How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a family nurse practitioner requires commitment and hard work as you go through the necessary educational and licensing attainments.

What is a family nurse practitioner?

You perform work and obligations otherwise assigned to a physician and collaborate with the patients all through the family life cycle. It is your duty to provide education and counseling together with certain tests and procedures. Finally, you will be trained to provide a broad range of care to varied groups of patients. Concentration will be on health promotion and disease prevention. This will start from childhood and go on through the aging process. The family nurse practitioner is also expected to diagnose and develop possible treatment remedies for serious and chronic sicknesses.

Educational Requirements for the FNP

Family nurse practitioners normally obtain RN or BSN degrees and work in health care facilities. Later on, these nurses return to college and earn their master’s degrees to become an Advanced Practice Nurse. This nurse has four career options:

  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist who gives anesthesia to surgery patients
  • Certified Nurse Midwife who provides prenatal care and deliver babies
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist who renders specialized care
  • Family Nurse Specialist who is tasked to provide family health care

If you would aspire for nurse practitioner education, the primary prerequisite is a Master of Science in Nursing program. After obtaining this degree, you must become certified by your State Board of Nursing or obtain national certification from organizations such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. It is imperative to finish a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The bachelor’s degree is a pre-condition to availing of nurse practitioner programs. This will be advantageous to your nursing profession even if you do not decide not to become a family nurse practitioner in the future.

Find a reputable college or university that has a strong family practice syllabus which will fit into your schedule. Check out the prerequisites required by each institution. Majority of schools demand a minimum undergraduate GPA and completion of various high-level science courses. Inquire when new students are admitted to the program since some schools only admit new students during the fall semester. You will be granted a Master of Science degree in nursing upon completion of the nurse practitioner program.

Licensure for Nurse Practitioners

You need to take the national licensing examination for nurses after you receive your bachelor’s degree. You can only look forward to a rewarding nursing job and more experience by becoming a licensed graduate. A lot of nurse practitioner programs make it compulsory for students enrolled in the program to have a minimum of two years of experience in nursing.

Make sure to pass the Family Nurse Practitioner National Certification Examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The examination encompasses topics like clinical management, assessment of severe and persistent disorders, and professional roles and policies. The Center maintains review programs for the exams in local hospitals and through online means.

You need to give out your resume once you have passed the certification examination for family nurse practitioners. Send your curriculum vitae to private physicians, local hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, pharmacy clinics, veteran’s hospitals, nursing schools and private entities. Register with your school’s placement office and search the job openings at the websites of Health Career and Nursing Jobs.