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3 Popular Career Paths for Family Nurse Practitioners

by South University
April 4, 2017

Among the thousands of family nurse practitioners practicing across the US, day-to-day work varies greatly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common place for family nurse practitioners, or FNPs, to work is a physician's office. Others work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, walk-in clinics, or community and school healthcare facilities. Some FNPs start their own practices, while others chose to travel and work across the country.

If you’re not sure what’s right for you, here’s a close look at three of these diverse paths.

Family Nurse Practitioners in a Physician’s Offices

Family nurse practitioners in a physician's office typically work regular, set hours, which can provide a nice work-life balance. Because it is less hectic than a hospital or walk-in clinic, working in a private office can give you more time to focus on treating and educating each patient. You’re likely to get repeat patients, helping you to build close, trusting relationships. Here, you can expect both healthy patients and routine problems or concerns, but you’re unlikely to encounter a great diversity or severity of healthcare needs.

Because you’ll probably be part of a small staff, your relationship with your colleagues can play a big part in how much you enjoy your work. However, you should have relatively easy access to a physician when you need additional support or a consultation.

Practices Owned by Family Nurse Practitioners

Opening a practice on your own or jointly with another family nurse practitioner can be rewarding and offer increased autonomy, but it’s not without challenges and is best for someone with experience under their belt. Because the laws around operating a practice as an FNP vary by state, you’ll want to start by researching your state laws to see what’s possible.

To open a practice, you’ll need business acumen as well as financial know-how and resources. Alternatively, you could partner or seek advice and mentorship from someone more familiar with the logistics of running a business. You’ll also need to look into third-party reimbursement rates for FNPs and requirements around collaborative agreements with physicians, hospital privileges, and malpractice insurance.

On the upside of owning your own practice, you can make it a priority to build relationships with your patients and provide a quality of education and care you’re proud of. You’ll also set your own schedule, and, while being in charge of staffing isn’t easy, you’ll have full control over who your colleagues are. If you focus on a medically underserved population, starting your own practice can be particularly fruitful.

Traveling Family Nurse Practitioners

For those looking for adventure, a traveling family nurse practitioner career could be a great fit. These FNPs travel from city to city, filling temporary open FNP positions, staying in some roles for a few weeks and others for a year or more. This can be a fantastic opportunity to find out what positions and settings might be the right long-term fit for you. In addition to your compensation, most employers will cover your expenses for housing, travel, and insurance, and may help with making sure you have the right credentials to work in the state you’re considering.

Of course, for this job, you must be incredibly flexible and enjoy change—because from your patients to your colleagues to your home residence, change will be a constant part of your life. Each position will vary slightly, with different expectations and patient care needs. It’s possible that the experience could be isolating if you don’t make friends quickly, but, alternatively, you could end up with friends in every state!

Want to know more about career options and becoming a family nurse practitioner?

Explore our nurse practitioner articles on the blog, or contact us to talk about our graduate degree programs that can prepare you for a career in this field.

Sources for this article include Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, The Pros of Being a Nurse in a Doctor's Office, Open Your Own Nurse Practitioner Practice, and How to Become a Travel Nurse.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2017 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southuniversity.edu.


by South University
April 4, 2017
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The Outlook for Nursing Careers Remains Bright

by South University
November 6, 2014

Recent years have come with the introduction of new healthcare legislation and standards, and, with those changes, so too has the face of healthcareand the role of nurses in particularchanged within the medical field. What's this mean for those pursuing a nursing career?

Nurse with patient

Will nursing jobs increase?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of  employed registered nurses is expected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022, while the number of employed nurse practitioners is expected to grow 34%. Not only is insured healthcare now available to more people, but individuals are also living longer and have access to more preventive care due to technological advances. Together, these changes increase the number of people in need of nursing care.

Where will nursing jobs be found?

According to the ANA, the areas where patient numbers are growing the most will determine where nursing careers are headed. Typically, the largest number of nurses are employed in hospitals, but that number is decreasing as fewer people are being admitted to hospitals. So, which areas will show a growing number of nursing careers? These are considered to be the most likely:

• Nursing homes
• Home healthcare
• MD offices
• High-specialty areas
• Outpatient care
• Academia

What are the requirements for a career in nursing?

