RN to MSN (Family Nursing)

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An RN to MSN degree program allows students to earn a master’s degree while not repeating classes they took as part of their initial RN education. An MSN degree provides students an opportunity to specialize in a specific area of medicine. Family nursing is a popular option, as it allows students to work with patients in multiple age groups. Many family nurses work with patients through their entire life cycle – a very rewarding aspect of the job.

RN to MSN Degree in Family Nursing: What You Need to Know

Although there are multiple education routes to earning an MSN, family nurses most commonly become nurse practitioners. This means that classes focus on actionable nursing skills, rather than management, education, or consulting. If you’re an RN without a bachelor’s degree, your first several months will be spent completing the necessary courses to earn your BSN.

If you’re are working while going to school, many employers offer a pay raise or promotion as soon as you have their BSN, which is definitely an advantage to an accelerated RN to MSN program. Note: Make sure your RN license is current before enrolling in a program!

Required Steps

Once you have found a school that offers an RN to MSN degree program in family nursing, the following requirements will likely be required for graduation:

  1. Complete your bachelor’s degree including all general education requirements.
  2. Enroll in core nursing courses that comprise the RN-to-MSN curriculum.
  3. Register for specialization courses in family nursing.
  4. Complete any required elective courses.
  5. Finalize clinical rotations and/or nursing capstone project.

Advanced Nursing Licensure: What’s the Purpose?

Once you have completed the steps listed above, it’s time to prepare for your licensing examination. Most states require additional licensure to work as an advanced practice nurse. Two organizations offer credentialing exams in family nursing:

Family Nursing Careers: What You Can Do

Family nurses with MSNs are eligible to work in a number of different types of facilities, but most commonly work in private practices. In some states, an MSN actually qualifies family nurses to open their own private practice independent from physicians. While family nursing is a niche profession, graduates can work in diverse settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Private Practices
  • Armed Services
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Rehabilitation Centers

Salaries vary depending on location, type of facility, years of experience, and other factors. Payscale.com reports that the national average for family nurse practitioners is $59,462 – $96,682. When researching salary data, make sure to consider position level and experience. If you have worked as an RN for several years, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a higher wage.

Typical Job Duties

As a family nurse, they provide a wide range of care to patients, and education/prevention is as important as diagnosis and treatment. A family nurses day-to-day tasks vary depending on the patients they see, but some of the tasks they can expect to do regularly include:

  • Recording vital signs and performing standard annual check-ups
  • Administering immunizations
  • Diagnosing common illness and prescribing medication
  • Helping patients maintain a high quality of life
  • Scheduling appointments with specialists or physicians

RN to MSN Degrees Online

It was not always possible to earn a family nurse practitioner degree online, but shifts in education have allowed more accredited schools these programs entirely online. While online FNP programs are still relatively new, dozens of master and doctoral nurse programs are available. To see if a school offers the right program for you, use the links below to contact a school to learn more.

Georgetown University
MSN in FNP Specialization
Georgetown University — Georgetown University is one of the few schools offering an online program for student pursuing a career as a family nurse practitioner. Established in 1789, Georgetown is one of America's oldest institutions for higher education and now offers over 100 programs through its eight schools from business to medicine and healthcare.
Kaplan University
MSN to DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner
Kaplan University — In addition to its several online nursing programs, Kaplan University has a MSN to DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner. Originally the American Institute of Commerce founded in 1937, Kaplan is one of the largest online schools with 70 campuses across the country and offers almost 200 online programs at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.
University of Cincinnati
MSN in Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
MSN in Nurse Midwifery
University of Cincinnati — If you want to advance your career in nursing, the University of Cincinnati offers online degrees for nursing professionals including an MSN in Women's Health or Nursing Midwifery. UC was founded in 1819 and while the school now has over 42,000 students, the student to faculty ratio is only 15 to one, so you get the support and attention you need as you pursue your degree.
South University
MSN in Nurse Practitioner
South University — South University has an impressive online division that is convenient for working professionals trying to earn their MSN. A Georgia-based school, South U was founded in 1889 and now offers almost 30 online programs and has schools in eight states.

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Looking for a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

Fill out this short form below, and we'll help match you to an accredited college program that suits your interests, whether online- or campus-based.