Family Nurse Practitioner Career

Family Nurse Practitioners, also known as FNPs, are professional registered nurses who complete a master 's in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track or specialization. Family Nurse Practitioners become nationally certified to practice in their field through a national accrediting body, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Family Nurse Practitioners are trained to assess, diagnose and treat acute and chronic health conditions seen in children, adults and the elderly. They promote health awareness and disease prevention as well as provide counseling and teach their patients about various aspects of the patient's or a family member's health. FNPs prescribe medications within their scope of practice and within their state's prescribing laws and regulations. Family Nurse Practitioners work in a variety of settings including clinics, retirement communities, schools, as educators, community health clinics, AIDS clinics, primary care/family practice clinics, private physician practices, HMO companies, large corporations, public health departments and at many other facilities and organizations. Read this interview with a currently practicing Family Nurse Practitioner that provides a more personal view of the career and what she believes the future holds (Nurse Practitioner Interview).

In most states a Family Nurse Practitioners work in collaboration with a licensed physician with whom they will consult with about certain patients and cases that fall outside the FNP scope of practice. A recent survey found that their are currently 11 states that allow for a nurse practitioner to run an independent practice or a practice with no collaborating physician*. There are additional states that have legislation pending that would allow for nurse practitioner independent practice. This could be an exciting opportunity for the entrepreneurial FNP. Whether the FNP is independently practicing or practicing in collaboration with a physician, they increase access to health care in any community they serve. Rural communities, medically underserved communities and densely populated urban communities all benefit from the Family Nurse Practitioner.

Recent data suggests the role of the Family Nurse Practitioner will grow and the demand for highly qualified FNPs to work in the primary care setting will continue to increase. The FNP already plays an integral role in the primary care office and with the projected shortage of primary care doctors, 159,000 by 2025**, their presence will be even greater in order to fill the primary care physician void. The FNP has been proven to be a more cost-effective option for providing primary care versus the primary care physician. For Health Care Reform to work, let alone our current health care system to continue, the FNP will need to be utilized in even more creative ways, such as independent practice and as primary care providers in specialty health care offices.

Based on the available information and projections, starting a Family Nurse Practitioner program at this time is a worthwhile investment of time and money. Career opportunities are looking extremely bright and many organizations are offering tuition reimbursement plans in return for a specified number of years of service in rural communities or medically underserved areas. Research Family Nurse Practitioner programs.

*Center for the Health Professions University of California San Francisco 2007
**Association of American Medical Colleges

Family Nurse Practitioner Online Programs

Spring Arbor University

The Spring Arbor University MSN programs are in the accreditation process with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are accredited by the The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The MSN - Nurse Practitioner program is designed to prepare graduates to sit for National certification as an Adult and/or Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. Request information about these MSN programs today.

Programs Offered: Online MSN - (Concentrations: MSN/MBA, MSN/Education, MSN/Nurse Practitioner)

Graceland University

All nursing programs at Graceland University are CCNE accredited. Graceland University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Practicums are completed in the student's community.

Online Programs Offered: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Nurse Educator, Post-Graduate Certificate - Family Nurse Practitioner, Post-Graduate Certificate in Nurse Education

University of Cincinnati - College of Nursing

The University of Cincinnati - College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The MSN - Nurse Midwifery online program is accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Programs Offered Online: MSN - Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Adult Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN - Nurse Midwifery, MSN - Clinical Nurse Specialist (Nurse Educator)

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