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3 Reasons to Advance from RN to FNP Certification

February 22, 2018

3 Reasons to Advance from RN to FNP Certification 

Nursing is your career. It’s what you do, and you love every moment you spend working with patients
and caring for their needs. However, you also see the benefits of working towards FNP certification but
haven’t quite made up your mind to take the plunge. Yes, advancement means furthering your
education after you’ve already put in four years for that BS in Nursing, but without furthering your
education you’ll never become a Family Nurse Practitioner. If you’re still on the fence, here are 3
reasons to advance from RN to FNP certification.
1. Increased Levels of Autonomy
As of March 2017, there are 24 states including Washington, D.C. where FNPs are totally autonomous.
That’s almost half the nation! If you are seeking greater levels of autonomy so that you can be the
primary provider, you can do so without being under the supervision of a doctor in those 24 states, and
in another 16 states, FNPs are partially autonomous.
In the remaining 11 states, FNPs work under the supervision of a doctor. Even so, that’s far greater
autonomy than working as an RN. As time goes on, several more states are predicted to legislate
autonomy for FNPs, so if you are looking to work as a primary provider, this is one way to do that
without going to med school.
2. Greater Earning Potential
As you advance your education, there is always potential to earn higher salaries. According to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for RNs as of May 2016 was $68,450 per year while FNPs
earned a median income of $100,910. That’s equivalent to a pay increase greater than 50% and that’s
just the beginning. With each passing year and a growing patient base, that salary level can skyrocket
but RNs are typically awarded raises based on cost of living increases and annual performance. In other
words, RNs are limited in earning potential whereas autonomous FNPs can work to grow their practice
to further increase earning potential.
3. Filling a Void in Providers
There is no secret to the fact that healthcare is in crisis. There simply aren’t enough doctors to go
around. With the rising cost of med school and the length of time it takes to pursue a career as an MD or
DO, FNPs can help to fill the void at a much faster rate. Most major insurers, including Medicare and
Medicaid, recognize FNPs as primary providers in those 24 states, so patients are lining up at the door.
Even FNPs are working to capacity, the shortage is so severe. The void is closing, but more FNPs are
needed and as more states recognize autonomous FNPs, that number will increase proportionately.
If you are looking for greater freedom in your career as a nurse, moving from RN certification to FNP
certification is a wise career choice. Not only will you have greater earning potential, but you will be
helping to alleviate the critical shortage of primary care providers. In short, the need is great, and you
can help fill the void.
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