Working within the healthcare industry at any level is hugely rewarding and demanding, often all at the same time. A nursing career can offer you a lot, and it can be fulfilling, but if you are yearning for more, which route should you take and why? There are, of course, a lot of roles on offer within the healthcare industry, but not all of them give you the patient interaction you get with nursing.
If patient interaction and care are what you want, but you are ready for a change, then becoming a family nurse practitioner could well be the right role for you and for your future.
Ready for a Change?
Of course, you may think you are ready for a change, but how do you know? To establish whether or not you are ready for the next level in your career, you have to look at what you are doing now and what you want to do in the near future. If you are happy but not getting the enjoyment or challenges that you once did, then the chances are that you are ready for a move. Similarly, if you feel that you have a lot more to offer but you are not getting the opportunity within your current role, it could also be a signal that the time for change is on the horizon.
There is no need to stay in a role that no longer fulfills your needs and requirements. Being open and also being ready for a change is a strong signal that you need to act upon. If you feel ready for a change, and you feel ready for new challenges, then you should take action before you get stuck in a rut.
Moving on From Nursing
Whether you have been in nursing for one year or 10, moving can be daunting. You may enjoy the role of a nurse, but you may feel that you can offer more to patients. Making the change from nursing and moving into another area is positive because it shows that you are growing and developing as a professional. Of course, moving on from nursing can sometimes be easier to talk about than to take action, and this is where your inner strength is needed.
For example, if you have been looking at online post masters NP programs but have always squashed your thoughts before they had a chance to develop, then you need to start by looking at your mindset first and foremost. The mindset that you have or that you adopt can change so much. A positive and strong mindset will allow you to act upon your thoughts and be more decisive. Moving on from nursing may not feel like the easiest thing to do, especially if you have been in the role for a little while, but once you make the decision and commit to change, you will then find things will start getting a lot easier to process.
What Does an FNP Do?
If you have been seriously looking at becoming a family nurse practitioner, but something has always held you back, then now is your time to move forward. An FNP looks after the health and welfare of families. For example, in a family of 2 adults and 2 children, an FNP would provide medical advice and guidance for the whole family from the minute they take them on as patients until they leave, move, or retire.
An FNP is responsible for families, and they focus on family care just as a family doctor or GP would. A family nurse practitioner will often stay with a family as they grow and change. Building strong relationships is what nurses do, and it is also what an FNP does. As a family nurse practitioner, you will administer medication in the same way as a doctor or GP does. An FNP carries a lot of responsibility, especially towards the families they are looking for. As family nurse practitioner stays and grows with a family, they often build trust and relationships within communities that would not be achieved by doctors or GPs.
What Roles and Responsibilities Can You Expect
As a family nurse practitioner, you will find that a lot of responsibilities and roles you hold are similar to those of a doctor. Of course, you will be focused on giving primary care to families and family members of all ages. Within this primary care, you will be able to treat injuries and illnesses that may range from minor to major, and you will also be able to perform diagnostic tests as required, and you will be able to maintain a patient’s records.
Just like a doctor does, you will be able to perform physical exams and prescribe medications. Even though the roles and responsibilities of an FNP are very similar to a doctor, an FNP will have more of a personal bond and care of duty to the families they look after. Mainly because they will have grown with them and seen them through good times and through the bad. A doctor may or may not see the same patients on a regular basis, whereas an FNP would.
Why You Should Become an FNP – The Advantages
You are already a registered nurse, and you enjoy what you do, but you know you can give more. As an FNP, you will still get to use your personal, patient, and nursing skill set, but you will just also take on more patient care too. You can make a real difference to the lives of families and to the heart of communities.
As you will be sticking with the same families as they grow, change, and develop over time, you will get to experience a more rewarding patient relationship than, say, a doctor would. In some circumstances, a family nurse practitioner is seen as an extended member of a family, especially if they have been with a family for a few years. As you build up your experience and knowledge of patients and their family units, you get a deeper level of satisfaction that perhaps a doctor may not get.
