There is a shortage of healthcare workers worldwide. And according to recent research published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2032, there will be a shortage of 55,200 primary care physicians. This shortage has increased the demand for more FNPs since these professionals have the authority to practice independently.
26 US states have permitted NPs for full practice To address the shortage of doctors. This is because FNPs can evaluate the patients and make autonomous decisions to initiate and manage treatments. In contrast, other states grant reduced-practice or restricted licensure to limit the NP practice to one or more elements. It is an open opportunity for those who seek to advance in medicine, especially RNs. According to AANP’s 2020 survey, around 36,000 new NPs have acquired certification, out of which 69.7% opted for FNP during 2019-20. If you are still indecisive, this article will provide you with an insight into why you should go for FNP programs.
Flexible upskilling options
As a registered nurse, you can easily enroll in an online program to train to become a family nurse practitioner. Flexible programs that meet IOM recommendations allow RNs to choose schools outside California and the University of Texas. So nurses don’t have to relocate to complete their education. Thus, the online route is also more affordable than on-campus learning.
Continue working as an RN
You can continue working as an RN till you complete your degree and acquire licensure to practice as an FNP. Moreover, you can also keep working as an RN after becoming FNP. It will broaden your career outlook, refine your skills, and increase your earning potential.
There are plenty of opportunities and vacant positions available for FNPs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for nurse practitioners (and nurse anesthetists and midwives) is expected to grow by a whopping 45% by 2030. So FNPs have better job security in the booming healthcare industry. So you can advance further in nursing without fear of unemployment.
Have you ever dreamed of traveling across the US or abroad for work? As an independent FNP, you can start an international career. All you have to do is register with a locum tenens agency to get assignments in different cities, states, and countries. Becoming an FNP will give you a break from your traditional clinical routine. Traveling will change your life with new adventures and professional challenges. It will also provide you with opportunities to learn new medical procedures.
Better work timings
While working in healthcare, have you ever dreamt of having a three-day-long weekend? Well, becoming an FNP gives you that chance. You can take charge of your career and decide to work regular shifts in a hospital or create your working schedule as an independent practitioner. You can also opt for private practice. Negotiate the schedule with the hiring agency and select the type of patients you want to work with. Ask them for a 32-hour workweek for in-house patients or work as a part-timer. By having more control of your schedule, you can achieve a better balance between professional and personal commitments.
According to BLS, Nurse practitioners can earn between 82,490 to 145,970 US dollars. Not only is this higher than an RN’s salary, but it is among the higher pay jobs throughout healthcare. So if you have big financial goals such as buying a yacht or a villa on an exotic island, you might find it easier to do so as an FNP.
Better rapport with the patients
Having the job title of an FNP under your belt helps to build patients’ trust in you. You earn respect and admiration from peers and the community by sharing your expertise. Unlike RNs, FNPs can prescribe medication, so patients will come to you for help. According to AANP, 88.9% of NPs are certified in one area of primary care, and 70.2% deliver complete primary care. So patients will consider you a subject-matter expert and rely on you for holistic primary care.
Make healthcare more accessible
Nearly 20% of the US population lives in areas with limited access to proper healthcare facilities. Not to mention, 120 or approximately 7% of hospitals closed their operations in the rural areas after the pandemic struck. As a motivated FNP, you can work to make healthcare more accessible. The role empowers you to provide diagnostic and treatment in areas with few doctors. This way, more people have access to primary care services.
Becoming an FNP opens doors for more intriguing experiences. Every day, you may encounter far more exciting opportunities than RNs. New challenges, continuous learning, and personal growth keep you motivated. A competitive salary, diverse practicing options, and entrepreneurship are some reasons to consider becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. You can join the front line to change people’s lives through your passion, commitment, skills, and autonomy to practice.