Is it your goal to reach the absolute pinnacle of the nursing profession? If so, then you need to focus on landing a job as a family nurse practitioner. As an FNP, you will be tasked with treating all kinds of patients of all kinds of ages with all of the kinds of medical conditions, and you will be paid incredibly handsomely for doing so.
To see what you need to do to land yourself a job as a family nurse practitioner, be sure to read on.
Become a registered nurse
The first step you need to take on your journey to becoming a family nurse practitioner is to become a registered nurse. At this point, it’s incredibly important not to fall victim to any delusions – this may be the first step, but it’s still an incredibly difficult and drawn-out one to take!
To become an RN, first, you need to earn yourself a bachelor’s degree – an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, to be precise. On this course, you will learn the basics of what constitutes as being good patient practice with regards to bedside manner and the administration of medicines. You will also receive an education, through a combination of both classroom and clinical teachings, relating to human anatomy and pharmacology.
This knowledge and the degree that you should hopefully obtain as a result of it will not be enough to land you a role as RN just yet, however. The next step that you need to take in this instance is taking the all-important NCLEX-RN exam. A pass mark in this test, which comprises of 119 questions, is deemed a requirement by all hospitals nationwide, so you won’t be able to practice as a professional registered nurse without one. This means, then, that your time in education coming to an end does not bring a halt to your studying – it might not be ideal, but if you are asked to take the NCLEX-RN exam soon after leaving college or university, you will be required to revise through the summer following your graduation.
Even with a pass mark in the NCLEX-RN exam, you may still be unable to land yourself a role as a registered nurse. This is because most hospitals will want to see at least one year of unpaid work experience in a hospital setting on your resume — you’d better get that experience sooner rather than later, then!
Take a postgraduate degree
To become a family nurse practitioner, you won’t be able to kiss goodbye to the world of education just yet. In order to take your nursing career to the next level, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to enroll on a postgraduate course. Specifically, you’re going to have to take a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner degree. On this course, you will receive a fundamental insight into the important roles that critical thinking, theory and research play in nursing practice. Whether you major in Advanced Pathophysiology, Clinical Assessment & Management, or Primary Care, you will receive the highest level of teaching there is in the field of nursing education, and the lessons that you learn will set you up for a lifetime of knowledge in the profession.
Does this all seem very intense? Do you have absolutely no idea how you will balance your life as a registered nurse who works every under the sun with this kind of full-time degree? Fear not, as there are ways to take such a course in your own time, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home. By taking an online Nurse Practitioner program, such as that made available by Walsh University, for instance, provided you have means of connecting to the Internet, you will have full control over your learning schedule. You can log on whenever you like and take your courses whenever you see fit to do so. Importantly, this means that you don’t have to bend your schedule around a lecturer’s timetable.
With your postgraduate MSN-FNP degree placed firmly on your honors list, you will be free to apply for certification in the field. Please note, however, that your certification requirements depend solely on where it is you wish to practice as a family nurse practitioner. Some states require you to undergo even more rigorous testing, some ask for a whopping 500 hours of supervised clinical service to be undertaken, and some simply require a background check and a signature. In this instance, it is vital that you check in with your state’s health board, and that you follow all the rules that they set.
Never stop advancing
There are plenty of opportunities for family nurse practitioners to advance even higher up the nursing career ladder, and you’d be foolish not to accept these changes when they eventually come your way. By taking up a teaching role on a nursing doctoral program or by becoming a researcher or the administrator, you could stand to make even more money. Even more importantly, you would have the chance to have an impact on a wider range of patients – as a passionate caregiver, that is surely something that interests you.
In order to carry on advancing in the family nurse practitioner profession, you need to embrace continuous learning. You have to keep abreast of all the latest regulations, policies, and good practices, and you also have to keep your finger on the pulse of the day’s most modern diseases. Staying ahead of the game in this instance will provide you with a massive advantage should you ever apply for promotions.
What’s stopping you from taking your career as a caregiver as far as it can possibly go by becoming a family nurse practitioner? The answer, quite frankly, is nothing! If you’re willing to take the above advice and devote years’ worth of your time and effort to following this particular path on the nursing profession, nothing at all can hold you back.
Take your degrees, pass your exams, get your certifications – it’ll all be worth it in the end.