Family Nurse Practitioner and Other Nursing Roles That Are Great for Parents
The demand for family nurse practitioners is only growing bigger day by day across the US. Working as a family nurse practitioner is also becoming a career that is more accessible to many people thanks to a wider range of online nursing degree programs that you can study to prepare yourself for this career.
The family nurse practitioner role is becoming more and more popular among registered nurses who want to climb the career ladder, but care about their patients and want to continue in a career where they can continue providing direct care to others. Working as a family nurse practitioner can offer you a career where you have a lot of autonomy and responsibility in the workplace along with lots of opportunities to have an impact on patient care. Family nurse practitioners are in high demand since these advanced practice registered nurses are being recruited to fill the gap that has been created by a national shortage of primary care physicians.
How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
If you are considering a career as a family nurse practitioner, then the first step is to qualify as a registered nurse if you are not already working in this field. If you are considering changing your current career to work as a nurse practitioner but your degree is in a non-nursing subject, then the first step is to get your BSN.
The bachelor of science in nursing degree followed by passing the NCLEX exam will qualify you to work as a registered nurse and eventually, get onto a master’s degree program to prepare you to work as a family nurse practitioner.
If you’re changing careers, then you may want to consider an ABSN online. This is an intensive, two-year program that allows you to earn your BSN and get started in a career as a registered nurse faster, which can shorten your pathway to working as a nurse practitioner. Once completed, you will need to gain work experience as a nurse before going on to take a master’s program followed by a post-graduate nurse practitioner certificate, or a master’s program designed to prepare you for a nurse practitioner role.
Why Working as a Nurse Practitioner is Ideal for Parents?
If you are a parent, then the job you do will make a huge difference to your family dynamics. There are lots of reasons why parents tend to make good family nurse practitioners, and the role can be suitable for a parent in many ways. Family nurse practitioners tend to offer general care to patients of all ages including children, so while it’s not required for the role, being a parent yourself can help you develop a greater level of empathy and compassion for your patients who are children or parents themselves, ultimately fostering stronger relationships with the people that you care for.
Some more reasons why parents often find that a role as a nurse practitioner is an ideal choice for them include:
While the salary might not be your first reason for getting into a career as a nurse, there is no denying that it is nice to know you can provide for your family with the work that you do. When you have children, you don’t just have yourself to think about when it comes to improving your earnings as you have mouths to feed and dependents that you are responsible for. Compared to working in a registered nurse role, you can earn a significantly higher salary as a nurse practitioner. In fact, family nurse practitioners tend to earn an average of around thirty thousand dollars more per year compared to registered nurses, which can make a huge difference to your family’s situation.
When you’re already working as a registered nurse and want to move up the ranks to become a family nurse practitioner, or you’re just at the beginning of your career and have an end goal of a career as a family nurse practitioner in sight, the good news for parents is that there are lots of online study options available.
Whether you are getting an accelerated BSN to kick-start your career or are looking into advanced study options, more and more nursing schools are now offering flexible distance learning options which can be perfect for parents who need to fit their education around their family commitments. You don’t need to worry about being away from your kids all the time because you need to be in class, as the classes can come to you. With many nursing degree programs you will need to attend placements for hands-on work, but any classroom learning can be done from home on your computer, at a time that suits you best. Along with this, studying online is often cheaper overall as there are fewer associated costs such as commuting, which can be ideal for somebody who is responsible for a family.
Once you become a parent, you feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to provide for your child and make sure that they have a comfortable and happy life. So, for many parents, there is nothing worse than being qualified in an area where there isn’t much demand, and work opportunities are few and far between. The good news is that once you qualify to work as a registered nurse and go on to get your qualifications to become a nurse practitioner, you will not have to deal with this situation.
The demand for nurses at all levels of this profession is extremely high and most graduates are hired within six months of getting their degree. Demand is high in all specialty areas thanks to the national nursing shortage, so whether you decide to go ahead and become a family nurse practitioner or have a change of heart and decide to work in another specialty area that you are interested in such as psychiatric mental health nursing or pediatric nursing, finding work isn’t difficult.
