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Why Family Nurse Practitioner Is a Top Job

The demand for family nurse practitioners (FNPs) has never been higher. Therefore, job options, job satisfaction and earning power are promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nurse practitioner occupation is the fastest-growing occupation in the country, with a projected 46% increase in employment between 2021 and 2031.

The need for FNPs continues to grow for several reasons: Circumstances surrounding the pandemic exacerbated existing healthcare provider shortages, especially in areas with minimal access to care; 2022 saw record-breaking Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, driving the national uninsured rate to an all-time low in 2023; and the aging baby boomer generation requires more — and more complex — healthcare.

All this means that FNPs can give quality patient care and be well compensated for their high skill levels. The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – FNP program from The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) provides the skills, knowledge and advanced educational qualification necessary to pursue these opportunities.


Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) with master’s degrees who serve as primary and specialty healthcare providersFNPs are primary care providers who diagnose illnesses, conduct exams and, usually, prescribe medications.

While some states still require FNPs to work under the supervision of a physician, FNPs are swiftly gaining autonomy and higher levels of practice authority. The high need for providers during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, as has the ongoing push for health equity in access to care. In some cases, FNPs serve as sole healthcare providers and have established private practices. FNPs provide high-quality care, whether working with physicians or independently.

Prepare for greater career autonomy with an MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner online.


One of the requirements for becoming an FNP is earning an MSN degree. UTA’s online MSN – FNP program includes courses in nursing theory and science, health assessment, evidence-based practice, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, research in nursing and other subjects. Students also take several courses focused on advanced, specialized FNP topics and participate in required clinical practice hours and an advanced FNP practicum.

Further, to become a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-Board Certified), candidates must pass an exam given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.


FNPs have numerous options for independent work in many settings, including primary care clinics, community health centers, physicians’ offices, private practice, college clinics and urgent care. FNPs focus on health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention and diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illnesses.

The roles of FNPs have grown immensely in the past few decades, with career opportunities beyond clinical settings. FNPs also work as educators and research scientists at schools of nursing and are actively involved in legislative activities on healthcare policy, which promote quality healthcare delivery for the nation.


Because policymakers are looking to FNPs to fill the growing gaps in care, the demand for FNPs is high and salaries are respectable. As of August 2023, FNPs make an average annual salary of $128,141, according to ZipRecruiter. Comparatively, ZipRecruiter reports that RNs (as a whole) earn an average annual salary of $90,901. Clearly, nursing is a high-paying occupation across the board, but becoming an FNP comes with distinct advantages in terms of a nurse’s income potential.


With healthcare delivery constantly evolving, FNPs are well-positioned for career longevity. They will play a vital role in the expansion of healthcare services and access to care because of their unique ability to provide high-quality and cost-efficient healthcare.

If you are considering taking your career to another level and value advanced skills and job satisfaction, this may be the time to explore the requirements necessary for earning a master’s degree and becoming a family nurse practitioner.

Learn more about UTA’s online MSN – FNP program.

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