why become a family nurse practitioner

The Primary Care Revolution: 5 Reasons to Find Fulfillment as a Family Nurse Practitioner

Step into the dynamic world of healthcare, where the roles of nurses are evolving with innovation. Beyond providing conventional care, nurses are relied on for their holistic and patient-centered perspective — garnering well-earned appreciation for their dedicated and invaluable approach to caregiving.

Amidst the nursing revolution, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are quickly becoming leaders in primary healthcare. With master-level training, APRNs possess the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, and treat patients across countless healthcare settings.

Dr. Mary Salisbury, seasoned nursing expert and director of Goodwin’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, attests to the evolving roles of APRNs. “FNPs are rapidly becoming the primary healthcare providers,” she outlines. “Especially in the advent of COVID, we are seeing a shift in who the providers are. People used to rely on medical doctors (MDs) for primary care, but now, people are beginning to favor the family nurse practitioner. We hear many stories about how patients prefer the perspective FNPs adopt and have better care experiences.”

If you’re motivated by compassion and driven to advance your nursing career, earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) through Goodwin’s FNP track can help you secure a rewarding and stable future in your field.

Read on to discover why, now more than ever, our communities need empathetic nursing experts to help address diverse healthcare needs — and how Goodwin can help you find fulfillment as a family nurse practitioner.

Reason #1: A primary perspective

You may be inclined to think primary care is the same regardless of whether you consult an MD or APRN. So, why are patients increasingly opting for FNPs as their providers?

Two of the foremost factors fueling this preference are accessibility and availability. Compared to physicians, FNPs typically provide prompt care without extensive wait lists. In addition to creating a more pleasant and patient-friendly experience, FNPs’ advanced accessibility makes each patient a priority, which is especially pertinent given the scope of FNPs’ responsibilities. “FNPs focus on common (acute) and chronic medical conditions,” Dr. Salisbury relays. “At Goodwin, our FNP courses focus on diagnosing, treating, and managing a gamut of diagnoses.”

Another quality motivating the preference for FNPs is their patient-centered philosophy. Educated and trained to take a holistic approach to caregiving, FNPs assess their patients while considering the broader aspects of healthcare — going beyond a single ailment to address whole-body wellness, emotional factors, and the social determinants of care.

Because FNPs focus on holistic patient health, their duties don’t end with diagnosis or treatment. By opening honest discussions about patients’ lifestyle choices and risk factors, FNPs collaborate with those in their care to establish preventive measures — optimizing their care experience and helping them remain well. These collaborative conversations empower and educate patients, explaining health concerns, offering guidance and encouragement, and proactively improving patient outcomes.

Dr. Salisbury stresses the integrity of the FNP approach, explaining how Goodwin’s hands-on curriculum prepares prospective nurses to meet these demands. “It’s a dynamic environment between students and instructors. We purposefully keep our class numbers low, so there’s more one-on-one contact,” she offers. “More support and resources are also available, including help finding robust clinical placements.”

Furthermore, Dr. Salisbury explains how these clinical partnerships help FNP students foster an array of primary care skills. “FNP students complete 600 clinical hours. The field placements are focused on primary care and, sometimes urgent care,” she delineates.

Reason #2: A flexible and fulfilling future

Although many FNPs pursue the primary care path, others enjoy the flexibility of this field. “Because there are a lot of different opportunities once you become a family nurse practitioner, the sky is the limit,” Dr. Salisbury suggests. “When FNPs are out and practicing, they’re not limited to a primary or urgent care setting. I think we have all probably received care from an FNP in several different areas of medicine.”

Goodwin’s FNP program helps students develop the foundations necessary to work across a myriad of medical settings. Throughout their clinical experiences, prospective FNPs can home in on professional goals and interests. “We’ve had some students going into home health care, and others spend some of their clinical hours in specialty areas,” Dr. Salisbury shares. “For example, we had one student whose nursing experiences were in gastrointestinal (GI) care, and they were hoping to practice in that setting.”

