Helping others through their darkest times is one of the best things you can do for your fellow man. What they have done in their lives does not matter. You are not there to cast judgment, but instead to show love and compassion. Such things are often all that is needed to turn someone from a dark path, and similarly, how you can help those grow into great individuals.
We are all tied to our bodies, and, in turn, to our health. By being a nurse, you can help many physically and emotionally recuperate from a variety of ailments and damages. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses hold so many titles. You can become an FNP and work with whole families in a physician role. You can work in acute care, with women, with the elderly, with children, in psychiatric care, or even with surgeons in an operating room.
Nurses are some of the most important workers in the healthcare industry. They are the ones who care and nurse patients back to health. Doctors may be the ones who primarily provide the diagnoses and the procedures, but those are very minimal roles in the grand scheme of healthcare. It is nurses who are with you throughout the night. Nurses who check up on you, who make you smile, who make you feel better.
Work as a nurse, especially as an FNP, and you help others in ways that would make Jesus proud. Caring for others, showing love, and doing it all despite the hardships that you face. It is one of the best roles for those who want to help others, and with this guide, you can do more than become an FNP; you can help fill the Primary Care physician shortage that puts millions of people at risk.
Everything You Need to Know About the Healthcare Shortage
There is a massive shortage of workers in healthcare, both for doctors and for nurses alike. Currently, there are 3.2 million RNs in the United States. Even with these high numbers, however, it is important to remember that there are around 4 million positions open, meaning there is a shortage of around 800,000 RNs, and that’s for those at the start of their career.
By 2030, a further million nurses are expected to retire.
Combine this with the growing (and aging) population, the demand for nurses is far outstripping the supply. Becoming a nurse isn’t just a great career choice. It is one of the best ways to build a brighter future for everyone.
Nursing: The Best Calling for Those with Pure Hearts
Nursing is for those who have pure hearts and want to help. They are widely considered to be one of the most trustworthy professions, hands down, and no contest. They are seen as being honest, with high ethics and a great work ethic. People respect and admire nurses, but high pay and a great work/life balance unfortunately only come to those who work to exceed their status as an RN and work to become an APRN.
If you want to find a great role that will allow you to help the most amount of people, especially those in rural communities who otherwise won’t have easy access to healthcare, then becoming an FNP is the perfect choice to help others. It will allow you to do good for the world and build a career.
The Nursing Shortage and What it Means for American People
There is a massive shortage, and not just amongst nurses. There is a shortage of Primary Care Physicians as well, meaning that FNPs have been granted advanced roles and can even manage a clinic of their own. They are capable of diagnosing, prescribing medication, requesting further testing, and are generally the primary point of care for many, especially those in rural areas.
FNP nurses are the closest you can get as a nurse to being a fully-qualified doctor. The pay compensates you fairly at an average of $100,000 a year, and, in turn, you can truly improve the health and wellbeing of your local community.
Without these FNPs, an estimated 32 million people will go without a primary care physician or clinic and will either have to use hospital resources or suffer with serious symptoms and conditions without a diagnosis. FNPs are in the perfect position to help these people, which is why the healthcare industry is gaining more than twice the amount of primary care physicians (30% FNP nurse growth vs. 8% primary care physician growth).
Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner and Helping Those in Your Community
An FNP works to provide communities with that primary point of care to improve the entire health of the neighborhood, and so you will find yourself working with children, adults, and seniors alike to diagnose issues and conditions early on saves lives. It also gives the entire community a safety net that they may not have even had before.
Whether you operate with patients or run an emergency clinic, your work bolsters the quality of the area you live in. Your work directly impacts and changes the lives around you for the better. When a community is healthy, it thrives, so if you are looking for a worthy job to help you do God’s work, there is no better choice than as an FNP.
The Nursing Route
There are two pathways you will need to follow in order to become an FNP. The first is with your career. Though you can jump right into becoming an RN with a BSN degree, that’s not your only choice. You can work your way through your education as well, making it a very accessible option for many.
The first level of nursing you can apply for is as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The course you will need to take that will teach you everything that you need to know takes just a few weeks. After that, you will be ready to take the state exam and can start working.
The next level of nursing is a Licensed Nurse Practitioner. They have more responsibilities, and like CNA roles, they have a short course and state exam that you will need to take before you can apply as an LNP.
RNs are the largest role in healthcare, period. They are the backbone of healthcare and are the largest percentage in terms of workforce. Despite that, there is a massive shortage. Even with this shortage, an increasing number of states are pushing for more prospective RNs to skip the Associate’s Degree in Nursing and instead work to complete the full BSN so that they have options to specialize in the future.
