The wonderful thing about the nursing profession is that it has many opportunities for those interesting in becoming nurses. Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) allows nurses to provide the same level of patients care as physicians do, and they can practice and prescribe medications in each of the 50 states. These Advanced Practice Nurses have much to offer to the field of nursing.
What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) are Advanced Practice Nurses who handle the same duties as physicians do. These individuals also provide counseling and education to their patients, as well as administering procedures and test to determine medical conditions. They are trained in a wide range of medical care, and they care for a diverse group of people. FNPs promote the health and wellbeing of their patients by helping them prevents illnesses and diseases beginning in their childhood years and continuing to adulthood. Family Nurse Practitioners can diagnose and treat chronic and acute diseases.
Many FNPs receive advanced training in areas of specialized care such as pediatric care and women’s health. Family Nurse Practitioners can work in a variety of practices, including Urology, Family Medicine, Geriatrics, Neonatology, Psychiatrics, Gastroenterology, Urgent Care, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, and Pediatrics. They can work in a variety of settings, including health centers, homes, clinics, hospice centers.
Job Duties of a Family Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioners meet with the patients and advice them of the processes involved in their medical care. FNPS are very well educated and skilled in their particular areas of practice. Their daily responsibilities revolve around the needs of their patients. Some of the main responsibilities of FNPs include creating treatment plans for patients, maintaining patient records, and recording the medical histories of patients. The following are other responsibilities of Family Nurse Practitioners:
- Promoting patients’ healthy lifestyles
- Obtaining patient medical histories
- Creating awareness of health issues
- Ordering and analyzing medical reports
- Creating patient reports for doctors
- Analyzing the results of medical tests
- Monitoring the progress of patients
- Guiding patients through their treatment plans
- Discussing medical treatment options with patients
- Discussing the harms and side effects of illnesses and diseases
- Discussing the nature of patients’ illnesses and diseases
How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
To become a Family Nurse Practitioners is necessary to get an education in nursing. Some choose to complete 2 to 4 years of nursing education by earning diplomas, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Ultimately, they must complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The education may consist of a combination of classroom instruction, laboratory work, and clinical experience. Common undergraduate nursing courses are microbiology, and anatomy and physiology.
Nurses must sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) after graduating. There may also be additional requirements in their state to maintain their licensure status. Nurses must gain at least one year of experience as an RN before enrolling in a graduate level nursing program. Working with a variety of types of patients may help them once they become FNPs.
The graduate level programs that nurses may complete are the master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Most states require that nurses earn the doctoral degree to become Family Nurse Practitioners. The programs will consist of clinical experience and didactic learning. Possible courses may include primary care, childbearing family care, health assessment, and advanced pharmacology.
After graduating, nurses must sit for the FNP-BC exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Once they earn the FNP-BC certificate, they are Family Nurse Practitioners. They must participate in a certain number of continuing education hours every 5 years to maintain their certification.
Family Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to information from Payscale.com, Family Nurse Practitioners can earn salaries between $59,509 and $96,751 annually. They can make salaries of $61,528 and $104,565 with bonuses and profit sharing. Some FNPs make even higher wages with experience. The states that offer the highest wages for FNPs are California, Alaska, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. The factors that can influence the salaries for FNPs are specialization areas, educational background, and years of experience. Location and need can also raise the salaries substantially.
Family Nurse Practitioners have an exceptional level of knowledge and expertise in the field of nursing. They can perform many of the same job responsibilities of doctors. Their training helps them to gain a high level of experience in a variety of specialization areas, making them a valuable asset in the medical community.