If you’re a student interested in pursuing a career in nursing, you may be wondering which specialty is the best fit for you. One option to consider is becoming a family nurse practitioner. This role allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of patients and their families by providing high-quality care.
But what is a family nurse practitioner, and what’s their role in healthcare institutions? If that question piques your interest, keep reading to find everything you need to know about this career!
What Is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
An FNP is a type of nurse practitioner (NP). Besides being skillful and knowledgeable about patient care, FNPs can also practice care across different NP specialties.
Family nurse practitioners are part of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with advantaged clinical knowledge and skills. FNPs stand out among APRNs because they usually take patient care to a more personal level. That said, FNPs have patients they regularly see throughout their lives. As a result, FNPs are skilled in observing developments in patients during different stages.
What Is the Role of a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Because of their advanced knowledge and role within the healthcare team, FNPs’ duties extend beyond those of practical and registered nurses (PN-RN). Although their care delivery depends on the population’s needs from birth to death and by state and setting, their daily tasks are not much different. Typically, FNPs collect information from patients and determine their problems. During the process FNPs do the following:
- Review medical records;
- Conduct interviews;
- Perform exams, etc.
After performing exams, they must analyze the results and establish a diagnosis. The next step includes designing treatment plans. And lastly, FNPs round out patient care by defining the effectiveness of the treatment plan and discussing follow-ups.
Where Can a Family Nurse Practitioner Work?
From hospitals to schools, FNPs can work almost in any facility. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners in general held about 246,700 jobs in 2021, and the most popular workplaces were as follows:
- Offices of physicians – 47%
- Hospitals; state, local, and private – 25%
- Outpatient care centers – 9%
- Offices of other health practitioners – 5%
- Educational services; state, local, and private – 3%
What Is a Family Nurse Practitioner’s Salary?
Data as of December 2022 shows that the average annual salary for an FNP in the United States is $110,990, with the highest-reported FNP wage reaching $139,345. Further education and years of experience might add to the salary. Additionally, many healthcare facilities offer FNPs bonuses and generous benefits.
If you’re still doubting whether this is a promising career, you must know that besides being well-paid jobs, the APRN careers, part of which is NFP, show a 46% job growth from 2021 to 2031, with about 359,400 new job openings. This growth is mainly affected by the increased demand for healthcare services.
Additionally, since FNPs are also specialized in delivering care to elderly populations and as baby boomers age, the need for these professionals will rise. FNPs must keep these patients healthy and treat the expanding number of patients with chronic and acute conditions.
Highest paying states for family nurse practitioners
Apart from education and years of experience, location plays a crucial role in nursing salaries. Usually, areas with high demand pay more; if you seek higher compensation than average, it is advisable to research the highest-paying states for FNPs. Government data for nurse practitioners rank the highest-paying states as follows:
- California – $151,830
- New Jersey – $137,010
- New York – $133,940
- Washington – $130,840
- Massachusetts – $129,540
How To Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
Now that you’ve become familiar with their role and rewarding salary, you’re probably wondering how one can become a family nurse practitioner. To become an FNP, you need to start as a registered nurse. You can qualify as an RN by enrolling in our RN program, where upon graduation, you will receive an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in nursing. The degree will lead to your eligibility to sit for the National Council Licensure RN (NCLEX-RN) exam. Like any other APRN career, FNPs should earn a master’s degree, certification, and licensure.
To simplify it for you, to become an FNP, you need to:
- Get licensed as an RN;
- Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree;
- Obtain a Master of Science in Nursing degree;
- Get certified by passing the national certification exam;
- Apply for state licensure as an FNP.
A successful FNP career requires an outstanding skillset and personal attributes. Obtaining hard skills throughout your education and training is achievable. However, this career is rooted in making your patients feel comfortable and safe. Because of that, future FNPs must possess soft skills like communication, active listening, and empathy.
Is Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner Worth It?
The FNP career is best suited for nurses eager to pursue an advanced degree and care for patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. FNPs make a significant impact on patients and their communities. This career might be a unique opportunity if you feel enthusiastic about working and building relationships with your patients throughout their lifespan.
This profession will yield tremendous rewards, from job satisfaction to excellent salaries, bonuses, benefits, and job outlook.
The Bottom Line
The FNP career can easily lead to a lasting and fascinating career, but it can also serve as a springboard for other types of practice. This position allows RNs to advance their clinical expertise, directly assist patients, and make a difference in patients’ lives.
If you are already an RN, the first step towards becoming an FNP requires enrolling in a master’s degree program. But if you are still deciding upon this career, you can start by checking our RN program and its enrollment requirements. For further questions, contact us, and we will provide you with all the necessary information.