Coffee Break

Top 8 Career Options for Family Nurse Practitioners

The nurse practitioner’s degree gives more power to a nursing professional than any other qualification in the field. In fact, in a large number of US states, they are almost as powerful as doctors since they have the license to open up independent clinics to treat patients and prescribe medicine, without the need for supervision from a qualified physician. After the recent addition of Oklahoma and South Dakota to the list of states that allow nurse practitioners full autonomy, it is quite clear that even more states will soon follow, which will contribute greatly towards making an NP career path all the more lucrative for young nurses.

In case you are already a registered nurse and considering the option of joining an MSN program and becoming a family nurse practitioner, it only makes sense for you to be aware of all the possible career paths that you would be able to follow after you complete the course. To help you with that, here are the top eight career options which open up after completing an MSN degree in FNP.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners have traditionally had a history of working with families and especially children, so a lot of the education that you will receive during your course will be geared towards preparing you to treat children. This, of course, makes every FNP a natural fit for becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Depending on which field of pediatrics you choose to specialize in, you could be treating them at the clinic or attending the really serious cases in the intensive care unit. As a nurse practitioner, your duties will extend beyond that of the regular nurse, but your education will prepare you for that. The expected average salary in the field is somewhere around the $100,000 per annum mark, but depending on the state, your experience and expertise, it can differ a bit.


Midwifery is an age-old practice but thanks to modern education and facilities, it has now become a particularly important and often life-changing field. The job of the midwife begins even before a woman becomes pregnant and continues even after the baby has been delivered. They advise women on both the medical and psychological aspects of becoming a new mother and guide them through the entire process, step by step. Most importantly, though, a midwife is capable of delivering a child, which is still a complicated scenario in rural and underdeveloped sections of the country. Becoming a midwife may require significant experience as an FNP. The average annual salary for a midwife is roughly around $100,000.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is adept at counseling patients that are suffering from psychological disorders or just need support to get through a difficult phase in their lives. In fact, even an FNP without an accompanying psychiatric counselling degree is capable of providing at least some basic therapy, but if you want to specialize in treating patients that are suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, addiction issues, bipolar disorder and other serious psychological problems, you will need to become a certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. It’s quite a lucrative field and that’s not only because the expected average income is nearly $90,000 per year, but also because of the fact that it is one of the fields in nurse practitionership that is expected to see the highest amount of growth.

Nurse Researcher

As a nurse researcher, you are looking at a salary of $90,000+ per year, but that’s not the main attraction for those that choose this field. You will be working closely with the top researchers in the medical field to figure out solutions for problems in the chosen medical field. You can still choose to work directly with patients, of course, but your focus will primarily be towards working with various medical and research groups to aid in the completion of clinical studies. Becoming a nurse researcher often opens up your career towards leadership roles in medical institutions as well.

Nephrology Nurse Practitioner

It isn’t easy to become a nephrology nurse practitioner since it requires the nurse to have at least 2,000 hours of working experience with kidney patients and some states make it mandatory for the nurse practitioner to also have a doctorate degree, in addition to the MSN. However, if you do manage to go through the hoops, you could land a job with prestige and a possible $100,000+ yearly salary.

Public Nurse Practitioner

The salary for a public health nurse isn’t as high as other nurse practitioner roles being $70,000, but you will have a genuine and consistent impact on a lot of people’s lives. Family nurse practitioners often choose to serve small communities in rural sections of the country, as they are able to help a lot more people that way, instead of limiting their knowledge and skills to just a few families. In addition to treating patients directly in states where it is allowed, public health nurse practitioners are largely tasked with educating the locals under their care with basic medical knowledge, which is necessary for general wellbeing. This is the job for you if you really want to make a difference in the lives of a lot of people at once.

Nurse Advocate

Just as the name suggests, your job as a nurse advocate would be to represent and convey the interests of the patient/patients under your care within a medical facility. In other words, a nurse advocate acts as a liaison in between the patients and other healthcare professionals that are involved in the case. As an FNP, this role may come naturally to you, as working closely with families is what most family nurse practitioners basically do. The average annual salary for a Nurse Advocate is around $70,000.

Opening Your Own Clinic

Finally, we come to the most empowering choice of them all; practicing independently in one of the multiple states in the US that allow it. The income potentials from starting such a practice are the highest, but you will require some heavy investment up front to set it up. Once you do though, not only will you have the freedom to run your own business and treat patients with primary care independently, you will actually be bringing affordable healthcare to a lot of people who stay out of hospitals and suffer without treatment because they cannot afford the cost of care at a regular hospital. This is true not only in rural areas but also in underdeveloped urban regions as well.

To attain your MSN in FNP however, you will need to complete your education from a reputed nursing school, and being one of the best in Boston, Nursing@Simmons could be a perfect choice. The online course they have is a particularly good fit for working nurses with demanding jobs and nursing students who are already completing another nursing degree on the side.

Within five years, it is expected that thousands of family physicians will be retiring. This will cause the job opportunities for nursing practitioners to see a tremendous boom since a lot of families in both urban and rural sections will need qualified nurse practitioners to fill in that gap. Just makes sure that you choose the right field to go into after completing your MSN in family nurse Practitionership.