Medical students can pursue different pathways to become healthcare professionals in the future. Some undergraduates are confused about selecting the correct subject for career-building endeavors. So, we suggest they become family nurse practitioners (FNPs) to serve as advanced practice RNs to treat people holistically. These experts offer caregiving facilities to adults and children around. With their specialties revolving around families and communities, FNPs promote health in society while preventing diseases. It can help your career become a family nurse practitioner as employment opportunities in this field are bound to emerge exponentially after the pandemic. Let’s discover some facts about this job.
Facts about FNPs
So, what are the fundamental responsibilities of a family nurse practitioner? You need to understand that FNPs provide lifelong healthcare facilities to patients that belong to different categories. From adults to children – they help everyone with their extensive knowledge and versatile experiences. That’s why they are often compared with primary caregiving physicians, too, as they have corresponding responsibilities! There’s also a massive capacity for career advancement in this field. Since this discipline’s not that well-researched among undergraduates, students often ask questions regarding pursuing a career as an FNP. So, we’ll answer some oft-asked questions and reveal vital facts regarding family nurse practitioners:
- Degree requirements:
How do you become a certified family nurse practitioner? Truth being spoken, you must accomplish different landmarks to become a licensed professional in this discipline. Your journey will begin with attaining some experience as an RN before applying for a master’s degree. Most programs demand applicants to work two years in the nursing faculty to become even eligible. So, where can you attain your master’s degree from? Distance learning opportunities have made it easier to pursue academic ventures remotely. Now, you can finish your online MSN FNP program by learning 100% digitally and preparing yourself for ANCC/AANP certification examinations. Only then you may start practicing.
- Primary responsibilities:
So, what do you do after becoming a certified family nurse practitioner? From diagnosing/treating an illness to prescribing the required medication – a FNP’s responsibilities revolve around teaching a patient about healthy lifestyles. They focus on family and primary/urgent care while handling people of all ages every day. Interestingly, some of the most common illnesses treated by FNPs include abdominal pain and infections in the urinary tracts. Their responsibilities in treating acute and chronic disorders may be divided into many categories. They empower patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain healthy all life long! Therefore, AANP has described significant responsibilities of FNPs in this way:
- Performing physical examinations
- Ordering diagnostic analyses on patients
- Creating individualized treatment plans/strategies
- Treating injuries/illnesses that fall under primary caregiving
- Routine workplaces:
Where do FNPs find work after completing their education? You can find employment opportunities in several medical facilities. The Nurse Journal estimates that 14.5% of FNPs get jobs at some hospital’s outpatient departments, where 13.3% of them work in inpatient departments. So, you can land jobs in clinics, hospitals, and even government-run facilities. You can start your private practice as well. During the pandemic, many FNPs are serving their country digitally through telehealth too!
- Career growth:
BLS estimates that occupations such as nurse midwives, anesthetists, and practitioners will grow by 45% this decade while requiring no previous experience in related vocations. With more Americans needing healthcare facilities around them, FNPs shall become a necessary alternative to physicians in the future. With more family nurse practitioners in the country, an increasing number of citizens shall have access to quality medical services. Moreover, it’s been observed that FNPs today can even parallel the nation’s doctors regarding their involvement in public health issues. They’ve thus joined hands with policymakers and administrators to combat the opioid/obesity epidemics today.
- In-demand career:
It’s become evident since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic that we need more nurses to lead the battle against COVID-19. Unfortunately, the shortage of healthcare professionals now isn’t bearable. Since FNPs develop lifelong and continuous bonds with their patients, adding more family nurse practitioners can help rejuvenate our health industry. They also provide mentorship as well as counseling services to their patients. This relationship has continued for decades in some communities.
What makes FNPs different from a doctor? Family nurse practitioners handle similar responsibilities without the need to pass medical schools! In 20+ states today, they have “full-practice autonomy.” Therefore, FNPs don’t have to work under a physician’s supervision in these states anymore. FNPs can diagnose patients and manage treatments without anyone breathing over their shoulders. And these professionals have an outstanding job satisfaction rate that shows how flexible this career is!
- Soft skills:
Besides the required medical acumen, FNPs also possess specific “soft skills” that make them better at their jobs! For instance, family nurse practitioners are groomed to become leaders/managers for taking the lead and deciding the proper course of action to treat their patients. It helps them make the correct medical decision in gruesome situations while remaining compassionate about the well-being of their patients. Since they often engage with children who require tender caregiving, FNPs must improve their verbal/non-verbal communication capabilities. They should also become more resourceful than traditional RNs for helping their colleagues and subordinates at medical facilities.
- Annual salary:
How many FNPs make a year? Estimates by PayScale indicate that family nurse practitioners have an annual income that lies beyond $90,000! Though some earners even make more than $110,000 too. You can compare it with an average RN’s salary that lies below $80,000. So, becoming a family nurse practitioner sure seems like a promotion and a lucrative employment opportunity for students. You shall have a career that doesn’t only promise a fantastic paycheck but also career growth options.
- Further certifications:
You aren’t obliged to obtain further certifications after completing your master’s degree. However, earning these qualifications can make you outshine your colleagues and contribute to more success in your career. Attaining these specializations may give you a competitive advantage in this industry as well. So, which additional certifications should you pursue? You have several options when it does come to continued education. We have collected some fields in which FNPs can specialize appropriately:
- Acute/Critical Care
- Emergency Care Nurse Practitioner
- Pain/Obesity/Diabetes Management
We’ve discussed how family nurse practitioners (FNPs) constitute some of the most well-paid and well-educated individuals in our country’s health sector. Earning their MSN from reputable institutes, these professionals are counted amongst our nation’s most in-demand healthcare practitioners. It’s estimated that AANP and FNPs come with ten years’ worth of experience on average. Moreover, their salary often exceeds $110,000, while further specializations can help FNPs advance in their careers. They are skilled in critical thinking and ethical decision-making. In contrast, their responsibilities enable FNPs to take care of patients of all ages and sexes. They create a lifelong connection with patients they deal with in society.