As demand for healthcare services continues to grow, family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are increasingly on the front lines of patient care. In many healthcare settings, nurse practitioners (NPs) serve as primary care providers, responsible for many of the same activities as general practice physicians.
For those seeking to grow and advance their nursing practice, there has never been a better time to become a family nurse practitioner.
I made the decision to obtain my nursing degree after leaving a career in law enforcement, both at the state and federal level. These jobs were challenging, and although the titles were prestigious, I just did not feel like I was in the right setting. Personally, I felt the need to do more and help others. I knew that becoming a registered nurse was the only way to achieve my dreams.
Now, I am working as a registered nurse and advancing my career with my MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner degree (MSN-FNP). There’s no doubt in my mind that I am where I am supposed to be today.
Are you on the fence about becoming a family nurse practitioner? Here are 9 reasons why you should:
1. More autonomy
As an FNP, you’ll have the responsibility of being the primary care provider for your patients. Sure, registered nurses have plenty of autonomy, but FNPs make their own diagnoses and are ultimately responsible for patient outcomes. In some states, nurse practitioners can work independently, without physician supervision.
Some nurses enjoy a set schedule and the same day-in and day-out routine. Others crave the challenge of more responsibility. If you’re the latter, then a career as an FNP could be right for you.
2. Opportunity to pursue specialty fields
Not into family practice? That’s okay! FNPs care for patients of all ages and have great flexibility in choosing a specialty. From pediatrics to geriatrics, urgent care to internal medicine, you can decide the path that best suits your interests!
Your education as a family nurse practitioner enables you to pursue more opportunities. Learn more about the biggest difference between FNPs and nurse practitioners.
3. Your skills are in demand
Demand for nurse practitioners has never been greater. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 36 percent through 2026, adding as many as 56,100 new jobs. Earning your FNP degree will give you access to these new opportunities and allow you to fill a critical healthcare need in your community.
Related: Read more about where family nurse practitioners work and how qualified FNP’s are across the spectrum of family care.
4. Work full-time while earning your degree
That’s right! With the right amount of balance, it’s possible to continue working full-time while earning your MSN-FNP. At Herzing, you can get your FNP degree online, making it easy for working nurses to manage their education on their schedule.
5. Increase your management responsibilities
Do you have what it takes to give the orders? As an FNP, that's exactly what you will be doing. Delegation will be a large part of the job, as will collaborating with other decision-makers on the healthcare team. Strong management skills are essential, and going from BSN to FNP can help you develop the knowledge and tools you’ll need to take the lead.
6. Expand your practice
FNPs are extremely versatile and have the ability to practice in a variety of healthcare settings. In addition to hospitals and clinics, FNPs can hold leadership positions at schools and colleges, private physician and NP offices, and even public health departments. There truly is no end to where your FNP degree can take you.
7. Boost your earning potential
Earning your MSN-FNP is a great way to take your nursing career to the next level. The median annual salary for a nurse practitioner was $107,030 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. See the estimated average yearly salary of a family nurse practitioner for your state from the BLS.
8. Better serve your patients
As an FNP, you play a vital role in advancing the quality of care in your community and achieving better patient outcomes. In addition to seeing, diagnosing and treating patients, FNPs help promote public health by counseling patients on general wellness, nutrition, and disease prevention and management.
9. Feel accomplished
At the end of your workday, you can go home knowing that you changed your patients’ lives and provided the best care possible. Nursing is a selfless job. We found our way into this field because of our desire to make a difference. As an FNP, you will be able to provide the highest quality of care to those that are truly in need of the assistance. It is a beautiful feeling knowing that you can provide so much more to those that you care for.
Maybe earning your MSN is something that you have been putting off, and the opportunity to go back to school is now within reach. I’ve been there, and I’m glad that I took the leap to pursue the career I’ve always wanted.
As a future FNP, I’m looking forward to making a difference in the lives of my patients and creating the change I want to see in my community.
What are you waiting for?
Take the next step.
We’ve put together a 7-step guide on how to become a family nurse practitioner:
- Understand the role
- Become an RN-BSN
- Earn your master's degree
- Complete your clinicals and graduate
- Pass the certification exam
- Earn licensure in your state
- Start your career as a nurse practitioner