What exactly is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)?
Nurse practitioners are usually registered nurses (RNs) who have gone back to school for a master’s degree and further specialization in a niche within nursing. Nurse practitioners have skills and knowledge when it comes to the management and diagnostic procedures of many illnesses and diseases. A family nurse practitioner will often start seeing patients as children and continue as their care provider through adulthood. FNPs often work with family primary care physicians directly, helping care for many different patients. Some responsibilities of a family nurse practitioner include diagnosing illnesses through interviewing patients as well as administering physical exams. They can also prescribe medications to patients.
What are the different types of degrees in this field?
Nurse practitioners need at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) but can also get a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) degree as their highest qualification. There are different specialties that students can pursue within their specific MSN program.
- RN to MSN (Family Nursing)
- BSN to MSN (Family Nursing)
- BSN to MSN (Women's Health)
- BSN to MSN (Nurse Midwifery)
Average Salary of a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Because of the considerable education and knowledge that most FNPs have, they are also able to earn salaries that are on the higher end of those within the healthcare industry. The demand for competent health care professionals is continuing to increase. Currently, persons who have obtained an MSN in FNP can expect a salary within the range of $68,000 to $82,000 yearly. There can also be significant variation depending on the years of experience of the professional and the needs of the specific healthcare organization.
Schools that Offer Online FNP Programs
There are many accredited online institutions that offer degrees in nursing. Most of the degrees that are useful for those interested in being family nurse practitioners are MSN degrees. Some of these schools offering MSN degrees include:
- Brigham Young University: This excellent university located in Utah has many nursing program offerings. Students can enroll in Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner Programs, as well as Registered Nurse Programs and Nutrition Services programs.
- Capella University: Capella University offers two MSN programs for students interested in specializing in family nursing practice. Graduate-level nursing programs are offered online. These programs cover advanced nursing topics such as health care policy and regulations, management and leadership in professional nursing practice as well as ethical and legal standards in health care.
- Cleveland State University: The College of Nursing at Cleveland State University offers four tracks for prospective students: specialized populations, nursing education, forensic nursing, and clinical nurse leader. Each track prepares students for advanced specialized practice. All courses are taught online with the exception of the MBA portion of the MSN/MBA track.
- Drexel University: Drexel University is home to online graduate MSN programs in a variety of specialties including adult acute care, adult psyche care, women’s health nurse practitioner, and nursing leadership. Students can also enroll in various clinical and research-based certificate programs.
- Georgetown University: Georgetown University offers an MSN-FNP track that prepares registered nurses to provide independent general care for families. Flagship courses include health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses. Students have the option to take courses online on a part-time or full-time basis.
- Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University offers various MSN tracks including nurse educator, healthcare informatics, public health, family nurse practitioner, and adult clinical nurse specialist. Students can take classes online or at the Phoenix or Tempe campus.
- Kaplan University: Kaplan University is one of the top institutions in the country for a distance education. Students who want to become family nurse practitioners can pursue an MSN – Nurse Practitioner degree.
- Michigan State University: MSU has quality nursing programs designed to meet the needs of students interested in entering the healthcare field. ‘Spartans’ can study in Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner programs, as well as Nursing Science Studies and RN Programs.
- Northern Arizona University: Arizona is home to this excellent university. NAU gives students the opportunity to pursue their nursing degree in style with a beautiful scenery. NAU offers programs in Public Health Nursing, Community Nursing, and becoming an RN.
- Philadelphia University: The Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University offers a comprehensive program that combines elements of theory, research, and practice. The program takes approximately two years to complete and is offered online with six terms of study and four terms of clinical rotation. All applicants to the program must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify.
- South University: SU offers several MSN programs across several specializations. Some of these specializations include Clinical Nursing, Psychiatric Care, Adult Nursing, Family Nursing, Nurse Administration, Nurse Midwifery, and Women’s Health.
- Texas Tech University: Students interested in being a Red Raider can find excellent family nursing programs via Texas Tech. Texas Tech offers programs in nursing administration, becoming an RN, and becoming a family nurse practitioner.
- University of California, San Francisco: UCSF has a school of nursing that is geared towards students who want to advance their health care professional careers. Students can enroll in a variety of programs tailored to fit the ever-changing needs of the healthcare market. Additionally, students can benefit from many resources specifically made for nurse practitioner students.
- The University of Cincinnati: The University of Cincinnati offers seven nursing specialties including adult nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, nursing administration, mental health nursing, and women’s health nurse practitioner. Coursework for each specialty is offered online through multimedia presentations, discussions, assignments, and peer and professional support systems.
- University of Iowa: Being an Iowa Hawkeye is a great honor, as well as an opportunity to obtain an excellent education. The University of Iowa has many programs for persons who want to become nurse practitioners. Students can enroll in degree programs in Nursing for Adults and Seniors, Nursing Administration, Nursing Science Studies, and can also complete steps to become a family nurse practitioner.
- University of Phoenix: The University of Phoenix offers many high quality programs for aspiring family nurse practitioners such as; MSN – Nurse Practitioners, a General MSN, an MSN in Health Care Education, and an MSN in Health Informatics.
Financial Aid for Nursing Students
Financial aid is available to most students from both public and private sources. Government loans are a great place to look, as they offer better interest rates than private loans, and the government also gives grants that don’t need to be repaid to students who can demonstrate financial need. Additionally, there are also many scholarships available. In fact, there are many nurse practitioner scholarships and grants that may be available to students. There are a few websites that all students should make use of in their quest to find education financial aid:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): This should be your first step toward getting financial aid. This one application will submit your name for several forms of governmental student aid, and many colleges require your FAFSA to be completed before they will offer you financial assistance.
- studentaid.ed.gov: A compliment to the FAFSA, this site offers every scrap of information you need about governmental student aid. Everything from how to determine eligibility to how much you’ll get is covered here, and it is an invaluable resource for any student.
- USA.gov: Here you can learn about all kinds of services and financial offerings that the government has on tap for students, business-owners, and others looking to make good investments in their lives.