family nurse practitioner workplace settings

Where Do Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) Work?

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who provide health care services to families, including patients from under one year old to those over one hundred! FNPs work in a multitude of environments. Their broad training as healthcare generalists makes them a great fit for hospitals, private practices, outpatient care centers, community healthcare facilities, universities, and even more settings. FNPs fulfill a valuable and hands-on role in healthcare. Are you wondering if the FNP career options match up to your own aspirations? We’ll explain what you can expect as an FNP in this field.

FNPs focus on patient education, health maintenance, and wellness across the lifespan. Their work pace is usually opposite that of medical professionals in triage at a hospital. As primary care providers or general health practitioners, FNPs often spend time with regular patients, who are typically in good health, in a much less time-sensitive atmosphere. FNPs do not commonly work in the ER. Instead, FNPs are usually employed in primary practice work environments, such as the following:

Physicians’ Offices

FNPs commonly work in physicians’ offices or private practices. Those who work in private practice typically do so alongside doctors and nurses, forming a comprehensive healthcare team that is prepared to provide primary care for patients of all ages. FNPs might examine patients, attend to injuries, run diagnostic tests, and coordinate treatment plans for acute and chronic conditions. Family Nurse Practitioners may also prescribe medications and further evaluate the medication or treatment’s efficacy.
FNPs who work in physicians’ offices benefit from the routine this environment provides. They may have the pleasure of seeing a whole family’s healthcare needs as they grow and develop. Therefore, they may impact peoples’ lives in a major way by providing routine, preventive care that keeps them healthy.

Hospital Outpatient Clinics

An outpatient clinic is where a patient may go to have a minimally or moderately intensive procedure completed, to receive chemotherapy or other disease management treatments, or to receive a follow-up on treatment via pain management or therapeutic measures. Patients are not kept overnight at outpatient clinics, which distinguishes this acute-care environment from the traditional hospital.
FNPs might work in an outpatient clinic doing initial patient intakes, evaluations, and discharges of procedure candidates and patients post-procedure. FNPs bring a worthy, whole-patient approach to outpatient clinics.

Long-Term Care

The long-term care environment might be validating for FNPs who enjoy building lasting relationships with patients and their visiting family members. Patients in long-term care will undoubtedly have a different health baseline than the patients an FNP might see in a private practice setting. For example, long-term care settings see patients with complex health problems, comorbidities, mobility challenges, or a lengthy healing journey from an injury or disease, requiring extensive rehabilitation. FNPs offer valuable expertise in long-term care facilities and mentorship to newer nurses, who often train in this setting.

Community Health Centers

Economically disadvantaged community members are more likely to visit a community health center than a doctor’s private practice office. Therefore, FNPs can make an enormous difference in their local public health landscape by working in a community health center. On top of providing patient care, education is an important component of community health center work, and FNPs in this environment should be interested in health care policy and equity.

Colleges and Universities

What do college students do when they’re far away from their hometown doctor and a health concern arises? They visit their on-campus medical office. There’s a place for FNPs at universities, caring for students’ sicknesses, injuries, mental health concerns, and more. If working with and educating a young-adult population about their health choices and autonomy appeals to you, becoming an FNP at a college or university is an exciting way to make a difference in the next generation of professionals.

Women’s Healthcare Centers

A Family Nurse Practitioner might work in a women’s health practice such as an obstetrician’s or gynecologist’s office. However, FNPs’ strength is in their breadth of knowledge across the lifespan, rather than in delivering babies or administering gynecological exams. If you find women’s health particularly captivating, we recommend considering an educational specialization such as becoming a women’s health nurse practitioner, or even a certified nurse midwife.

Where Will You Find Success as an FNP?

No matter where they work, FNPs earn a median annual income of $115,000, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics bundles all types of nurse practitioners together and has found that NPs make on average $120,680 annually. With so many environment options available to FNPs, you’ll have to dive a little deeper into state and area data to understand the compensation trends in your locale.

No matter where you are located, you can build your FNP career on an affordable and flexible master’s degree program that is almost entirely online. Get in touch with Goodwin University today to learn more about how you can reach your nursing career goals.