If it is your goal to reach the pinnacle of the nursing career, then you should devote your time and effort to becoming a family nurse practitioner. In such a role, you would be charged with the treating patients of all ages — from birth to old age, you will be helping all manner of patients with all manner of medical conditions. You won’t be pigeonholed to the hospital or surgery that you practice your nursing in, either, as you will be sent out into real-world family settings in order to provide onsite care and treatment.
As a family nurse practitioner, you will find no two days the same. One day you’ll be making assessments and diagnoses, and the next you’ll be performing minor surgery. If you think that you’re up this highly demanding task, then you shouldn’t let anything stop you on your quest to take your career as far as it can go.
To find out exactly what you need to do to become a family nurse practitioner, make sure to read on.
Train as a registered nurse
No matter how lofty your overall career aspirations may be, in order to kickstart your career in the field of nursing, you’re going to need to train as a registered nurse (RN)
To become an RN, you’re first going to need to earn a bachelor’s degree. During your time in undergraduate education, you will learn the ins and outs of good nursing practice. Through a combination of supervised clinical experience and classroom teaching, you will be taught about everything from the human anatomy to health assessment to pharmacology to how to properly administer medication. As somebody who one day wants to become a family nurse practitioner, you cannot afford to slack off at any point during your initial years of education. As mentioned, family practitioners treat patients of all ages, so missing any kind of information could prove detrimental to you further on down the line.
You won’t step out of your undergraduate course and be ready to take on the role of being a fully-fledged RN, though, no matter what grade you graduated with. In order to become an RN, first, you’re going to have to take the NCLEX-RX exam. This test comprises of 119 questions that are to be answered within a six-hour time limit — dedication to ongoing learning and revision, then, is going to be pivotal. No matter how good you think you are, chances are, there will be great areas in your knowledge, so, again, there’s no time for slacking.
The final thing you must do to be deemed worthy of being a registered nurse is to get yourself some experience in the field. Most hospitals won’t even consider hiring you if you don’t have at least one year of experience in a proper healthcare setting. It is, then, advisable that you undertake work experience while you are still studying, as that will grant you quicker access into a professional role.
Enroll in a Family Nurse Practitioner master’s program
Congratulations, you’re now a registered nurse! You cannot rest on your laurels for too long, however, if you want to become a family nurse practitioner sooner rather than later.
At this point, in order to take the step forward in your career that you are desperate to take, you’re going to need to step back into education. To the point, you’re going to have to enroll in a Family Nurse Practitioner master’s course as this degree certification, which as its name suggests, is a requirement for all family nurse practitioner roles. You need not worry about delaying your income for a number of years as you undertake this course, though, as there are ways to earn the FNP certificate online. Carson-Newman University, for instance, allow students to perform their studying and complete their education via coursework that is done 100% online.
Apply for certification
After graduating with your postgraduate FNP degree, you will be free to apply for family nurse practitioner certification. In order to earn this all-important certificate, yet again, you’re going to need to sit a number of board exams. On top of that, you’re going to have to prove that you have spent a minimum of 500 hours in supervised clinical practice. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy!
To become a family nurse practitioner, as you now know, you’re going to have devoted a lot of your time and even more of your effort. It will all be worth it in the end, though, when you’re sitting pretty at the pinnacle of your career ladder.