A family nurse practitioner (FNP) specializes in family medicine, providing healthcare to patients of all ages and across their entire lifespan. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), the U.S. is in the midst of a nursing shortage. This has prompted them to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), urging the country to declare the current and unsustainable nurse staffing shortage to be a national crisis.
With the critical shortage of nursing staff in the U.S., FNPs are increasingly in demand and the overall employment of all types of nurse practitioners is projected to grow 40% from 2021 to 2031. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. If you are considering elevating your career as a nurse practitioner, it is possible to study with an online MSN FNP, enabling you to offer primary care to your patients across their life span and make a positive impact in society. This article will discuss some of the reasons why you should consider a career as an FNP.
Full Practice Authority
Many states permit FNPs full practice authority enabling them to serve their communities without oversight from a physician. This allows them to offer comprehensive healthcare for their patients by diagnosing health conditions, prescribing medications and developing treatment plans to help their patients regain their health. In addition to this, FNPs are involved in educating their patients and local communities on healthier lifestyle habits and preventative care.
Full practice authority also gives FNPs the autonomy to tend to the needs of those in underserved or rural areas where there is often a shortage of trained staff. It also opens up the possibility to work in a variety of settings from hospitals and outpatient clinics to community centers and educational institutes. Greater autonomy also brings the possibility of running your own practice.
FNPs also have the ability to delegate many of their duties to other members of staff, as they are equipped to manage teams and take on greater responsibility when it comes to administrative or management matters. This area of nursing also offers the potential for entering leadership positions in areas such as healthcare policy, research and academia, community outreach and education, as well as mentoring and healthcare administration.
Just as physicians choose an area of practice to specialize in such as anesthesiology or emergency medicine, FNPs can also work in specialized fields. Not only does this afford the opportunity to practice in an area of your choosing, but it also allows you to broaden your depth of knowledge in that area, honing your expertise. Below are some common FNP specializations:
- Psychiatric or mental health
As well as advocating for the needs of their patients, FNPs can serve as powerful advocates in their local communities by influencing political figures and those in authority regarding health matters. By sharing their knowledge and expertise and working with community leaders on matters of policy and public health, FNPs can do a great deal to promote the well-being and interests of their local communities.
As outlined above, there are several reasons why becoming a family nurse practitioner may be the right career move for you.