Have an Impact on Healthcare
As a parent, you want your children to grow up with access to the best healthcare – and as a nurse practitioner, you can also have a direct impact on healthcare policies that will not only benefit your patients but also you and your family. Family nurse practitioners are often some of the biggest patient advocates out there and there will be ample opportunities for you to speak up on behalf of others and make your voice heard when it comes to influencing healthcare policymaking for the better and having a say in what changes are made to improve patient care for the future.
Working in a career as a registered nurse and as a family nurse practitioner can be ideal for parents, as the schedules tend to be more flexible compared to many other career options. With patients needing healthcare around the clock, you do not have to commit to working business hours unless you prefer to do so. Many nursing professionals who have children are able to work on a schedule that best suits their family life allowing them to save money on childcare costs and spend more time with their families.
Once you have a BSN and go on to earn an advanced degree in nursing, there is no need to stop there when it comes to career progression. For parents working in nursing, this offers an additional layer of security as you know that if it comes to a point where you need to improve your career to have a positive impact on your family life, there will be opportunities available for you to take advantage of whether that involves finding work in a management or leadership role or focusing on a different nursing specialty area with high demand and great rates of pay.
Start a Business
If your idea of the perfect job for you as a parent is to do away with employment altogether and start your own business, then you might be surprised to hear that you can do this with a career in nursing. Once you have qualified as a nurse practitioner, passed the licensing exam, and are licensed to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse in your state, then you may be able to start your own clinic or practice.
To do this you will need to reside and work in a state where nurse practitioners have full practice authority, which is currently the case in twenty-two US states. This allows you to start your own primary healthcare clinic, retail clinic, or specialist practice where you can run a healthcare business of your own and be your own boss.
Have you always dreamed of moving to a different state with your family? Does your partner have a job that might require them to move in the future? Getting into nursing can be an ideal choice of career if you are not sure that you are going to stay in one place but need a stable and secure form of work that you can use to support your family. While you will usually need to pass an exam to get a license to practice as a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner in a different state, your qualifications will permit you to take the exam and start working anywhere in the country. And, the demand for nurses and nurse practitioners across the US is very high no matter where you go, but especially in more rural areas.
Other Nursing Careers to Consider for Parents
Most nursing careers are an ideal choice for parents as they offer flexibility, high demand, competitive rates of pay, and plenty of opportunities for progression and career advancement. When you have children, they have to come first in your life, so it’s important to choose a career that allows you to not only support your family but also spend quality time with them as much as possible, which many nursing careers are ideal for. If working as a family nurse practitioner isn’t the right fit for you, then there are several other nursing careers that you might want to consider including:
Another advanced nursing role, nurse leaders have a huge amount of responsibility and earn competitive rates of pay. They are in high demand and necessary in almost every healthcare setting to lead teams of healthcare professionals and oversee patient care. Compared to clinical nursing roles, nurse leadership roles often offer more sociable, fixed hours that might be a better option for parents.
If you want to spend as much time as possible with your family, then you might consider working night shifts in a department that definitely needs nurses around the clock: the ER. Most of the time, these roles involve only working around three or four nights per week and you will have the rest of the week off. You’ll also earn a higher rate for working through the night, which might be appealing to parents who want a better financial situation for their family.
Pediatric Nurse or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
If you love helping children and want to use your nursing career to make the world a better place for them, then getting into pediatric nursing could be an ideal choice for you. Pediatric nurses and nurse practitioners often work daytime hours rather than shifts, which may be a better option for parents who need to work around childcare or school.
Another role where your skills and ability to relate to other parents and how they feel can be used as a nurse is in neonatal nursing. Working as a neonatal nurse or neonatal nurse practitioner is also often less physically taxing since your patients are tiny, and most of your time will be spent monitoring them. This might be ideal for parents who don’t want to take on anything too strenuous at work. However, it is a highly skilled position that may be emotionally draining at times.
If you’re a parent and you are looking for a secure, high-demand career with great opportunities that you can enjoy while supporting your family, working as a family nurse practitioner or in many other nursing careers is worth considering.