Part of any working nurse’s remit is to progress their knowledge and skills through further education. This can be achieved through formal education programs such as postgraduate courses, on-the-job learning, undertaking self-directed study, and participating in research projects—it’s true to say that learning never stops for nurses at all levels.
Of course, there are many advantages to this continuing professional development, and in this article, we’re going to explore the benefits of further education for family nurse practitioners (FNPs). We’ll take you through the positive outcomes of further study for this group of nurses—and for those who are aspiring to this role.
We’ll also let you know how you can embark on a course of study designed for FNPs that can take you ever-further in your career.
What is a family nurse practitioner (FNP)?
If you’re reading this article, you may already be employed as a family nurse practitioner or working towards this role—so let’s find out exactly what it entails.
A family nurse practitioner is a highly skilled healthcare professional, who gives care to patients at all life stages. They often (but not always) work in primary care settings and are frequently the first port of call for non-emergency care. Working with a high level of autonomy, they have the ability to diagnose and treat health conditions, as well as order tests, create treatment plans, and prescribe medication. They also have a role to play in preventative healthcare, that is, promoting the health and well-being of their patients and preventing disease.
The benefits of further education for FNPs
Let’s now dive into the benefits that further education can bring for a working FNP, whether you are already an FNP or are aspiring to this role.
A working FNP already operates with a high degree of autonomy. By committing to further study and learning new skills and expertise, they can gain the confidence to take on even more tasks and responsibilities. This is also true for practicing nurses who aspire to more responsible roles and wish to qualify as FNPs. This increased autonomy translates into a better experience for patients and increased job satisfaction for nurses, who can enjoy using their knowledge in practical scenarios every day of their working lives.
It stands to reason that there is a direct correlation between a higher level of education and a bigger pay packet. Once they qualify, FNPs can enjoy increased levels of pay compared to their former roles as more junior nurses. What’s more, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners are the second-fastest-growing occupation, with a 45% growth rate expected between 2022 and 2032. This means that they are likely to be in demand for many years to come with plenty of employment opportunities and access to higher-paid roles—even during periods of slow job growth.
Chance to educate other nurses
One of the joys of working as an FNP is the chance to educate other nurses and help them progress in their own career journeys. FNPs are ideally placed to provide this education since they have plenty of experience working on the frontline of healthcare and have acquired both practical skills and theoretical knowledge thanks to their further studies. Teaching, supporting, and mentoring junior nurses brings many rewards, giving FNPs the satisfaction of seeing other professionals flourish and helping to shape nursing care for the future.
Better clinical decisions
Undoubtedly, the high level of education that FNPs have attained means they are better equipped to make the most appropriate clinical decisions. Programs to train FNPs focus on issues such as advanced nursing practice, clinical management, and leadership, meaning these senior nurses have both the skills and confidence to make the best decisions. The role of the FNP also has a strong focus on pursuing evidence-based best practices, which translates into better patient care and outcomes.
Train as an FNP
These are just a few of the benefits that working as an FNP can bring. If you’re already a practicing registered nurse who is keen to expand your horizons, then consider studying for FNP certification to add another dimension to your career.
One of the most direct and practical ways of qualifying as an FNP for busy working nurses is through an accredited and convenient program, such as a post master’s FNP online course. The family nurse practitioner post master’s certificate offered by the American International College is exactly this—an online program that allows you to study at your own pace and learn valuable skills along the way.
It’s tailored to working nurses with coursework delivered online so you can fit your studies in around your already busy schedule. You’ll also benefit from clinical placements and clinical hours with a preceptor, so you’ll benefit from hands-on experience too.
In as few as six semesters, you can attain the level of education needed to practice as an FNP and work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient centers, and home healthcare services. Think of it as a direct route to enhancing your career prospects and enabling you to glean the many benefits of working in the respected role of FNP.
Transform your career path
Higher education is always valuable, and, in a senior nursing role, not only benefits nurses but their patients too. For nurses working toward FNP status, committing to a program of further study is essential to fulfilling this aim. It will help you to enhance and increase your theoretical knowledge and practical skills so you can deliver better care and enjoy personal benefits such as increased pay, greater autonomy, and enhanced job satisfaction.
If you’re thinking about making this career move, then consider an accredited online post master’s course. Studying in this flexible and supportive format could transform your career path and offer many benefits for years to come.