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FNP Job Outlook – (8 key Factors for the Strong Outlook)


Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN

Family nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses trained to care for patients across life’s spectrum. Their diverse background places FNP’s in a unique position to be a jack of all trades, so to speak, in the NP profession. If you were wondering what is the job outlook for an FNP? Their expansive knowledge base makes an FNP highly valuable in the medical field. This article will outline 8 key factors behind the strong job outlook for family nurse practitioners. There are many excellent reasons why earning your FNP degree is a win-win for finding a job in 2021. Read on to find out why I chose to become a family nurse practitioner and why you may be interested in pursuing this avenue also.


WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTORS BEHIND THE STRONG JOB OUTLOOK FOR FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONERS?

(Following are the 8 key factors behind the strong job outlook for family nurse practitioners.)

1. Covid Pandemic

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the physical and mental health of many of the world’s inhabitants, the US included. Even though the death toll and cases have calmed down a bit at present, the illness and after-effects have impacted the health and wellbeing of many for years to come.

Even prior to the pandemic, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicted that the need for NP’s was expected to increase 45% over the next 8 years. At present, there is an increased need for an assortment of healthcare professionals because of the crisis, with the demand for family nurse practitioners included. These factors alone make the FNP job outlook favorable.

2. Preventative Care More of a Priority

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, there has been an increased emphasis on wellness and preventative services. Family nurse practitioners play a primary role in keeping our population healthy by working in settings that promote preventive care, such as community clinics and physician offices. FNP’s are educated to incorporate health maintenance in their everyday encounters, making them the perfect fit for this trend.

3. Full Practice Authority

With the benefit of more and more states granting NP’s full practice authority, nurse practitioners are gaining increased freedom to practice where and how they prefer. In addition, the physician shortage necessitates the hiring of FNP’s to fill many gaps in the care system. Being able to prescribe and treat without a physician supervisor in attendance frees up FNP’s for these essential roles.

4. Baby Boomers Aging

According to the US Census Bureau, for the first time, older adults will outnumber those <18 years old by 2034. This fact is partly due to the population surge of the baby boomers aging into retirement, living longer and people deciding to postpone or not have children.

As a consequence of the demographic population shift, the already strained medical system will have more adults to care for with fewer workers available. This inequity of medical personnel vs. patients will increase the demand for family nurse practitioners who are qualified to care for those across the lifespan, including the elderly.

Possibly due to longer life spans, dementia is on the rise in the US. With the baby boomer population aging and requiring more medical attention and dementia more prevalent, FNP’s will be valuable to help care for this growing age group.

5. Increased Emphasis on Holistic Care

More and more people are becoming interested in holistic and complementary medicine.

In the medical profession, nurses are generally more likely to consider all aspects of a patient than some other specialists. This holistic approach is due in part to our training, which incorporates mind and body. We listen and are attuned to our patients to assess their needs emotionally and physically.

Family nurse practitioners, in particular, tend to value all aspects of patient care, taking into consideration their wants and needs. An FNP may work with patients from varied cultures, many of which incorporate alternative and complementary health beliefs according to their customs. An example of this will be discussing herbs, supplements, acupuncture, or yoga if the patient desires.

Family nurse practitioners are generally open to considering alternative modalities and therapy for their patients, making FNP’s appealing for those who prefer holistic care.

6. Urgent/Ambulatory Care Centers to Increase

With the rise in popularity of the urgent care industry, NP’s will continue to be needed to staff these centers. Family nurse practitioners are especially suitable for this setting due to the ability to treat patients of all ages resulting in the FNP job outlook being excellent for an urgent care FNP.

As a family nurse practitioner that has worked in an ambulatory care center, my FNP training in pediatrics, adult, and geriatric settings was invaluable once I began working in an environment that treated all age groups. I felt comfortable seeing patients of various ages at the center and grateful for my diverse preparation across the lifespan.

7. Telemedicine is Here to Stay

Telemedicine has proven to be essential during the Covid pandemic. Telemedicine has been a lifeline for those who do not have access to care due to lack of transportation or live in rural communities far from local medical facilities. In addition, virtual visits have been crucial in keeping our elderly and sick patients safely at home instead of visiting their physicians during the crisis.

Patients and medical professionals have found telemedicine convenient and efficient, so this trend is here to stay. The FNP job outlook in telemedicine is outstanding as family nurse practitioners are very well suited for this environment due to their background in dealing with a whole spectrum of conditions.

8. Versatility of an FNP Degree

The main reason that I chose to pursue my NP certification as a family nurse practitioner was the versatility that it would allow me in the practice setting. As a clinic FNP, I was able to work in the ambulatory care center, along with the pediatric and family health clinics. An FNP can work in almost any healthcare environment, making the demand for family nurse practitioners higher than many types of other NP’s.


Conclusion


I trust that I have answered your question of what is the job outlook for an FNP? As you can see, becoming a family nurse practitioner is a wise choice for those who like versatility and variety of patients and want to maximize an NP degree to its fullest potential. I have never regretted my choice of pursuing an FNP degree and have enjoyed ample job opportunities due to this career path. After reading 8 key factors behind the strong job outlook for family nurse practitioners, I hope that you too, will be confident that pursuing your FNP is the right decision.


Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.