With the training and flexibility to provide comprehensive care in diverse areas of medicine, there are no bounds to the impact a dedicated FNP can have on their community. Some of the most common workplaces for FNPs include:

• Community health centers
• Hospice centers
• Hospitals
• Long-term/residential care facilities
• Patients’ homes
• Pediatricians’ offices
• Private care centers
• Schools and universities
• Specialty care centers (cardiology, dermatology, oncology, etc.)
• Telehealth

Reason #3: Increased earning opportunities

Because advanced practice nurses assume a greater level of responsibility than other nursing professionals, they reap the benefits of an increased earning potential. While licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can expect to make an average of $54,000 annually and registered nurses (RNs) can anticipate an income of approximately $80,000, the highest paid FNPs can earn more than $126,000 per year (with the typical range beginning at $87,000).

Better still, the burgeoning need for skilled FNPs guarantees greater job security for those invested in this important career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for advanced practice nurse practitioners will grow by nearly 40% over the next 8 years. This stampedes the average career growth rate of merely 3%. With the possibility of earning a six-figure salary lying within your reach, achieving a fulfilling career as an FNP has never been more profitable.


Did you know you can kickstart a fulfilling career as an FNP at Goodwin University? Our FNP program can be finished in as few as 27 months, with the freedom and flexibility of online coursework. With the hands-on benefits of three in-person immersion weekends and fieldwork opportunities throughout the state, you’ll gain the experience and expertise necessary to conquer your career goals with confidence. Find out more about advancing your APRN-FNP journey at Goodwin — download our free Family Nurse Practitioner Get Started Guide today!


Reason #4: Advance your practice, enhance your impact

Most nursing professionals are motivated by their intrinsic desire to aid the well-being of others. While those who work in healthcare make a remarkable impact daily, enriching your practice by becoming an FNP will enhance your influence — leading to more people helped, more communities strengthened, and a greater sense of career satisfaction.

Furthermore, advancing your education is, in and of itself, a rewarding experience. In addition to developing your practice and increasing your earning potential, pursuing your master’s enables you to break away from your comfort zoneexposing yourself to new concepts, challenges, and ideas.

In addition to benefiting from the fruits of a highly focused program, graduate studies empower students to embrace their autonomy. Through committed determination, grad students exercise, flex, and develop essential self-starting skills like time management, leadership, executive functioning, and more. Likewise, as you achieve your master’s, your confidence increases — elevating your personal and professional sense of self.

Throughout this odyssey of growth, Goodwin keeps student support at the forefront. Dr. Salisbury outlines the advice she offers her students. “During info sessions and orientations, I always talk about a few things. One is time management and really thinking ahead. Many of our students are working full-time and have families or other obligations as they pursue their studies and clinical rotations.”

Mary continues, “We also talk about recognizing who your personal and professional supports are and what resources you’ll need to be successful. Having strong communication skills and letting professors know what’s happening in your life can help us support you. If we don’t know what’s going on, we won’t be able to help.”

Aside from optimizing student support, Salisbury attests that Goodwin’s FNP program prepares learners to keep pace with the cutting edge of modern medicine. “Current trends, such as virtual simulation, are at the forefront. We keep our finger on the pulse by using products like Shadow Health, which go beyond typical online or classroom learning.”

Reason #5: Leadership potential, unlocked

Beyond boosting your sense of autonomy, becoming an FNP fosters your leadership skills. As an FNP, you’ll steer from the reins — making critical decisions in patient care settings.

Given collaborative care teams are at the crux of modern medicine, working and leading interdisciplinary teams is standard for FNPs. Relying on skills like communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution, FNPs have the incredible opportunity to lead care coordination efforts and improve patient outcomes.

Becoming an FNP won’t only put your hands on the helm — it will elevate the authority of your voice. Advocating for patients at individual and systemic levels, working as an FNP will help you influence the big picture of healthcare — presenting opportunities to engage in policy discussions that address healthcare disparities and promote public health initiatives.

The sky is the limit

As a prospective family nurse practitioner, the opportunities for personal and professional fulfillment are limitless. This career path empowers nurses to become dependable primary care providers — escalating their knowledge and know-how while positioning them as leaders in healthcare. With flexible employment options and an increased earning potential to boot, becoming an FNP may be the change of pace you need to send your healthcare career soaring to new heights.

At Goodwin University, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to excel as an FNP. With a rigorous program of studies, eclectic clinical opportunities, superb student support services, and relevant state-of-the-art training, you’ll be positioned to mold the future of nursing — impacting healthcare not only for today but for generations to come.

At Goodwin, we put you first. Ready to get started? Learn how Goodwin can help you achieve your nursing goals today! Call 800-889-3282 or text 860-467-1511.