There are a number of compelling reasons to consider a career as a nurse practitioner.
Many registered nurses are now returning to the classroom to study for an advanced degree in their field. Known as a Master of Science in Nursing program, this course of study is designed to enable nursing professionals to deepen their knowledge and expand their skill set – opening more career doors in the process. One particularly promising career path that many MSN graduates qualify for is that of a family nurse practitioner (FNP). If you're considering returning to the classroom and pursuing this rewarding career path upon graduation, read on.
What does a family nurse practitioner do?
According to Bradley University, family nurse practitioners are qualified to carry out many of the same duties that family physicians do, such as providing care, conducting examinations, making diagnoses and, in some states, prescribing medications. This differs from the duties of registered nurses, who provide more comprehensive yet elementary patient care. Put another way, the role of nurse practitioner is a step up the career ladder from nurse, but a rung below that of physician.
Bradley University noted that in addition to securing an MSN degree, to work as a family nurse practitioner candidates must receive certification in family medicine and must have received a state license that allows them to work as a nurse.
Reasons to consider this career path
There are a number of compelling reasons to consider a career as a nurse practitioner. They include:
1. More choice
With an MSN degree and a qualification to work as a family nurse practitioner, you will find that you have far more choices in terms of where you want to establish your career and the hours you want to work. This is because, as detailed by Nurse Journal, professionals in this field are highly sought after, meaning that there is a bounty of job opportunities available and employers will more likely be accommodating to your needs. Indeed, you will be able to make important decisions such as choosing between working in a clinic or hospital, in a rural area or city and so on. In essence, in your career as an FNP you will have more freedom to build a professional life that suits all of your needs.
2. Higher salary
With an MSN degree you will be qualified for a number of well-paying roles in the health care field, and the position of FNP in particular can be very lucrative. Popular careers site Payscale reported that nurse practitioners take home an average salary of just over $90,000 per year. Compare this to the average national salary of $60,000 per year for registered nurses – a figure outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – and the financial gain is clear.
"You will have more freedom to build a professional life that suits all of your needs."
3. Treating and helping patients
MSN degrees can open a number of professional doors, many of which lead to managerial roles in the nursing field. Many nurse managers and health care practice managers will find that they work with patients less, if at all, and this can be an issue of concern for those who enter the field to work with people and help them, Nurse Journal argued. FNPs, however, do not experience this issue. If you pursue a career as an FNP you will be able to work with patients on a daily basis and help make a positive difference in their lives.
4. A guaranteed career
There will always be a demand for highly qualified nursing professionals, and as Nursing Link noted, FNPs will likely be integral to future changes in the field of health care. This is for the simple reason that they are able to provide comparable levels of care to a physician at a fraction of the cost, and in an age when money-saving efforts in the field are of paramount concern, this is a considerable advantage.
5. Challenging work
Many opt to pursue a career as an FNP because of the challenging yet rewarding work involved. As outlined, the duties of an FNP are in many ways akin to that of a regular physician, and consequently you'll be charged with making important decisions about patient care and treatment. This means that you'll always be busy with consequential work, and as such, the chances for career fulfillment are high.
It begins with an MSN
Your first step toward an exciting and lucrative career as an FNP begins with returning to the classroom to earn an MSN degree. To learn more about MSN programs nationwide, check out Graduate Guide.