Get Your FNP (Family Nurse Practioner) Degree
Nurses are in high demand due to recent events. A family nurse practitioner (FNP) performs similar functions to those performed by physicians. That path to becoming a FNP requires years of education and training. Gaining knowledge about how to obtain the most financial aid possible is an important part of the process as well. Continue reading this helpful guide on how to get your family nurse practitioner degree in the shortest time possible.
Family Nurse Practitioners and the Increased Demand for Nurses Today
Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are in high demand due to how the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing variant have altered the medical field and its needs. The approximately four million nurses working in the U.S. today do not all live in areas where medical staff shortages exist. Not all are willing or able to relocate to areas of need. This results in a surplus of nurses in areas where the numbers are not quite as needed, and a shortage in others where situations are more dire. Nursing shortages have been prevalent since 1998 as well. A perceived need for one million new nurses is anticipated throughout 2021 and beyond. This makes the job of a FNP even more valuable to obtain, but what exactly does a family nurse practitioner do?
Family Nurse Practitioner - Common Tasks and Duties
FNPs have extensive education, training, and experience in the nursing fields. You are first required to earn a nursing-based bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse (RN) before entering the field as an FNP. Common tasks and duties associated with the FNP position include performing physical examinations, prescribing medications, creating patient care plans and conducting consultations with healthcare professional peers and superiors. Essentially, FNPs have similar capabilities and are permitted to perform many of the same duties performed by physicians.
Tasks and duties vary based on state regulations, your experience levels in various scenarios and employer requirements. For example, attending online Telehealth appointments with patients and even ordering and performing diagnostic tests are also part of the duties performed by FNPs today. Additional aspects of jobs performed by FNPs include:
- Disease management.
- Preventative health services.
- Health education counseling and consultations.
- Treating chronic illnesses and diseases (diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, etc.).
Benefits of This Career
The job of an FNP was ranked at number-two on a list of Best Health Care Jobs, which was posted via the U.S. News and World Report program. FNP careers are also listed as the third-best job (out of one-hundred) in the entire U.S. today. The career is also expected to experience a massive growth rate of forty-five percent through 2030, which is much higher than nearly every other career in the U.S. during the same period of time. Not only is the career field growing rapidly and in constant demand, the median salary for FNPs ($113, 930) is also significantly higher than the median salary earned by RNs ($71,730). More experienced FNPs can earn over $180,000 per year as well. A wide variety of available field specializations are available, which gives your career path flexibility. Because FNPs function as primary care providers they also develop leaderships skills and experience for management and even higher-paying positions inside premier medical institutions.
Multiple types of nursing-based degree programs are available, each leading to valued and high-paying careers. FNPs must first earn a nursing-based bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse before advancing their careers into the FNP fields. This means FNPs are required to obtain master’s degrees in their chosen fields as a condition to getting hired. Master’s degree programs take an additional one to three years to complete beyond the four years required to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Obtaining a master’s degree is accompanied by the need to also obtain certification and licensing. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) are two primary organizations offering certificate testing and issuance. Each state also has its own nursing certification requirements. Certifications must also be renewed every two to three years to maintain compliance with updated regulations and new technology.
What is the Shortest Time Possible to Obtain an FNP Nursing Degree?
The path to becoming a family nurse practitioner is like that of becoming an actual physician. A similar amount of education is required because the job responsibilities performed by FNPs are like those performed by physicians themselves. The first step is to obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree and become an RN. Following that, you must obtain your master’s degree, which takes an additional one to three years. Many people want to know what the shortest time required is to earn the FNP degree. If you are already a registered nurse it is possible to earn a master’s degree in one to two years, especially if accelerated programming and scheduling is available from your school of choice. If you have an associate degree in nursing it is possible to spend another three to four years in school to obtain your bachelors’ and master’s degrees before entering the FNP career field. Obtaining certification and licensing might add several months to one year to the process, although these times vary per state and program.
Average Costs of Nursing Degrees
A Bachelor of Science in nursing degree costs an average of approximately $40,000 per year. Tuition for a Master of Science nursing degree ranges between an approximate average of $35,000 and $70,000. Therefore, the total average cost to obtain a master’s degree and enter the FPN career field ranges between approximately $75,000 and $110,000 per year. Options for cheaper tuition exist if you attend a state school program as an in-state student. Commonly, tuition costs are drastically reduced for in-state enrollees. Government sponsored financial aid and institution-provided grants and scholarships are potentially available to offset some or all the costs, however.
Financial Aid (Scholarships, Grants and Loans)
The U.S. federal government provides financial aid opportunities to qualified candidates experiencing financial hardship or who exhibit academic excellence and merit. Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for student loans, scholarships and grant programs (Federal Pell Grants and more). Additional scholarships and financial aid through your school of choice might also be available if you display academic merit or exceptional financial need. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) offers 4,000 per year, exclusively for single mothers pursuing FNP and other careers. Additional information about financial aid is available at the federal studentaid.gov/ website.