Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) are highly valued in various settings. They can work directly with patients or provide care in conjunction with doctors and other care providers. As the population ages, demand for family healthcare continues to grow. There is also an increased need for primary care providers in rural areas. This is because many primary care doctors leave their home states or cities to practice medicine elsewhere, leaving these communities without access to proper medical care. FNPs fill this gap by providing routine primary care services such as well-baby visits, sports physicals, and annual checkups.
Here are 14 reasons you should become an FNP:
1. FNPs have more autonomy than physicians
They practice autonomously in clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, private offices, hospitals, etc. As a result, they have more independence and control over their career path. Unlike physicians who must complete years of training before being able to treat patients independently, FNPs begin practicing right away. They do not have to rely on other doctors for clinical supervision. In contrast, physicians often work under the supervision of attending doctors and specialists until they gain enough experience to take on patient responsibilities independently.
2. They can work closely with other providers
As primary care providers, FNPs work closely with physicians, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, and psychologists. Because FNPs are trained to treat illnesses and injuries that affect the whole body, they play an important role in coordinating care between different groups of professionals. Moreover, they can also enroll in MSN FNP online programs to continue their education and learn how to coordinate care with a wide range of medical specialties.
3. FNPs are trained to manage serious illnesses and injuries
Unlike most physicians, FNPs are trained to manage serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes. Because they spend so much time learning about common health issues, they have gained the knowledge and skills to quickly recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies. FNPs are also trained to administer medications and perform procedures physicians may be unable to perform because of the limited availability of equipment or expertise. In addition, because they often work in underserved areas, FNPs are familiar with common diseases and ailments that affect people in poverty-stricken regions. For instance, they know how to identify and treat malaria, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis.
4. They Have Strong Communication Skills
Because they take communication skills classes, FNPs can communicate effectively with patients and other health professionals. Their ability to explain complicated medical information in simple terms makes them ideal candidates for educating patients and members of the public about healthy living practices. Furthermore, since they often collaborate with other providers, they have the necessary skills to work closely with them.
5. FNPs are trained to treat people of all ages
Since FNPs can treat various conditions from birth to death, they can assist diverse clients. When working in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other long-term care centers, FNPs have the opportunity to help older adults deal with chronic illnesses and injuries. Similarly, working in community clinics can treat patients of all ages.
6. They can earn a high salary
The salary for FNPs depends on several factors, including location, certification, and length of work experience. However, most FNPs earn salaries that are similar to those earned by physicians. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for NPs was $89,620 in 2016, while the median annual wage for physicians was $187,490.
7. FNPs have excellent job opportunities
Due to the growing demand for healthcare services, there is currently a shortage of qualified professionals. In response, many states are granting licenses to FNPs. While some states require them to complete a supervised residency program, others permit them to practice immediately. Many states allow them to practice independently within five years after completing their degree.
8. They enjoy great job security
As the population ages, the demand for primary care providers will increase. Since FNPs are trained to treat a broad range of common health conditions, they can help fill this gap and meet the needs of an aging population. Job security is also very high for FNPs since they work in primary care settings. As a result, they do not have to worry about losing their jobs because of obsoletion.
9. They can serve in administrative positions
FNPs can pursue administrative positions such as administrators, nurse managers, nurse educators, and school nurses. In these roles, they can supervise the performance of their colleagues and guide them toward improvement. They can also teach nursing students at colleges and universities. Ultimately, FNPs can continue to advance their career in ways that best suit their interests.
10. They can become members of professional organizations
Many organizations provide networking opportunities, training workshops, and continuing education courses. These resources help FNP maintain their license and keep up with the latest developments in the field. Additionally, they allow FNPs to connect with other members of their profession and build professional relationships. As a result, they have better access to job opportunities and can learn more about potential employers.
11. FNPs can get involved in political activity
While it may seem counterintuitive, FNPs can participate in political activity. Doing so can influence the policies and legislation that impact the healthcare profession. FNP who want to participate in politics can join the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). They can also speak out against policies that limit their ability to make decisions regarding the care of patients. Moreover, they can advocate for laws that support the development of new technologies and innovations in nursing.
12. They can work overseas
Since FNPs are highly skilled, they can find employment abroad. There are currently many countries that are underserved by the medical community. Because of this, they welcome qualified FNP to work in their hospitals, clinics, and health centers. In some instances, FNPs can obtain contracts that allow them to stay in the country permanently. Therefore, they can spend extended periods living and working overseas.
Although the responsibilities of an FNP vary depending on the type of facility they work in, they generally have a wealth of opportunities to pursue their professional goals. Whether they want to direct a clinic or manage a hospital, they can choose various options to achieve their goals.