If you have kids or dream of raising a family in the future, you’ll want to choose a career that offers a certain level of flexibility. While some people enjoy being a stay-at-home parent, this isn’t the best option for everyone. If you want to achieve your professional goals, if being a single-income household isn’t an option, or if you’re a single parent, holding down a job might be one of your top priorities.
Although many parents work, they are sometimes hesitant about furthering their career, taking on additional responsibilities or applying for promotions. While this is understandable (being a parent is a full-time job in itself, afterall!), there are career paths which offer flexibility, job satisfaction and a great work-life balance.
If you’re eager to join the healthcare sector, or you’re already working as a nurse or other medical professional, enhancing your qualifications can give you new challenges to embrace and may even offer a more flexible working environment. To find out whether a nursing career is the right option for you, take a look at why becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is the ideal choice for a working parent:
1. Work Anywhere
Healthcare services are required in every location, all over the world. This means your role as a Family Nurse Practitioner will enable you to work in any state, which is ideal for working parents. Whether you’re settled in your current community or you plan on relocating in the future, you can feel confident about finding work where you choose to live.
What’s more – your location can affect your earning power too. Although Family Nurse Practitioners earn well above the national average salary in every state, some locations equate to a higher salary. To find out which states offer the most lucrative financial rewards for Family Nurse Practitioners check out this blog post.
2. Flexible Career Progression
Most healthcare professionals choose to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) after gaining experience as a Registered Nurse (RN). While your Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Associate’s Degree in Nursing will provide you with the competences and skills you need to practice as an RN, the experience you’ll gain while working will stand you in good stead if you want to become an FNP.
However, a full-time, campus-based course is rarely a viable option for a working parent. If you were required to give up your current job and relocate in order to enroll on an FNP program, for example, it would require significant financial and practical disruption.
Fortunately, nursing offers flexible career progression, which means working parents can embrace their potential and pursue their professional ambitions. You could choose to enroll on an online Master of Science in Nursing program with an FNP specialty, for example. Being able to study part-time, from any location, can provide the flexibility you need as a working parent and enable you to further your career while still being active and present at home.
3. Choose Your Hours
If your job offers limited options when it comes to scheduling, it can be difficult to juggle your professional and personal responsibilities. With nursing, however, you can work a variety of shift patterns, which can be ideal for healthcare professionals with young children at home.
If your partner works during the day, for example, you might choose to work night shifts so that someone can be at home to care for your children. Alternatively, you might decide that early morning shifts are best suited to your home life, as they enable you to be with your kids after school and in the evenings.
As well as choosing a nursing role that offers a flexible schedule, you may also decide to work on a part-time basis at some time in the future. This can be a helpful alternative while your kids are young, for example, and gives you the option to return to full-time work when your kids get older.
4. Increased Autonomy
When you’re working as a Registered Nurse, you’ll typically be employed by a healthcare organization, a physician or, in some cases, by a patient directly. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, you can continue to work in this way, or you can choose to operate with a higher degree of autonomy.
The level of autonomy granted to Nurse Practitioners varies from state to state, so some locations will require you to work under closer supervision than others. In 22 states, however, Nurse Practitioners are able to work in ‘Full Practice’, which means you’ll have the maximum amount of autonomy possible.
As such, you could choose to open your own clinic, start your own business, hire other medical professionals, and choose your own hours. While launching any type of business requires hard work and dedication, the rewards can be tremendous. What’s more – the flexibility and autonomy you’ll gain will enhance your experience as a working parent and allow you to create a work-life balance that enhances your wellbeing.
5. Employment Opportunities
If you choose to remain an employee once you’ve qualified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, you’ll be pleased to know that there will plenty of job opportunities available. The job outlook for Nurse Practitioners is expected to grow by 45% between 2019 to 2029, with more than 117,000 new roles being created. This highlights the potential for the consistent employment, varied roles and job security that comes with being an FNP.
Studying an Advanced Degree
If becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner sounds like the right career choice for you, you can get your plans underway by enrolling on a Master of Science in Nursing program. By selecting a reputable and accredited course that offers the relevant specialty, you can reduce the time it takes to obtain your qualification and begin working as an FNP sooner than you think. While there’s no doubt that being a working parentcan be tricky at times, choosing a path that offers flexibility, job security and professional fulfilment will help to ensure your career has a positive impact on other areas of your life.