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How Has The Nursing Profession Evolved And Where Is It Headed?

Team of medical personnel in a hospital

Nurses are essential components of a functioning healthcare system and have been for some time. However, it is only within the last couple of centuries that nursing has been recognized as the profession we know today.

The Birth Of Modern Nursing

Healthcare has been an important part of human civilization since its earliest days. However, nursing did not emerge as a proper bonafide profession until around the middle of the 19th century. Most historians agree that Florence Nightingale is the first example of a modern nurse. Prior to her arrival, there had been many people, mostly women, doing work that we would now recognize as nursing, although it was not referred to as such at the time, as male doctors dictated the terms of healthcare.

Florence Nightingale was the first person to recognize the importance of the scientific method for healthcare. Her contributions to nursing during the Crimean war laid the groundwork for the modern field of nursing.

A decade later, with the outbreak of the American Civil War, the nursing profession accelerated as women like Mary Ann Bickerdyke and Captain Sally Tompkins developed many of the techniques that would become standard for nurses going forward. Many of the volunteer nurses during the civil war were female slaves. Freed male slaves would often fight for the union army, while freed female slaves would offer their services as nurses and caregivers.

Because of this, public support for and recognition of the nursing profession spread across the United States. The contribution of women throughout the civil war also helped to cement their role in American society. For the first time, there was a recognized and respected profession that women could pursue. However, nurses were still considered inferior to male doctors.

Training

The study and field of nursing began to coalesce into the profession that we recognize today. With the emergence of nursing as a recognized vocation for many ambitious women, a standardized approach to the training was required. The first programs that we would recognize as training for nurses opened their doors to students in the late 19th century.

By the latter half of the 20th century, these training courses had evolved into more complex and comprehensive training programs, and colleges and universities took over responsibility for training new nurses from hospitals, which had been handling the training process until then.

Work And Responsibilities

Over the years, the responsibilities of a nurse have also changed quite dramatically. There are a number of reasons for this, shifting societal attitudes towards nurses and towards the role of women in nursing, in particular, have played a big part.

Nurses are no longer considered as subordinate to doctors, and there is now a recognition that the two roles are different, although they obviously complement one another. Nurses were originally seen as caregivers, looking after patients while they were stuck in the hospital, but not really providing much in the way of medical care, which was left to doctors.

As Americans began to seek out medical care in greater numbers, more nurses we needed in the second half of the twentieth century to cope with the increased demand. This resulted in the nursing profession expanding significantly and nurses taking on many of the roles and responsibilities that had previously been reserved for doctors.

The Future Of Nursing

We have looked at how nursing has changed over the years. Now let’s take a look at where it is headed in the future.

The nursing profession is in a constant state of flux. There are always new advances being made in the fields of medicine and technology, and these advances can significantly impact what nurses do and how they do it. As time goes on, nurses' training is continuing to expand, meaning that nurses are able to take on new responsibilities. This is a trend that we have witnessed since the earliest days of nursing, and which we expect will continue long into the future.

Nurses today have more options than ever before when it comes to career progression. A registered nurse can set their sights on any specific field or industry within the realm of healthcare that they would like to work in. For example, if you are passionate about working with children, then you could pursue a career as a family nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse.

The nursing profession has changed a lot since Florence Nightingale’s time and will likely be unrecognizable again in another century. Nurses are always going to be in demand, that is never going to change. But the nature of nursing reflects our current understanding of both medicine and technology.

Should You Go Back To Your Nursing Career After Having Children?

Nurses continuing their high tech education after having children

Should You Go Back To Your Nursing Career After Having Children?

For some women – and some men too – there is a choice to be made. Should they continue in their careers, pushing forward and seeing their ambitions come to fruition, or should they put everything on hold and have a family? This can be a very hard decision to make, but whatever the final choice, it needs to be the right one for that person or couple at that time.

In some cases, the idea might be that the parent who chooses to stay home for a time (either a few months or a number of years) will go back to their careers when the child is old enough. This can be a simple thing to do if you work in an area like retail or have a customer-facing role, or can even be something that is done from home. If you are a nurse, however, this might be a difficult option; so many changes and moves on in such a short time (which is why nurses should always strive to keep learning) that just a few months can mean that they are out of touch with new ideas. After a few years, they might not know enough to go back confidently.

