Nurse Practitioners can specialize in many areas, one of which is providing health care to entire families. Like family doctors, family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are trained to provide care to all ages, from mother-to-be to baby to grandfather. They promote disease prevention and can diagnose and plan treatments for most illnesses. FNPs specialize in having a wide range of knowledge; instead of narrowing their scope, they expand it, although the focus is on preventive care. The job is flexible and autonomous, and many FNPs work in private offices, clinics, schools and even homes. Since nurses are less expensive than doctors, nurse practitioners who can care for such a wide range of patients will be in high demand.
Degree Options and Career Information
Nurse practitioner programs that offer a specialization in family practice nursing will include coursework in diagnosing and treating common illnesses, as well as how to teach patients about health and preventive services. FNPs also have to know clinical skills such as taking patient history, performing physical exams, and health screenings. Nursing issues and ethics, research, health policy, and theory are also covered. FNPs should have a good understanding of health care for patients of all ages.
- FNP Requirements: FNPs are required to first be registered nurses (RNs) as well as earn a master’s degree or higher. Additional coursework may be required to become an FNP, and you must also pass the National Board certification.
- Work Environment: FNPs work in a range of settings such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, community health centers, clinics, and nursing homes. Some FNPs maybe even travel to patients’ homes to treat them.