What is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)?
A FNP is a RN with advanced education (Master’s or Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree) to provide primary care to individuals throughout their lifespan – babies through the elderly. Most FNPs work in clinics and offices seeing patients one by one for health examinations and/or diagnosis and treatment of health issues. FNPs can also be found in a variety of settings including skilled care facilities, pain clinics, specialty offices, and urgent care centers. A FNP assesses patients, diagnoses their problem(s), implements an intervention(s) such as a referral and/or writes a prescription, and re-evaluates the patient’s progress toward health. FNPs have a consulting relationship with one or more physicians.
Who Should Become a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Nurses who want to become a FNP should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, experience in providing direct patient care, and an interest in independently practicing primary health care. A strong background in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology is important.
What are the advantages of becoming an FNP?
- A FNP is independently licensed to practice advanced practice nursing and can own a practice (In Michigan; laws vary among states).
- Upon graduation, there are many positions to choose from that pay well with good benefits. FNPs are in great demand and can virtually practice where they want geographically, in the type of setting they prefer, either full-time or part-time.
- Currently, FNPs upon graduation, certification, and licensure can take a position in an underserved area, such as a rural area (Gladwin) or an inner city clinic (Saginaw), and over several years, may have their entire student loan forgiven.
- FNPs make a difference in patients’ lives. Being a nurse and a primary health care provider is a great combination of competence and caring, which results in satisfied patients with good outcomes.
- Preparing to become a FNP at SVSU can be done while working full-time. The course schedule is student friendly by being taught in a hybrid format (combination of online and face to face) and mostly evening classes, usually no more than one day per week until clinical begins. Students progress together though classes with a group of colleagues. Groups of students are diverse in age and experience. At the end of year three, students are awarded a MSN and take the FNP certification examination to obtain their licensure. At that point, students may continue taking courses to finish their DNP degree in a little over one year or come back at a later time to finish their degree.