Masters in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner
One of the standard areas of practice for an advanced practice nurse is in family care. The graduate with a Masters in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner degree has chosen a career track that closely parallels that of a MD who is a general practitioner or, to a lesser degree, the Physician Assistant. Many Family Nurse Practitioners work in doctors' offices and function as consulting physicians: seeing patients, making diagnoses, providing treatment, and writing prescriptions. Some nurses with this training set up their own medical practices, although in theory they are supposed to be practicing under the supervision of a MD.
Family nurse practitioners put in hundreds of hours of clinical internship working on a consulting basis with physicians, with pediatricians, and often in clinical settings. There is a national movement underway to replace the MSN in Nurse Practitioner degree with a DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practice. This may be the new degree choice for aspiring nurse practitioners after 2015. But today working RNs can enter a Master of Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner program and complete it in two years if they hold a BSN. Nurses with an ADN may require additional study in order to complete the program. But family nurse practitioners have the option of transitioning from an assistant's role in a medical practice to a primary care giver.
This career track is one of the most popular for advanced practice nursing students. Almost all traditional nursing schools with a master's degree program offer this option. There are a few online MSN programs that offer the Family Nurse Practitioner specialization online, but managing the required clinical hours associated with this degree makes it a difficult degree to put into online format. Some schools of nursing have a blended program for in-state students, offering many of the classes online blended with campus and clinical hours for tests and training. The Masters in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner graduate has become a fixture in medical offices, clinics, hospitals and public health facilities providing primary care to children, adolescents, and adults.