This can put some very good nurses off returning to a job they loved. However, there are a number of excellent reasons to go back into nursing once you have taken a break from it to have a family, and reading about them might persuade you to try it. If you were a nurse and you loved what you did when you have the chance to go back you should take it. Here are some useful things to consider:

More Money

One of the biggest reasons why many parents choose to return to work when they are able to after having children is the financial factor. Not working is clearly going to mean a big dip in the family’s finances, and in today’s world it is unusual to be able to manage on just one salary, and that’s assuming that both parents are together and that at least one is working. This may not be the case at all, and in single-parent households having a job is even more important in order to provide for the family.

If you feel that you need to bring more money into the household and you are a fully qualified nurse, the solution is a simple one; go back to doing a job you enjoy and you will be able to contribute to the family’s expenses. If you are starting to think in this way, although you might be nervous about going back or leaving the children for the first time, it may well be a sign that you are ready for this new step. There are plenty of options when it comes to childcare (and if the children are of school age then it is a simpler thing to organize anyway) so don’t let this be a barrier; think of what you need to do that is best for you and everyone around you. If that is going back to work to provide for the family, so be it.

The issue that could be taking up space in your mind is that nursing has a reputation for being paid poorly. However, there are ways to ensure a nursing career pays fairly well, including working towards promotion by studying with online DNP programs. The more you can do while you are at home with your children, the better your career will be when you get back to work. Think of this time at home as a chance to hone your skills and direct your career path in the way you want so that by the time you are able to return to work, you are where you want to be.

You Will Receive Additional Benefits

When you are working, you will receive additional benefits that you are not going to get when you are staying at home. If these are important, then the only way to ensure you can rely on getting them is to go back to your nursing job. These benefits could include:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental
  • Childcare
  • 401(k)
  • Bonuses
  • Training

The benefits you will receive when you are working as a nurse will differ depending on what level you are at, so again, this could be a reason to get further ahead before you return by studying at home. Some of the benefits may even include your family, so again they are well worth considering.

The wonderful thing about nursing is that it is vital, meaning there is always going to be a job out there for you. Because nurses are in demand, you may even be able to negotiate flexible working hours which means you can be there for your children when they need you, and work when they are at school or at clubs and extra-curricular activities. A private nurse would be able to determine their own hours, but even in a clinic or hospital, you should be able to have some say over when you work. This is an extra benefit that you might not have considered but that you should discuss when you go for an interview.

You Will Gain A Social Life

Having children is a wonderful thing if that is your choice in life. If you want to be a parent, you can do so and enjoy every moment. However, there are sacrifices that are going to need to be made, and that includes losing some or all of your social life for a little while at least. It is hard to go out with friends as you once used to when you have small children to look after. This can mean that some parents become isolated and rather lonely, especially if they have been used to a busy social life or a busy workplace.

Restarting your nursing career could be an excellent way of starting to make friends (or even interact with old friends again if you go back to the same job you left when you had your children) and socializing once more. It’s an ideal way to prevent loneliness and be with other adults for at least a few hours a day, and this can make the world of difference. You may even find you can be a better parent when you can step away for a little while and interact better with others.

It is important to have a life away from your children in order to have a good balance. You will be able to find yourself and realize your own personality once again, and even be called by a name other than ‘mom’. Having this freedom and individuality back again is something that many parents crave, and if you can gain this while working in one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs there is, you will love it even more. Make the most of your time with your children and make the most of your time away from them – this is the kind of balance that makes everyone happy.

Plus, your children aren’t going to be with you forever. As much as you might not want to think about them growing up and moving away, this is what usually happens, and if you don’t have any friends or a job to go to, you will find you are even lonelier and, to be put simply, you will be bored too.

Have You Planned For It?

The question of whether or not you should go back to your nursing career after having children is one that can only be answered by the person asking it. Only you will know how you really feel about the idea, and only you will know how important it is to you to either be with your children all the time or take time to enhance your career. In many cases, there is no right or wrong answer; it is always entirely down to you.

If you’re considering going back to nursing and you have young children as well, you will need to plan for the event. This planning can help you to determine whether or not you are ready to return, so it is doubly important. You will soon know what is going to work for you and whether or not you can take the next step or whether you should wait a little longer.

Another reason for planning your potential return to nursing is that you are going to be busy. Taking care of babies and toddlers, and even school-age children, doesn’t leave a lot of spare time, and if you don’t plan when you can, you might find that you are ready to go back to nursing but that you have failed to put any plans in place with regards to childcare or additional learning or anything else that you are going to need to think about.

