Registered nurses (RNs) are among the most common type of nurses that work in healthcare settings to bridge the gap between patients and doctors. It is among the most straightforward paths to joining the nursing workforce. However, many RNs become displeased with the challenges associated with their job, and, as statistics have shown, one-half of RNs want to switch roles and become an FNP. For this reason, overworked and underpaid RNs are now opting for specialization, one of the more popular being an FNP (family nurse practitioner).
Choosing to become an FNP has several benefits, and as an RN, here’s why you should consider this line of work, too:
1. Treat patients of all ages
While nurses usually specialize in treating patients of certain ages – pediatrics/geriatrics – FNPs can treat patients of all ages. FNPs can manage care for the ailments facing one’s entire family. These skills make an FNP’s practice more expansive, and statistics from the AANP show that more patients visited NPs in 2018 RNs.
2. Work full-time while studying
Many nurses argue they simply don’t have enough time to continue their learning and focus on their studies, given their busy schedules. But distance learning can help RNs become advanced nurses and pursue their FNP training. The road to becoming an FNP starts with getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then pursuing an FNP certification. You can also get your FNP license by appearing in an exam taken by the AANP or the ANCC. Online education helps you hone your skills while working full-time.
3. Gain more authority than other RNs
Unlike other nurses, FNPs have more authority as advanced healthcare practitioners. You can gain more independence and become self-reliant by getting an FNP certificate. The FNP training prepares you to make independent decisions and enjoy other advantages, including the following perks:
- You can prescribe medication
- You don’t need a doctor’s supervision to diagnose and treat medical conditions that fall under your domain
- You can perform patient exams and diagnoses
- After diagnosing patients, you can plan their treatment
4. Gain access to more jobs
Getting your FNP certificate will help you become skilled enough to apply for new jobs created in the healthcare industry. As per federal projections from 2022, four million new jobs will open up in the healthcare sector by 2026. Moreover, in 2019, the AANP predicted that NPs would increase in number by 36% in the next seven years, a growth rate even higher than doctors’! These statistics show that FNPs are highly sought-after by employers because they can fill the gap created by a shortfall of doctors.
Moreover, FNPs can find work in various places, and their services aren’t limited to hospitals only. They can work in several health-related facilities, find leadership positions in hospitals, work in educational institutes, work with private health service providers, and contribute to public health policymaking.
5. Significantly improve patient outcomes
Several studies show that highly skilled and educated nurses are among the reasons behind better patient outcomes. As nurses bolster their learning, they become more capable of treating patients and causing positive patient outcomes in hospital settings. As FNPs are nearly as talented as doctors, becoming an FNP means you are now contributing to the betterment of America’s healthcare service industry. You can counsel your patients on stuff like better nutrition, disease prevention, and general wellness to promote community well-being.
6. Make more money as a nurse
As per surveys from 2021, average FNPs in the United States make over $108,000 a year, which is considerably higher than what RNs make. So becoming an FNP will boost your earning potential and help you become financially affluent. You won’t have to clock in extra shifts or work multiple jobs to pay your bills every month.
7. Feel more emotionally content
You feel more emotionally content with better patient outcomes and a larger caregiving radius. For a nurse, job satisfaction matters a lot! Nursing is a profession with the highest job satisfaction levels. Thus, you can feel even more rewarded and pleased when serving many patients with your newfound FNP skills. That’s why surveys show that nurse practitioners are more satisfied with your average physicians.
8. Find better working hours
Burnout affects 38% of nurses in a given year, and COVID-19 has increased these cases among RNs. A nurse must create a healthy work-life balance to reduce burnout and become mentally healthy. Becoming a family nurse practitioner can help you find better working hours and create an effective work-life balance. No more being overworked; you gain autonomy, and this independence comes with the flexibility to choose how many hours you want to work.
Surveys show that over 5 million nurses are working in America right now, and 150,000+ new RNs graduate each year. Even though nurses have been voted the most trusted professionals for two decades, RNs face work-related issues such as burnout. Many nurses want to advance in their careers and boost their professional skills. One way to become a nurse with more authority and deference is to become an FNP. A family nurse practitioner earns more money than RNs, can prescribe medication, and is currently in demand. So, pursue your education online and become a highly-qualified family nurse practitioner.