Becoming a family nurse practitioner can enhance your profession by providing training to sharpen your skills. Your job prospects and potential to earn more money may also increase. Here is more information about the differences and similarities between a nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner program:


Accreditation signifies that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing recognizes a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and a nurse practitioner (NP) as qualified healthcare providers. These practitioners must complete and pass the National Council Licensure Examination to get certified. The examination helps determine candidates’ ability to provide safe primary care and their psychosocial and physiological integrity. Sitting for this examination allows nurse practitioners to become certified as advanced practice registered nurses. A family nurse practitioner must have specialized knowledge about family medicine to earn their accreditation. 


Both family nurse practitioners and nurse practitioners must earn their Bachelor of Science or Arts in Nursing. This degree allows both FNPs and NPs to gain fundamental knowledge about the nursing field. When pursuing a master’s degree, family nurse practitioners should undertake a master’s in family medicine. This family nurse practitioner program focuses on providing primary care to adults, infants, and adolescents. Family nurse practitioners must also take and pass the adult gerontology examination, which tests their ability to provide quality primary care to elderly adults. A nurse practitioner can decide to undertake a master’s of science in nursing or a specialty like neurology or oncology.


FNP and NP programs equip students with skills and knowledge to perform similar responsibilities, like recording and updating patients’ health records. Nurse practitioners can also complete patients’ urine, blood, or stool tests and evaluate the diagnostic results. FNP and NP programs also teach students how to develop proper treatment plans and track patients’ progress. Family nurse practitioner programs can equip students with communication skills to aid their interactions with individual patients and families. Both practitioners will learn how to prescribe various medications to patients. Family nurse practitioners can also recommend their adult patients to caregivers in assisted living or adult care facilities. Other responsibilities of nurse practitioners include coordinating the schedules and tasks of certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses.

Work Environment

After graduating from the program, family nurse practitioners can work in settings like hospice care centers and assisted living facilities for on-call emergency care and other primary care services. These practitioners can also work in hospitals and community health centers. The specialty of a nurse practitioner can determine where they work. If a nurse practitioner specializes in oncology, they can work in a cancer treatment clinic or a hospital with an oncology department.

Choosing a Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Before choosing an FNP or NP program, confirm that the institution offers a class model that suits your lifestyle. An online FNP program may be more efficient, convenient, and time-saving for students who already have a nursing job. The institution you choose for your FNP program should have a history of providing quality nursing courses and instructors. Getting program recommendations from family nurse practitioners you trust or admire can help you determine the right institution or program. The institution should also have a low FNP program attribution rate and a high graduation rate. Look for an NP or FNP program that is affordable or offers financing options to avoid extra financial strain.

Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

Enrolling in a family nurse practitioner or nurse practitioner program can improve your profession in the healthcare industry by providing you with in-demand skills and knowledge. Take the time to research potential programs and institutions to determine which will help you get the specialized training you need. Contact a reputable and accredited institution today to learn more about their NP and FNP courses.


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