Where Can Family Nurse Practitioners Work?

Nurse practitioner caring for infant child
Nurse practitioner caring for infant child

Spring Arbor University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program attracts a myriad of candidates who are ready to take the next step in their nursing careers. For those who want to work closely with families, the pursuit of an online MSN degree often results in a role as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). This article looks at the prospects of such a career and focuses on the various working environments in which FNPs can thrive.

What Does an FNP Do?

FNPs are credentialed to offer non-acute care to all ages but hold special training for attending to the needs of families and children. Because of the diverse potential that the FNP role holds as well as the ever-increasing demand for qualified FNPs, they make up a substantial portion of the nurse practitioner (NP) population.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP),  more than 66 percent of the 270,000 licensed NPs in the United States are FNPs. The overall field of NPs, however, is experiencing an upward trend: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), the field of NPs, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists is slated to grow by 30 percent by 2026 and result in potentially 64,000 new jobs.

In Which Settings Does an FNP Typically Work?

The AANP reports that nearly 40 percent of FNPs work in a primary care setting and that the largest percentage of FNPs are employed in hospital outpatient clinics. Hospital positions are prevalent because this is a main site of primary care. FNPs can use their expert knowledge to treat illnesses and educate patients regarding conditions, treatment plans and recovery.

According to the AANP’s data, though, these hospital roles account for approximately 14 percent of the field, which means that as an FNP you are not bound to a hospital setting for your job. FNPs can use their skills, for example, in health care facilities outside of the hospital, such as a private practice, primary care or an urgent care center. FNPs are often also recruited by schools to aid in the health care of their students.

How Do These Different FNP Roles Differ?

Depending on the placement that an FNP receives, the day-to-day roles might look slightly different. For example, FNPs in major hospital complexes might need to see more patients each day than an FNP in a smaller primary care clinic. Consequently, they might feel more on-the-job stress. Meanwhile, the FNP at the smaller practice might enjoy the opportunity to build enduring relationships with patients that stay in their care throughout several of life’s stages.

FNPs that find a role within a school will undoubtedly work with more young children on a daily basis than an FNP in general family practice. While these subtle distinctions between roles are important to consider as you navigate the job market, all of these FNP positions require the desire to offer an optimum primary care experience for all patients.

How Do I Become an FNP?

For those excited about the prospect of the FNP role and its many career paths, the first step is to pursue an online MSN degree with Spring Arbor University. In your coursework, as a student enrolled in the MSN/NP (FNP) program, you will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field while also being exposed to the Christian moral principles around which the program is based. Take your career to the next level with Spring Arbor University and find your focus as an FNP in the future.


“Family Nurse Practitioner.” Nurse.org. Accessed 15 May 2019 from: https://nurse.org/resources/family-nurse-practitioner/

“NP Fact Sheet.” American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Accessed 15 May 2019 from: https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet

“Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners.” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed 15 May 2019 from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm