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  • April/2017

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.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Career Outlook: Employment Growth and Salaries for Nurse Practitioners

by South University
April 4, 2017

Nurse practitioners play an essential role in our country’s healthcare system, working in collaboration with physicians or independently to provide primary and specialty care for their patients. If you’re considering pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner or enhancing your existing nursing practice leadership and knowledge, when it comes to both salary and employment growth, the outlook for nurse practitioners is promising!

Employment Growth for Nurse Practitioners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2014 to 2024, nurse practitioner employment will grow across the country at a rate of 35%—a rate 5 times the average.

Nurse practitioners can expect particularly high demand in inner cities and rural areas, which are frequently medically underserved by physicians. Growth for the nurse practitioner career is anticipated due to factors that are also increasing demand for healthcare services. First, the number of people with health insurance is growing, and these newly insured individuals will want preventative and primary care providers—a role regularly filled by nurse practitioners. Second, as the large baby-boomer population continues to age, this group will also require increased care from nurse practitioners for chronic and acute conditions.

As of their most recent stats from 2015, the BLS estimates that 136,060 nurse practitioners are working in the United States, with Mississippi, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Tennessee having the highest concentration of nurse practitioner jobs in their state’s population.

Nurse Practitioner Salaries

In May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual wage for nurse practitioners of $98,190, noting that some positions also offer flexible hours, educational benefits, and childcare.

Not picky about where you live? Maybe you’re looking for adventure? In 2015, California, Alaska, and Hawaii reported the highest mean nurse practitioner salaries, each over $114,000, followed closely by Massachusetts and Oregon. Nurse practitioner salaries also vary based on your specialization and the area of the healthcare industry in which you work.

How to Build Your Career as a Nurse Practitioner

Interested in a career as a nurse practitioner? South University offers a master’s degree and postgraduate certificate programs with nurse practitioner specializations, including RN to MSN programs which do not require a BSN for admission. Combining online learning with on-site training, these programs are led by professional nursing instructors who can offer valuable support and mentorship as you develop your skills.

For those already working in nursing practice, South University also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program designed to help you enhance your clinical nursing practice, inquiry, and leadership skills. Explore our full list of Nursing programs available online and at our campus locations today!

Sources

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015 - Nurse Practitioners

South University does not guarantee employment of any particular level of compensation following graduation.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

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.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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