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To become a family nurse practitioner (FNP), one will need a master's-level degree in nursing. Numerous online colleges offer such degrees, and often times offer specializations within the degree programs. Depending on the school, specializations can include informatics, leadership, education, midwifery, adult care, and more. Below are the top online colleges that offer MS in nursing degree programs, suitable for FNPs.
Top Online FNP Degree Programs
South University: For working healthare professionals with busy career schedules, the flexibility offered by the South University master's degree program in nursing may be an ideal fit. Individuals looking to advance their careers within the healthcare industry will find that graduating from this program will surely open doors to new opportunities.
University of Phoenix: The College of Nursing at the University of Phoenix offers several Master of Science in nursing degree programs with different specializations for aspiring nurse practitioners. Within the program, areas of concentration available for study include health education and health
Walden University: For the aspiring family nurse practitioner, Walden University offers several master's-level degree programs in nursing. All MSN nursing degrees from Walden are available as fast-track programs for active registered nurses who have already completed some nurse schooling. Within their MSN program, Walden offers areas of concentration in informatics, education, and leadership.
Kaplan University: With its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, Kaplan University is one of the largest online colleges in the nation. Kaplan's online MSN degree for nurse practitioners allows licensed RNs with bachelor's degrees to advance their careers with flexibility and affordability in mind.
Liberty University: Liberty University offers a Master of Science in nursing degree program for students interested in pursuing careers in acute care nursing. Students of this program are expertly trained to obtain licensure as clinical nursing specialists (CNS) in acute care.
Gonzaga University: U.S. News & World Report perennially recognizes Gonzaga University as one of the nation's top regional universities. Known for its small class sizes and personal attention given to each individual student, Gonzaga truly is a top tier university. Gonzaga offers several graduate level nursing degree programs, including in nurse education and nurse leadership, all of which are accredited by NASC.
University of Cincinnati: The MSN with a specialization in family nursing offered by the University of Cincinnati is designed specifically for licensed registered nurses with BSN degrees who are seeking expert training on family health issues. Cincinnati also offers several other advanced nurse practitioner degree programs, including adult nursing, nurse midwifery, nurse administration, and women's health nursing.
Sacred Heart University: Sacred Heart University offers three advanced nursing programs for aspiring nurse practitioners. The Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree is availble with a specialty in clinical nurse leadership, nursing education, and patient care services administration. An RN to MSN option is also available for each of these degrees.
Saint Xavier University: Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier is a Chicago-based, Catholic university. The MSN degree offered through their online program is designed for nurses aspiring to higher-level leadership positions within clinical patient care settings.
Graceland University: Individuals seeking careers as nurse practitioners should have a look at Graceland University's MSN in nurse education online program. Graduates of this regionally accredited degree program will be prepared to resume their careers as educational instructors to other nurses who wish to pursue careers in medical care, nursing, family nursing, and more.
Benedictine University: The MS degree in nursing from Benedictine University will give you academic preparation in areas of leadership education, administration, and global healthcare. As baby boomers begin to age, the demand for health care will continue to rise. This has become a major area of interest enabling students to learn how to care for the needs of others while in family nursing facilities.
Capella University: For those individuals aspiring to become educational leaders in the field of nursing, Capella University offers two degrees: the first is a regular MSN program in nursing education for those who already practice nursing and have earned a BSN degree. They also offer a MSN bridge program that accepts non-nurse students with bachelor's degrees.
Grand Canyon University: Well known as one of the most renowned Christian universities in the United States, Grand Canyon University offers a variety of master's degree nursing programs. Each of the programs, nurse education, nurse leadership, and the MSN/MBA dual degree integrates the values and ideals of Chistianity into the teachings so as to provide students will a well-rounded education in the Christian spirit.
Chamberlain College of Nursing: Once called the Deaconess College of Nursing, today the Chamberlain College of Nursing offers a Master of Science degree in nursing that will prepare any current registered nurse to advane into a nurse practitioner career. Two separate tracks are offered within this program: the MSN Executive Track and the MSN Educator track.
Drexel University: Individuals aspiring to begin or advance a career working in a professional nursing practice with acutely ill patients may wish to learn more about Drexel's master's degree programs in nursing, including the specializations of adult acute care, adult psychiatric care, and nurse leadership. Graduates of these programs typically find work in all types of healthcare settings, including hospitals, research labs, ICUs, and more.
Careers for FNP’s and Nurse Practitioners
When working as a registered nurse, one of your options for career advancement is to become a nurse practitioner. To do this, you need advanced training, but once you have your master’s degree, a number of career paths will be open to you. Let’s look at some of your choices in the field of nursing:
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- A common approach to nursing is to choose a specialty, and family practices are some of the most common employers of nurses. As a family nurse practitioner (FNP), you’ll work closely with patients of all ages to conduct exams, provide counseling, treat non-life-threatening problems, and more. The focus here is building a relationship with the patient, who you’ll get to know over the years. This is a great career choice for nurses who want career stability, working in a single location for years or even decades. About a third of all nurse practitioners are FNPs.
- Adult Nurse Practitioner
- As the name implies, adult nurse practitioners work with adults. Rather than working at a private practice, many adult nurse practitioners work in hospitals or clinics. Nurse practitioners are now replacing doctors in many cases, as they can treat many medical conditions without the supervision of a physician, as well as writer prescriptions. Many adult nurse practitioners choose to specialize further by picking an area of the body (like neurology or cardiology) or a condition (like cancer) in which to specialize. Others choose to work in areas like emergency care.
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- The counterpart to the adult nurse practitioner is the pediatric nurse practitioner. These nurses typically work in the pediatric department of a hospital or with a private pediatrician. Some specialize, like adult nurse practitioners, in areas of the body or specific conditions, and depending on the employer, work in this field may also include working with expecting mothers and providing OB-GYN services.
- Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse practitioners in the geriatric field, generally work in nursing homes and other elderly care facilities, and can also work as home nurses. There are special considerations to go with working in geriatrics, since there are certain medical conditions that only affect the elderly. Patience and the ability to communicate well with families are also important in this field.
According to reports, about 10% of all nurse practitioners choose to work in the educational field. With your advanced degree, you’ll qualify for positions teaching LPNs and RNs more about the field, either at a nursing college or as a training manager at a medical facility. You may need not only a masters of science in nursing, but also a doctoral degree in your field to be eligible to work in a teaching position. Luckily, with online programs offering distance education, you can get an advanced nursing degree while continuing to work as a registered nurse.