Something you can really think about when you are planning your return to nursing is how you see your career developing. Were you happy with where you were before? Would you like to do more? Would you like to work in a different department? What do you need to know now that you didn’t know then, and how can you find this knowledge? Online courses are ideal as you can study at your own pace when you have time, rather than having to commit to attending physical classes which will have its own problems revolving around childcare and so on.

You Should Be Able To Choose Where You Work

For many, the worry about returning to work, whether they have been at home raising their families for a matter of months or for many years, is that they may have to start spending a lot of their day commuting in order to get to and from their new place of work. This can add many hours to the day in some cases and can mean that childcare becomes more difficult to arrange, and more expensive when it can be organized. This can, of course, be off-putting, and they might choose to stay at home instead (assuming they don’t have to work for financial reasons) or choose a different career that will allow them to work closer to home.

This can be disappointing and problematic.

Yet with nursing, it probably won’t even be something you need to think about. No matter where you live, there is sure to be a hospital or clinic relatively close to you, and it is likely that they will be looking for new nurses. Nurses are in short supply, and hospitals and other medical settings will always be looking for those who have the right qualifications and experience. Even if you can’t see that they are hiring, it is worth getting in touch with the hiring manager when you are ready to return to work and giving them your resume. You might be exactly who they are looking for.

Even if that idea doesn’t pan out, you can still take your pick when you have a nursing degree. Alternatively, if there really is no job opening anywhere nearby, you could think about private nursing, or working in a seniors’ home. There are many options so don’t limit yourself if you want to go back to work.

Will It Meet Your Expectations? Can You Reach Your Goals?

There are many questions you are going to need to ask yourself before you head back into the world of work. One of these questions, one that many won’t consider, is whether or not the job and working, in general, is going to meet your expectations. Are you looking for work simply because you need a break from being a parent, or do you really want to work? Have you got an image in your head of what it will be like when you return to work that, in reality, just won’t be the case?

In other words, will working again meet your expectations or will you find that you didn’t need or want to go back at all?

This is an important question and one that might be hard to answer initially. This is why a return to work should never be rushed and why you should only do what you feel is right, and not what you think other people expect from you.

Everyone has goals in life, and it is important to strive towards them where you can. However, remember these are your goals and no one else’s; just because someone else would go back to work, or stay at home with their children, or work part-time, or even change careers, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You need to follow your own path, and if returning to your nursing career is the right thing for you to do, then you should definitely do it.

How to Reach Your Full Potential as a Registered Nurse

Photo of nurses as part of a surgical team

Many people outside of the medical community tend to think of nursing as a one-dimensional profession. The classic description of a nurse as one who assists physicians in the administering of healthcare is certainly one way in which a registered nurse can function. However, there is so much more than one might do with a nursing degree than this.

While there will always be a place in the medical world for dedicated nurses who give their all day in and day out to care for patients as RNs, there are a number of incredible options out there for nurses who feel that their talents, skills, and experience would lend themselves to other roles that might be higher up in the medical hierarchy.

Such nurses can contribute a great deal to the field of medicine. In fact, it is becoming more and more common for nurses to be placed in positions of great responsibility. This is because the firsthand knowledge and experience that nurses obtain from working directly with patients and physicians make them more than capable of providing insight into how better patient outcomes can be achieved across the board.

If you feel that your potential as a nurse is such as would make you a strong candidate for positions of greater responsibility and contribution to the world of medicine, there are certain things that you can do that will help you to reach that potential. Here are just a few of the more common ways in which a nurse can reach for more in his or her career.

Advanced Degrees

Advanced degrees are an interesting subject for nurses. It is possible to practice as a nurse with just a nursing certificate under our belt. Although this is the case, most nurses these days opt to at least obtain a two-year associate's degree in pursuit of the RN certification. Still more feel that it is better to go for a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) in order to work as a qualified nurse.

Anyone who is looking to reach their full potential as a nurse will want to at least have a BSN degree. This is essentially the first step to earning further advanced degrees that will help you in your career. For instance, if you hope to work as a nurse practitioner, you will need to have a DNP. You will not be qualified to earn a DNP unless you at least hold a BSN first.

