Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs
An Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs (FNP) is a specific type of career path. A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is another path. However, there may be some programs that allow a student to complete a DNP Family Nurse Practitioner. It is often a single track that gets students into the career path they desire. Yet, it could be confusing. Let’s break down the differences.
An Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs designation is often obtained after completing a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree and then completing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. This in-depth level of education often specifically focuses on preparing a student to work in a lifespan-style practice. That means the individual typically works with patients from infants through seniors. They may provide many care practices in one place. That may include preventative and wellness visits. It may include diagnostic screenings both for symptoms and for wellness. They may also provide services such providing treatment for injury and illness as it occurs. Many with an FNP degree work in family practices. This may include working in physician offices or, in some cases, urgent care centers.
A DNP is a bit different. This type of degree program typially aims to prepare a student to provide managerial oversite to a nursing department or practice. This course track typically provides students with leadership skills. The range of courses completed could be numerous. Concentration is common, too. A DNP degree is a doctoral degree. That means it happens after a student completes a master’s degree in many cases. This is also a terminal degree. That means it is generally the last level of education the student receives. As such, it is one of the more advanced programs available for preparing students for the modern healthcare industry.
An Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs Track (DNP FNP) is a unique program. It is not offered by all schools. This type of program is a path for students who are seeking to learn the highest level of nursing practice management. The key is that it also has a focus on patients of all ages throughout their lifespan.
This particular style of program is typically for those who are a practicing Registered Nurse. This may include those working as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). Those students completing it typically have licensure already. The practicum goes above and beyond in providing students with information on how to manage a family practice and oversee policy.
The DNP FNP program helps to provide advanced clinical nursing skills. This may allow a student to manage acute as well as chronic illnesses. It also may have a strong focus on health promotion as well as preventing disease. Students who complete this course may be able to:
- Evaluate strategies to promote effective care in a patient-centered care format
- Gather and use scientific evidence and methods to create care plans
- Advocate for evidence-based health policy with the specific goal of improving patient outcomes
- Provide insight and support on improving health across populations
- Provide leadership skills and interprofessional team building strategies
- Use various metrics to improve diverse practice settings
- Collaborate with other providers and medical professionals to facilitate improvement in patient outcomes
The Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs may allow students to gain more insight and skill in the management of clinical practices. It may also help students to develop better skills in managing other people as well as a practice itself. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program may offers ample concentrations for students. Students may focus on areas such as acute care, education tracks, mental health nurse practitioner, or a nurse specialist in an area such as cardiology, pediatrics, or gerontology.
Licensing and National Certifications
After successful completion of the program, students may sit for the certification exam. This may be through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP). Once completed, a student may then be able to apply for state licensure.
Schools are often accredited when providing this level of education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is a common credentialing organization.
The Role of an Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs
Online DNP programs that offer the FNP-DNP option may be perfect for students who want to learn and enhance their skills while working in the field. A school of nursing may offer these programs fully online or partially online.
A DNP-FNP may allow students to provide better support and skills to their medical practices. They may have more opportunity to better manage and oversee the care of people with more acute conditions. This may include those who have chronic primary health problems. These professionals often work with people at all ages throughout their lifespan to provide those services.
In this educational track, students may learn NP skills at an advanced nursing level. They may also learn how to develop, evaluate, and advocate in the health care system as a whole. This may include more skill in decision making or policy change. They may also managing leadership positions within practices or hospital systems.
With more leadership skill, individuals with this degree may find themselves capable of playing a role in the changing healthcare system in their hospital system. This may include in their region as well. For those with advanced degrees and experience, it may be possible to play a larger role in the decision making process in any system.
To achieve these goals, those who are working in the FNP-DNP program may need more advanced experience in areas outside of health. This may include in technology applications. It may also include economic markets.
Another core component of the role that a FNP-DNP plays is in the broader system. That may mean a person is likely to aid in changing the course of education and healthcare itself. These qualifications could help a student to do more to help the healthcare system as a whole.
Those who wish to learn how to manage a family practice, urgent care, or other practice may be a good choice for this program. Those who are interested in planning and policy change may also do well within this program. The advanced courses may allow for very specific skill development, too.
Some tasks an FNP-DNP may complete on a routine basis include:
- Leadership within the healthcare facility
- Appraisal of the practice
- Improving health equity across the area, region, or other space
- Health care system and policy change
- Wellness and health promotion
- Improvement of patient care
With an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, students may be able to play a role in health industry change. For those who have an RN license and want to do more, especially in an area of focus, this could be a good place to grow. Nursing professionals in leadership roles like this may work in a range of fields. That may open the door for new opportunities and experiences for some.
What classes may I take with an Online FNP-DNP Program?
Many students may need to complete required courses to obtain an online FNP - DNP program degree. The classes vary significantly from one school to the next. However, many core concepts may remain the same.
A student completing an FNP degree often must already have completed a bachelor’s degree. This is generally a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A DNP program, as a doctoral degree, often requires a student to already have completed a master’s degree in many cases. Here is a look at some of the courses a student may take at each level.
FNP Online Program
This is a master’s degree program. Some of this may include clinical experience. Others may not. Students are likely to take a range of courses such as the following.
