Family Nurse Practitioner: What You Need to Know About This Expert


What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?

A family nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with graduate-level education. This expert is often meant to perform physical functions like prescribing medications. Basically, a family nurse should start her career by ensuring that she qualifies to be called a registered family nurse first before progressing on for further studies. Family NPs must also be certified and licensed in all states. Be aware that a person can follow different routes when she wants to become a family NPs and end up becoming a qualified family NPs. This ф will provide you with everything you need to know about family NPs.



What Does a Family Nurse Practitioner Do?

Depending on the place of practice, the level of independence for a family NP can vary greatly. Generally, often times the NP can work independently of a physician. In some cases, a family NP is required to work in collaboration with a qualified physician. Note that the duties, medical treatments, roles as well as pharmacologic abilities of a family NP are normally determined by the state of licensure. The following are the different roles and duties of family NPs:

  • Treating, helping and diagnosing patients be able to manage chronic and acute disorders.
  • Interpreting medical history and conducting physical examinations.
  • Performing and ordering diagnostic procedures and tests.
  • Prescribing pharmacologic treatments.
  • Providing family planning services, screening services and prenatal care.
  • Offering specialty care services for children and adults.
  • Performing minor surgical procedures.
  • Educating and counseling patients about the different preventive measures that can assist them in avoiding contracting different disorders.


Family Nurse Practitioner Job Description

A family NP usually specializes in diagnosing and treatment of patients in a wide age range i.e. from childhood to the elderly. Individuals drawn to this specialty are normally life-long learners who often seek independence and responsibility in their career. These experts find professional satisfaction when they treat patients and when they pay special attention to the family unit they are entitled to work in. Family NPs are often entitled to work in government organizations, hospital, community health organizations, private practice as well as in the other health care systems.


FNPs Specialties

FNPs can specialize in different areas so as to polish their competence and professionalism. The specialties in family practice include:

  • Diabetes or Endocrine
  • Gerontology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatric
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary
  • Critical care
  • Orthopedics
  • Prenatal
  • Cardiac
  • Post- Partum
  • Long- Term care
  • ER or Trauma

FNPs who have specialized in the above specialties can also become consultants in medical settings. The specialties enable the practitioners to manage the health issues of their patients both physically and psychologically.

Family NPs Education

If you are a registered nurse with a nursing diploma or an associate degree, you should complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing first before entering into a master’s program. If you’ve got a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, all you need to do in order to qualify to become a family NP is ensuring that you earn first an RN and then progressing with master’s degree program.

Be aware that the master’s degree program required is normally the minimum education requirement required fro4r one to become a family NP.


Family Nurse Practitioner Programs Online

Online family NP programs are usually great for those individuals who are working and at the same time are completing their studies. Basically, their flexibility often allows students who are already working to continue with their other job activities without interruption of duties. It can be very difficult for you to continue with your regular job while at the same time you’re studying. This, therefore, calls the need to apply for online programs for family NPs if you’re working and at the same time you want to become a certified NP. Let’s now have a look at some of the tips and tricks that can assist you to find a good school to undertake a career in family NP.

How to Find a Good College

If you want to become a family NP, the following tips will help make a good choice of a college:

  1. Reference from Friends and Co-workers:
    Friends, co-workers, colleagues or even relatives who’ve studied nursing can really boost your attempt to find a good school that will see you become a family NP. Ask these people how they were treated in the school they were, how effective or efficient their programs are as well as how much fee they paid to complete their nursing courses.
  2. Searching on the Internet:
    The internet is one of the places that will always provide you with a solution to all your problems. All you need to do when you are using the internet to find a good nursing school is goggling “Colleges teaching Nursing Programs’ and you will be provided with a list of them. However, since the internet is also one of the places that is usually crowded with lots of conmen, you must ensure that you are searching at a reliable site in order to reduce the possibility of getting conned.
  3. Visiting the Different Colleges Teaching Nursing Programs:
    Once you have successfully located the different schools offering nursing programs, sacrifice your time and visit them. Ask the customer cares in these schools what programs they offer and also how much it costs for one to undertake a career in nursing. You should also make sure that you ask for a list of past consumer reviews in this schools. Make and effort and contact some of the students who’ve been to these schools and ask them the various benefits as well as drawbacks they encountered while learning in these institutions. It is recommended that you avoid any school which does not provide you with a list of their alumnus since it simply means that there is something they are trying to hide from you.
  4. Using the Fee Option to Determine the College to Join:
    It is always advisable that you consider a college that will charge you less in terms of fees but in the end ensure that you become a qualified family NP within the shortest time possible.

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National FNP Certification

A graduate becomes eligible National FNP certification after completing the graduate or post-graduate training program. Many FNPs programs are designed to meet the required standards for national certification. National certification is one of the major requirements in most states for FNPs licensure. However, some national certifying bodies are not recognized in some states thus; it’s crucial for the candidates to check which national certifying body is recognized by their state.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which operates under the American Nurses Association, offers FNP certification. The applicants should hold a have an active registered nurse (RN) license and must have completed a post graduate degree, master’s degree or a doctorate degree from an accredited FNP program for them to qualify for certification. It is also a must for the applicants to complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours under faculty supervision to be eligible for certification.

How Much Does an NFP Earn?


Although the economy has been unfriendly to some industries causing the wages to continue decreasing, the health industry has not been affected at all. In fact, the wages in the health industry has been increasing all along, thus becoming an FNP can be a great choice. The major factors that determine the salaries of FNPS are experience and region of practice.


FNPs Salaries by Experience

According to the National Nurse Practitioner Compensation Survey that was conducted by The American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2015, it was found out that the salaries of FNPs increase as one continues to gain experience or increase in years of practice. The following are the average salaries of NFPs according to the years of practice calculated using the data collected during the survey.

  • 0 to 5 years: $92,410
  • 6 to 10 years: 99,221
  • 11 to 15 years: 101,364
  • 16 to 20 years: 105,507
  • 21 years and above: $106,669

The survey also indicated that the FNPs were entitled to bonuses and other extra benefits which resulted in the increase in their total earnings. The following are the averages FNPs total earnings after benefits and bonuses according to years of experience.

  • 0-5 years: $101,946
  • 6-10 years: $111,616
  • 11-15 years: $115,836
  • 16-20 years: $121,427
  • 21 years or more: $117,100


FNPs Salaries by Region

The FNPs salaries differ among regions with some region paying higher wages than others. Here is a list of top 5 highest paying states.

  1. Oregon: Average pay $111,160
  2. California: Average pay $115,460
  3. Alaska: Average pay $115,670
  4. Hawaii: Average pay $ 115,870
  5. Massachusetts: Average pay $107,230


However, it was also found out that the regions that offer high remuneration rates also have a higher cost of living than the regions that pay lower salaries. The difference in the remuneration rates acts as an offset to the difference in the cost of living.


The FNPs job opportunities are expected to increase in the coming years due to the shortage of nurses. As the demand for FNPs continues to increase the salaries of FNPs are also expected to increase.


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