 

The next question you might be wondering is what does DNP stand for? DNP stands for Doctor of Nursing Practice. This is the highest type of degree that a nurse can hold and carries a great deal of weight within the medical community. By earning your DNP, you become qualified to do so much more within the field of nursing and the world of medicine as a whole.

While it is helpful to have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) before enrolling in a DNP program, this isn’t always necessary. There are a number of excellent programs out there that provide for a BSN to DNP track. Ultimately, the decision to go for a DNP without an MSN will pretty much depend on what it is you would like to accomplish in your career.

Those who hope to study and work in a very specific niche of medicine might wish to be equipped with as much knowledge and experience as possible. These individuals might, thus, opt for multiple degrees. However, it isn’t entirely necessary in all cases. A career or academic advisor should be able to point you in the right direction in this regard.

Your next question might very well pertain to how you would possibly earn such a hefty degree. Most nurses work in shifts that can vary from month to month, or even week to week in some cases. The hours that a nurse works aren’t exactly conducive to becoming a full-time student. The good news is that these days there is no shortage of options available for nurses dedicated to reaching their full potential.

Online degree programs are designed specifically for such purposes. A nurse can now enroll in an expedited, online DNP program for a reasonable tuition cost. While the workload will be heavy for a while, it will ultimately be worth it if you are able to reach your full potential in your nursing career.

Make Connections

Another incredibly significant piece of the puzzle when a nurse is trying to advance in his or her career is that of professional connections. The medical community as a whole thrives off of such connections amongst working professionals. The importance of medical and healthcare professionals being able to exchange experiences and ideas cannot be overstated.

This is why such things as professional organizations exist within the medical community. Physicians, nurses, and other professionals can connect via such organizations with others who work in similar roles. There are even some organizations that are specific to the particular field of medicine that one works in or is studying.

For example, the Academy of Neonatal Nursing is a professional organization designed for nurses who work in the neonatal field. On the other hand, the American Academy of Nursing is one that is open to nurses who work in all fields. Other organizations are state-specific and help nurses within the same state network. By joining such organizations, you obtain access to a valuable community of like-minded nurses.

Via a professional organization, you can stay in the loop with major developments in your field. Such developments might be legislative in nature or they might be related to breakthroughs in medical research. No matter what the context might be, anyone looking to achieve their full potential in nursing should stay current on any and all major developments.

You also gain access to events pertaining to your specific field. Such events can help you to network and build valuable professional relationships with your fellow nurses or they might be educative in nature. Some events might even count towards your required continuing education credits as well.

The connections that you make and the knowledge that you stand to gain by being part of a professional organization can be incredibly helpful in allowing you to reach your full potential within your nursing career.

Find a Mentor

If you are someone who is looking to achieve a certain level of success in your career, one of the most valuable resources that you could give yourself is that of a mentor who has already been there. A mentor is someone who can give your firsthand knowledge and advice that can aid in guiding you to reach your full potential

Even someone who is only a few years and steps ahead of you in their career can prove to be invaluable as a mentor. The guidance and advice that a mentor can supply you with can help you to better understand the steps that you should take and the mistakes that you should avoid in your own career path.

Finding the right mentor might be a bit easier than you think, as well. If you work for a major hospital or health system, there might already be a mentorship program in place that you can enroll in. Just inquire with your human resources department to see if such a program exists and if they are taking candidates at this time.

 

If you don’t have a program of this nature at your disposal, there are still ways of finding a mentor that are a bit more on the informal side. You can simply look to see if there is someone withing your professional network that you respect and who would make a good mentor.

The qualities of a good mentor are a bit on the subjective side as you are essentially looking for someone who is in a position in their career that you aspire to with your own and who also is willing and able to impart their knowledge to you. You should look for someone who is regarded as a leader and who has a reputation for being reliable. Such a person should be happy to work with you in this way and offer you professional feedback throughout the next stage of your career.

Know Your Goals

While this might sound like a piece of generic career advice, it is not something that can or should be overlooked. There is no clear way of reaching your goals in your career unless you know exactly what those goals are. Simply having a vague picture in your mind of being a contributor to developments in healthcare will do you no good if you are trying to reach your full potential.

For the years that you are in nursing school, you will be exposed to various fields of nursing. It is perfectly ok for you to not know precisely what you want to do and accomplish at this time as it is very likely the first time that you are being introduced to such things. It is through experience that you will be able to find your true calling as a nurse.

