MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Degree Programs & Career

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. In the United States, an FNP is also required to hold national board certification in family health as well as certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AAPP) or American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). FNPs are experts in family health and help individuals and families cope with chronic disabilities as well as advise families on lifestyle and behavioral risk factors. Family health nurse practitioners provide primary care to individuals of all ages, while placing emphasis on health of the entire family. Along with acute care, adult practice, women’s health, and geriatrics, family nursing is one of the most popular specialty areas for nurse practitioners, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to Become an FNP

To become a family nurse practitioner, students typically complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program
  2. Earn a Registered Nurse Certification
  3. Meet the professional experience conditions
  4. Enroll and complete an MSN degree with a concentration in family health
  5. Obtain FNP certification and proper licensure (requirements vary by state)

FNP Salary and Career Information

The expected salary, career growth, and work environment for an FNP might include:

  • According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2013 the mean annual wage of a nurse practitioner was $95,070.
  • Job Prospects: Very good to excellent
  • Job Setting: Private practices, urgent care clinics, health departments, nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, educational institutions, private homes

FNP Qualifications

To become an FNP, students are typically required to meet the following job qualifications:

  • FNP Advanced Practice Certification
  • Computer skills using various applications such as word processing, presentation, and online database systems
  • Certification in an area of clinical specialty including family care, adult primary care, gerontology, mental health, and acute care

FNP Job Description

An FNP is typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Examine patients and their families to evaluate their medical and physical conditions and develop specific care plans based on health assessment
  • Focus on building strong relationships with families to provide ongoing support and patient education
  • Work closely with doctors and other medical professionals to aid in patient diagnosis
  • Provide prenatal care and assist with family planning and reproductive health
  • Develop a plan of care that address patients’ unique conditions and prescribe proper medication (prescriptive authority varies by state)
  • Collaborate with staff on research and professional practice projects

MSN Degrees for Aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs)