work benefits, healthcare workers with an FNP qualification are in a popular field. Between 2021 and 2031, there is likely to be an exceptional growth rate for this occupation of 40%. As per the government’s statistics, employment of FNPs is moving at a much faster rate than average, and in the foreseeable future, it will continue to do so.
FNPs can structure their day
Nurses who prefer a structured day could flourish as FNPs because the nature of their work lends itself very well to routine and organization. When patients first become ill or have a condition that needs to be monitored, the first person they usually contact is their FNP. That means people in this profession need to have a schedule that gives them time to deal with unexpected appointment requests and planned visits. As a result, their day tends to be very well managed; they can prioritize tasks when required, and patients can expect an excellent standard of care.
Furthermore, as FNPs see such a wide range of patients, they need to adapt to changing circumstances and make good decisions quickly. It is another reason why the organization is useful because it ensures that the practitioner’s workload remains manageable despite the many interactions and requests they deal with each day.
There are many opportunities for career progression
Along with a bachelor’s degree, registered nurses often need at least two years of experience in a patient-facing role before they can train to become an FNP. Once they have that qualification under their belt, they can choose to move into a specialty or continue to improve their education in a doctorate program. Although lifelong learning is an essential part of the job for any medical professional, there is no rush to move into another field or gain more qualifications. Indeed, while some FNPs may be keen to take on a research or managerial role, others will prefer to simply enjoy their career and the many rewards it brings. In the US healthcare system, the opportunity to advance, relocate, and travel as a medical team member is always present, so there is no reason for FNPs to feel pressured to either follow or match the career path of a colleague.
Nurses become experts in their field
Many FNPs remain in the same role throughout their careers and care for a familiar group of residents. However, the part they play in the health of their community and the skills they bring to their work are exceptional. Some patients might not fully appreciate what FNPs have to offer until they or a loved one needs help. Those who’ve experienced the clinical expertise and advanced medical knowledge of an FNP better understand what FNPs can deliver.
The US needs medical professionals
Some people in the US only began to realize how important our healthcare system was when they relied on it during the pandemic. COVID-19 put our medical professionals on center stage, and people saw just how crucial they are for the entire nation. It also sparked a discussion about the shortage of healthcare workers and the dire need for people to join the profession. By qualifying and then taking up a post as an FNP, nurses can boost the number of working clinicians, keep the nation healthy, and ensure the US is ready to beat any future pandemics.
Getting to know patients is part of the job
In local clinics and urban offices across the US, family nurse practitioners are on the frontlines of evaluating patients and administering to their needs. They play a critical role in teaching patients about staying healthy and managing their condition, as well as being their advocates. FNPs will likely spend more one-on-one time with individual patients than any other medical professional they encounter. It allows them to monitor their progress fully, understand which symptoms need further analysis. And consider whether a treatment plan is working.
FNPs can also refer their patients to other professionals. And communicate with a large multidisciplinary team to ensure the best outcomes for the people in their care. Whether simply reassuring a patient or actively seeking an alternative treatment, FNPs are always engaged and attentive to their needs. It fosters closer relationships with patients and builds trust with the entire community.
Families look to their FNP for guidance and support
Clinicians are most readily associated with delivering medical assistance, but one of their most important jobs is offering emotional support. FNPs who work in the community will know how the implications of a condition can impact the family of a patient as well as the patient. Furthermore, they have the knowledge required to understand an illness. They will offer advice and guidance to families and individuals who are experiencing a medical issue.
With the family nurse practitioner’s help, people can understand their ailment and be better placed to manage it. Patients know why they need their medications and attend any appointments that have been scheduled. By combining their communication skills, their ability to empathize, and their medical knowledge, family nurse practitioners can provide comfort and clarity in times of distress. Many patients will consider their local FNP to be a stable point during the most trying times of their lives. Providing this level of support leaves a lasting impact on patients as well as their families, and it could even inspire others to join the profession.
It’s more than a career
Choosing to train as a nurse involves a high level of commitment. But for people who go through this process and then choose to become an FNP. There is far more work to do. It’s not just about the study hours, the clinical placement, and the additional time spent away from home. It’s also physically tough and involves someone dedicating a portion of their life to serving others. From staying awake through 12-hour shifts to being available if there’s an emergency or if someone else is off sick. Family nurse practitioners turn up when their patients need them. It is a job that requires a degree of selflessness, but the rewards are equally epic. It’s an essential job, one to be proud of, and a career that is admired and respected by everyone from the president to first graders.
Passionate and committed professionals are an FNP’s colleagues
As a profession, the field of medicine is populated with passionate individuals. The nurses, physicians, midwives, and care assistants who become the colleagues of each family nurse practitioner are as dedicated as they are. Each person strives to offer the very best care, a comfortable environment, and a swift recovery to patients. Through networking, FNPs can meet others who can help them meet their career goals.
And move on to more senior positions if that’s what they want. Conferences and events are held throughout the year. And there are online forums that are designed for medical professionals to meet and share information with their peers. Even family nurse practitioners who work on their own in an autonomous practice can feel a sense of community. This can be a reliable source of support. As sometimes it is only colleagues in the profession who can understand the highs and lows of clinical practice.
Caretakers of the community
Healthcare professionals have the privilege of working with patients at their most vulnerable and gaining their trust in the process. As well as empowering their patients and helping them to live healthier lives free from pain. FNPs gain a great deal of personal satisfaction from their role. They enjoy a fascinating career, excellent remuneration, and the possibility of trying new specialties at any point. Medical practice is not without its challenges, but the rewards make them worthwhile.