If you are a nurse and are thinking about possible roles you could consider moving into as you progress in your career, then you have no doubt noticed that one of the most talked-about and sought-after roles for senior nursing professionals is that of the nurse practitioner.
Becoming a nurse practitioner after working as an RN is a fairly accessible path for a lot of people to take, as there are a whole host of good schools that offer online RN to FNP programs that you can do either full or part-time, without having to attend a college in person. With these flexible options, it can be possible for you to make the move to become a nurse practitioner when you feel the time is right in your career. But just why is the nurse practitioner role so important, and in such high demand?
Bridging the Gap Between Physicians and Nurses
Nurse practitioners provide a lot of the important leadership in nursing, and so from a nursing perspective command a lot of respect. However, from the point of view of the patients, one of the most important things about the NP role is that it can fill in a lot of the gaps left by the lack of doctors who are working in primary care. This skills deficit would make it difficult for a lot of people to get the care they need in a timely way, but thanks to nurse practitioners with the advanced healthcare skills to diagnose and treat many conditions, and to take care of people of all ages and stages of life, care can be provided more easily.
A Crucial Role in Rural Areas
Another reason that nurse practitioners are a very key role in healthcare is that in rural areas that are not well served by large hospitals or other facilities found in big cities, nurse practitioners are the vital link to healthcare that most people use. This is great for professionals who want to qualify as FNPs because it means that no matter where you want to live, you can find a good position – rather than being restricted only to where there are major hospitals or clinics.
Healthcare Professionals Equipped to Provide Primary Care at all Stages of Life
Because nurse practitioners almost always have a strong background in nursing as well as the advanced education in healthcare that comes from completing their FNP program, they have a huge amount of both knowledge and working experience with patients. With the focus on primary care and family health, they are equipped to help with the medical and healthcare needs of people at all stages of life, rather than specializing in one biological discipline as many physicians do. This allows them to be extremely versatile as health professionals and naturally, makes them very employable.
The nurse practitioner role is definitely one that healthcare as we know it really depends on, and so if you are considering your options as you progress in your nursing career, it is certainly a path to keep in mind.