Once you have found that pursuit that you would like to dedicate your energy and talents to, it is important to sit down and lay out what it is that you would like to accomplish. It might seem a bit silly, but it is a good idea to physically write out your goals onto a piece of paper. Not only does this help you get a clear picture of what those goals are, but such a tactic can help you associate particular steps in your career with achieving your goals.

It is important that you take the time to do a bit of introspective thinking on this score. You want to make sure that you are doing all that you can to reach your goals on a professional level. Now, this isn’t to say that those goals won’t change or develop as you go along. Reaching your full potential is not a one-step process. Make sure that you know where you would like to get in your career but are open and flexible to the changes to your vocation that might develop with more time and experience.

Practice Self-Care

Another piece of advice that you will want to bear in mind if you truly hope to reach your full potential in your nursing career is that you need to take the time to practice good self-care. Often, nurses spend their entire professional, and most of their personal, life thinking of others. While this is no doubt one of the shining qualities that make nurses so valuable to society as a whole, it can also lead to the tendency to put one’s self on the backburner.

Ultimately, if you burn out professionally, you won’t be very likely to achieve much in your career. Moreover, you can’t expect yourself to continue to offer your patients the highest levels of care if you do not first care for yourself. With extensive hours that will need to be dedicated to working, education, and your professional development, it might seem like there won’t be much time left over for looking after yourself.

However, there are ways of working self-care into your schedule, even if that schedule is jam-packed. Every once in awhile, take a break for a few days and get away from work and school. Taking a day or two to recharge is incredibly helpful in avoiding mental burnout.

Make sure, also, that you give yourself the chance to get the right amount of sleep at night. Nursing is a job that typically requires you to be on your feet for most of your working day. Coupling this with the fact that you have to be mentally checked-in all day makes for a fairly exhausted nurse by the end of a shift. The right amount of sleep at night is the only way to ensure that your mind and body are able to fully recover and recharge for the next busy day.

Transitioning from a BSN to a MSN

What to Expect When Transitioning from BSN to MSN

There is no better or faster way to boost your career than to study towards your master’s degree in nursing. Keep in mind that while it will significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job and aid you in earning a higher salary than a BSN-educated registered nurse, transitioning from a BSN to a MSN degree requires plenty of dedication, focus, and passion. If you feel that you are ready to take the next steps, here is what to expect.

Why study an MSN?

There are many benefits associated with studying a Master of Science degree in nursing. As mentioned above, one of those benefits will be increased earning potential. You will also likely discover that it is much easier to find a wonderful job, often at the clinic or hospital at which you had always hoped to work.

Another notable benefit of studying an MSN is that you will have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of nursing based on your strengths and what you enjoy the most. Popular areas of specialization for nurses making this transition include:

  • Becoming a clinical nurse educator: this is an excellent specialization for nurses who love inspiring, teaching, and working with other nurses.
  • Taking a lead role in nursing administration: this is a good option for those who have a natural knack for organization and time management.
  • Becoming a clinical nurse leader: this the perfect opportunity for strong, efficient leaders to take center stage.
  • Becoming a family nurse practitioner: this is the only way to go for nurses who love making a difference in the lives and health of families and communities.

A further benefit is the chance to provide more evidence-informed care to families and patients. When studying towards a Master of Science in nursing, you will be exposed to plenty of theoretical science-based knowledge that you will then need to translate into offering your patients advanced nursing care.

Choosing the right college

Once you are aware of all of the benefits of studying towards an MSN, the next step will be to find the right college to make it all happen. So, what aspects should you be taking into consideration?

Ultimately, the most vital aspect of the college at which you choose to study your MSN is that it makes it possible for you to conduct the vast majority of the theory portion of your course online. Few nurses are in the financial position to be able to make the decision to take a couple of years off work to complete their master’s degree. In short, they will need to continue nursing in conjunction with their studies.

Marymount University is a great example of the type of online nursing college that you should be looking for. Along with offering a world-class online curriculum, the university and its BSN to MSN-FNP course is CCNE Accredited. It also boasts a 100% pass rate. 100% of Marymount’s 2019 graduates managed to pass their FNP certification exam on their first try.

To sum up, you should look for a university that:

  • Allows you to complete most of your coursework online
  • Promises a diverse and CCNE Accredited curriculum
  • Provides you with an extremely high chance of passing your course as quickly and hassle-free as possible

What are the Admission Requirements for an MSN?

