The rewards of a career in nursing are notable, both in terms of financial remuneration and job satisfaction. But there are also significant personal sacrifices that need to be made. Nursing requires dedication, and any professional nurse will tell you that the work is hard, and you have to give much more of yourself and your time than you would in a regular job. But they will also add that if you are genuinely passionate about nursing, it is worth the effort.
Flexibility and responsibility
This is undoubtedly true for a qualified family nurse practitioner (FNP). In this role, you’ll be working with families on a regular basis, guiding individuals of all ages through their lifelong medical journey. Although working as an FNP gives you a great deal of flexibility to move around and change settings, you might also work with the same families in a particular community throughout your entire career.
Responsibilities include diagnosing and treating patients, drawing up treatment plans, prescribing medication and/or therapy, maintaining patient records, and performing routine examinations. You will also make referrals for specialist treatment and act as an educator and advocate for your patients.
To qualify in the nursing profession requires a commitment to study hard becausebecoming a family nurse requires acquiring advanced practice certification, which can be time-consuming. However, many choose online FNP programs, which can take you from registered nurse to family practitioner in three years, less time than many comparable study paths.
Becoming a family nurse practitioner allows you to give something back to a community and feel like an important part of community life. Like all nurses, you’ll find caring for patients extremely rewarding, but being an FNP gives you a greater chance of autonomy and independence. In some rural areas, the FNP can be the sole primary care provider for many families and plays a vitally important role.
No two days are the same for an FNP. You are always learning new things and facing new challenges. Being a family practitioner means working with patients of all ages, from children to the elderly. Looking after the very young and seeing them through childhood illnesses can be especially satisfying.
Any nurse expects to be on their feet, working long hours in physically and emotionally demanding situations, and being an FNP is no exception. You may always be on call, and your close relationship with the families you see means it can be hard to limit your time with them. You may be required to work holidays and take on emotional burdens that are difficult to leave behind at the office.
Making a difference
Some patients can be complex, and as an FNP, you may be stuck with them for some time! In other cases, you almost become a part of the family and make a massive difference in their overall health and well-being. FNPs often act as educators and counselors, helping patients help themselves in exercise motivation. In this way, you’ll earn their respect and trust. You can also advocate for them when necessary to make sure they get the outside assistance they need.
Being an FNP is hard work, and you’ll need to make sacrifices. But the personal gains for a nurse with the right attitude make it all worthwhile.