Nursing Careers Family Nurse Practitioner by anamaulida


									Nurses vary greatly in terms of the amount of education they have and
what kind of treatment they are able to offer their patients. The highest
nurse in the nursing food chain is the nurse practitioner, sometimes
called NP. Unlike other nurses, NPs can prescribe and adjust their
patients medications, and can perform a wider array of lab tests. In
other words, short of surgery or specialized medicine, a nurse
practitioner can do many of the same things that a doctor can do.      A
family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a nurse practitioner who specializes
in general family medicine, and FNPs are often the sole healthcare
provider in many small towns and rural areas in the United States.
Through routine screenings and checkups, if the FNP finds something in a
patient that requires a specialist, he or she can easily refer the
patient to an MD. But run-of-the-mill health problems, as well as health
education and preventative health, can be handled by the nurse
practitioner in his or her office.

  Family nurse practitioners work in numerous settings, including
clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many have their own private
practices, especially in small town areas. In these small towns, much of
an FNPs work focuses on preventative medicine and education, trying to
teach patients to make healthy lifestyle choices or lifestyle changes in
order to prevent disease.       Requirements for Becoming a Family Nurse
Practitioner       Family nurse practitioners require a master's degree in
nursing, or MSN. Some nurse practitioners are RNs who take post-
baccalaureate work to become an NP. Generally, nurse practitioners must
complete at least five to six years of higher education. Four of these
years will be spent completing a bachelor's degree in nursing, and one or
two additional years for completing either post-baccalaureate degrees or
master's degrees. Like all nurses, once NPs gain their degrees, they must
pass a board exam.       Almost all nurse practitioner programs require
that their candidates have spent time working as an RN first, usually at
least for one to two years. Most MSN programs also generally prefer
nurses who completed a bachelor's degree in nursing, rather than an
associate's degree.       Becoming a nurse practitioner can be quite
costly: $20 - $27,000 for a bachelor's degree and an additional $15 -
$20,000 for a master's degree is about average.       Job Prospects for
FNPs      However, all this education does eventually provide a
significant return on investment; family nurse practitioners are some of
the best-paid nurses in the field. An average FNP earns $70 - $80,000 per
year, and some FNPs earn six figure incomes. By comparison, a highly
skilled RN earns around $65,000 per year.       As with most other fields
of nursing, family nurse practitioners are in high demand. At least for
the time being, the job prospects for FNPs are very good.    Michael
Morales is an EMT - Paramedic and program director for Vital Ethics Inc.,
providing basic and advanced life support training and certification
programs to health care professionals.

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