Family is the basis for our culture and society, so finding a job where you are able to interact with families and patients of all ages is a great way to feel connected with others each day at work. Although many nurses enjoy the fast-paced lifestyle of working in a busy hospital setting, many others would prefer to slow down and take time to connect with each of their patients. If you would enjoy a more hands-on approach to nursing, then you might want to learn more about becoming a family nurse practitioner. Read on to learn a little more about what a family nurse practitioner is, how to become one, your career prospects for the future and how you can earn your degree online.
What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
A family nurse practitioner is someone who has received advanced training and can work in a clinical or a health care setting directly with patients. Unlike nurses who simply prepare patients to meet with a physician, a nurse practitioner will be the one who helps people manage their chronic illnesses such as diabetes or treat new injuries and infections.
The schedule of a nurse practitioner might be slightly less chaotic than that of a practicing physician, which allows them an opportunity to spend more time with each patient. They can detail how to take new medications, explain the side effects of a prescription and really connect with each person that they treat. Family nurse practitioners usually treat patients of all ages, although some many specialize in gerontology.
In order to work as a qualified family nurse practitioner, you will need to earn a Family Nurse Practitioner MS. This master’s degree takes an average of two years to complete and is meant for nurses already working in the field who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Another option for those who already hold a master’s degree but want to switch over to working as family nurse practitioners is the shorter master’s conversion program that takes anywhere from nine months to one year to complete. Both of these degrees will adequately prepare students to work as successful nurse practitioners in a private family practice.
What Are My Career Prospects for the Future?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners will see a large increase in demand for their services over the next decade, with job opportunities rising by 26%. Family nurse practitioners can work in private practices, in clinics, in military facilities, in schools, in camps or anywhere else where medical advice and assistance is needed.
The average salary for qualified nurse practitioners is roughly $70,000, although that number can change rise depending on your geographical location and years of experience. Those family nurse practitioners who specialize in gerontology will have especially high salaries and career opportunities thanks to an aging baby boomer population in the United States and elsewhere around the world.
How Can I Become a Family Nurse Practitioner Online?
You might be surprised to learn how easy it is to become a nurse practitioner online. Rather than attending class daily and dealing with a long commute to a college campus, you can simply log onto your computer to read through curriculum, study online texts, take exams, email professors and chat with your classmates and future colleagues. Many students are able to hold down jobs or clinical internships while attending school online to become a nurse practitioner.
If you want to work in medicine and you want to have more time to devote to each patient that you treat, then working as a family nurse practitioner may be the perfect fit. Look online to see which nursing programs would be best for you.