These days, there are a variety of options available to nurses who wish to take their careers farther and go beyond the job of a standard registered nurse (RN). From choosing a specialty to work in to earning a master’s degree that allows you to work in higher roles within the medical community, there are so many paths that a nurse might choose to take in his or her career.

One of the choices that is becoming increasingly more popular among nurses is that of family nurse practitioner (FNP). A family nurse practitioner is a nurse that has opted for advanced education and additional experience so as to be qualified to act in a more general and independent fashion as a medical professional. In some cases, FNPs can even practice without having to be under the direct supervision of a physician.

Along with a great deal of earning potential, FNPs are becoming more in-demand. There is a lack of qualified physicians in certain areas of the country that make it necessary for another sort of medical professional to step in and fill the void. FNPs do this very well and are able to enjoy job security because of it.

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If you are looking to become a family nurse practitioner, here are a few things that you will need to do in order to pursue this career path.

Work Towards Certification

There are many roads that can lead one to become a fully qualified FNP. Your end goal should be to pursue the steps that are going to lead you to obtain your certification as an FNP. For some nurses who already hold a master’s degree in nursing, you might consider a post masters NP program online in order to complete your certification.

If you know from the start that you want to become an FNP, then you can gear the entirety of your education towards your certification. You will need to begin with your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in order to be eligible to enroll in any graduate programs. It is also necessary to earn a few years of experience working as an RN in the field before you can enter into the right degree program.

Know Your State’s Requirements

As with any medical profession, you will need to educate yourself about what your state’s regulations and requirements are when it some to family nurse practitioners. Not all states grant the freedoms to practice without being under the supervision of a physician. This is more or less because there isn’t as great a lack of such medical professionals in all states.

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If you aspire to practice independently, you should first discover if your state will even permit you to work in that capacity. Make sure that you meet all of the requirements in regard to FNP certification for your state. In some states, it might even be more lucrative to pursue a career as an FNP than it is in other states.

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