Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioners are healthcare experts who provide primary or specialty care to patients. They work in a number of settings such as hospitals, businesses, colleges etc. and assess, treat, and monitor families' healthcare. Ordering tests, providing prescriptions and giving basic assistance for different conditions are some of the responsibilities of these nurses.

The career outlook for nurses overall is quite positive as jobs for these medical professionals are expected to grow faster than the average of all occupations between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Academic Programs for Family Nurse Practitioners

Aspiring family nurse practitioners need to earn an RN degree. They can work towards the associate or bachelor’s program in nursing and earn the title of a registered nurse. The associate program may take 2 years to complete while the bachelor’s degree program may be completed in 4 years. The duration of a program may vary according to the enrollment status of the students.

Aspiring family nurse practitioners can also earn a master’s degree that may take 1-3 years to complete, or less or longer. This advanced program includes classroom instruction as well as clinical experience. Students need to go through licensure as well.


The curriculum in nursing programs may include topics such as family health management, pathophysiology and critical issue management. Students can also take courses in nursing informatics, nursing research methodology and health delivery systems.

Online Nursing Degrees

Some schools also offer nursing degree programs in online format. These programs can be suitable for those who are already working and want to switch careers as well as RNs seeking additional credentials. The online programs allow aspiring FNPs to study from any location and complete a program at their own pace. As these programs are self-paced, students are able to keep a balance between their personal and professional life and earn vital credentials in a relatively convenient manner. But online learning calls for considerable self-discipline. Students must stay focused and committed otherwise it may become difficult for them to complete the coursework.

Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in family nursing practice is also available. These credentials can be useful for those who already have previous education in a concentration other than family nursing practice. Graduates of a master’s program can work towards this certificate and take courses in advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, women and child care and adolescent and elderly care among other subjects.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification

The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification. Though this certification is voluntary, it may give candidates an edge in a competitive job market.

Employment Opportunities for Family Nurse Practitioners

Employment of registered nurses is projected to increase by 19% from 2012 to 2022. These professionals may work in nursing homes, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, offices of physicians or home health care services. Some also work in colleges and related settings.

A number of factors may determine the income of FNPs. These may include location, experience, qualification and workplace. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $65,470 in 2012.



Ask an Expert

Q:Can you tell me about a Family Nurse Practitioner?

A:Family nurse practitioners are certified healthcare professionals who provide specialty care to patients throughout their lives. From prescribing medication to counseling, these nurses perform a variety of tasks. Family Nurse Practitioners can be sound working in a variety of healthcare organizations such as clinics, hospitals, community clinics, and even rehabilitation centers.

Q:Can I pursue family nurse practitioner programs online?

A:Yes, you can pursue family nurse practitioner programs online. There are a number of nursing schools that are now offering online programs in this specialty area. These programs are covered with the help of online lectures, videos, conferencing, and slideshows. In some cases, you may be required to attend campus based classes to build practical nursing skills.

Q:How do I prepare for family nurse practitioner jobs?

A:To prepare for a family nurse practitioner job, you must have a degree in nursing. You can choose from various nursing programs and also specialize in a certain sub-category such as disease management. The main purpose of a nursing program is to provide students with nursing skills and knowledge. Apart from education, you must also clear the licensing examinations and acquire a valid license.

Q:Can you tell me about family nurse practitioner jobs?

A:Family nurse practitioners are licensed professionals who practice advanced nursing and help all kinds of patients. They are trained to perform complex medical examinations, treat common acute illnesses, provide immunizations, and more. Family nurse practitioners can be found working in all kinds of clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and old homes.

Q:As a Family Nurse Practitioner, what kinds of duties do I need to perform?

A:Family Nurse Practitioners are required to perform a number of different tasks on the job. These typically include: diagnose and treat common illnesses, conduct medical examinations and tests, prescribe medicine, treat chronic health conditions, perform regular medical procedures, and educate patients about healthy lifestyles. Family Nurse Practitioners often work in hospitals and clinics.

Q:Are family nurse practitioner programs possible to pursue online?

A:Yes, you can pursue family nurse practitioner programs online. There are a number of institutes offering online programs in this field. You can take a look at our page to see which schools suit your interest and career goal. Before you enroll in any institute, make sure you check the accreditation of the program and the institute.

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