If you have a passion for health, then becoming a nurse is a great next step, but your nursing career is so much more than being a registered nurse. Not only do you have a lot of ways that you can take your career, but there are also so many workplaces and ways you can customize your career to really suit what you want out of life.
The family nurse practitioner role is incredibly popular and for great reason. Not only does it allow you to help a variety of people with their healthcare needs, in some states, you can even open up your own practice and work autonomously without supervision.
FNP APRNs are highly advanced roles that can really help you feel great about what you do.
Why Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
There are so many great reasons to become a family nurse practitioner.
1. The Role and Responsibility is Flexible and Vast
Primary care physicians cover a lot of health care needs and are often the primary point of contact for everyday ailments and concerns alike. They need to have a vast amount of knowledge and be able to offer both preventative and diagnostic care.
Family Nurse Practitioners cover many of the same services and are, in fact, one of the primary ways many states are offsetting their primary care physician shortage. FNPs also work in a variety of settings, even in states where they legally require supervision. You can work in a clinic, in a hospital, in a school, in urgent care or emergency centers, and also in their own private practice. The care that these FNPs offer makes a huge difference to the quality of life and care that patients receive, and their work is invaluable to the entire healthcare chain.
2. Great Job Prospects
FNPs are enjoying a steady increase in the job market and also greater recognition by the media and other healthcare professionals alike. FNPs are one of the top 10 for job growth potential, and the job overall is expected to continue to increase, especially as the advent and adoption of telehealth services become more widespread.
3. Great Earning Potential
Many APRNs will typically enjoy a six-figure salary. The lowest wages, earned by around 10% of FNPs just starting out, is $98 406, while the median wage is $114,110, and the highest-earning wages sit around $132,947 per year.
4. The Chance to Practice Autonomously
FNPs are one of the few roles that select states have chosen to offer autonomous control. What this means is that seventeen states and growing allow their FNPs to practice without supervision. They can typically open their own practice and will also have prescription privileges. With the increased demand for telehealth services, it only stands to reason that more FNPs will be provided the power to practice autonomously, to fill this growing demand.
5. Provide Preventative Care
Something that can cause a significant amount of distress and stress is failing your patients. This can be completely beyond your control, and yet you will feel each loss in one way or another. If losing patients hits you in the gut and makes you question whether or not nursing is even for you, then going into a preventative care role can turn around your job and your life.
FNPs are at the forefront of care. They work to provide both primary and, more importantly, preventative care. Catching issues when they first start can dramatically improve the prognosis and recovery for your patients. You will need to have a keen eye and will also want and need to keep up to date on diagnostic tools and research into new and existing diseases and conditions alike. The faster you can figure out what is going on with your patient, the better.
In terms of diagnosing, do note that family nurse only have so many resources, so knowing who to refer your patients to and what tests to order from third-party clinics or specialists is a must.
How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Becoming an FNP is as simple as earning the right credentials and then taking the state exam, but Earning Your Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Being an RN is not enough to help you become an APRN, especially an FNP. You need to also hold a BSN under your belt. For many new nurses, this BSN is now considered the standard and the go-to option, but if you worked as a nurse for decades and earned your RN qualification through an associate degree in family nurse, then you will first need to go back and earn your BSN before you can continue forward. The good news is that you don’t need to start from scratch.
You can often fast-track your BSN by transferring credits from your ADN. This allows you to skip over content you are likely already familiar with backward and forwards and will instead prop up your education with the additional missing credits you need.
Becoming an FNP
To become an FNP, you will need to earn at least an MSN, though in today’s day and age, you will also want to consider going one step further and also earning a DNP to both advance and safeguard your career.
You will need an accredited MSN FNP program in order to train and earn the necessary qualifications to become an FNP. Marymount University’s online MSN-FNP program is a great example of a quality degree that will prepare you for everything you need to know. Not only is clinical placement included in your degree, but around 100% of graduates also pass their AANP and ANCC certification exams on their first try. Not only does the degree itself offer everything you need to succeed, but it was designed to be completed part-time.
What this means is that it was designed to be completed by working nurses. You can continue to work and can even put forward the soft skills you learn in your degree to practice family nurse. Rely on your student support advisor to help you throughout your degree and through your clinical placement and succeed at everything you do.
