There’s a massive demand for family nurse practitioners (FNPs), especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, there are 355,000 licensed nurses in the US right now, and more are in the pipeline.
There’s a good reason why many people choose nursing as a career. They’re experts at taking care of patients and their families as a whole, and they can practice without the supervision of another health professional.
Despite the high influx of family nurse practitioners, there’s still a massive gap between the demand and the number of FNPs graduated each year. Hence, there is a need for the graduated ones to get more skills through a Master’s degree. But there’s more to it. This article lists why an FNP should get a Master’s degree.
How to Get a Master’s Degree in Family Nurse Practicing
There are various ways to obtain your master’s degree in family nurse practitioner. Some schools offer a separate Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, while others provide both an MSN and FNP degrees as part of one program. If you’re interested in pursuing an MSN only, check with the school to see if it offers specialty tracks within its curriculum.
If you’re looking for something more flexible than returning to school full-time or if your schedule doesn’t allow for regular classes at night or on weekends, consider pursuing an online program instead.
Many accelerated BSN to MSN FNP programs online can help you get a Master’s degree with complete flexibility. Since these are online courses, you can access the course material anywhere.
Hundreds of BSN to MSN FNP online programs are available, and choosing the right one can become overwhelming. You must research what program fits your schedule and offers the best value.
Benefits of Getting an FNP Master’s Degree
There are many benefits to obtaining an MSN in FNP. These can include the following:
Advances Your Career
If you want to advance in your career and increase your salary, a master’s degree is the way. An MSN will allow you to work with a greater variety of patients and give you more authority in the workplace. This can lead to better job opportunities, more responsibility, and earning potential.
Moreover, FNPs have the right skills for better patient care, similar to physicians. They are trained to detect symptoms of any health conditions and work on them accordingly. Hence, they can fill the gap in the demand for physicians.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges projections, there will be a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 doctors by 2034, which can be compensated for by FNPs. This will also make healthcare more accessible as physicians alone cannot cater to the vast population of the USA.
Offers Better Scope of Job Environment
A master’s degree in nursing is a great way to expand your scope of job environments. As an FNP, you can work with patients and populations requiring different care types in various settings.
For example, suppose you decide to become an FNP specializing in pediatrics. In that case, you may work at a school where children have been injured on the playground or need regular vaccinations against diseases like measles and mumps.
Or maybe you decide to specialize in adult gerontology primary care and work full-time at an assisted living facility while providing weekend home visits.
Moreover, the salary is quite good and increases according to the challenging job environment. Based on the data from Salary.com, a family nurse practitioner can make around $120,000 annually. This can increase based on the specialization you choose.
Lets You Take Better Patient Care
As a family nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for providing care to needy patients. To do this effectively, you must have an education that helps you keep up with the latest medical advances and how they can be applied to your practice. A master’s degree will allow you to focus on patient care while giving you access to new information that can help improve your patients’ lives.
Master’s programs in nursing typically include courses such as:
- Advanced clinical practice
- Evidence-based practice management and research skills development (EBP)
- Health policy analysis and decision making
Allows Learning New Skills
A master’s degree can be an opportunity to learn new skills. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, you may want to consider a post-graduate certificate or degree program that focuses on advanced practice nursing.
These programs often include clinical rotations and other hands-on training opportunities that can help prepare students for careers as family nurse practitioners.
It’s also important to consider how much time and money it will take to complete your education at the graduate level versus what kind of return on investment (ROI) there will be once you finish school.
This is especially true when considering whether or not it makes sense for someone who already has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university but now only wants additional education so they can become more marketable within their field.
Allows You to Pursue a Specialty Field
A master’s degree is a great way to pursue a specialty field, such as geriatric nursing or neonatal care. Many of these fields have strict requirements for entry and can be very competitive. To get into these specialties, you will likely need to complete an internship or residency program in addition to your master’s degree and certification.
An excellent way to determine what kind of nursing specialty interests you is by talking with current nurses who work in those areas. This can help give insight into whether this type of work would suit you and if it would allow your skillset enough room for growth over time.
Family Nurse Practitioners Are in High Demand
If you’re considering a master’s degree, it’s likely because you want to increase your earning potential and expand the types of work you can do. The good news is that this may be possible. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that there will be a growth of 40% between 2021 and 2031 in the nurse practitioner profession.
This makes it one of the fastest-growing occupations in healthcare today. What’s more? Family nurse practitioners can work in many settings, from private practices and hospitals to schools, so they can find an ideal position no matter where they live or what kind of practice they want to establish themselves at.
In conclusion, family nurse practitioners have many reasons to pursue a master’s degree. It will give them a better scope of job environment, allow them to take better care of their patients, and also allow them to learn new skills. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing this path.