How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

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When it comes to nursing, you have wide areas to explore. There are so many career options that you can even choose based on your personality traits. For example, suppose you get along well with a range of patients from children to young and elderly. In that case, you can advance your career as a Family Nurse practitioner. This career option involves treating a full range of patients from every age group. The common perks of becoming a Family Nurse practitioner include enjoying autonomy and independence in the profession.

It also comes with higher income and significant levels of respect and acceptance from colleagues. FNP is an advanced degree that surely helps you upgrade your skills and level up your experience. It exposes you to the latest treatment procedures and better prepares you for emergencies on the field. Another aspect of this advanced career is lesser involvement in emergencies and surgical interventions. Therefore if you love to provide healthcare services but hesitate to deal with blood and medical emergencies too often, you can surely opt for this profession. 

As an FNP, you will be responsible for giving education and working under the supervision of a doctor to provide medical services. Or, in some cases, opening your private practice and prescribing medication. This article provides you with a step-by-step guide to becoming a Family Nurse practitioner.

How to become a Family Nurse Practitioner?

Before discussing the minimum degree threshold and other requirements, consider your options regarding nursing colleges. A few years ago, nurses would have to attend physical classes and manage their duties. Today we have other options, such as online programs that get you your MSN and FNP programs from the comfort of your home. For example, rather than attending a physical nursing college, you can opt for becoming an FNP Online as numerous institutes are dedicated to providing quality education online.

Coursework for becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is extensive and involves several rounds of training and education. It will help if you have a Master of Science in Nursing. Nevertheless, suppose you are a Registered nurse. In that case, you can also go directly for NP by enrolling in an RN to NP program and then getting a subspeciality in Family care. Experience as a Registered Nurse is mandatory. You must be ACLS, BLS, or CPR certified to apply for the job.

What qualities should a Family Nurse possess?

The specialization asks for acquiring great critical thinking and communication skills to excel as a Nurse working with patients of all age groups. The most common skills and requirements mentioned in nearly every job description for FNP include adequate experience with electronic records and the ability to adapt to working with many patients in a short time. You must have the capability to work effectively with teams and understand the complexities of providing relation-based care. Various health care facilities prefer FNPs who are well-organized and detail-oriented.

They also expect their professional staff to have emotional intelligence and creative thinking to deal with different types of patients. In addition to these abilities, establishing good relationships with coworkers, lower staff, patients, and the public are also often valued in this profession. FNPs should also be aware and knowledgeable about using advanced electronic equipment like digital blood pressure apparatus, ultrasound machines, nebulizers, cardiac monitoring devices, etc.

Further specializations after FNP

Most nurses don’t know that they can specialize even after becoming an FNP. Nurses with an FNP have numerous options to further specialize as the curriculum in the FNP program focuses on a wide range of subjects. The most common way of furthering their knowledge after becoming Nurse practitioners is getting extensions in their specializations. It helps them sharpen their skills in particular fields, such as oncology, cardiology, surgery, and emergency medicine.

What will be your duties as an FNP?

Family Nurse practitioners are prepared to see patients of all ages with different ailments, from mild to serious conditions. Though their main aim is to prevent disease and promote health by providing preventive services, they also have the expertise to intervene, diagnose and treat the diseases. All FNPs are likely to develop empathy, develop effective communication, be decisive, and be clear in their instructions with the patients. That is because FNPs are associated with families. They see their patients through all the stages of their life. 

The duties of Family Nurse Practitioners differ in different states. Some major of these include conducting a medical exam, examining patient histories, diagnosing and designing treatment plans, ordering or running a diagnostic test. They will also educate patients to prevent disease and promote health. Their duties may also include prescribing safe medicines and referring the patients to specialist doctors when necessary.

Where can Family Nurse practitioners perform their duties?

Family nurse practitioners are educated and qualified to deliver a wide range of medical services; therefore, they can fit in many health care settings. They are, in fact, very valuable due to their enough experience to handle most tasks of a physician on their own. In rural settings or areas where there are insufficient or no health care providers available, FNPs fill up the roles of many health providers. In addition to that, they can easily find their place in hospitals, clinics, physician’s private offices, public and community health centers, telemedicine institutes, and even in health insurance companies. Furthermore, they can also take up administrative duties in these areas. Some FNPs go a step further in getting a license for opening their own private office for providing services independently.

Salary and pay packages

Specialized nurses in clinical settings earn handsome salaries annually, which is true for Family Nurse practitioners. Their average salaries are higher than RNs or even those with a simple MSN degree. According to the data collected by PayScale, an FNP makes $94,232 a year on average. However, it would be more accurate to establish a $79,000 to upwards of $117,000 per year. However, the salary packages differ depending upon the state, facility, experience, and additional certifications and credentials.

Conclusion

Looking at just the salaries, we can say that Family Nurse Practitioner is an incentivizing and rewarding career choice. Fortunately, the perks do not end here. Many institutes accommodate free medical services to their employees, vacation pay, and much more. Degree advancement also means upgraded skills and experience. If you already have an MSN, getting an NP specialization will not cost you a lot in terms of time and money but will bring many additional benefits. Therefore it is a wise choice to make.

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