Family Nurse Practitioner – FNP Job Description, Eligibility, Procedure, Salary, and Career Outlook
What is an FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner)?
A registered nurse who treats the chronic ailment or acute disease right from infancy to old age is known as Family Nurse Practitioner. They work both as a primary and specialty health care provider under the supervision of a physician. Mostly, they serve the patients throughout their life cycles. The abilities and skills a candidate must possess to become a family nurse practitioner are – compassion, ability to communicate and collaborate effectively, strong ethics, critical thinking, confidence to give the best possible healthcare, adaptability, organization, etc.
Here, we have discussed the eligibility criteria, working environment, job description, procedure, salary, and career outlook of an FNP.
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A candidate must fulfill the following requisites if s/he wants to acquire an FNP degree:
- Must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or equivalent field.
- Clear the NCLEX-RN (National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurse).
- Must have an experience of working for 1 or 2 years as a registered nurse.
- Acquire a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from an accredited nursing program.
- Obtain a license from the state where one wishes to work.
Working Environment of a Family Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner can be seen working in homes, clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, rural areas, urban community health centers, college campuses, and public health centers. Besides this, these practitioners also work for healthcare technology companies, do health care research, work as teachers in schools and universities and in government agencies like health departments, military, etc. There are numerous nurse-managed health centers in the United States, where these practitioners serve with other healthcare professionals. Working conditions for them may vary with different practice sites.
What Do Family Nurse Practitioners Do?
A family nurse practitioner either works in collaboration or autonomously to provide family-focused care. Here are some roles and responsibilities of an FNP:
- Developing and executing treatment plans for chronic and acute ailments.
- Conducting diagnostic tests.
- Prescribing pharmacological treatments (according to the state regulation).
- Prescribing age–specific physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Giving prenatal care and assisting in family planning.
- Providing primary and special care for adults and children.
- Doing minor surgeries and medical procedures.
- Advocating and educating patients about safety measures to avoid illness.
- Documentation of family and individual health history.
Stepwise Procedure to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
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Step 1 – Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Earning a bachelor’s degree is the initial step for becoming a family nurse practitioner. This program includes a substantial clinical component, and courses that are essential to develop skills related to supervision, communication, research, administration, community health, and quantitative skills.
You can pursue Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) soon after high school. Some nurses may earn this degree after completion of an LPN diploma or associate degree in nursing along with some work experience in the field. RN to BSN bridge programs and LPN to BSN programs can also be utilized to obtain the BSN degree.
Step 2 – Become a Registered Nurse
After earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the next step is to crack the NCLEX-RN program. You may have to fulfill some additional requirements at the state level.
Step 3 – Earn a Graduate Degree
Enroll in MSN or DNP program to enhance your knowledge. Master’s degree takes about 18 to 24 months to complete while DNP program completes in 2 to 3 years. MSN course includes several interesting topics like population health in the global survey, diagnostic reasoning, and physical assessment, advanced physiology across the lifespan. You also get opportunities to get trained in supervised clinical settings.
Step 4 – Further Specialization
You can acquire either FNP certification offered by the AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners) or the FNP-BC certificate provided by the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center). For acquiring these certificates, you need to complete the following requisites:
- Complete MSN or higher degree from an accredited program.
- Must possess an RN license.
- Complete at least 500 hours of supervised clinical program.
However, these prerequisites may vary by state.
Step 5 – Maintain FNP Certifications
The FNP-BC and FNP certification lasts for 5 years. This duration may vary in different states. You must undergo continuing education and complete clinical practice hours to get recertified.
As per the statistics of payscale.com (as of Jan 12, 2016), the median salary of a family nurse practitioner was $85,435.
According to indeed.com, family nurse practitioners made $94,000 as of March 9, 2016.
Average Annual Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles
|Nurse Practitioner Pediatrics Relo||$87,000|
|Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner NP||$78,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Behavioral Health||$83,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Family||$91,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Family Practice||$88,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Family Prac||$64,000|
|Family Nurse Practitioner Relocate||$94,000|
|Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner||$79,000|
|Family Practice Nurse Practitioner||$92,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Specialty Pediatric||$83,000|
|Family Nurse Practitioner Fnp||$97,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Specialty||$84,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Specialty Hospice||$83,000|
|Nurse Practitioner Specialty Hospitals||$83,000|
Information Source: indeed.com
Family Nurse Practitioner FNP earned the highest salary, i.e., $97,000 per annum. Family Nurse Practitioner Relocate made $94,000 per annum. Nurse Practitioner Specialty Hospitals, Nurse Practitioner Specialty Hospice, Nurse Practitioner Specialty Pediatric, and Nurse Practitioner Behavioral Health made similar income, i.e., $83,000.
Career Outlook for Family Nurse Practitioner
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The future for FNPs is very optimistic. According to the Nurse Journal, the rate of growth of family nurse practitioner is going to increase by 22% by the year 2022. There are many reasons behind this rise. They are:
- Augment in demand for health care services because of increasing emphasis on preventive care.
- Many newly insured individuals receiving coverage under the affordable care act.
- Aging baby boomer population.
Schools Offering FNP Programs
- University of Pennsylvania
Address – 3101 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Contact no. – 215–898-5000
Official Website – http://www.upenn.edu
- University of California, San Francisco
Address – 505 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143
Contact no. – 415–476-9000
Official Website – https://www.ucsf.edu
- Johns Hopkins University
Address – 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Contact no. – 410–516-8000
Official Website – https://www.jhu.edu
- University of Michigan
Address – 500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Contact no. – 734–764-1817
Official Website – https://www.umich.edu
- University of Maryland, Baltimore
Address – 620 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Contact no. – 410–706–3100
Official Website – http://www.umaryland.edu
- University of Washington
Address – Odegaard Library 022, Odegaard, Seattle, WA 98195-5502
Contact no. – 206–543–9198
Official Website – http://www.washington.edu
- Columbia University
Address – 116th Street and Broadway, Newyork, NY 10027
Contact no. – 212–854-1754
Official Website – http://www.columbia.edu
- Duke University
Address – 2138 Campus Drive, Box 90586, Durham, NC 27708
Contact no. – 919–684-3214
Official Website – https://duke.edu
- Vanderbilt University
Address – 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235
Contact no. – 615–322-7311
Official Website – http://www.vanderbilt.edu
- The University of Illinois, Chicago
Address – 1200 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Contact no. – 312–996–7000
Official Website – https://www.uic.edu