Educational requirements vary based on the type of nursing, but more education often brings more career opportunities and larger earning potential. Education can be especially valuable in cities where there is already a larger nursing workforce and lots of competition for open positions.

• A certificate and license after a year of study is required to become a Licensed Practical Nurse who can perform basic functions in an office setting.

• An associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing is required to become a Registered Nurse who can work in a medical facility.

• A master's degree can enable a nurse to advance to higher levels of leadership and care, including nurse anesthetists, midwives and nurse practitioners.

• Post graduate certificates may allow nurses who already hold a master’s degree to find a new specialization and move their career in a different direction.

• A doctoral degree can prepare nurses to drive change and provide leadership within the healthcare industry.

Every nurse has to earn a state license after completing a course of study, and continuing education credits are usually required in order to renew a license. Some nurses opt to specialize further in areas such as pediatric or geriatric care.

Overall, the career outlook for nursing looks bright. Those interested in geriatric care, outpatient care and home healthcare may come to be especially well-situated for promising careers. For those interested in non-bedside nursing roles, nurse informaticists and nurse educators are also becoming increasingly important in the healthcare world.

See our list of programs in the area of nursing and learn how we can enhance your nursing career today.

Sources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
http://news.nurse.com/article/20140915/NATIONAL05/140912013#.VFplyvnF-Hg

by South University
November 6, 2014
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A Look at the Future of Business Administration

by South University
February 27, 2012

Welcome to the fourth installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupational fields you’ll find here at South University Online Programs. Today, we’re going to be looking at some trends and career outlooks in Business.

When you pursue a career in business, there are a wide range of areas that you could focus on. From accounting to marketing to finance and a number of other fields, people interested in business have a lot of options to choose from. At South University, for example, our Bachelor of Science in Business Administration offers 11 specializations:

  • Accounting
  • Construction Management
  • Management and Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • General Business Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Supply Chain and Logistics Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Real Estate

So, what is the area that’s right for you and what does the future hold? There are a lot of sources for this type of information, but a great resource is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Let’s just take a look at some of these fields and where they’re expected to be heading:

Accounting
“Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will have a very large number of new jobs arise, about 279,400 over the projections decade. An increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and corporate governance regulations, and increased accountability for protecting an organization's stakeholders will drive job growth.”

Construction Management
“Employment of construction managers is projected to increase by 17 percent during the 2008–18 decade, faster than average for all occupations. Construction managers will be needed as the level and variety of construction activity expands, but at a slower rate than in the past. Modest population and business growth will result in new and renovated construction of residential dwellings, office buildings, retail outlets, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other structures that require construction managers.”

Human Resources Management
Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average for all human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists occupations. College graduates and those who have earned certification should have the best job opportunities.

Overall employment is projected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Legislation and court rulings revising standards in various areas—occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, wages, healthcare, retirement plans, and family leave, among others—will increase demand for human resources, training, and labor relations experts.

What about the future of business careers themselves? According to the opinion of Lena Bottos, director of compensation at Salary.com as reported in msnbc.com:

“In business, professionals with international experience or knowledge — especially in finance or law — will be hot as the emphasis on global trade and business grows, Bottos said. Companies will navigate tax codes, laws, work regulations, environmental regulations and ethical questions worldwide.”

While some of these areas are covered above, you can see the diversity of opportunities available to individuals seeking to pursue a career in business. So, where can you look for even more information on business careers?

If you’d like to learn more about the business degrees offered at South University, please visit our main business page. You might also like Msnbc.com’s special report on the Future of Business, which covers a lot of interesting articles and features on what may lie ahead. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics covers the outlook for a wide range of business careers fat their site.

We hope this post has been helpful to you, stay tuned for part 5 of our blog post series as we look at the future of legal and paralegal careers.

by South University
February 27, 2012
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A Look at the Future of Criminal Justice

by South University
February 23, 2012

Welcome to the third installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupational fields you’ll find here at South University Online Programs. Today, we’re going to be looking at some trends and career outlooks in Criminal Justice.