You can become an APRN after you have completed your MSN and a specialization. Most MSN degrees allow you to specialize from the start, so for those whose goal is to become an FNP, a FNP-MSN is the perfect choice for you. You will learn everything you need to pass the state exam and to start working as an FNP-APRN.
Most states require proof of ongoing education in order to renew your state license. Working to gain more certifications is essential, both so that you can continue to provide state-of-the-art care, and also so that you will be legally entitled to expand your existing job role.
The Degrees You Will Need to Earn
The degrees you will need to earn to progress through these roles are as follows:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The BSN is the gateway to your nursing career. There are many options to complete it online and part-time, so you can continue to work to put food on the table or to offset costs of tuition at the same time. If you are looking to switch careers into nursing, you can potentially use the credits from your existing, non-nursing related degree to fast-track your BSN.
Masters of Science in Nursing
It is from here that you will start to be able to specialize as an FNP. With a specialized MSN, you will learn everything you need to know not just to become a Nurse Practitioner, but specifically a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Optional: Doctor of Nursing
DNP degrees are not essential, but they are a good choice if you want to stand miles ahead of the rest. Like MSN degrees, you will also specialize with your DNP. You can earn an FNP DNP, for example, or go broader and look for a leadership DNP that will prepare you to run the nurses in a hospital or to teach graduates of your own. You will need an MSN to achieve a DNP, though there are some degrees that allow you to complete both consecutively.
Work and Study: Managing a Delicate Balance that Supports Your Mind and Body
Compassion fatigue hits healthcare professionals hard. You are spending your days caring for others, often at their worst. They are in pain. They are sick, probably angry or scared, and the only face they see on a regular basis is yours. The quality of care a nurse can provide changes their entire experience, but that’s just brushing the surface.
A 10% increase in BSN RNs on staff in any hospital setting reduces the risk of death amongst patients by 4%, or in other words, it saves 9 people out of every 1000 discharged patients. Higher educated nurses play critical roles in the care and risk management.
It’s a lot to put on anyone’s shoulders, and we consistently do it day after day, and in many cases, understaffed workplaces. It’s natural to feel burnt out. So how do you manage that natural burnout, and then tackle a degree to become an FNP to help your greater community?
Thankfully Family Nurse Practitioners typically work in clinics or other similar settings, which often have a much more stable and consistent work schedule. While this may not be you while you are finishing your degree, it is something you can work towards.
Choose a Dedicated Degree
Another way you can stay committed is to choose a degree that will get you ready for your future as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Though there are ways that you can specialize later on through additional courses and certifications, it’s easier to jump right in with the right degree.
Use University and Employer Resources
It should be designed for working professionals, accredited, and have plenty of additional resources to support your ongoing education. Without all of that, you won’t have the network you need to carefully juggle the balance between work, life, and study.
Make it Easy to Eat Healthily
Add on that much extra work, and you are bound to slip up somewhere. You cannot let this slip occur to your diet. Instead of eating unhealthy foods, there are many alternatives. Buy nuts and dry out your own fruits for an easy granola. Make meals from scratch and prep them so that you have food throughout the week. If you want to improve your diet overall, try to do this before you start your degree. It can take a few weeks for addictive substances like sugar to filter from our bodies, so we stop craving them, and there will be an adjustment period. By waiting through this time beforehand, you can eat better and feel those benefits first-hand.
Study and Revision Tips
Rewrite your notes, make voice notes, find video explanations – do whatever it takes so that you understand what you are learning in your own words. Your own words are the easiest to remember, so it will help you massively when it comes to studying and revising.
Pursuing Ongoing Education and Training
Most states require further education hours to be taken before they renew your nurse license. Go further than the minimum requirement. Use the routine you have already developed for your FNP degree to continue earning certifications, going to conferences, and learning so you can better help the people in your community – and all of them. Most medical texts don’t go into detail about how various diseases and conditions appear on different body types.
Taking Your Work Beyond Your Workplace: Spreading Help and Love to the Broader Community
If you want to go even further than working as a Family Nurse Practitioner, then there are so many ways you can really get out there and help the community abroad. Do any of these full time, or tackle them on top of your everyday duties:
- Satellite Clinics
Reaching out and helping the community by boosting their health is one of the best, most selfless things that you can do. Your work will directly help others, so buckle down and work hard to achieve your dreams.