A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse that specializes in health care across the age spectrum. They have great autonomy within the medical field, often acting as primary care providers, and have advanced skillsets to carry out patient care. For instance, FNPs conduct physical examinations, create treatment plans, maintain medical records, and are able to prescribe medications. For this reason, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner requires a graduate degree and certification.
As one Goodwin University FNP program student explained, “Being a Family Nurse Practitioner gets me close to being a doctor without losing my caring side as a nurse.” Aspiring FNPs may also feel this way, or are drawn to the family practice specialty for diverse reasons. For some, it’s the challenging coursework that piques some their interest. Others are motivated by the high earning potential that you can expect as an FNP. What else makes the FNP role so interesting, and why should you become a Family Nurse Practitioner? Let’s find out.
Family Nurse Practitioners: Popular for a Reason
Did you know that the majority of nurse practitioners (NPs) in the U.S. are in fact Family Nurse Practitioners? According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), almost 67% of NPs are actually FNPs. Many FNPs enjoy the diversity of their jobs, as they work with patients of all ages, shapes, and feathers. The focus of a Family Nurse Practitioner is to promote a healthy lifestyle throughout the lifespan, focusing on preventive care. Some further job responsibilities of FNPs include creating treatment plans, managing acute and chronic illnesses in patients, and ordering diagnostic exams. Educating patients is also a large part of the FNP job. The FNP option for RNs is attractive to many advanced practice nurses because of this deep engagement with patients.
Family Nurse Practitioners might work in private practice, at colleges and universities, or in community health. No matter the setting, the collaborative aspect of working with patients to maintain healthy lives is a fulfilling part of this career for FNPs. Many FNPs remark on how this career feels like being a doctor, without medical school bills, a long residency, and many of the stressors that come with such a level of responsibility (such as being on-call). The work/life balance might be more level for FNPs than for PhDs.
A Flexible Ladder
A bachelor’s degree and an unencumbered RN license are the major admission requirements for applying to a Family Nurse Practitioner program of study. Goodwin University also asks that applicants have obtained at least two years of direct patient care as an RN within the last five years. You’ll need to share transcripts, a resume, and a formal essay, but there are no other tests (such as the GRE) that need to be taken before you submit your application. If you’ve climbed this far but are concerned about other obligations, such as your job or family, then you need a flexible program that works for your lifestyle.
Besides Orientation, two Immersion Weekends, and clinical practice, the Goodwin University FNP program is available entirely online. This format allows you to study when you can, and continue to live your life and work while making big moves professionally.
An Unmatched Learning Opportunity
The depth of the curriculum included in Goodwin University’s FNP program is impressive and valuable. This makes sense, because the FNP job requires an in-depth understanding of health practices for adults (including complex cases), children, and women. At Goodwin University, you can expect to study a mixture of theory and clinical studies, including:
- Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Physical Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Theoretical Basis and Current Concepts/Professional Roles
- Policy, Politics and Organization of Healthcare
- Advanced Reasoning and Differential Diagnosis
In addition, you’ll spend 600 hours spread across three ‘Advance Practice through the Lifespan’ courses, which cover the following demographics: adults, women, pediatrics, and complex clients. This 47-credit master’s program can be completed in as few as 27 months when studying year-round.
Another important consideration for your future FNP program is accreditation. Being accredited means that the curriculum has been vetted and approved by an overseeing institution. Accreditation ensures the highest quality educational program. Goodwin University’s FNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Lucrative Compensation & A Great Job Outlook
On average, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that nurse practitioners make about $109,820 annually, nationwide. However, more specific information about the Family Nurse Practitioner salary is available through the AANP, who found that full-time FNPs make on average $114,000 annually in 2019. Depending on the state in which you work, as well as the work environment, your earning potential will also adjust. In Connecticut, for example, the FNP salary can reach up to $136,580 annually.
Perhaps more impressive than the salary for FNPs is the job outlook. The average growth rate for all occupations in the United States is 4% between 2019-29. The growth rate for nurse practitioner employment during that same time range, however, is rising much faster than average, at a notable 52%. This means that employment of nurse practitioners is growing at 13 times the rate of the national average! The highest employment levels for nurse practitioners in a metropolitan area are found on the east coast. In the New York, Newark, Jersey City, and PA area, there are 13,910 FNPs! The mean wage of these nurses is also above the national average, at $128,720.
More of What You Love About Nursing
As you can see, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is a great choice for driven BSN graduates who want to grow their professional career, and live up to tall personal aspirations. To learn more about how to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, or why an FNP program may be the right route for you, consider contacting Goodwin University today at 800-889-3282.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.