Possible career opportunities for family nurse practitioners
The demand for family nurse practitioners is increasing significantly in the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for this position will increase by over 40% in the next decade. The field of nursing is also a high-growth career as the current nursing labor force is projected to see significant retirements in the next five years.
If you are ready to take your nursing career to the next level with a graduate degree, the possible career opportunities in the family nurse practitioner field are numerous and offer diverse work environments.
Becoming a family nurse practitioner
If the idea of becoming a holistic medical practitioner appeals to you, consider the opportunity to become a family nurse practitioner. You can deliver high-quality care to all patient ages through your advanced clinical expertise and leadership.
Attaining an advanced degree such as family nurse practitioner is easier than ever with an online MSN FNP programs, such as the one from Texas Woman’s university. It allows you to maintain flexibility in working and school. With a master’s degree in family nurse practitioner, you can engage in a dynamic career in a wide variety of healthcare settings.
Choosing a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner
For nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the progression to becoming a family nurse practitioner is flexible when you choose an online program. These programs are designed to accommodate your work schedule to equip you with critical expertise for various leadership positions in the medical field.
Your work will focus on gaining an intensive understanding of advanced practice nursing. These expanded skills allow you to give diverse populations and age groups a better understanding of how to stay healthy. You will also aid them in mitigating health risks.
As you study pharmacology, pathophysiology, how to perform patient assessments, unique patient treatments and evidence-based medicine, you will learn ways to improve health outcomes for your patients.
By learning person-centered compassionate care, you will advocate for competent healthcare practices in all areas of medicine. Family nurse practitioners collaborate with other medical professionals to deliver the best care possible.
The benefits of becoming a family nurse practitioner
In all medical fields, nurse practitioners are the fastest-growing segment, and the demand is projected to increase rapidly in the next decade. Family nurse practitioners can choose to work in multiple medical settings as they bring many advantages to a hospital, private medical practice, school and more.
The first benefit is that with broad training as a family nurse practitioner, you can treat a diverse population and age range for a variety of problems. Whether you choose to work in a specialty clinic or pursue further training, this focused training can open more career doors for you.
The second benefit is the flexible nature of this role. You might start in pediatrics and decide after several years that you would rather work in a hospital setting with geriatric patients. The role of a family nurse practitioner can be versatile and ever-changing.
A third benefit is the scope of practice. Family nurse practitioners can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications independently of any other medical professional. You can order lab tests and imaging. As you work with patients, you can refer them to other specialists who can also help administer medical care.
The fourth benefit of becoming a family nurse practitioner is that you can care for an entire family. This can be one of the most rewarding aspects of this medical specialism, as you can follow a child through adulthood, know their history and administer medical help for many years.
Part of the role of the family nurse practitioner is to perform medical procedures as needed. If your patients need skin biopsies, sutures, birth control and many other procedures, you can handle them as part of a normal visit.
Medical settings for family nurse practitioners
Family nurse practitioners are found in every part of the hospital, in private clinics, teaching in the university classroom, and many other areas.
Urgent care facilities
When people are sick or need medical attention, they often go to an urgent or acute care facility. Family nurse practitioners are ideally suited to handle these needs in an urgent care setting.
As you can work autonomously as a nurse practitioner, you can see all the patients for their medical needs. Most cases are infections, viruses and minor injuries. For those cases that are more serious, you can refer them to the emergency room.
If you like variety and new challenges each day, then this role might be the right fit for you. The pace of work is fast, and you will make decisions based on the information you have to help as many people as possible. Working with all ages and diverse people can be exciting and challenging in the best ways.
Working as a family nurse practitioner in a doctor’s office offers standard workdays and a variety of medical issues. One benefit of working in this setting is that you can develop relationships with your patients and see them for a number of years. This is a rewarding experience as you can often treat entire families.
Working in this medical setting is often a long-term commitment due to the fact that you are providing ongoing care to patients. With the shortage of family care doctors, the need for nurse practitioners continues to rise.
In many states, you can work independently from a family care provider, while other states require a physician to have general oversight. You can see patients who are underserved and support them as a liaison for other medical needs such as mental health and obstetrics and gynecology.
The primary focus of working in a primary and family care office is the relationships you form that help your patients get the best care in all areas of life.
