Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner: Are there Enough Reasons to Pursue an FNP?


In the field of medical care, one would be hard-pressed to find a job that’s more in demand than that of a nurse. It doesn’t matter how many nurses pass out each year from various nursing schools around the country, there seems to be a constant vacancy for more. However, what the United States healthcare system is lacking in are nurses with enhanced degrees and specializations. This is why completing your MSN online or offline in the nursing field of your choice is a sure way to cement your position further in the healthcare industry. Now, does that necessarily mean joining an FNP program would be the right move for you? Let’s try and answer that question by going through the following points.

A Family Nurse Practitioner Has More Power Than Common Nurses

Irrespective of how experienced a registered nurse might be, there are definite and often crippling legal limitations to what they can do. In fact, even a lot of the other Master’s degrees in the field of nursing don’t give a nurse as much power as a registered nurse practitioner. FNPs can treat their patients with prescription drugs just like a doctor, order diagnostic examinations and can even perform physicals on them if required. While in some states, the authoritative powers of the nurse practitioner are somewhat curbed as they are not allowed to prescribe meds without the supervision of a registered doctor, you can overcome even those limitations by completing your DNP or Doctor of Nursing Practice later on. In any case, all lower-ranked nurses must follow the instructions of the nurse practitioner in any healthcare facility.

The Most Autonomous Nursing Job in the US

If you are the kind of nurse who doesn’t like following instructions from others, then becoming a family nurse practitioner is going to be one of the best career decisions that you have ever taken. Aside from the medical powers that we discussed in the previous point, some states even allow certified nurse practitioners to open up their own healthcare clinic for treating patients, just like a doctor would be allowed to. It is true that nurse practitioners follow the nursing model of healthcare , which is different in certain ways from what doctors in the US usually follow, so just make sure that you are comfortable with working in one of the states that allow the most freedom to their local FNPs, if that’s what you want to do.

Making Healthcare More Affordable and Accessible

While America may have some of the most advanced healthcare systems in the modern world, it is also extremely expensive to opt for healthcare in the country. This is why a significant number of patients avoid going to a hospital or a doctor’s clinic for as long as they possibly can. Family nurse practitioners act as the middle point in many of these situations by offering medical attention and education to relatively manageable patients, without them having to bear the brunt of the economic pressure that a similar treatment at a conventional hospital or a doctor’s clinic would put them through. Family doctors are getting rarer by the year, so the need for well-trained family nursing practitioners is definitely rising to fill that gap.

Employment Opportunities Are Truly Abundant

As mentioned in the very beginning, a nurse is always in demand, but a nurse with advanced degrees is just so much rarer. Just as with everything else, the inadequate number of highly-qualified nurses makes anyone with an MSN the asset that a large chunk of the healthcare institutes in the country needs but doesn’t have enough of. Since NPs are among the most knowledgeable and qualified nurses even among nurses with MSN degrees, their demand in the job field is not likely to run out anytime soon. Even if you would rather not be a family nurse practitioner, you can just work at a hospital or a private clinic or even open up one of your own if you can!

Salary Boost is Assured

Consider the fact that the moment you complete your FNP program and get your certification, your salary will boost up automatically, whether you get a promotion or not. This is why it is recommended that you complete your FNP online from a reputed and affiliated nursing school such as Nursing@Simmons. This will give you the opportunity to work while you are getting your advanced certification and therefore, by the time you are done with your MSN, you will also have the wok experience to back up your resume. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to hold a job while you do your Master’s, but if you can manage it by studying online, the experience will definitely make for a better salary and faster progression in terms of your career. Just to give you an idea of the kind of salary that you are probably looking at, understand that the average nurse practitioner earns somewhere around the $100,000/year mark, while the regular nurse is limited to an average salary of roughly $70,000 or so.

The ROI Potentials Are Excellent

The amount of money necessary to complete an advanced course in primary care nursing practitionership is roughly equal to the tuition fees required in the US to complete just a single year of medical school. As is obvious, the return on investment is therefore excellent and that’s usually not something that students in the US can say about most professional degree courses!

Leading Positions Open Up More Easily

The leading positions in the field open up to the more qualified nurses for obvious reasons, but FNPs are often given the preference because of their unique power to administer primary care treatment. This makes it relatively natural for a nurse practitioner to climb the hierarchical ladder in a healthcare institution than other nurses. So, if you want to attain a more political role in the healthcare field later on, completing a FNP program is the way to go, although you may want to complete your DNP as well.

After looking at all the points discussed so far, it would be hard to argue against the fact that getting your MSN as a family nurse practitioner can indeed be the right move. Despite all that, there are certain factors to consider. The most important of those factors is that an FNP program is not easy and it isn’t something that everyone can complete, due to a number of reasons. When you are trusted to be almost as knowledgeable as a physician, you can rest assured that the process of getting through the program is not going to be a walk in the park. Even with all your experience as a registered nurse, you will still be learning a whole lot of new things and you will have to apply that knowledge in practical situations. Having said that, if you do manage to make the necessary effort in completing the hard but rewarding course and get your certification, you will become one of the few elite nursing practitioners in the nation. The bottom line is that you will be helping people, earning their respect and getting well-compensated for your efforts; there’s really very little to hold against completing a FNP, if you can.

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About Jennifer McDonnow

Administrative Assistant at KidsEmail.org. She is the content writer of Kids Email blog and helps manage their social media accounts. Being a mom of two, she finds it important to provide helpful content to other parents in hopes to help in keeping more kids safe online.

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