Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) are nurses who have completed graduate level courses, are nationally certified and licensed through their state. A FNP is a type of nurse practitioner and they can be described as APRNs, NPs along with FNPs. FNPs typically specialize in a field such as cardiology, neonatology, emergency medicine, oncology or women’s health.

FNPs care for patients of all ages and usually work with a high level of independence. In some cases they work under a physician and in others they may have their own private practices. FNPs are the main source of care for many patients and provide many of the same services as a doctor. These services can include providing health information, diagnosing illness, disease management, prescribing medicine and conduct routine health examinations.

Family Nurse Practitioners

FNPs are highly educated and have extension knowledge due to the broad nature of the care they provide. Because the role often times is autonomous in nature they need to be critical thinkers and excel with their communication skills.  Many FNP positions require the following:

  • Attention to detail
  • Team player
  • Electronic health records experience
  • Emotional intelligence
  • ACLS, BLS or CPR certified
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to establish relationships with patients and coworkers

FNPs can be work in many settings such as rural clinics, private practices (sometimes with a group of NPs) physician’s offices, large hospitals, state health departments, ambulatory care facilities and community clinics. FNPs are sometimes the sole healthcare provider for a community. They can provide care to underserved people who don’t have access to physicians or large healthcare facilities.

Learn about FNP degrees offered by our partners

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  • 90%+ certification first-time pass rate
  • CCNE Accredited
  • Can be completed in as few as 20 months
  • Hybrid and fully online options

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  • Can be completed in as few as 18 months
  • 24-month part-time option
  • CCNE Accredited
  • Over 100 years’ of experience teaching nurses

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Education needed to obtain a FNP

FNPs must be a licensed RN, nationally certified and licensed by the state. Nurses often get work experience for a year or two before pursuing a graduate nursing degree with NP specialization. Some NP programs require work experience while others do not. Your level of education and experience can determine how long it will take to become a licensed FNP. These programs can take 2-3 years to complete for people who already have a BSN and are a licensed RN. There are accelerated online programs that can be completed in 15-25 months as well.

FNP nurse candidates need at least 500 hours of faculty supervised clinical time. The required hours can vary depending on the specialty. Some of the hours are via preceptorship where the student is mentored by a physician in a clinical setting. Many programs will assist you in finding these placements in local health facilities. Once completed you can take the ANCC certification exam. The credential (FNP-BC) is valid for five years.   

Average Annual Salary for FNP


Data from Glassdoor

Average Hourly Rate for FNP


Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Market Growth


Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics

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