words Alexa Wang
Nursing is undoubtedly a caring profession, and the majority of nurse practitioners are first and foremost nurses. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are healthcare professionals who work on the front line of healthcare to provide quality, compassionate care to all patients, whilst Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners (AGNPs) work with patients from adolescents through to elderly adults.
Nurses who invest their time, effort, and money into pursuing advanced education in order to become a nurse practitioner empower not only themselves and the patients that they serve, but also the entire nursing profession as a whole.
Whether you are currently a nurse or are considering attending nursing school to get started at the very beginning of your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner, there’s no doubt that there are many benefits to be had when working in this role. As with any caring role, it is extremely rewarding when you work with patients and are able to contribute directly to the care, improving their lives. Some of the many benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner include:
Compared with registered nurses, nurse practitioners have a much greater level of control and autonomy in their work, when it comes to professional practice and patient outcomes. In certain states, nurse practitioners are able to run their clinics independently and more autonomy is being granted worldwide. In addition, the nationwide shortage of doctors and an ever-increasing need for quality primary patient care means that nurse practitioners are in higher demand than ever before, particularly in rural areas where healthcare is less accessible.
Nurse practitioners are able to work independently or in collaboration with a physician. 43% of family nurse practitioners today work in family health, however, there are several opportunities to branch out to work in areas such as healthcare research, teaching, and administration.
Due to the projected shortage of primary care providers, nurse practitioners are experiencing a growing demand nationwide. These healthcare professionals have become an essential solution to the problems faced by an aging population and are especially needed in rural and fragmented patient populations, in addition to mainstream and urban healthcare environments.
The nurse practitioner position is able to seamlessly blend both nursing and primary medicine, providing exceptional levels of care with a focus on:
- Patient well-being
- Patient education
- Disease prevention
Nurses have long been known as strong patient advocates and allowing nurses to progress into working in primary care adds a significant amount of value to their service.
Patients need medical care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and in all locations. Due to the fact that medicine is such a broad-reaching field, coupled with the high demand for nurse practitioners, FNPs and AGNPs often have the luxury of being able to choose the schedule and location that suits them best. Unlike registered nurses who often have to go along with shift patterns, nurse practitioners often get to decide when and how they would like to work.
- As a nurse practitioner, the choice is yours. Do you prefer working a regular 9-5 schedule or night shifts?
- Would you rather work in a hospital setting, a clinic, school, research facility or somewhere else?
And as you study to become a nurse practitioner, you can select your specialty.
- Would you like to interact with a variety of patients or are you looking to focus more on a certain type of patient such as geriatric or pediatric?
- Would you prefer to specialize in a certain type of medicine, like anesthesiology or oncology?
If you’ve got a clear-cut career idea in mind as a nurse, progressing to the nurse practitioner role will enable you to find it.
While most nurses will tell you that the salary is the least important reason why they chose their profession, there’s no denying that earnings play a part in career and progression choices. The good news is that nursing today is a very competitive field in terms of finances.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a nurse practitioner nationwide is just over $100,000. However, bear in mind that salaries can vary depending on a number of factors including the market, area of specialization, and education. Check out the nurse practitioner salary in TN to see how it matches up. In general, however, the nurse practitioner profession pays well.
It’s interesting and fast-paced:
Whatever level of nursing you’re working at, there’s no denying that it is a career that’s full of new experiences. And when working as a nurse practitioner, there’s a slim chance that you’ll ever encounter the same situation more than once. Whether you’re working in a hospital, running your own clinic or working at a doctor’s office, each shift that you work will bring with it new challenges, experiences, and opportunities to learn more. Boredom is non-existent in the nursing profession; no two days are the same and you will be constantly kept engaged and motivated to perform at your best.
The field of nursing is one of the best for personal growth and progression, with so many roles that you can work up to. And, the fact that nothing stays the same for long in the medical field means that nurses must keep up with the constantly evolving, advancing and changing profession. Nurse practitioners must be able to accept and handle change well, as nursing offers a lot of opportunities for growth including:
- Branching out into new areas of specialization or building on the current one. Acquiring medical certifications can now be done online
- Working up to more senior roles such as nurse management
- Working with different types of patients
- Working in different healthcare settings
- Working independently of doctors and other healthcare professionals
- Learning to use new medical equipment and techniques
- Advancing through further nursing education such as a doctorate degree program
- Teaching the next generation of nurses
Nurse practitioners are highly sought after – not just in the U.S. but worldwide. As a nurse practitioner, you will be a primary healthcare provider and you can choose the type of patients that you want to work with.