A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse who has furthered their education and participated in extensive training in a specialized area(s) and is able to provide regular health care to families. They are able to diagnose and treat diseases and illnesses, prescribe medication, and provide counseling and education to their patients. In simpler terms, they have some of the same duties as a doctor and work very closely with family physicians to provide the best care possible for patients.
What Does an FNP Do?
It is the job of an FNP to have flexibility when it comes to patient care. Although their primary workplace setting is a medical office or clinic, they can often follow their patients to their homes, schools, workplace, or hospital, depending on what is comfortable for the patient. It is their duties to promote their patients’ healthy lifestyles, become versed in their patients’ medical histories, oversee medical reports, create awareness amongst their patients when it comes to health issues, monitor their patients closely, and providing education and information about maintaining good health and the harmful side effects of illnesses, diseases, and medication.
What to Specialize In
An FNP, of course, specializes in family care; but there five other main specializations for a Nurse Practitioner such as mental health, adult-gerontology, neonatal, women’s health, and pediatrics. They are able to receive certifications in the areas of occupational health, pediatric oncology, gerontology, pediatric acute/chronic care, adult health, pediatric critical care, neonatology, emergency, and psychiatry/mental health.
The typical requirement for becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is to complete a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing. Once the degree has been completed, the opportunity to become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) will arise. After the interested individual has become an RN, they will then be required to pursue additional education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, which typically takes another two to three years to complete. If a master’s or doctoral degree has been completed, the individual will need to gain an additional certificate so that they may be Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (FNP-BC). Once all credentials are completed, the individual is able to gain a position in their desired field.
It is important that anyone who becomes a Family Nurse Practitioner continues to further their education by taking various related classes to ensure that their certification stays up-to-date and valid so that they can provide the best care possible to their patients. It should also be noted that the more education an individual has, the greater opportunity there is for finding a position in the field, and even more, a position they greatly desire.
Money Money: The Salary
FNP is usually given a larger salary than a Registered Nurse (RN) due to their additional and extensive education in various specialized fields. The typical salary range for a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is about $50,000-$100,000 annually but can be as high as $60,000-$104,000 including bonuses and profit sharing. The salary bracket for a Nurse Practitioner (NP) depends on the area of specialization.
After becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, workplace opportunities are endless. Individuals in the field will have the chance to work in medical clinics (walk-in, appointment, and school/university), hospitals, home health care agencies, private practice facilities, medical physicians’ offices, nursing homes, hospice care, public health departments, and more.
Stepping into the position of a Family Nurse Practitioner comes with great responsibility, but is very auspicious in the long run. The need for FNPs will always be alive and well, especially during times when there are shortages of physicians, as there are so many individuals who are in need of specialized care. They are able to gain the education needed in order to be well-versed in a variety of specialized areas, making them a desirable asset to the medical community. Overall, the position is one that is not only going to benefit the interested individual, but also the many patients who will be able to receive the care that they require.
If you’re thinking of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner and would like more information about the position and how to obtain the proper credentials to start your career.