Courses in this field are available through family nurse practitioner master's degree programs as well as post-master's certificate programs. While a master's degree is needed for those becoming nurse practitioners for the first time, a certificate program is suitable for someone who already holds a master's degree in nursing or is currently working in another nurse practitioner specialty. Program requirements often include a background in nursing and some experience in the field.
Family nurse practitioner programs include significant clinical practice both in a lab and at a healthcare facility. After graduating, individuals have to meet state licensure and certification requirements to practice medicine within the family care specialty.
During these courses, students increase their knowledge about the following:
- Healthcare policy development and implementation
- Pediatric care and women's health issues
- Health concerns throughout the human lifespan
- At-risk patient populations
- Informatics applications
List of Classes
Nursing Research and Roles Course
This course introduces students to the roles and responsibilities of family nurse practitioners. Students discuss ways that medical theories and research methods can be applied to a career as a nurse practitioner.
Nursing Pharmacology Course
In this course, students identify how different chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs affect the human body. Students are presented with a variety of health care situations and are encouraged to decide which would be the best drugs to administer and why. Upon completion of this course, students should understand how various drugs interact with the body, what type of drugs can be taken together and which drugs should be avoided for use with specific patients.
Assessment and Diagnostics for Nurse Practitioners Course
Students gain practical experience obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations in this course. Through clinical practice, students run diagnostic tests, take patient histories and learn to develop an accurate diagnosis. They assess results and promote disease prevention.
Family Health Management and Practicum Course
Nursing students completing this course study the illnesses that many nurse practitioners treat. Illnesses that affect all body systems are covered. For the lab portion of the course, students work in the lab or clinic, diagnosing illnesses and prescribing treatments while under the supervision of an experienced nurse practitioner or physician.
Clinical Practice Course
This purely lab-based and hands-on course gives students the opportunity to work in a clinical setting, assessing and diagnosing patients. Often, students work in more than one setting, working with patients who have different health problems and gaining experience in a variety of specialties, including family care, pediatrics and geriatrics. This family nurse practitioner class gives students the opportunity to start practicing medicine without supervision, but they're still in an environment that is controlled, where a doctor or nurse is at hand to offer assistance when needed.