What Is A Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner
A Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner is an RN with advanced education to provide primary care to individuals throughout their lifespan babies through the elderly. Most Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioners work in clinics and offices seeing patients one by one for health examinations and/or diagnosis and treatment of health issues. Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioners can also be found in a variety of settings including skilled care facilities, pain clinics, specialty offices, and urgent care centers. A Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner assesses patients, diagnoses their problem, implements an intervention such as a referral and/or writes a prescription, and re-evaluates the patients progress toward health. Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioners have a consulting relationship with one or more physicians.
Types Of Family Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs
Several pathways exist for registered nurses who wish to become FNPs. The pathway one chooses depends on the level of education one has already obtained. Below are the four primary types of FNP programs currently available:
- BSN to MSN programs are for individuals who have already earned a BSN from a CCNE or ACEN-accredited program, and are comprised exclusively of masters-level courses.
- Bachelors to MSN programs enable RNs who hold a bachelors degree in a non-nursing field to earn their MSN without earning a second baccalaureate degree. This type of program is mainly comprised of masters-level classes, but may also include a few undergraduate-level bridge courses that help students transition to graduate coursework.
- RN to MSN programs are generally for RNs who have earned an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing from an accredited program, and who would like to earn their BSN and MSN together through one concentrated program. While some RN to MSN programs only accept applicants who hold an ADN, other programs accept both nursing diploma and ADN recipients. RN to MSN programs are comprised of both undergraduate and masters-level courses. For individuals choosing between an RN to MSN program and earning their BSN and MSN separately, an RN to MSN track may save time, as it allows students to take fewer classes to earn their two degrees.
Two What Do Family Nurse Practitioners Do
Being a Family Nurse Practitioner is all about delivering family-focused care. That means that they’ll care for patients ranging from infants to the elderly and every age in between.
The healthcare services that an FNP provides are multifaceted and always patient-facing. In addition to treating illness and injuries, it also offers the opportunity to teach people about healthy lifestyle habits and disease prevention.
FNPs are frequently the primary care provider for families, which means that they will not only diagnose conditions, but also treat them.
FNPs perform physical exams, order diagnostic tests and procedures, diagnose and treat illness, prescribe needed medications, and teach their patients how to develop healthy lifestyles to promote health and prevent disease.
As an FNP your duties may include:
- Assessment and diagnosis of health conditions
- Conducting routine physicals
- Developing and carrying out treatment plans for acute and chronic illnesses
- Providing primary health care with an emphasis on preventative care
- Prescribing medications and other therapies
- Ordering and interpreting lab and other diagnostic tests
- Assisting in minor surgeries
- Making appropriate referrals when needed
FNPs must be able to work independently as well as able to collaborate with others on the healthcare team. Having strong communication skills and an empathetic nature are also helpful characteristics.
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Skills Required For Family Nurse Practitioners
In defining what a family nurse practitioner is, its helpful to look at the profession in terms of the skills FNPs need to acquire. The following skills help ensure successful career progression as an FNP:
- Clinical skills to measure a patients breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, and to make health assessments
- Strong verbal and written communication, as well as listening skills
- Good leadership skills to manage other health care personnel and ensure the efficient operation of a facility or practice
- Strong decision-making and problem-solving abilities
- The ability to collaborate effectively with other members of a health care team
- Sound time management and organizational skills
- The ability to employ techniques to manage stress
Family Nurse Practitioner Salaries
In general, FNP salaries vary by location and the experience level a candidate brings to the position. A background in emergency patient care, case management, or geriatrics may increase a family nurse practitioners salary potential.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not break down average salaries by specialty, some data is available for nurse practitioner salaries. In 2018, NPs made an average of $110,030, according to the BLS.
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More Of What You Love About Nursing
As you can see, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is a great choice for driven BSN graduates who want to grow their professional career, and live up to tall personal aspirations. To learn more about how to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, or why an FNP program may be the right route for you, consider contacting Goodwin University today at 800-889-3282.
Advanced Assessment And Diagnostics
During this course, students rely on their knowledge of pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. Because family nurse practitioners take on many of the duties that a doctor does, they need to know how to perform a host of tasks, including recording a patients medical history and conducting physical assessments and diagnostic tests.