It is important to note that admission requirements for studying a Master of Science in nursing will vary significantly from college to college. Having said that, the bare minimum requirement will always be that you have already obtained your Bachelor of Science in nursing with a decent GPA — usually around 3.0.

So, if you are still working towards completing your BSN, this is what you should be aiming for. It is essential that you improve your grades as much as you can if it is your dream to continue your studies thereafter. The higher your GPA, the greater your chances of being accepted into a reputable university.

Other possible requirements to keep in mind include an unencumbered RN license and letters of recommendation. The latter should come from respected professionals currently operating within the healthcare industry who can vouch for your passion and dedication to your career, as well as your desire for professional growth.

Some colleges will require that you submit a professional essay with your application, so remember to afford yourself plenty of time to write this ahead of the submission due date.

Finally, you might also have to prove that you have a few years of work experience under your belt before you will be allowed to undertake your clinical practicum courses.

What will I study when working towards an MSN?

Once again, the curriculum usually varies quite dramatically from college to college, so ensure that you are aware of this when looking into your options. Generally, however, most Master of Science in nursing curriculums will cover the following subject matter:

  • Family management: Considering that most nursing professionals work directly with families, it is crucial to learn how to properly manage and care for them. You will discover how to apply evidence-informed concepts to the daily care of individuals and how best to see to both their physical and emotional needs and well-being.
  • Population health: Every nurse needs to be aware of both national and global health and what determines its levels. As such, you will learn about the various health disparities, as well as population-oriented disease prevention.
  • Leadership: When you are qualified to the extent of holding an MSN degree, it is understandable that a number of leadership responsibilities will likely follow. This is why you will learn how to embrace and improve upon your leadership skills.
  • Healthcare ethics: Ethical values are what mold good quality healthcare systems. Therefore, there is usually a strong emphasis on how to maintain and uphold them in your nursing practice.
  • Care delivery models: Here, you will learn all about the various care delivery models and how to apply them. There will also be a focus on quality management and business process improvement strategies.

How much does it cost?

It is estimated that you will pay around $1,050 per credit hour. There will also usually be extra costs associated with labs and clinicals. Fees, however, will vary from college to college.

How does clinical placement work?

You will be required to complete a certain number of credit hours along with a certain number of clinical hours. Your clinical hours will need to be completed within a healthcare facility. Some colleges assist with clinical placements while others do not. It is always best to select a college that provides you with some guidance and assistance in this regard.

A good quality college will usually put you in touch with an experienced Placement Coordinator who will take your requests into consideration when finding the right healthcare setting for you. Keep in mind that you might need to undergo specific clearance processes before you can start your clinical hours on site. These processes often comprise of drug screenings, physical examinations, background checks, and ensuring that you are up to date with all your vaccinations.

Is the nursing profession a good choice for me?

If you love helping people and you are in search of a rewarding profession, you cannot go wrong with nursing. While it takes four years to complete your Bachelor of Science in nursing, and a further two years to obtain your Master of Science in nursing, you are practically guaranteed a fruitful and satisfying career thereafter.

Just keep in mind that a successful nursing practitioner needs to possess a variety of skills. For example, you will need to be incredibly hard-working and focused. You will also need to have above-average communication and time management skills and prove that you can work effectively in high pressure environments. Finally, you will need to be compassionate, yet still master the art of forming a barrier between what happens when dealing with patients at work, and your personal life.

The great news is that there is a growing demand for healthcare professionals across the globe. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected 28% projected job growth set to occur between the years of 2018 to 2028. In light of COVID-19 and the value of healthcare workers in fighting the virus, it is almost certain that the job growth will look even more promising going forward.

The salaries of nursing practitioners in possession of MSN degrees are also extremely attractive. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average salary earned by nursing practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives is $115,800 per year.

You are now aware of what the next few years will look like for you should you decide to proceed with this new adventure of obtaining your Master of Science degree in nursing. If you are feeling inspired to proceed and give your career a hearty boost, now is the time to make it all happen! Wishing you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

6 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in Family Nursing

Team of nurses walking down a hospital hallway
Family nurse practitioners play a very special role in the world of nursing. They get to treat patients at every stage of their lives, work as advocates and educators, and also get to make special bonds with the people they treat. They’re also some of the most well-rounded nurses in the profession, and some can even be the head of their own clinic. These are only some of the reasons why family nursing is such a great field to consider, and why the level of satisfaction is so high among nurses who decide to take this career path. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider getting a career in family nursing.
 

