FNP VS NP: Which Is The Most Fulfilling Career?

Do you have a passion for helping people? Are you interested in working with children or the elderly? If so, an FNP (family nurse practitioner) is the ideal career path for you.

An FNP has the same level of education as a traditional NP (nurse practitioner). They are both nurses who perform similar duties in different settings, but some essential differences between them may affect your job satisfaction.

What Is An NP?

An NP is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing. NPs can practice in any setting, including hospitals and clinics. They can also specialize in many different areas, such as family practice or women’s health care.

According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of August 2022, there were 267,996 nurse practitioners in the United States.

An NP is an advanced practice nurse (APN), which means they have the education and training necessary to provide primary care independent of physician supervision.

In other words, an APN can diagnose and treat patients while working under their license, including developing treatment plans for patients after reviewing medical test results or making referrals to specialists when necessary.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that nurse practitioners (NPs) hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and D.C.

What Is An FNP?

An FNP is a nurse practitioner who specializes in family medicine. A family nurse practitioner can provide medical care to patients without being supervised by a physician.

They commonly give exams to patients of various ages, order and administer tests for those patients, and teach those patients how to maintain their health at home. According to Zippia’s data, as of 2022, over 181,988 family nurse practitioners were working in the United States.

FNPs provide vital services in health care and serve patients for long periods, making this a suitable career choice for people who prefer to build relationships over time.

You can expect to work in various settings as a family nurse practitioner. You will work in several places, such as hospitals, private practices, clinics, and nursing homes.

FNP Vs. NP Education

FNP and NP are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide patient care in various settings, including hospitals and clinics. Both the FNP and NP have similar educational requirements.

They earn a master’s degree in nursing and must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

To practice as an FNP, you must also become nationally certified. If you want to go for the most popular certifications, there are two. One is the FNP-BC primary care certification, and the other one is the National Certificate in Family Practice.

The difference between an FNP and a nurse practitioner is their specialization. Students interested in becoming family nurse practitioners (FNPs) must apply to an FNP master’s degree program while aspiring nurse practitioners (NPs) need a master’s degree specializing in their chosen field.

In fact, if you’re an active registered nurse with a master’s degree in another field, you can enhance your nursing skills and career opportunities by earning a second master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

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If you’re interested in pursuing a post-Masters degree in Family Nurse Practitioner but don’t want to move out of the house or take time off of work, it’s possible to do so online.

You can find post-masters FNP programs online that offer flexible courses and a convenient schedule. These programs might even allow you to complete them in less time than a traditional on-campus program. 

As with any degree, there are many options for a post-Masters FNP program. However, most of these programs require that students have an undergraduate degree in nursing and some experience working as a Registered Nurse (RN).

FNP Vs. NP Responsibilities

Both FNP and NP are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who diagnose, treat, and manage patients.

Family nurse practitioners are usually required to work full-time hours, and many must be available for emergency calls. Family nurse practitioners can work in various medical settings, from pediatrician’s offices and community health centers to hospice care centers and hospitals.

Nurse practitioners typically work full-time hours and are on call frequently. However, where they find employment may depend on the specialty they pursue while in graduate school.

In addition to diagnosing and treating patients’ illnesses or injuries, APRNs must be able to communicate with patients about their condition to provide them with appropriate care. This can involve performing physical exams or ordering tests like blood work or x-rays that help determine what treatment is needed for the patient’s condition.

FNP vs. NP Job Outlook

Suppose you’re considering becoming a nurse practitioner. In that case, the good news is that your job outlook is expected to grow 40% over the next decade, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number 40 is higher than the average growth rate of all occupations.

Although the job outlook for NPs and FNPs is similar, NPs are not a replacement for doctors. Traditionally, most NPs and FNPs worked in hospitals, but today many people go to private clinics, which increases the need for nurses in these settings.

For example, an FNP might work in a doctor’s office, clinic, school, hospital, or private home. Similarly, an NP may work in a hospital outpatient department, a hospital inpatient department, or a private group practice.

FNP Vs. NP Salaries

According to Indeed, family nurse practitioners in the United States make $144,959 annually. There is also a potential for family nurse practitioners to earn an additional $20,625 per year in overtime pay and other benefits, including license reimbursement and free flu shots.

Nurse practitioners can expect to make $116,947 per year on average, according to Indeed’s data. They are also likely to earn $18,750 per year in overtime pay. In addition to their salary, nurse practitioners can qualify for benefits such as mileage reimbursement and health insurance.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which path is best for your career. But if you’re hoping to choose between an FNP and NP, a few things might help you make that decision. 

First, you should compare the education requirements and salaries for both careers. Then consider what job you want in the future. What kind of patients do you want to work with? And finally, look at your strengths. If they align with one profession over another, then go with it.

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