Skip to main content
• Social Media: Connect with UsAccessibility  |  About  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms

Nursing Careers - Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Published: 2009-02-19 (Revised/Updated 2010-07-03) : Michael A. Morales.
  • Synopsis: Job description for becoming a family nurse practitioner who specializes in general family medicine.

Main Document

Nurses vary greatly in terms of the amount of education they have and what kind of treatment they are able to offer their patients.

The highest nurse in the nursing food chain is the nurse practitioner, sometimes called NP. Unlike other nurses, NPs can prescribe and adjust their patients medications, and can perform a wider array of lab tests. In other words, short of surgery or specialized medicine, a nurse practitioner can do many of the same things that a doctor can do.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a nurse practitioner who specializes in general family medicine, and FNPs are often the sole healthcare provider in many small towns and rural areas in the United States. Through routine screenings and checkups, if the FNP finds something in a patient that requires a specialist, he or she can easily refer the patient to an MD. But run-of-the-mill health problems, as well as health education and preventative health, can be handled by the nurse practitioner in his or her office.

Family nurse practitioners work in numerous settings, including clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many have their own private practices, especially in small town areas. In these small towns, much of an FNPs work focuses on preventative medicine and education, trying to teach patients to make healthy lifestyle choices or lifestyle changes in order to prevent disease.

Requirements for Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners require a master's degree in nursing, or MSN. Some nurse practitioners are RNs who take post-baccalaureate work to become an NP. Generally, nurse practitioners must complete at least five to six years of higher education. Four of these years will be spent completing a bachelor's degree in nursing, and one or two additional years for completing either post-baccalaureate degrees or master's degrees. Like all nurses, once NPs gain their degrees, they must pass a board exam.

Almost all nurse practitioner programs require that their candidates have spent time working as an RN first, usually at least for one to two years. Most MSN programs also generally prefer nurses who completed a bachelor's degree in nursing, rather than an associate's degree.

Becoming a nurse practitioner can be quite costly: $20 - $27,000 for a bachelor's degree and an additional $15 - $20,000 for a master's degree is about average.

Job Prospects for FNPs

However, all this education does eventually provide a significant return on investment; family nurse practitioners are some of the best-paid nurses in the field. An average FNP earns $70 - $80,000 per year, and some FNPs earn six figure incomes. By comparison, a highly skilled RN earns around $65,000 per year.

As with most other fields of nursing, family nurse practitioners are in high demand. At least for the time being, the job prospects for FNPs are very good.

Reference: Michael Morales is an EMT - Paramedic and program director for Vital Ethics Inc., providing basic and advanced life support training and certification programs to health care professionals. www.vitalethics.org/lpn-rn-schools-programs-10.html

Similar Topics

1 - Primary Care Physicians More Likely to Recommend Careers as Nurse Practitioners - Massachusetts General Hospital.
2 - Nursing Ranked Most Honest and Ethical Profession - American Nurses Association.
3 - Best Jobs for Candidates With Disabilities - CareerCast.
4 - Coordinating Care for Children with Disabilities - Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental and Related Disabilities - Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental and related Disabilities.
5 - Careers in Health Care - What They Offer for Students with Disabilities - Rebecca Broyce.
From our Job Descriptions section - Full List (25 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.



1 - Genes That Repair the Spinal Cord in Fish Are Also Present in Humans
2 - Slight Fluctuations in Movement Correspond to Autism Diagnoses
3 - wheelAIR Innovative New Cooling Wheelchair Backrest Wins Support on Dragons Den
4 - DIVAS Rule the Runway at The Woodlands
5 - Ultra-thin Optical Fibers Provide Way to Print 3D Microstructures



Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.