You’ll be More Autonomous

One of the best things about becoming an FNP is how much freedom you’ll have. There are now 28 states where FNPs have full practice authority, meaning that they can diagnose and prescribe medication without a physician. Out of those 28 states, 14 allow FNPs to start practicing with no initial oversight period. This is a great option if you want to have more responsibility, and be in control of your own career and destiny.

You’ll Get to Fill a Wide Variety of Roles

Family nurses have such a wide array of expertise and will be asked to perform all sorts of duties. As a family nurse practitioner, you will be asked to:

  • Develop treatment plans
  • Guide and educate patients on healthy lifestyle habits
  • Adapt health promotion through the aging process
  • Conduct exams
  • Perform screening evaluations and diagnostic tests
  • Manage overall patient care
  • Emphasize preventative care

Family nursing is a great career for nurses who really want to feel involved. You’ll also become a resource not only to patients but to other nurses as well. This is a great position for working nurses who want to take on more responsibilities, and have more of a managerial role.

Great Demand

The demand for family nurse practitioners and NPs, in general, is set to be through the roof over the next coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the demand for NPs will grow by 28% from 2018 to 2028. Family nurse practitioners enjoy some of the best job stability in the industry, and institutions will go through great lengths to retain talent. The average FNP can earn as much as $109,000 per year, not to mention all the added bonuses and benefits.

It’s Fulfilling

Because of their diverse role, the pace of work, and contact they have with the community, nurse practitioners report high levels of job satisfaction. As a matter of fact, the U.S. News and World Report ranked nurse practitioners as the 5th best job in their 100 best jobs for 2020 list.

I love it, because it’s such a challenge. You really feel like you’re helping patients, and you also get to work in underserved areas,” said FNP Jamie Clarke. Christopher Baker, who’s currently studying family nursing, stated that the relationship with patients is what brought him to the field. “I love interacting with patients and getting to know them. I like showing that I actually care and that I’m here to help. I know that I will be able to do that as a family nurse practitioner,” he said.

And he’s actually right. Very few nursing professions allow you to build that kind of bond with patients. Being able to see your patients grow, and you becoming part of the family is something you won’t get anywhere else. You’ll get to see children grow into healthy adults largely because of your recommendations. This is why family nursing is one of the most fulfilling positions not only in nursing but healthcare in general.

Getting Your Certifications is Now Easier than Ever

If you were currently working as a registered nurse and wanted to move into an FNP role, know that getting your degree is now easier than ever through online courses. Universities like Carson-Newman Online allow you to get your degree in as little as 32 months through their MSN-FNP program. Those with an associate’s degree, on the other hand, could get their FNP degree in as little as 4 years through their RN-MSN-FNP program. Some of the benefits of getting your FNP online include:

  • Not having to move out of state
  • Avoid shortages
  • Affordable tuition
  • No commute
  • No campus fees
  • Ability to take classes synchronously or on your own time
  • No need to leave your position

Being able to get your degree while keeping your job is perhaps the greatest benefit of getting your degree online. You’ll be able to work during the day or fit your schedule around your classes. You could decide to switch to part-time shifts if you want to dedicate yourself fully to your studies. Or you could decide to keep your full-time job and study at the weekend.

These programs also allow you to stretch out your studies if needed if you want to alleviate the workload. This is also great for parents who couldn’t imagine juggling work, school, and family duties.

A Great Springboard to Leadership Roles and Advocacy

The credentials you’ll get as a family nurse and the wealth of expertise you’ll gain over the years could prepare you for much greater roles in the future. You could move to become a public health activist, for instance, or work on multiple boards. Some decide to move into research and academia, while others choose to focus on patient education.

As a family nurse, you could end up having a direct impact on healthcare policy, and make a real difference. Your research could help change the way nurses do their job, and the quality of care the patients get. Family nursing can become much more than a job, and a great way to fulfill your mission.

As you can see, family nursing is one of the most interesting fields in the profession. If you feel like you’re a fit for the role, we strongly suggest that you look into it more in detail, and don’t be afraid to ask other nurses what it’s really like to be an FNP.

About the author: Maggie Hammond. Proud mama to two little people, and has one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, the great outdoors and animal welfare.