Steps to Embrace a Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner

In a time when healthcare is becoming more specialized, family nurse practitioners are still needed. According to Zippia, there are 181,988 family nurse practitioners in the USA.

More than 87% of these family nurses are women, and 12.6% are men. However, more is needed.

There is an increasing demand for family nurse practitioners, especially post Covid-19, as health awareness has risen since then, according to many studies.

If you want to become a family nurse practitioner but need to know how to do it, this guide will help you get on track.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

If you’re looking to become a family nurse practitioner, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

While some programs allow entry with only an associate’s degree, it’s more common for aspiring FNP students to have earned at least their BSN.

If you’re new to nursing and have no prior experience, start by obtaining your associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). This will serve as the foundation for your bachelor’s program later on.

If you already have an ADN or another related field of study under your belt (such as psychology), then make sure that any credits can be transferred into the RN-BSN track at your chosen university.

Become a Licensed Nurse and Gain Experience

Become a registered nurse (RN). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses must complete an accredited nursing program before becoming licensed and practicing in any state.

Many RNs earn their BSN during this time, which is recommended but not required for some positions.

Practice your craft by working as an RN in various settings and learn how to deal with a wide range of patient needs and manage stressful situations that arise while providing care.

Once you are a registered nurse, you need to gain experience. Gain experience before pursuing advanced degrees or certifications such as those offered by Nurse Practitioner programs (NP programs). Experience is required to make you confident about the job.

A recent study was done to find the efficacy of clinical experiences and was then published in the ScienceDirect journal. According to the study results, confidence levels rose in nursing students after clinical experiences.

Complete a Master’s Program in Nursing (MSN)

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a graduate degree that prepares you to enter the field of nursing as a professional nurse practitioner. An MSN requires two years of full-time or four years of part-time study. 

In this case, you will be required to take courses on clinical practice, health promotion and disease prevention, advanced pharmacology, and other topics related to your specialty area, family nurse practitioner (FNP).

The MSN-FNP is considered a terminal degree as it does not lead directly into additional postgraduate education or training programs. However, many nurses pursue additional education beyond an MSN before entering their careers as FNPs.

You can join a university and attend lectures daily to get an education. However, you can also go with online programs if you need more time.

There are many MSN FNP online programs you can choose from. These online programs allow you to access study materials and complete your education as and when you want.

You must research MSN-FNP online programs before you join one.

Go for one that a reputational service provider offers. This will ensure that the certification you get is recognized by employers worldwide.

Obtain Licensure and Certification

Obtaining your license is the first step in your career as a family nurse practitioner. Licensure is required to practice, so this should be your top priority.

Certification is also recommended but not required by all states, so you should check with your state’s board of nursing before pursuing certification.

Many employers prefer certified candidates because it shows their commitment to the field and helps them stand out from other applicants.

The competition can be high in the family nurse practitioner field. There are around 355,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the USA.

However, 70.3% of these nurses are in the family nursing field. The numbers show both high demand and high competition. Hence, getting certifications will help you get an edge.

Gain the Right Skills

A Family Nurse Practitioner must be skilled in many areas, including but not limited to the following:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills: As an FNP, you must communicate clearly with patients and families across various settings, including both formal and informal environments. You’ll need to be able to assess patients’ needs effectively, explain treatment plans in detail, and listen carefully so that you can understand what your patients are telling you. Hence, communication is also a part of training in nursing. Communication intervention is also proven beneficial in nursing practice.
  • Critical thinking: The job of an FNP requires critical thinking skills and the ability to make sound judgments about diagnoses and treatments based on data provided by patients or families. Additionally, since this type of nurse practitioner works directly with physicians at hospitals or clinics, it’s essential that they can think critically while also working collaboratively with other medical staff members.
  • Problem-solving: As an FNP, you’ll often face problems that need solving. For instance, a patient may come in complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath. You’ll need to quickly assess their symptoms and any past medical information or family history that may be relevant to their current situation. Then you’ll work with them to devise a plan for treatment that addresses the problem at hand and helps get them back on track toward good health again.

Conclusion

Nursing is an exciting and fulfilling career. As a family nurse practitioner, you will be able to help people in their time of need and advocate for their health care needs.

Spending time with patients as they recover from a hospital stay or surgery is rewarding, but it can also be stressful if you don’t feel like those around you appreciate your job.

However, if you enjoy working with people and want to make a difference in their lives, this profession may be perfect for you.

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Paschal Uchechukwu
Paschal Uchechukwu

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain is a professional and passionate SEO writer on Education, including homeschool, college tips, high school, and travel tips.

He has been writing articles for over 5 years. He is the Chief Content Officer at School & Travel.

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain holds a degree in Computer Science from a reputable institution. Also, he is passionate about helping people get access to online money-making opportunities.

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