Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Nursing is a popular career. It allows you to truly care about others by providing the care they need. You make a living helping others. However, there are many different nursing careers. You could do anything from taking someone’s temperature as a nursing assistant to providing essential healthcare services in under-served areas as a family nurse practitioner. Here are 5 reasons you should consider a career in family nursing.
You’re In Demand
Healthcare jobs are projected to grow by roughly a third over the next ten years. In contrast, the overall job market will grow less than ten percent. Demand for nurse practitioners is growing faster than demand for nurses. One reason is the doctor shortage. One industry study predicts a shortfall of 20,000 primary care doctors by 2025, and FNPs are stepping into the gap. There is also an increasing need for healthcare by an aging population, though family nurse practitioners can care for children and adults in their prime. Furthermore, there is a greater appreciation of primary care over treating problems after they arise. Preventative care and ongoing management of existing conditions is more cost-effective than waiting for the worst to happen.
It Allows You to Earn a Good Living
Family nurse practitioners are not just in demand - they are well-paid. The average salary for family nurse practitioners approaches a hundred thousand dollars a year. You could work part-time and on the weekends in walk-in clinics, and you could work full-time in doctor’s offices. You don’t even have to quit your job to earn the advanced degree to work in this profession. Demand for NPs is high because hiring nurse practitioners is more cost-effective than hiring a physician. This is one reason why many employers are willing to pay for a nurse to earn an FNP degree.
You Can Find a Job Anywhere
One industry study found that ninety percent of nurse practitioners are primary-care prepared. They’re already ready to work in primary care, and most are able to work in the areas where there is a dire shortage of primary care doctors. This means nurse practitioners are actively recruited in rural, inner city and other under-served areas. Nurse practitioners have their choice of employers everywhere else, too. They can work in hospitals, private practices and urgent care facilities. We already addressed the ability to find part-time work as an NP, working weekends in a hospital, walk-in clinic or urgent care facility. You could work in a nursing home or maternity clinic. You could move into research, nursing education or patient education.
You’ll Have Greater Autonomy – and Responsibility
A family nurse practitioner will do more than examine patients, monitor their vitals and update health records. They can make medical diagnoses and develop treatment plans. This is understandable given that NPs can do 80 to 90 percent of what a physician can. Depending on where you practice, you may work or may not work under a doctor’s supervision. As of this writing, nurse practitioners have full practice authorization in 22 states. Prescription authority varies from state to state, as well. However, their greater expertise, they often supervise healthcare teams. Or an FNP may work as an independent practitioner, essentially opening their own private practice. Family nurse practitioners have the option of working for healthcare institutions, too.
Because they’re so in demand, family nurse practitioners have the ability to choose when and where they work. This gives FNPs a much better work-life balance than registered nurses. Better yet, you’ll have a higher quality of life due to the roughly 36,000 dollar a year pay raise when you go from registered nurse to NP. You don’t earn as much as a family physician, but there isn’t much of a different. Yet you don’t have to spend as many years in school to see that impressive salary.
You Can Still Work Directly with Patients
Many people go into nursing to make a difference with patients. Earning an advanced degree in many professions means moving away from the front lines, whether you move into management or administration. This isn’t true with FNPs. You can continue to work directly with the patients you want to help, but you’re better able to provide the full range of services they need. You can still help them lead healthier, happier and longer lives.
If you choose to stay with the same employer, you can maintain connections with your current patients even when you graduate and move into a more advanced role in the organization.
Becoming a family nurse practitioner is a logical next step for many registered nurses. The benefits make it worth the time and effort for both you and your patients.
© 2020 Tamara Wilhite
Tamara Wilhite (author) from Fort Worth, Texas on June 18, 2020:
Thanks for the praise.
alofttutorial from Canada on June 18, 2020: