Whether you are unhappy in your current nursing job or are looking for a more challenging role in healthcare, you might be thinking of becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP). Will you enjoy the role? Use this guide to help you decide if this type of career is right for you.

Set Your Own Schedule

If you are looking for a flexible career, you can find it as an FNP. While other nursing roles may have you working inconvenient shifts, you’ll have more autonomy over your schedule as a family nurse practitioner.

Having this flexibility is great for any busy adult who has multiple responsibilities, including:

  • Kids
  • Aging parents
  • School
  • Another job

Being able to set your own hours can allow you to balance home and professional life more easily. For example, it can give you the freedom to take vacations with your kids during the weeks when you want to go, rather than the weeks when your employer says it’s convenient for you to do so.

Even your schooling to become a family nurse practitioner can be flexible when you choose an online option. For example, Carson-Newman University offers FNP online programs that enable you to study and do coursework anywhere and anytime, depending on what is convenient for you. 

Satisfy Your Need for More Challenge

If your current position no longer interests you, the reason could be that you’re seeking something more challenging professionally. Over time, your working life might have become comfortable, but it no longer stimulates your mind.

That’s not to say that you’re not great at your job. Instead, you may just have outgrown it. And if you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Perhaps you want to enhance your nursing skills but haven’t yet found something that seems suitable.

As a family nurse practitioner, you will do more advanced health assessments of patients of all ages and genders, which you likely have not done before. With the proper schooling, you will also learn how to provide and manage client care at an in-depth level. 

And boredom won’t be a concern. Every day will look different as you help people directly in various ways, including:

  • Reviewing patient schedules
  • Suturing lacerations
  • Advising a mom on breast feeding
  • Draining abscesses
  • Arranging for rotation replacements
  • Checking equipment

The wide range of tasks is evident from the list above. You will deal with many healthcare needs and can do so regularly.

There are also follow-up visits with patients. Working directly with patients will likely help invigorate your love of nursing, which can get lost with administrative degrees that take you more behind the scenes in healthcare.

Family Nurse Practitioners Get Better Pay

Nurse practitioners with more education can expect to receive a better salary. While the pay differs per state, the national average is $110,030.

That number is double the annual median wage of Americans, which is $51,960. Even the lowest-paying states for nurse practitioners are about 40 percent higher than the average salaries. California, Alaska, and Massachusetts are in the top three spots, respectively. Among the reasons for those states having better pay is their higher standard of living.

Regardless of where you live, though, you can complete the FNP program at Carson-Newman University in as short a time as 32 months. Then you will qualify for those higher-paying practitioner jobs. That is an exciting prospect for many. 

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You can expect to earn more than a registered nurse, for example. Of course, this additional pay comes with additional responsibilities. An FNP is as close to the role of a family physician as possible. It’s great to see that your challenging work gets rewarded financially so that you can provide a high quality of life for yourself and your family, and still make a contribution to others’ lives as well.

Give in to Your Desire to Help Others

The role of a family nurse practitioner is a selfless one. It focuses on providing a high level of holistic primary care to families and individuals. 

In this role, you will work directly with patients, rather than staying behind the scenes in a more administrative position. So if you enjoy being able to play a role in improving the health and wellness of others, then your personality is a good fit for an FNP role.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

A big reason why many people want to help others is expressed well in the quote above. Helping others feels good for you, too, as the giver. It’s that “warm glow” that some people talk about after volunteering, for example.

family nurse practitioner

Among the reasons why helping others elicits positive feelings is that it strengthens a sense of connection with others. Knowing you’re not alone and can make someone else’s day better meets the desire to feel related to others.

In addition, helping others provides meaning in your work. Finding a bigger purpose for what you do in your career can motivate you to get out of bed and do your best day after day. The big picture matters, and you’re doing big things for your patients as an FNP.

Choose a Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner

Now that you know more about working as a family nurse practitioner, you can determine if it is the right career path for you. It provides a high salary, on average, and enables you to work directly with patients every day to improve their health and wellness.

Look forward to days that are both challenging and rewarding. With no two days looking the same, you won’t be bored or wonder if you are making a difference in the world. 

If you are looking for a profession that allows you to help others while having a flexible schedule, then going back to school for an FNP online program might be the next step for you. With programs such as those available from Carson-Newman University, you can pursue your education while still working and maintaining a life-work balance. Pursue a career that you can feel good about when you become a family nurse practitioner.