MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner: Degree Overview

Family nurse practitioner (FNP) master's degree programs teach registered nurses to assess and manage the health of families through health promotion, risk reduction and health maintenance procedures. A Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program also prepares students to become certified as an advanced practice registered nurse.

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Essential Information

Students in Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner participate in classroom lectures, clinical placements and evidence-based practice to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in advanced nursing for children, women, adults and families. Graduates will understand the nursing theories and research, plus have the practical experience, to make the transition to primary healthcare provider. Applicants to this program are required to have a bachelor's degree in nursing and to submit a copy of their current RN license and CPR certification. Many schools require documentation of hours worked in a clinical setting.


Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners will have developed the education and practical skills to treat families and patients in the healthcare setting. They can order x-rays, prescribe medication and perform many of the duties of a physician. Within a MSN program with a specialization in family nursing, students complete courses in nursing issues, research design and nursing theories. Coursework includes a clinical practicum or thesis. Students may complete about 700 hours of clinical study. Some topics found in the program include:

  • Professional ethics
  • Bioethics
  • End of life care
  • Health promotion assessment
  • Pharmacology

Popular Career Options

Nurse practitioners have the diagnostic skills and practical knowledge to provide primary, acute and specialty care in a variety of healthcare settings. Career opportunities for family nurse practitioners are available in critical care, primary care, women's health, long-term care and oncology.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment of nurse practitioners will grow by 35% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average. Nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $98,190 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an MSN program may begin working immediately or they may choose to further their education through a certificate or doctorate program. Graduate-level certificate programs allow students to explore other areas of nursing, such as administration or community health. Additionally, students may choose to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice to pursue research or academic pursuits in the field.

A Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program provides students with the education and hands-on experience needed to become a licensed nurse practitioner who works with children and families.

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