The opportunities to work in hospitals are also rising as there are nurse practitioners in every medical unit. You are essential to the workings of the entire facility. Here are some units where family nurse practitioners are crucial to delivering excellent medical care.
An emergency room nurse practitioner works in a fast-paced environment where they see all types of medical issues, from infections to trauma. You will care for women who are pregnant and need obstetric care, young children and infants who are sick or injured, and patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions.
There is never a dull day in the emergency room, but this is what makes it exciting and challenging. You should be willing to receive on-the-go training and work in tandem with other medical professionals in critical situations.
As a family nurse practitioner in the emergency room, you must be ready to make the best assessments you can in complex situations, prescribe care and medications, and follow up once patients are admitted to the hospital. If making decisions quickly and working in a hectic environment is where you thrive, then becoming an emergency room family nurse practitioner is a great option.
Critical care units
Critical care nurse practitioners are part of a multi-person medical team that cares for acute and critical physical issues. You would work in an intensive care unit within the hospital, including neurology, heart and pediatric ICUs.
You would assess, diagnose and prescribe treatment for patients you see daily. As part of your role, you would do rounds on the hospital floor each day to see patients and evaluate their status. You ensure that their treatment plan is still accurate and make changes as necessary.
You will collaborate with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and other medical professionals who offer expertise in certain areas. As part of the care team, you will rely on nurses for feedback on patients so that you can make the best choices for care.
Many nurse practitioners also meet with the families of patients to explain care, treatments and outcomes. This can be a critical time to answer their questions.
As a pediatric family nurse practitioner, you will focus on newborns, infants and children who have chronic illnesses or trauma injuries. As a primary healthcare provider, you will assess, diagnose and prescribe treatment plans for newborns to teens.
When you meet with anxious families, you will explain the issues to them and reassure them. As a holistic healthcare provider, you provide comprehensive and ongoing care to your patients and their families.
In some settings, you also handle well-child care and assess their mental health needs. Your goals are to treat chronic illnesses, acute issues, and the other medical needs of babies and young people in the context of family, environmental and social settings.
Long-term care facilities
An aging population means that long-term care facilities have many patients who need comprehensive care. While you work with patients on a daily basis, you build relationships as you assess their medical needs and create care plans.
Working with other medical specialists such as physical therapists and occupational therapists, you ensure that the patients who have been discharged from the hospital but are not ready to go home have a reliable plan to restore them to health.
With the number of retail clinics that provide quick care for mild illnesses and medical needs on the rise, the need for nurse practitioners to work in this setting is growing. You will give immunizations, diagnose minor illnesses and prescribe medications, treat minor injuries, perform COVID-19 testing and more.
If you want a flexible work schedule and for no two days to be the same, then this setting can be a great fit for you. Medical clinics in a retail setting are becoming more popular as they are efficient and convenient for many people who have trouble getting to a traditional doctor’s appointment.
Many large corporations have nurse practitioners on staff for their employees. As an independent provider, you can see a wide range of medical issues, illnesses and chronic illnesses, and administer vaccinations and other shots.
The reason for having one or more nurse practitioners on staff is to reduce employee absences for medical needs. The hours are predictable as you work during normal office hours to see employees for a variety of medical needs.
The primary focus of your job is to teach employees about wellness habits and preventive healthcare. You would be part of teaching the workforce about healthy habits and other things they can do to encourage good health, such as regular exercise.
As a home health nurse practitioner, you can see a diverse range of patients. You will visit patients who had outpatient surgery for follow-up appointments and those who have chronic diseases that need ongoing assessment and care.
Another branch of home health is end-of-life care or hospice care. This is a difficult time for families, and the care you provide can be a special comfort for them. While you would work with elderly patients, you would also work with children and teens who are battling diseases and chronic illnesses.
Some nurse practitioners prefer to specialize in treatments for substance abuse. This is a complex and delicate environment where you work with other medical professionals to help people break addictions and pursue healthy habits that keep them drug-free.
You would assess patients for steady progress in breaking the cycles of addiction and adjust the care plan as needed. The goal is to teach them tools to remove the shackles of addiction and prevent circumstances that allow them to relapse.
Working with young people to adults with drug addictions can be challenging but rewarding, especially when they succeed and enter a new life.