Why Choose a Family Nurse Practitioner Degree + No GRE Options

The purpose of this page is to help you in the process of earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) so that you can eventually become a Family Nurse Practitioner, or FNP. With your MSN, you will be able to become one of the most in demand, advanced practice nurses in the US.

Becoming an FNP is a very wise decision, because these professionals earn a median annual salary of $95,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This article contains a great deal of valuable and detailed data about some of the premier MSN programs in the US. Here you will find information about online and campus-based MSN programs where you can specialize as an FNP.

These are highly skilled and trained health care providers who use their expert clinical judgment in the performance of complete health assessments. Family nurse practitioners work with primary care doctors to deliver comprehensive health care to patients.Nurse practitioners also can work as case managers, researchers, consultants and educators.

By focusing your career on earning your MSN and being an FNP, you will open the door to greatly enhanced career possibilities; the FNP role has become extremely important as health care reform has taken hold. Being an FNP will mean that your healthcare skills will be in demand in most parts of the country, and this will allow you to command the highest salary.

Some of the necessary skills to become a Family Nurse Practitioner are:

  • Communication: You need to know how to communicate effectively with both patients and all sorts of health care professionals.
  • Compassion: You should be caring and sympathetic when working with patients who are in physical or mental pain.
  • Detail oriented: You will provide treatments that have an effect on patient health, so you must pay close attention to very small details.
  • Leadership: You may work in a seniority position supervising many other medical professionals. So, you have to be able to provide leadership to a healthcare team.

Please feel free to request further information from us about the MSN programs you see on this page. We appreciate your visit, and please let us know how we can help with your career research.

Family Nurse Practitioner Overview

In your MSN program, you will learn the essential skills to become a successful Family Nurse Practitioner. In this exciting, demanding role, you will be the primary or specialty care provider for your patients. You will provide many advanced nursing services to both patients and their families. Among you many duties, you will perform patient assessments, determine ideal ways to improve/manage a patient’s health at low cost, and talk to them about how to better integrate healthy living strategies into their lives.

After you gain some years of experience, you may eventually specialize in a specific patient population. You could be an FNP for a few years, and then possibly move into a subspecialty, such as pediatric health, geriatric health, or even psychiatric health.

In earning your MSN, you will focus on essential nursing classes, which can vary depending if you have an RN designation already or not. Some MSN programs are designed to earn your Bachelor’s and MSN at the same time, along with your RN designation. Others may be designed for experienced nurses who already have their BSN and RN designation.

Courses in your MSN program likely will consist of anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, and advanced nursing skill practices. You also will need to participate in a certain number of supervised, clinical rotation hours to earn your degree.

Featured Online Nurse Practitioner Programs


Reasons to Become a FNP

The outstanding pay is most likely one of the top reasons to earn your MSN and become a practicing FNP. BLS states that the median salary for all NPs was $89,960 in 2012. The top 10% with the most seniority earn in excess of $160,000 per year.

Equally important, the demand for FNPs and all advanced practice nurses will soar by 2022 – as much as 31%. This demand  is being driven by our aging population that is living longer and healthier. Also, greater access to health insurance is bringing more patients into the healthcare system. Cost concerns are also increasing demand for FNPs, even more than regular doctors.

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Interview with Family Nurse Practitioner

FNP Course Requirements

The need for quality, accessible and comprehensive health care is growing all the time, and one of the most important ways to meet this growing need is through Family Nurse Practitioners. This advanced practice nursing program with extensive clinical practice experiences will focus on current health issues, so that you can learn how to implement and facilitate disease prevention, health promotion and health maintenance.

Most FNP programs focus on evidence-based skills that can really boost care quality and outcomes for most patients.

Some of the coursework that you will need to become an FNP are:

  • Health Care Professional Statistics
  • Clinical Decision Making
  • Health Care Policy and Politics
  • Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Primary Care Management
  • Health Assessment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Caring for Children and the Aged
  • Improving Population Health
  • Transforming Nursing and Healthcare
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Primary Care of Adults, Adolescents and Children
  • Primary Care of Women

Educational Prerequisites

To become an FNP with your master of science in nursing, you generally will need to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and have nursing experience, as well as your RN designation. Some MSN programs may allow you to earn your BSN and MSN, as well as your RN designation. You should have a strong health care background, with classes in anatomy, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

FNP Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for all nurse practitioners is $89,000, with the top 10% earning $120,000 per year. It also reports that the general job market for all registered nurses will soar by 26% by 2020.

Indeed.com shows excellent career potential for FNPs, with an average salary of $114,000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for all nurse practitioners is $89,000, with the top 10% earning $120,000 per year. It also reports that the general job market for all registered nurses will soar by 26% by 2020.

Indeed.com shows excellent career potential for FNPs, with an average salary of $97,000.

Work After Graduation

The demand for affordable health care services is growing all the time, and nurse practitioners have a critical role to play. Nurse practitioners are highly skilled health care providers that nonetheless earn lower salaries than full physicians, so the demand for this field is soaring. The shortage of physicians is helping to drive the demand for NPs, as well.

Several media organizations have named both the nurse practitioner and the physician assistant professions as some of the most desirable. For example, Forbes ranked NP as the #7 most desirable master’s degree, and NPs also made the top 50 best careers for US News and World Report in 2011.

FNPs can find employment in all areas of health care, but the top employers (and number currently employed in the US) are:

  • Doctors’ offices: 48,690
  • Medical and surgical hospitals: 27,760
  • Outpatient care centers: 7,610
  • Universities: 3,160
  • Home health care: 3,050

About 15% of FNPs current own their own practices. There also are more nurse-managed health organizations in the US, where all of the care is provided by NPs.

FNP Financial Aid

You can often find scholarships, grants and fellowships to help to pay for your education:

Additional Resources