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Can Family Nurse Practitioners Work In Pediatrics?

Trailblazers / Can Family Nurse Practitioners Work In Pediatrics?
can family nurse practitioners work in pediatrics an FNP with a child
May 5, 2022

More and more nurses are choosing to advance their education and become nurse practitioners as a way to expand their role and scope of practice. Getting a job as a family nurse practitioner (FNP)  presents many options and opportunities. As with many aspects of nursing, having your FNP gives you incredible flexibility to work in multiple different outpatient settings.

Overview: How To Work As A Family Nurse Practitioner In Pediatrics

The short answer to whether a Family Nurse Practitioner can work in pediatrics is absolutely. As an FNP you will receive both didactic and clinical training on the entire lifespan, from children to geriatrics. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, if you are interested in pediatrics your best bet is working for a private practice in a physician’s office, where the majority of NPs work according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Questions to ask yourself if you are considering an FNP job in pediatrics:

  1. Have you worked in pediatrics before? It’s not impossible to get hired without experience but it will definitely help your resume to stand out.
  2. Were your clinical rotations during your degree program in a setting similar to what you are applying for? If so, make sure you capitalize on that experience. Network, ask questions, and treat each day like a potential job interview.
  3. Do you enjoy working with children? This can be a challenging role simply due to the variability and diversity of age ranges. A nine-month-old’s physiology will be very different than a 17 year old.
  4. Do you have nursing experience in pediatrics? If you’ve never worked in pediatrics before, be sure to ask about what your training will look like. You should also expect to do a fair amount of studying at home. You may be thinking, but I'm done with school! True, but your FNP program only exposed you to pediatrics, but will not be a comprehensive course of study. As with any job, you will learn as you go.

Work Setting

Where can you work if you want a job as a family nurse practitioner in pediatrics?

It’s important to understand the difference between a family nurse practitioner and a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner. Regulations and licensing are getting more strict on which settings FNPs and ACNPs can work in. For this reason, the NP role is becoming more and more specialized based on your specific program. In that way, an FNP is most like a primary care physician - someone who can care for an individual at any point in their life, and generally, this is an outpatient role. Some hospitals will hire FNPs to work in acute care settings depending on that nurse’s clinical experience prior to becoming an NP, but those opportunities are becoming increasingly rare.

Salary

Nurse Practitioners can expect to earn an average of about $114,700 per year according to Salary.com, although it can vary significantly from state to state. You can earn the highest salary in California, New Jersey and Washington but there are many other states where FNP’s make a great living. Depending on the environment you work in, you may be paid a salary (in a doctor’s office) or hourly (in an outpatient clinic).

Outlook

It’s no secret there are many high paying NP jobs available and just as many programs ready to educate you and help you pass your licensing exams. More and more, primary care physicians and pediatricians are looking to bring on nurse practitioners to help with seeing patients and keep their practice running smoothly. With so many outpatient settings, having your family nurse practitioner license gives you the ability to work in many different environments and a wide range of patients, including pediatrics.

Alex lives in Southern California and has spent her decade-long nursing career in cardiac critical care and loves all things heart related. She’s currently a pediatric ICU nurse in Los Angeles and has worked in both adult and pediatric cardiac surgery as well as the cardiac cath lab. After getting her degree in immunology and genetics from UCLA, she studied nursing at Mount St. Mary’s University. As a mom to five in her blended family and married to her firefighter husband, her house is generally chaotic. When not at the hospital Alex loves traveling with her family, surfing and doing her kids’ laundry.