There is no better time than now to become a family nurse practitioner.
With an increasing demand for quality, affordable, accessible health care, a new national health care system in 2014, aging baby-boomers, and an increasing shortage of primary care physicians, the need for FNPs has never been greater.
Every road paved before us. Every barrier removed, has provided today’s family nurse practitioner more opportunities, autonomy, and public acceptance than ever before.
Still not convinced that now is the time to become an FNP?
Here are 5 compelling reasons FNPs are in big demand.
1. Nurse Practitioner is one of today’s hottest jobs
Nurse practitioner ranked #1 on the top ten list of Today’s Hottest Jobs by Kiplinger’s in 2011, citing increased hiring demand, annual salary range: $83,273-$96,650 and 10-year growth projection of 22%.
2. FNPs are needed for a new health care system
The nation’s top health advisors recognize the need for more NPs in the new government health care system beginning in 2014.
In October, 2010 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) stated, “Nurses have the opportunity to play a central role in transforming the health care system to create a more accessible, high-quality, and value-driven environment for patients.”
3. FNPs improve access to health care
There will be an estimated shortage of 40,000 primary care physicians by 2020.
In states like Florida, where aging baby boomers and a shortage of primary care physicians have created a higher demand for primary care services, FNPs can fill in these gaps, dramatically improving access to healthcare services.
4. FNPs reduce health care costs while maintaining quality
Research in Massachusetts has shown that using NPs to their full capacity could save the state up to $8.4 billion over the next 10 years.
Citing a potential cost-savings of $339 million annually across Florida’s health care system, last month, Florida TaxWatch Briefing formally endorsed NPs, recommending, “The Florida Legislature remove the barriers of practice for Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners…granting authority for the prescription of controlled substances and direct billing to insurance companies and managed care facilities.”
What about the quality of care?
According to Dr. Jeffrey Bauer, medical economist and health futurist, “In more than 100 published reports on the quality of care provided by both Nurse Practitioners and physicians, not a single study found that nurse practitioners provide inferior services within overlapping scopes of licensed practice,”
Finally, what may be most convincing,
5. More physicians want full partnerships with nurse practitioners
In his December, 2010 editorial, It’s time to collaborate—not compete—with NPs, Dr. Jeff Susman, Editor-In-Chief The Journal of Family Practice, wrote, “I’m convinced that joining forces with APNs to develop innovative models of team care will lead to the best health outcomes” Dr. Susman goes further to say, “I urge my fellow family physicians to accept—actually, to embrace—a full partnership with APNs (advanced practice nurses).”
A family practice physician openly calling on physicians to embrace NPs as full partners?
I rest my case.