A family nurse practitioner (FNP) provides comprehensive health care to all kinds of patients, irrespective of their age, gender, and disease. If you’re passionate about caring for patients, this job also lets you spend more time with them. What’s more, an FNP is able to make diagnosis and prescribe treatment autonomously. Here are six reasons why an FNP career makes sense.
No Dearth of Jobs
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Nursing is the largest health care occupation. An FNP makes less money than a general physician but can provide many of the same services. Consequently, their scope of employment is large across a range of medical facilities. This is also a time when many family doctors are retiring but not as many new physicians are getting into this field. FNPs can bridge this very important gap.
Between 60 and 80 percent of primary and preventive health care can be performed by nurse practitioners, says the American Nurses Association. With the increasing importance being given to prevention and public health, there will be enough employment opportunities for FNPs in the near future.
Costs Less Money and Time
An FNP program costs way less than it does to become a doctor. Also, you do not need to put in as much time. So, it is the perfect career choice if you do not have the resources to enroll in a program to become a doctor.
Online FNP Programs Allow Flexibility
A large number of institutes offer online FNP programs, so it is possible to enroll in one while you already have a job and have to manage a family. The online courses give you the flexibility to study at your own pace and time.
Patients Prefer FNPs
Researchers have found that patient satisfaction was higher among those treated by nurse practitioners as compared to those treated by physicians. Patient satisfaction is a primary indicator of quality health care. An FNP provides high quality care to people at a fraction of the cost of getting a physician to do the same thing.
There’s a Shortage of Health Care Personnel
It is projected that by 2015, there will a shortage of nearly 30,000 primary care providers. This is a situation when the demand for all kinds of traditional and non-traditional health care providers, including FNPs, will rise considerably.
There’s More Autonomy
Lower-tier nurses, by rule, have to work under the supervision of a physician. Consequently, they are hardly able to make independent decisions concerning diagnosis and care. But this is not the case for nurse practitioners. A number of states allow nurse practitioners not only to practice independently but also set up clinics or offices.
To be eligible for an FNP program, you have to be a registered nurse first and complete at least a master’s degree. But once you become an FNP, lots of doors open up for you. You can study further and do a Ph.D and open your own clinic in time. At the end of the day, a well-trained nurse will never have problems finding a job.