An aging population and a steady increase in the need for treatment of chronic ailments have created a sharp increase in demand for medical professionals, with the health care industry the fastest growing sector of Western economies, with tens of thousands of new jobs opening each year . Family nurse practitioners fill a critical role in both emergency and long-term medical care, providing prevention, treatment, and support throughout the entire lifespan of their patients.
Family nurse practitioners have freedom and flexibility in their employment options.
The salary for family nurse practitioners varies according to their workplace and their area of specialization, but the median salary rose to over $104,000 in 2015. The lowest 10 percent of practitioners averages $71,000, while the top 10 percent of earners make more than $170,000 .
Family nurse practitioners must be self-motivated and able to work with a minimal level of supervision. The practitioner crafts a basic treatment plan for each of the patients throughout the day, including confirmation of the patient’s medication and scheduling the appropriate tests, while coordinating with any other medical professional involved in the treatment.
Family nurse practitioners have a deep insight into the lives of their patients. A family nurse practitioner often serves as a supplement or replacement for a traditional family doctor, so the patient turns to the family nurse practitioner for most of their aches, pains, and ailments. By maintaining a long-term relationship with the patient, family nurse practitioners are better equipped to see trends and spot deviations than a medical professional who has only seen the patient once or twice.
In order to become a family nurse practitioner, candidates must complete several levels of education and experience.
Employment growth for nurse practitioners is expected to be at least 31 percent for the next ten years. This high rate of growth exceeds nearly every other specialization, including nurse anesthetists (22 percent), midwives (29 percent), and gerontology (20 percent) . The explosive growth in employment for nurse practitioners makes the field an attractive option for those who want to enter the health care industry or advance to a leadership position.
Family nurse practitioners play a major role in today’s health care field. The responsibilities of FNPs have evolved alongside that of physicians, which means additional opportunities, autonomy, and authority. At Regis, our online Master of Science in Nursing FNP degree can help you develop the specialized skill set you need to practice at the advanced level.