Why Become a Family Nurse Practitioner?
By Space Coast Daily // August 13, 2020
Nurses in Brevard County have had an incredibly challenging few months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Florida Today recently reported that there have been 32 new cases of the disease, a number that has not been seen since June.
The hardship involved in the job on a day-to-day basis is making many nurses consider leaving the career they love, or at the very least taking a different direction.
If you are a registered nurse, then training as a family nurse practitioner can be a great way to advance your career while still doing the job you love. A career as a nurse practitioner provides you with greater autonomy when treating patients than working as a registered nurse, and gives you more choice in how and where you work.
A Solid Career Choice
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nurse practitioners is set to grow 26 percent by 2028, which is a much higher growth rate than in other sectors.
The reason for this growth is an aging population, combined with an understanding of the importance of preventative care.
The average salary for a family nurse practitioner is $105,898, and on average, nurse practitioners make $30,000 more per year than registered nurses do—so if it’s a career choice that appeals to you, the financial rewards are certainly there.
In order to become a family nurse practitioner you will first need to be a registered nurse. You will then need to take a masters degree to qualify as a nurse practitioner, and become certified by your state.
Each state has different certification criteria but in general, certification will require a masters degree and a certain number of supervised clinical hours.
Getting your masters, while challenging, isn’t as arduous as it once was. Universities such as Wilkes offer online FNP programs, which means you can train for your new career on a part-time basis and from home without having to lose income or step back from your existing role.
Wilkes also guarantees a placement for you to gain your supervised hours, and they will work with you to secure a placement that fits in around your current commitments.
Become Part of the Community
Family nurse practitioners work with people of all ages as the primary point of contact for their medical needs. You will build a rapport with your patients and get to know them as you work with them and their families over the years, in a way that can be incredibly rewarding.
As a family nurse practitioner your duties will include:
• Perform physical exams
• Order diagnostic tests
• Diagnose and treat illness
• Prescribe medications
Educate your patients on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention
The average day of a family nurse practitioner is similar to that of a physician. Your day will generally begin with a review of your schedule to see if you can fit in any emergencies. Once this has been done you will see around three or four patients per hour.
Your role will be to diagnose and educate where possible, or to refer your patient onto another healthcare provider where applicable. In many states, family nurse practitioners can work without the supervision of a physician, which allows greater autonomy and freedom with regards to choosing the best possible options for your patient.
Design Your Career Path
One of the most exciting prospects for many family nurse practitioners is the fact that they can work in a variety of settings. You might work in a hospital, a health center, or a clinic, or you could even set up your own practice!
Setting up your own practice is an exciting prospect for many people, as it means that you can build your desired working pattern into your business plan.
If you would ultimately like to work two days a week so that you can spend more time with your family, then you can ensure that you employ enough other people to work with you so that you can do this.
You can also design your employment strategy around which parts of the job you would like to do more of, and which you would like to do less of. For example, if you want to remain hands-on with your patients then you might employ someone to take on the daily running of your practice.
If, however, you find that you prefer the business and strategizing aspect of your new business, then you might employ another nurse practitioner to take on some of your patient responsibilities. Setting up your own practice is hard work, but it gives you the freedom to design the perfect job for you.
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