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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.