A family nurse practitioner is a natural progression for an RN who’s passed the NCLEX-RN exam and has been working in a nursing role on the wards for a few years already. While some nurses don’t choose to improve their academic knowledge, others can move up to a master’s level and beyond that to doctorate as well.

The position of family nurse practitioner is little newer than some others within the rapidly expanding healthcare field, with many qualifications of varying types being added to college educational rosters. However, more states are now recognizing both the qualification and the broad range of additional skills that these senior nurses are capable of.

The Role of a Family Nurse Practitioner

The role of a family nurse practitioner is a varied one that focuses primarily around the family unit. While family is at its core, nurses with this qualification study many aspects of healthcare that a nurse touches on during a long career. Furthermore, if choosing to move up to a master’s level with further education, then the family-oriented subjects may remain a focus to become better qualified while still seeing how medicine is applied in the family setting.

A nurse practitioner covers areas like dealing with acute diseases that are harsh on patients and chronic, repeating ones that have been longer lasting. They also conduct screenings and tests to diagnose medical issues, as well as having a strong focus on disease prevention and management to avoid worsening symptoms too. They receive education about how to lead a healthier lifestyle and to avoid getting sick which is information that they are able to pass on to patients who wish to avoid a repeat visit to the hospital later for related problems.

Career Opportunities for Family Nurse Practitioners

Once qualified in the role of a family nurse practitioner, there’s the option to move up to study for a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN). This degree is more advanced but can still have a family focus if the nurse wishes to continue with his or her family-oriented approach. The difference for nurses who choose this route is that they do so when it suits them.

Read more: A Day in the Life of a Nurse Practitioner

Further Career Opportunities

For nurses that have progressed from being an RN to a family nurse practitioner and now have an MSN, the Doctor of Nursing Practice would be the next logical choice. At this level, doctorate graduates would be able to take on a higher-level management role and deal with the administrative side while having a say in healthcare operational concerns too.

For licensed registered nurses, going for the family nurse practitioner qualification is a sensible move up within the nursing profession. The additional knowledge acquired while studying the course delivers more career flexibility, better pay and a greater longevity in the healthcare field too.