Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner

February 8, 2022

You may have been nursing for a few years now and feel ready for a change, and that is fine and perfectly acceptable, but do you know what kind of a change you want? You know from experience that you love nursing, but you have often wondered if there is anything else that you can be doing? Anything else that you can be undertaking that gives you just as much satisfaction as nursing does. Well, quite often, you can progress on from nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner or FNP for short, which allows you to continue your professional development while still performing and administering caring duties and responsibilities.

What a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Does

An FNP is like a doctor in some respects regarding the treatment that they provide and administer. However, a major difference is an FNP usually stays with a family, grows, and develops with a family. In contrast, a doctor would visit a family usually only on an ad-hoc basis. An FNP usually develops a relationship with a family and a bond built on trust over time. As a family nurse practitioner will see a family through various experiences and life stages, it can be a position that is both fulfilling and rewarding at the same time.

Do Your Expectations Meet the Reality?

When you are looking at becoming an FNP, you may have many questions that you need to answer, and one of these may be – Will the reality of being an FNP live up to my expectations? In short, the answer is yes; it will live up to your expectations and most likely surpass what you thought it would. An FNP is a position of power, care, and trust all rolled into one, and as you get to grow with the families that you work with, you get to see the effect and impact you have directly. The reality is that there will be times when the job feels overwhelming, but those times will quickly be quashed by the positive times and experiences.

Qualities and Attributes You May Need

An FNP is usually a nurse that has progressed their career, and because of this, you will quite often see that a lot of the qualities and attributes required for nursing are also required to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. Qualities such as a caring personality, dedicated and focused attitude are to be expected. Professionalism, a positive attitude, and an approach are also things that will put you in good stead within this new role. A willingness to learn and develop is also essential, as, within the FNP role, you will experience changes and developments which require you to brush up on your skills, retrain or continue professional development when required. 

How Much Can You Expect to Earn

An important question that can be answered is how much you can expect to earn, and the answer is simple although variable. A family nurse practitioner’s salary will depend on the location you work in, but it will enable you to reap the rewards while providing a valuable and caring service, and it will pay more than a nursing role would, and it will allow you to enjoy life a lot more. Of course, your job responsibilities will have changed, which is why your salary will be more. The average salary is around $105,000 a year, which, if calculated hourly, is around $60 an hour. Of course, this figure is just a median, average representation, and you could earn more if you were in a private situation, and you can expect to earn more over time as you gain even more experience.

Improving Your Education

To become an FNP, you will need to improve your education, and you will need to return to studying, but this should be seen as a positive experience and not just something that you have to do to get the job that you want. When you invest in your education, you invest in yourself and your future, and this is something that cannot be stressed highly enough. Having suitable and adequate qualifications will allow you to futureproof your career and job stability. To improve and enhance your education and learning, you need to look at returning to university. Before looking at local universities, you need to look at online providers as they provide flexibility, which is ideal when trying to balance and juggle everything you have going on.

Returning to Studying with Ease

It may feel daunting returning to studying, but it does not need to be. Whether you left education two years ago or 10 years ago, it is nice to know that you can return with relative ease. As learning has changed and developed, you can now complete your qualifications and education entirely online, which provides you with the opportunity to study and earn at the same time. Studying online and from the comfort of your home makes the transition a lot easier and natural, which is what you want.

Studying Online to Suit You

When you look at studying online, you will quickly see that it is the best way forward for you and your career. You get the opportunity to enhance your education quickly, easily, and as stress-free as possible, and your family gets to see you a lot more than they would do should you have looked at attending a physical university campus. You may not think you would save much time studying online, but when you think about time spent traveling to campus and time spent physically getting to a class at a specific time, you can see that online learning just works for you and suits you and your lifestyle. Quite a lot of providers allow you to study at a time that fits within your timetable, and this provides you with the flexibility you need.

Planning and Looking to the Future

There is no time to relax or stand still; you must begin to plan your next steps as soon as you possibly can. Before you know it, your online study time will come to an end, and you will be looking for an FNP role, so before time creeps up on you, you must take control. Plan where you want to be, and plan when you will start applying for jobs. You do not want to be left behind or beaten by the competition just because you were not organized enough. So, as soon as you hit the books to study, you need to start looking forwards to the future. Your future will be here soon enough, so the earlier you can get to grips with finding a role or placement, the better the position you will be in. Do not forget to look at internal promotions as well as external roles.

Landing the Position

To ensure that you stand out from similar candidates, you must make sure you provide more and offer more. Your resume must sell your skills, education, and experience efficiently and effectively, and you should be interview-ready even before you get offered an interview. Getting everything organized will make applying for and getting that new role that little bit easier. Brushing up on your interview skills is just as important as brushing up your resume. If you cannot clearly and correctly answer questions in an interview, and you cannot get across your point, then you will struggle to land a position. Interviewers are looking for calm, collected, and confident individuals who can handle pressure, so ensure that this is you, or else you will find that you will not even get shortlisted for positions.

Enjoying Your New Role

Once you have secured your new role or position, it is time to enjoy what you are doing. When you have been studying, and when you have been pushing yourself, it can be hard to just take a step back and look at what you have achieved. Appreciating your new role and enjoying what it brings to your life will ensure that you wake up each day positive, upbeat, and ready to tackle whatever the role throws at you. Quite often, it is easy to take for granted a new role and to get comfortable within your new position, but this should be avoided at all costs as when you get too comfortable, you can notice that quality of care and standards slip.

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, there will be days when you feel you are not doing a good job or when you feel that nothing is quite going how you want it to; at this stage, it is important to take a step back where you can see the positive impact you are having on your clients and patients’ lives. You are making a difference, and you are improving the health and lifestyle of your patients, and when you can appreciate the difference, you are making to their lives, you will enjoy the role even more.

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