Criminal Justice is an area that covers a very broad range of fields – from Law Enforcement to Corrections to Homeland Security to Cyber Crime and beyond. So, what is the area that’s right for you? How are these specializations or even the broader field of Criminal Justice looking into the future?

One way to tell you how many variations there are within the field of Criminal Justice is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have just one page on a career outlook dedicated to this industry. They do cover 3 main areas:

Police and Detectives

"Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 10 percent over the 2008–18 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population growth is the main source of demand for police services.

"Overall opportunities in local police departments will be favorable for individuals who meet the psychological, personal, and physical qualifications. In addition to openings from employment growth, many openings will be created by the need to replace workers who retire and those who leave local agencies for Federal jobs and private-sector security jobs."

Probations and Corrections

"Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent.

"In addition to openings due to growth, many openings will be created by replacement needs, especially openings due to the large number of these workers who are expected to retire. This occupation is not attractive to some potential entrants due to relatively low earnings, heavy workloads, and high stress. For these reasons, job opportunities are expected to be excellent"

Private Detectives and Investigators

"Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 22 percent over the 2008–18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for private detectives and investigators will result from heightened security concerns, increased litigation, and the need to protect confidential information and property of all kinds.

"Keen competition is expected for most jobs because private detective and investigator careers attract many qualified people, including relatively young retirees from law enforcement and military careers. The best opportunities for new jobseekers will be in entry-level jobs in detective agencies. Opportunities are expected to be favorable for qualified computer forensic investigators."

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! For example, at South University, in our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, we offer 5 specializations:

  • Corrections
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Cyber Crime
  • Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice

While our Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program offers specializations in:

  • Homeland Security
  • Corrections
  • Cyber Crime
  • Public Administration

While some of these areas are covered above, you can see the diversity of opportunities available to individuals seeking to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. So, where can you look for even more information on this field? Doing some research on your own to find a field that interests you would be a good first step.

You can also check out this useful resource guide compiled by the National Criminal Justice Association, with links to many federal and local agencies where you can learn more about what different Criminal Justice organizations do.

We hope this post has been helpful to you, stay tuned for part 3 of our blog post series as we look at the future of Business careers.

by South University
February 23, 2012
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A Look at the Future of Nursing and Healthcare

by South University
February 21, 2012

Welcome to the second installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupational fields you’ll find here at South University Online Programs. Today, we’re going to be looking at some trends and career outlooks in Nursing.

Healthcare related fields, including nursing, are undergoing a lot of changes as new laws and regulations take effect and the population ages. These changes are creating a need for nurses as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that nearly 600,000 new jobs for registered nurses will be created by 2018.

The BLS projects that:

“Overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting. Some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs. Employment of RNs is expected to grow much faster than the average and, because the occupation is very large, 581,500 new jobs will result, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of job openings will result from the need to replace experienced nurses who leave the occupation.”

As far as the healthcare industry in general, according to an article in Monster.com, a popular job search site:

“Indeed, healthcare is still a rare bright spot in a job market that can't get out of first gear. Jobs in healthcare rose to 14.19 million in October 2011 from 13.88 million a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hospital jobs increased by 84,000 over the period, but ambulatory services -- physician offices, outpatient clinics and home health agencies -- stole the show, adding more than 173,000 positions.”

As we mentioned earlier, changes to the healthcare industry, such as health care reform will also have a major impact on career prospects for nurses. According to the publication Nursezone.com:

“Health care reform may also have the effect of opening up more jobs in nursing in the future. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, voted into law in 2010, is expected to result in the need for many more nurses to care for the expected 30-plus million people who will be added to the insurance rolls.

Additionally, many are calling for advanced practice nurses to provide primary care and fill the gaps left by a shortage of primary care physicians.”

In short, nursing and the field of healthcare are continuing to grow. There are a lot of great resources out there for you to explore, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics nursing page, the American Nursing Association and Nursezone.com, among others.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series looking at the future of our areas of study with a look at the field of Criminal Justice.

by South University
February 21, 2012
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