Select Your Patient Focus
NP students determine their patient populations at the time of entry into an NP program. Identifying a population focus from the beginning of educational preparation allows NP education to match the knowledge and skills to the needs of patients and to concentrate the program of academic and clinical study on the patients for whom the NP will be caring. For example, a primary care pediatric NP will spend the entire time in didactic and clinical education dedicated to issues related to the development and health care needs of the pediatric patient.
While core courses in pathology, pharmacology and physical assessment are included in all NP programs, this population focus-based education ensures that an NP students educational time is 100% concentrated on the clinical area where the NP clinician will ultimately be practicing.
Population foci include:
The majority of people are familiar with NPs in primary care. Thats not surprising, as 89.7% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care and 69% deliver primary care. However, there is a growing need and interest in NPs in all areas. NPs work in a number of clinical and other professional settings, including but not limited to private practice settings, school-based health centers, hospitals, specialty clinics, correctional facilities, Veterans Health Administration facilities, community health centers and emergency departments or urgent care facilities.
Where Can A Family Nurse Practitioner Work
Family nurse practitioners work in many healthcare environments. Some have private independent practices. Others work in a physicians office or hospital. Some specialize in particular areas, like pediatrics or mental health. There are even opportunities available for family nurse practitioners to work from home for online health companies and insurance companies. The medical field is growing rapidly, and there are many opportunities available to family nurse practitioners.
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Nine A Real Nurses Np Journey
If you’re thinking of becoming an NP, your journey is going to be very different depending on where you’re at now. Nurse Haskins shares her journey from CNA to NP and all the different positions she had along the way.
Find out what it’s like to be a nurse practitioner, how to get there from wherever you’re starting out, and what you need to know if you’re considering this career.
Should I Become A Nurse Practitioner
Prospective nurse practitioners should evaluate whether the role matches their personal and professional goals. Experienced RNs with BSNs typically need to pursue an additional 2-4 years of education to acquire the necessary degrees and certifications. Nurse practitioners also carry more responsibility than RNs, which can cause stress.
With this increased responsibility comes higher pay. As of May 2020, the BLS reports a median annual salary of $75,330 per year for RNs, while APRNs earned $117,670. Over a 25-year career, that can translate to more than $1 million in additional earning potential at current rates.
Aspiring nurse practitioners must display high levels of drive and commitment to succeed. As such, becoming a nurse practitioner generally appeals to ambitious RNs seeking to advance to their professionâs highest level.
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Family Nurse Practitioner Scope Of Practice
Each state has its own set of rules and regulations that determine to what extent a family nurse practitioner can practice primary care.
The AANP divides states into three categories based on their regulatory laws: full practice, reduced practice and restricted practice. In full practice states, FNPs have the authority to assess patients, diagnose conditions, order diagnostic exams and provide treatments. In reduced practice states, FNPs are required to collaborate with another health care provider in at least one aspect of practice. In restricted practice states, FNPs are required to be supervised or directly managed by another health care provider in at least one aspect of practice.
As of May 2020, the following states grant full practice authority to FNPs:
Getting Your National Certification
The ANCCs FNP-BC certification exam features alternative test item types and covers nursing theory, while the AANP FNP-C exam is multiple choice and focuses primarily on the clinical aspect. Both are timed and computerized at contracted testing centers.
To take the exams, you must have:
- An active RN license
- A masters, doctorate, or post-graduate degree from an accredited program
- A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours
- Coursework in advanced physical/health assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology
The AANP examination blueprints, as well as those for the ANCC examination, can be found online.
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Millions Of Americans Seek Out Nps For Their Health Care The Unique Ability Of Nps To Blend Clinical Excellence And Personalized Care With An Emphasis On Prevention Is A Key Reason Why Patients Choose Nps As It Turns Out Those Are Also Reasons Why More Individuals Are Choosing A Career As An Np
The NP community reflects the diversity of the U.S. representing a multitude of backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders and life experiences. NPs can be found in every health care setting: from private NP-owned practices to large, multistate health care systems in outpatient primary care offices and the intensive care unit and from small frontier communities to large urban cities. Building on the strength of that diversity and continuing to meet the needs of patients and our health care system will require a robust NP workforce.
Whether you are just beginning your NP education or are a seasoned professional in a different field who is considering becoming an NP, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® has the resources to help you plan for your future and join the ranks of over a quarter million NPs as we improve the health of our nation.
