Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) play an essential role in promoting the health and wellbeing of patients in a variety of primary care environments. If you are considering the job search as a family nurse practitioner, you may be curious about the FNP job outlook and what exactly the role entails.
What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
An FNP is a nurse who is eligible to practice at a higher level than a registered nurse (RN). FNPs work in a leadership position in the healthcare team, but, in some states, FNPs practice collaboratively with a medical doctor. They are normally able to perform many roles that an RN cannot, including diagnosing disease, ordering tests, and prescribing medications.
How Do You Become a Family Nurse Practitioner?
There are several requirements that one must fulfill to earn an FNP job, including:
- Being licensed as a registered nurse
- Completing at least a master’s-level education in nursing
- Completing FNP-focused educational competencies during graduate school
- Becoming certified by a nationally-recognized organization
- Obtaining licensure as a nurse practitioner
It is important to note that simply completing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) alone does not enable you to become an FNP; you must also complete FNP-focused competencies as part of this education. Most MSN programs provide a specific track that enables you to fulfill competencies geared toward a specific career pathway. At Chamberlain, the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialty track includes an exclusive immersion experience, preparing you for the FNP National Certification examinations.
What Jobs Can a Family Nurse Practitioner Do?
Many people wonder, “what is a family nurse practitioner job’s description, and what are they allowed to do?” There are a variety of positions that an FNP can hold; however, it is important to note that different states have different standards for what jobs a family nurse practitioner can do. In most states, FNPs provide primary care directly to patients, diagnosing and treating disease while promoting their overall health.
FNPs often work in medical offices or clinics. FNPs truly have a wide number of different types of opportunities they can pursue.
FNP Job Outlook
FNPs enjoy a rapidly growing job market, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting that the category of jobs that includes FNPs will grow 45% by 2030!* BLS points out that this job growth is much faster than the average and states, “growth will occur primarily because of an increased emphasis on preventive care and demand for healthcare services from an aging population.”
How to Find Family Nurse Practitioner Jobs
Many nurses who are completing their education as FNPs wonder, “how can I find an FNP job as a new grad?” Understanding how to get your first FNP job is not difficult and will follow many of the same principles that you used to get your first RN job.
Like any job search, finding new grad FNP jobs is easiest if you have professional connections to people who employ FNPs. Professional connections may include preceptors, previous employers, professors, or anyone else that you have connected with. Connections provide a personal rapport that make it much easier to learn about potential jobs and have a better chance of finding those jobs. By leveraging the connections that you have, you can have a much better chance of getting a first FNP job than you would by just googling “FNP jobs near me”.
Professional nursing organizations, like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, can be helpful resources for family nurse practitioners who are on the job search. Professional organizations offer many membership benefits, including training and education opportunities and career development support.
Most universities have large alumni networks that allow you to search for and find fellow alumni who are positioned to help you find an FNP job. You may also be more easily able to identify alumni that you share connections with and start the relationships with a commonality that strengthens your initial connection. Using your alumni network to build relationships can help you to get that first FNP job.
LinkedIn is a professional social network that is often underutilized by those looking for professional jobs. LinkedIn not only provides you with listings for job opportunities, but also allows you to quickly and easily connect with the person posting the job or with potential decision makers where you are seeking employment. The ability to filter people based on their position and employer, then to personally connect with them, makes LinkedIn a powerful networking tool that could help you in your job search.
Employer Websites and Recruiters
If you do not have any professional connections that you can reach out to for help getting the job you want, you can find available FNP jobs at specific healthcare employers by contacting their recruiters or by looking at available jobs on their website. Most healthcare systems will make it easy to perform specific job searches for family nurse practitioner positions and accept your application through their website.
While googling “FNP jobs near me” may not be the easiest way to find an FNP job, it can still certainly help you find the right jobs to apply for. If you just go out and apply for jobs, especially as a new grad, it may be more difficult for you to find the job of your dreams. With the growing demand for FNPs, however, you still may not find it too difficult to apply for a job that you have no connection to and get an offer to interview.
Becoming an FNP
Becoming an FNP is the next logical step in many nurses’ careers, especially those who want to continue providing direct patient care. While the move to becoming an FNP may seem daunting to some, nurses who have completed their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are already about two thirds of the way there.
Chamberlain University has a strong background in helping nurses succeed in their next career steps. Our MSN FNP program is designed to fit your busy schedule, providing the flexibility of online learning that can be integrated into your existing schedule with as little disruption as possible. We strive to help nurses advance their careers through convenient, high-quality education.
We welcome you to learn more about our MSN FNP program and how we can help you succeed in your nursing career. Request more information now.
*https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm (visited September 08, 2021)
Data reflects a projected percentage change in employment from 2020-2030 and may not reflect local economic conditions.
By Chamberlain University
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