The nursing profession is more than just a job, it is a higher calling to dedicate one’s life to providing the best in healthcare for patients. Some nurses feel overwhelmed when they first start out, thinking that they will never learn all there is to know about this challenging profession. As they become more experienced and knowledgeable, some nurses move into mentoring roles and start to focus more on career growth and leadership. When a nurse decides to expand their career and go beyond conventional hospitals , they can study online to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) which provides autonomy, career satisfaction and personal growth.
What is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)?
FNPs specialize in providing special care to patients of all ages. They can diagnose and treat illnesses without the supervision of medical doctors as well as order tests, prescribe medications, and perform various medical procedures. These individuals have special education in courses such as doctor in family nursing.
Many nurses will further their career after practicing as a registered nurse for a few years and feel comfortable with their roles. Since they are practicing professionals, most nurses are unable to split their time between school and their full-time jobs so they opt for programs like UIndy online DNP-FNP program. Such part-time online programs provide an excellent balance between school and their jobs.
Why should you become a Family Nurse Practitioner?
- Provide primary care
The pandemic has taken a toll on the medical health community leading to increased cases of burnout and early retirement. This has created an evident strain on hospitals, clinics, and communities where family doctors were already scarce. FNPs can fill the gap left by the shortage of general practitioners because they can do much more than a registered nurse. FNPs can be primary care providers for people in their community who ordinarily would not be able to see a doctor or must travel great distances to see one. Family nurse practitioners can also educate their patients on preventative care to reduce costly medical bills and prevent certain illnesses from coming up at all. FNPs are invaluable members of the healthcare community and fill the void left by the shortage of doctors and nurses.
- Increased autonomy
FNPs are quickly becoming viable alternatives to family doctors and waiting in hospital lines. These individuals are highly educated and licensed to practice with autonomy in many states, with even more jumping on board. With the critical shortage of doctors and nurses, FNPs are in high demand and can move to any area in which they want to practice without a physician’s supervision. This kind of autonomy can bring great personal satisfaction and career success to an ambitious and intelligent FNP.
- Increased job prospects
According to CNN Money, family nurse practitioners rank as the 4th best job in America. With the shortage of doctors increasing every year, FNPs have opportunities in many different fields, including oncology and women’s health. The education requirements are also increasing which means becoming a nurse practitioner makes you both a highly educated and much sought-after member of the healthcare community. With extensive credentials comes higher-paying opportunities and corporate roles on boards of hospitals or as leaders of departments.
- Responsibility and flexibility
FNPs can work almost anywhere including hospitals, schools, private practice, urgent care centers and clinics. They are skilled and educated members of a medical team who can care for patients at the onset of an illness and create a plan of care to be followed. They can follow the progress of their patients from intake to recovery and provide seamless medical care which is better for the patient and helps improve the bottom line of their organizations.
- Higher pay potential
Family nurse practitioners need to have a high degree of education and licensing requirements to have the kind of responsibility and autonomy that they do. That fact is not lost on those who pay their salaries. These individuals are taking over the role of a doctor in some cases and their pay reflects that. On average, an FNP can make over $100,000 a year and in some cases even more.
If you are a nurse and want to further your career by increasing your autonomy, responsibility and pay, then look into what is required to become a family nurse practitioner online. You may be able to have some of your costs covered by your organization as having an educated and qualified NP on staff benefits everyone and it is worth their while to pay for your education.