Why You Should Also Consider a DNP
Just a few decades ago, the go-to way to become a registered nurse was to earn your associate degree in Nursing (family nurse). This degree was one of the first routes into nursing officially, and before that, onsite and hospital training was the norm. Today, the ADN is no longer recommended for those who want to become an RN. The ADN still exists today, yes, and it can still be a useful tool for those looking to get into family nurse faster, but it is far from what it once was.
This is because the ADN does not train nurses as efficiently as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing does. Furthermore, the ADN is being phased out by many states in the upcoming years. The “BSN in 10” campaign was designed specifically to require ADN-RNs to upgrade their associate degree to a bachelor’s degree within the decade. States are also looking to increase their population of BSN-RNs by 80% of total RNs.
If you do go for the associate degree in Nursing, it must be used as a steppingstone. You can earn your ADN and start earning more as an RN, but after that, you will need to continue with your BSN. The reason why this option still exists is that you can fast-track through a BSN when you have an ADN.
Still, that option is shrinking.
Though that isn’t the state the MSN is currently in now, it goes to reason that it will become the norm in the future. Rather than the MSN being the highest qualification a nurse needs to become an APRN, you may find that states everywhere start to push for a doctorate degree.
Earning a DNP now means getting ahead of the curve. It means that you can further your qualifications and skills, safeguard your career, and even negotiate higher salaries and start new careers in family nurse highly competitive roles, like Nurse Director.
Regardless of what job route you want to take, furthering your MSN with a DNP is a great way forward for your career.
Taking Advantage of Your Options
Family nurse practitioners have so many great career options ahead of them. They can work alongside essential workers in hospitals, in clinics, in schools, and even on external projects like entertainment setups. FNPs have a vast skill set that makes them invaluable, and to get the most out of your career, you need to first know family nurse and understand your options.
Working as an FNP is largely considered one of the best roles available. It has high satisfaction rates, high pay, and many great options.
You could, for example, start your own business. Many FNPs around the country have the ability to practice autonomously, meaning that they can work privately or alternatively can start their own practice.
Starting your own business that revolves around your skillset is an excellent way to advance your career and move on into a new phase. You can work independently or hire others to work underneath you. With so much control, you can make a huge difference, particularly in communities that are currently lacking primary care options.
Working in rural areas, or offering telehealth services, will greatly impact communities around the country. You can make massive changes by leading the way and paving a new path forward. Everyone needs healthcare, but equal access to that healthcare is not common.
You can make a difference by opening up a clinic or serving an area that has historically not had the luxury of healthcare coverage. These people do have insurance, and they do need their health cared for, but due to a lack of population or funds, they simply never receive the local hotspot that they need. family nurse
You can care for your community. You can move to an area you have always loved and start a great little practice, no matter how remote it may seem. There are so many interesting and exciting new opportunities for autonomous FNPs, and the best way to choose the right route for you is to start by understanding your options.
Taking Advantage of the eNLC
Standardizing nursing education and practice has means that multi-state licenses aren’t just a dream but a reality. The only thing that has ever held nurses back from practicing beyond their state is red tape, and with the enhanced nurse licensure compact, some of that red tape has been cut free.
If you live in a state that is part of the eNLC, then you have so many great options. You can work in any participating state with minimal hiccups. Not only does this allow you to move and work where you have always dreamed, but it also means that you can work independently as a travel nurse.
Whether you privately or fill in spots of sick nurses (or those on maternity or paternity leave), traveling as a nurse can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. From traveling slowly around the country to exploring the different states and communities, traveling as a nurse can be just what you need to finally find the path that is right for you.
Finding Yourself in family nurse
Nursing can be a very straightforward role, which can make it difficult when finding the route for you. Because it is so easy to make a decision at the start, many will simply follow through on that decision and try not to second-guess themselves.
Explore your interests, where you want to live, and also what you want to do. There are new roles being created every day, and even established roles like the family nurse practitioner enjoy new opportunities as the years tick by. By learning what you can do with your nursing career and figuring out what you personally want out of said career, you can find that perfect balance. Nursing can be the ultimate career. It can be one that allows you to make a difference, one that helps you feel fulfilled, and one that pays well, but only if you dedicate yourself to finding that perfect role and workplace.