Benefits of Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner
One of the major benefits of becoming an FNP is the opportunity to build bonds and relationships with patients and families. As a nurse, you can form relationships to some extent, but usually, when the patient leaves your care, then that is it: the end of the bond or relationship. As well as better patient relationships, you also get the opportunity to earn more and have a better work-life balance too.
As you will be traveling more and visiting the homes of families, you will be able to manage your schedule more so that you get quality time with your friends, family, and loved ones. As an FNP, you have time commitments, but you will not be as restricted as a nurse with shift patterns and different shift lengths. A work-life balance is something that you can get and achieve within your role as an FNP.
Qualities and Attributes
Just like within nursing, there are also attributes that an FNP will usually display or exhibit. There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all approach to the role of a family nurse practitioner, but on the whole, you will find that those within the role are attentive to detail, dedicated, and passionate, just like nurses are.
Some other qualities and attributes that a family nurse practitioner will display include care and compassion. For example, an FNP will be with a family for a long time, and throughout this time, they may see births, deaths, and possibly other tragedies. Being able to handle these situations and being compassionate and empathetic are qualities that a family nurse practitioner must display.
An FNP will have to be quick thinking on their feet because they will be moving from family to family, sometimes seeing several families within a day. If a family nurse practitioner is not quick thinking, then they may not be responsive or attentive to the needs of the family they are visiting.
As a family nurse practitioner is always thinking about the health and well-being of others, it can be easy to neglect their own well-being and health. It is essential that a healthy balance is achieved and maintained because if it is not, then this is not productive or healthy in the long term, and you will be unable to think quickly on your feet.
Self-Improvement and Self-Awareness
Within your nursing career, you will have focused on development and self-improvement, and within a family nurse practitioner, this will not change. To be the best FNP that you can be, you need to always focus your attention and efforts on being the best version of yourself that you can be.
When you focus on both self-awareness and self-improvement, then you can ensure that you are giving your patients the best quality of care that they need and deserve. Within your role as an FNP, self-improvement will play a pivotal role in your development and future success. Invest in yourself, and you will reap the rewards.
Always be open to new training, and be open to improving your areas of weakness. If you are not invested in self-improvement, then you will struggle to achieve true success within the new role that awaits you.
As an FNP, you will be advising and also guiding families about health, eating, weight, and a good lifestyle, and it often helps if you practice what you teach. When you can give, or show real-life examples, perhaps through self-improvement, then you can communicate easier and more freely with your patients. When you focus on good communication and also on self-awareness, then you can ensure that your families and all of your patients get attentive treatment and care at all times.
When you are consistent with what you say and also what you do, then patients will ultimately trust you a lot more and put their faith in you too. When you are focusing on building relationships, then this is what you need.
Training and Education
Education and training are important in any healthcare role, and it is especially important to the role of an FNP. A family nurse practitioner will have to face updates, revisions, and changes to how they work and the way that they work, and this is where training and education play a big part.
If you embrace change and welcome it, then you will find that both education and training become something that comes naturally. To train to become an FNP, you will need to undertake a specialist FNP program, which is usually ideal to study online. Once you have qualified as a family nurse practitioner, you will then need to continue focusing on education, development, and training.
Studying Online Successfully
As most of the training and development you do will be carried out online, you have to embrace online learning. Adapting to online learning is easier and quicker than you think as it can often be fit in around your existing commitments.
Studying to be an FNP can be carried out fully online and this means it is convenient for you to do, alongside your current role. Studying online can be different from studying in a classroom, so you have to ensure that you have a place to study from within your home that is quiet and free from distractions. When you study from home, you must remember that you also need to be self-motivated. Balancing your time is an art that you must learn to perfect.
Once you become an FNP, you do not have to come to a standstill. There are other opportunities that are still available to you should you wish to progress your career even further.
For example, later down the line, you could look at training others, or you could look at mentoring new nurses or new healthcare professionals. You may also want to look at leadership roles and positions that may allow you to start making changes and differences on a larger scale.