Because family nurse practitioners are prepared to handle patient care across the lifespan under the family practice umbrella, they are qualified to work in many different healthcare environments across a diverse selection of nursing specialties.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners work primarily in physician’s offices, and also are very prominent in hospitals and outpatient care centers:
The versatility and many skills possessed by FNPs make them indispensable resources in many different settings. FNPs have a variety of workplace options, depending on the age range of patients they treat and whether they wish to work in public or private settings. Potential workplaces could include diverse settings such as:
Hospice care. Hospice care is for terminally ill patients. Along with general patient care, FNPs are responsible for keeping patients’ families up to date. While working in hospice care, FNPs can provide emotional support to patients and their families during the last stages of an illness as well as what they might expect.
Home health centers. Home health centers can be an alternative to care in rehab centers. In this setting, FNPs work directly in the home of a patient. Nurses in this environment focus on assisting the patient in everyday tasks as well as other specialized treatments.
Community health center. These centers are often found in lower-income neighborhoods. In community health centers, FNPs will treat patients who might face barriers to care, such as high costs, insurance problems or language barriers.
Physician offices. In this fast-paced work setting, FNPs assist a physician with patient care. In select states, FNPs can see patients without physician oversight. Since some nurse practitioners are able to work autonomously in some states, they have been able to fill the nursing gap, especially in rural areas.
Private practices. Although it is only available in certain states, private practice is ideal for some nurses. You work with a limited number of patients and build familiarity with them and their treatment plans. Depending on the state, FNPs can act as the primary caregiver and prescribe medications.
School clinics. FNPs that work in primary schools or universities are responsible for providing care to any students that feel ill or require other medical assistance. Primary schools typically offer only basic medical care and first aid, while college health centers will offer more specialized treatments including pharmaceutical facilities, pregnancy tests and even counseling services.
Emergency rooms. FNPs can become certified to work in emergency rooms and urgent care settings although this is less common. In these settings, the can help assess a patient’s condition, perform wound care and begin to prescribe treatments, tests or basic medications.
Additionally, FNPs might also find positions in places like:
The “family” difference – FNP vs. NP
The difference between a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and nurse practitioner (NP) is in the word “family.” FNP’s specialize in family medicine and NP’s may specialize in one of several different medical areas; usually in a specific age range such as pediatric, adult or geriatric care. Becoming an FNP qualifies you across the spectrum of family care, making you highly valuable in a wider variety of different medical institutions.
How much you can make as a family nurse practitioner
Because of they qualify for such a range of care in many different institutions, you can make an excellent salary as a family nurse practitioner.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.