A Chance To Work Independently
Your job as an FNP makes you suitable to work unsupervised with the autonomy to build treatment routes of your volition. In 2021, 24 states and the District of Columbia approved FNPs to work autonomously. These include Alaska, Maryland, and Colorado. As an FNP, you will have the opportunity to decide your workload, devise a schedule, and watch your patients get better under your care. Having the independence to shape your career is something worth investing in.
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What Is The Fastest Path To Become A Cardiac Nurse Practitioner
A nurse may begin by completing a two-year ADN program. While working, a student can complete an RN-to-BSN program that generally takes one year. Accelerated bachelor’s programs may take even less time. The student can work in cardiology during the RN-to-BSN program and complete another one to two years in cardiology before completing a two-year MSN program. Using this schedule a student might become a cardiology nurse practitioner within five years.
Why Become A Family Nurse Practitioner
A Family Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse that specializes in health care across the age spectrum. They have great autonomy within the medical field, often acting as primary care providers, and have advanced skillsets to carry out patient care. For instance, FNPs conduct physical examinations, create treatment plans, maintain medical records, and are able to prescribe medications. For this reason, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner requires a graduate degree and certification.
As one Goodwin University FNP program student explained, Being a Family Nurse Practitioner gets me close to being a doctor without losing my caring side as a nurse. Aspiring FNPs may also feel this way, or are drawn to the family practice specialty for diverse reasons. For some, its the challenging coursework that piques some their interest. Others are motivated by the high earning potential that you can expect as an FNP. What else makes the FNP role so interesting, and why should you become a Family Nurse Practitioner? Lets find out.
How To Become A Nurse Practitioner
It starts with going to nursing school to get a Bachelor of Nursing Science . Once you complete your undergraduate studies, you can apply for graduate school to earn a masters or doctorate in nursing science. Often, this is something you can do with in-person classes or online.
Some nurse practitioners stop at a masters degree in nursing science. Others go on to earn their doctorate. To be a nurse practitioner, though, you must have at least a masters degree.
Obtain Licensure In Your State
Licensing is handled by your states board of nursing. There are very few states allowing nurse practitioners to practice without certification but even in those cases employers and insurers often require nurse practitioners become certified.
In order to practice in another state you will be required to become licensed there as a registered nurse if you are not currently in a compact state. Then you may become licensed as an advanced practice nurse.
Contact the board of nursing in your state to find their requirements for FNP licensure.
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Launch Your Journey By Earning A Master Of Science In Nursing Degree Online
Family nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide care for patients at every stage of life. Its a career that offers diverse opportunities to help prevent disease and manage patient carea career that attracts 67% of all nurse practitioners.1
If youre ready to reach your goal, heres a list of steps to take to help you become a family nurse practitioner:
Know the Qualifications
What does it take to become a family nurse practitioner? According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners , you must be a registered nurse , hold a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing , complete a nurse-practitioner-focused masters degree or doctoral degree program, and pass a national nurse practitioner board certification exam.2
Choose an Online Nursing Program
The journey to becoming a family nurse practitioner starts when you enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing or doctoral degree program. Earning a degree online gives you the flexibility to work toward your masters degree or doctoral degree while staying active in your nursing career and engaged in your personal life. Be sure to select an accredited online nursing degree program.
Enroll in an MSN Program With an FNP Specialization
Get Licensed and Certified
Select Your FNP Setting
Maximize Your Career Potential
Kick Off Your FNP Career
Step One: Become An Rn
In order to become a nurse, your first step is to pursue a four-year college or university program accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or the National League for Nursing . Though some nurses earn their degrees in other disciplines and some choose to become a nurse by earning a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing, the nursing profession is steadily moving towards a goal of having 80% of Registered Nurses BSN degreed by 2020. For more information on becoming an RN, see our RN Career Guide. And for more information on getting your bachelor’s degree in nursing, check out our BSN degree guide.
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Taking Advantage Of The Enlc
Standardizing nursing education and practice has means that multi-state licenses arenât just a dream but a reality. The only thing that has ever held nurses back from practicing beyond their state is red tape, and with the enhanced nurse licensure compact, some of that red tape has been cut free.
If you live in a state that is part of the eNLC, then you have so many great options. You can work in any participating state with minimal hiccups. Not only does this allow you to move and work where you have always dreamed, but it also means that you can work independently as a travel nurse.
Whether you privately or fill in spots of sick nurses , traveling as a nurse can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. From traveling slowly around the country to exploring the different states and communities, traveling as a nurse can be just what you need to finally find the path that is right for you.
Eight Steps To Become An Fnp
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