Welcome to FamilyNursePractitionerPrograms.com. We provide information on accredited degree programs for those interested in becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP). To learn more, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about FNP programs below.

  1. What is a family nurse practitioner?
  2. Are there online FNP degree programs?
  3. What other degree programs are available in nursing?
  4. Do I need additional certification to work as an FNP?
  5. What are the advantages of an online nursing program?

What is a family nurse practitioner?

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse who has completed a doctoral or master’s degree in advanced practice nursing. FNPs are qualified to treat patients across all demographic categories and are generally able to offer more in-depth and comprehensive care compared to RNs. In some states, family nurse practitioners are allowed to work as closely with patients as a general doctor.

In order to become an FNP, you must complete a graduate-level program designed specifically for registered nurses preparing for FNP certification. These programs are highly specialized and require two to three years of study. You’ll take courses in family nursing intervention, management of acute and chronic illnesses, and primary health care concepts and practice. Find out more about your degree options below:

SchoolPrograms

Simmons College

Accreditation
  • NEASC

Grand Canyon University

Accreditation
  • HLC
  • NCA

South University

Accreditation
  • SACS

Frontier Nursing University

Accreditation
  • SACS

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What other degree programs are available in nursing?

Nursing is a broad profession, with career opportunities in both direct and indirect patient care. If you choose to become an advanced practice nurse, you can specialize in a wide range of fields. We’ve listed a few of these below related to family nursing to help you explore these possibilities:

Type of Program Program Description
FNP Programs Family Nurse Practitioner programs(FNP) prepare registered nurses to fulfill the role of a dedicated practitioner responsible for managing the care of families in the primary care setting.
MSN Programs A Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) is a postgraduate degree that is required for nurses who want to advance beyond practicing as a registered nurse.
DNP Programs The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) is designed for registered nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs.
Adult Health Programs An Adult Health Nursing program combines theories, research, trends in caring for an aging population and their families and caregivers.
Gerontology Programs A Geriatric Nursing program is for registered nurses interested in providing care to the elderly and acutely ill patients as well as educating and providing support to their families and caregivers.
Women’s Health/Midwifery Programs A Women’s Health/Midwifery program (WHNP) is for registered nurses with an interest in women’s health care and their reproductive and gynecologic health needs.

There are also different types of advanced practice nurses, and titles vary according to qualifications, industry sectors, and by state. Below is a useful chart from The American Nurses Association with acronyms and definitions of the most common types of advanced practice nurses in the U.S.:
types-of-nps
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Do I need additional certification to work as an FNP?

Board certification demonstrates professionalism, competency, and experience, and employers often look for individuals who are certified in specific nursing fields. Certification may increase your professional opportunities, lead to higher salary, and enhance your career mobility. For prospective FNPs, there a two certification options for eligible candidates:

Name of Certification Certification Requirements
FNP-BC: Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified The American Nurses Credentialing Center awards the FNP-BC credential after successful completion of their certifying examination. This credential is valid for 5 years.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Hold a current, active RN license in the U.S. or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country/
  • Hold a master’s, postgraduate, or doctoral degree from a family nurse practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)/
  • A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours must be included in your family nurse practitioner program/
FNP-C: Family Nurse Practitioner-Certified The American Association of Nurse Practitioners awards the FNP-C credential after successful completion of their certifying examination. This credential is valid for 5 years.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Hold a current, active RN license in the U.S. or Canadian nurse licensure/
  • Hold a master’s, postgraduate, or doctoral degree from a family nurse practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Programs in Canadian Provinces/ Territories must be approved by a national nursing organization.
  • Successful completion of program required faculty-supervised clinical clock hours.

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What are the advantages of an online nursing program?

Yes! Online FNP programs are available and many offer flexible start dates to accommodate working nurses. Programs vary in scope and duration, and some require students to complete clinical hours onsite. Online nursing programs are particularly useful for registered nurses who already have experience and want to advance their careers. Below are few unique features of online programs and what to expect once enrolled:

  • The majority of the program will be web-based: You need to have a reliable computer and Internet connection to complete courses and to interact with your teachers and peers. Chat rooms and forums are an integral part of online study – it’s where you and your classmates can ask questions of each other.
  • You can review your work and lectures or seminars at your convenience. This is especially helpful when studying for exams and sitting for your licensing exam. The online format allows you to revisit material, at any time you wish.
  • You will complete clinical trials, just as you would if you were in a traditional FNP program. Clinicals are often set-up by the school. If you are in a large city with multiple medical communities, you may want to ask about where you’ll be placed for clinicals.

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