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Why Do Registered Nurses Opt for an FNP Degree?

Most registered nurses (RNs) may think they are okay knowing the basics, but they may turn out to be wrong as they advance in their careers. Time and training boost confidence, leading to nurses believing in their existing skill set and wishing to know more. They feel the urge to cater to their patients better and make a difference.

This drive and added purpose cause most RNs to opt for a family nurse practitioner (FNP) degree. The best part is that there is an online family nurse practitioner program available for Phoenix residents, making it possible for students to study from the comfort of their homes or even work on the side.FNPs enjoy greater autonomy, personal satisfaction, and career growth. In this article, we shall look at several more reasons why opting for an MSN-FNP degree is a great idea.

Vast Job Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fact that there is a great shortage of primary care providers. As a result, FNPs are highly sought after. A steady growth in the job market and vast recognition by several media sources caused nurse practitioner programs to rank in the top 10 for job growth potential. This was deduced in a ranking by CNN money in 2009.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics also predicted that nursing jobs will grow by nearly 6% between 2021 and 2031. FNPs can work in a variety of settings:

  • Hospitals

  • Clinics

  • Schools

  • Private practices

  • Urgent care centres

FNPs have the right skill set to look after patients from various age groups and with varying illnesses. Proper education and experience allow them to order tests, diagnose ailments, admit patients into hospital care and even assess various health conditions.

Greater Autonomy and Better Salaries

Nurse practitioners generally make more money than RNs, thanks to their specializations, experience, education, and geographic location. The National Salary Survey reports that the average annual salary of a Nurse Practitioner is more than $90,000. Senior positions and roles that require more commitment and effort pay a lot more. Most of these come with benefits and bonus packages that an FNP can enjoy by posting in certain areas.

If salary is not what you are after, then you will be pleased to know that becoming an FNP allows you to enjoy far greater autonomy as compared to an RN. NPs have greater responsibilities but are also considered sufficient to cater to patients alone if needed.

Over 20 states in the United States allow NPs to work without a supervising physician. They are also allowed to open up their independent clinics. States that have not provided this option to NPs are moving towards passing laws that allow NPs to enjoy autonomy gradually. Additional licenses and certifications allow NPs to enjoy a wider scope of practice.

FNPs Can Provide Primary Care

Primary care nurse practitioners specializing in family medicine, women’s health, gerontology, geriatrics, and pediatrics accounted for nearly 84% of all Nurse Practitioner graduates in 2012.

Only about 55% to 66% of nurse practitioners work in primary care after receiving the relevant education and training. However, this number is steadily growing, and more students are seeking jobs after completing their education. An increased understanding of health issues and the urge to make a difference make FNPs special.

FNPs are responsible for making a marked difference in patients’ lives from childhood to old age. They cater to various age groups and play a major role in helping increase life span using the latest health care system developments.

An FNP can work at a private practice, an independent clinic, a physician’s office, and even at nursing homes, community clinics, hospitals, NGOs, government departments, colleges, and occupational settings. Basic primary or preventive care that most FNPs can offer that an RN cannot include:

  • Diagnosing illnesses and physical/mental conditions

  • Creating and executing treatment plans

  • Recording patient health and history

  • Prescribing medicine

  • Conducting physical exams

  • Analyzing results and ordering tests

  • Tracking treatment response and symptoms

  • Consulting other care providers and coordinating with them for critical patients

  • Encouraging patients to opt for a healthy lifestyle with proper exercise, nutrition, sleep, and healthy habits

  • Referring patients to a specialist or other relevant medical care provider

  • Performing vaccination for infants and children

  • Caring for older adults and helping them live longer lives


Becoming a family nurse practitioner brings in tons of benefits that an individual cannot enjoy as a registered nurse. You can easily apply for an FNP program if you have an MSN or other relevant degree.

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