Population Health, Epidemiology, and Statistical Principles
This course is designed to introduce students to competencies related to public health. The program aims to focus on biostatistics as it applies to an evidence based practice. This course often focuses on using epidemiology and statistics across various populations and groups.
Students taking this course are likely to study abnormal responses to mechanisms and conditions. The student could apply and evaluate these instances as well. They may use skills to make decisions about healthcare and treatment.
Advanced Pharmacology Fundamentals
This course aims to look at a deeper understanding of pharmacology principles. Students may explore many topics as they apply to medications and treatment. Analyzing and exploring the common drugs used for treatment of chronic diseases may bea part of this type of program.
Advanced Physical Assessment
This course may provide a deeper understanding of the principles and methods for conducting health assessments. Students may apply these principles in a classroom setting. They typically learn to use these critical skills to provide treatments to patients, done in a classroom setting.
At the doctoral level, students may have more room to study courses that interest them. Advanced practice nursing may involve a range of focus options. This level of nursing degree offers ample flexibility. DNP students working towards a doctoral course of study may take courses such as the following.
Quality and Patient Safety in Advanced Nursing Practice
The goal of this course may be to provide students with the foundations of process improvement and quality improvement. The classes aim to focus on theory for patient safety as well as quality. There may bean emphasis on systems thinking. This course may allow students to understand the importance of many aspects of the profession and how to apply them when practicing.
Advanced Health Care Policy
The purpose of this course is often to teach students about the American healthcare system. The class looks at the making of policies and their effectiveness. This class may also look at how the healthcare system is affected both politically and economically.
Primary Healthcare of the Family
This course is designed to aid in learning how to treat all members of a family to help to diagnose as well as learn histories. This course may help to teach students what to expect and how to deal with issues that arise when one family member has a diagnosis. The student may also learn how to determine and evaluate causes and if other family members may deal with similar issues.
This course may allow the students to better understand drugs and interactions. The students may learn how different drugs affect the body and how they work to treat the issues they do. The class may help to understand when and why to prescribe medications and at which dose so as to be the most effective.
Areas in an Online FNP-DNP Program
Many people may have a passion for one area or another. As a result, they may be interested in pursuing a degree in an area that offers special insights or skills in what they want to do during their career. Concentrations like this are somewhat common in an FNP-DNP program. There are many potential options. However, it is also important to remember than an FNP program typically is a more versatile and expansive field. Many may work with people with a range of conditions, preventative needs, and ages.
Some potential areas of focus for an online FNP-DPN program include the following:
When looking to focus on adult gerontology while in pursuit of a FNP - DNP, there are specific areas of study to take. The primary goal of this area is to focus on treating those patients who are advancing in age. In this program the student performs health assessments, orders tests and creates diagnoses of patients. These positions are available in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics and by opening your own practice.
In the women’s health concentration, an FNP - DNP may be focusing primarily on women’s health issues. This program often works to teach students about all portions of women’s health including pre-natal, postpartum, and all other aspects of the health of women. These students may study all different aspects of how the female body works and the best courses of action to improve and maintain overall health. Those who study this specialty could find positions in practices, hospitals, and clinics.
A pediatrics DNP program ams to focus primarily on the treatment and diagnosis of infants through young adults. When participating in this program students may cover a number of topics related to the health of children and young adults and the diseases and medical problems they may encounter. This is typically a primary care position where the issues that affect children are studied and treated. These positions may be available at clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and private practices.
A neonatal nurse practitioner may primarily work with infants. This field often requires the conducting of research as well as collaborating with colleagues in order to draw conclusions. As this type of FNP, there may be a need to not only work with the patient but with the family of the patient as well. In many cases, the student may need to have previous experience working a neonatal unit of a hospital.
A psychiatric nurse practitioner often treats and diagnoses patients using various methods. These could include the use psychotherapy as well as physical evaluations. They primarily treat patients who are suffering from mental disorders. The position may mean dealing with families as well as individuals who are suffering. This could include dealing with addiction and providing the tools necessary for interventions.
Some of the skills learned and practiced when concentrating in dermatology FNP include diagnosing and treating of dermatological issues in patients. These students may learn about a variety of patients and the vast number of issues and options for treating them. They may also learn to treat and manage common and complex issues following a diagnosis.
How long does it take to complete an FNP-DNP Program online?
The length of any educational program depends on many factors. For an FNP-DNP program, that length ranges based on the type and amount of education a student has heading into the program. It may also matter which school they attend. Some schools offer a fast track option. This may allow the student to complete the education within 12 months. More commonly, it typically takes 18 to 26 months to complete this program.
There may be ways to shorten that time. Many students attend full time. However, some advanced tracks might allow students to finish in a shorter time by taking course courses. Others may allow for summer classes. Students who want a bit more time, could also slow things down. Part time education is an option. This may allow a student more flexibility especially if they are working during the educational program. That is somewhat common especially at the doctoral level.
The time it takes could also vary based on if you are considering a BSN to DNP program or if you have already completed and MSN program.
Scholarships for FNP-DNP Programs
Scholarships are one of the options available to students studying in an FNP-DNP program. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Funding an FNP-DNP program through scholarships, at least in part, could help make this program a bit more affordable. Most often, these are funds students may not need to be paid back. The funds may be used for various needs including tuition, books, and housing depending on the terms of the scholarships themselves.
There is no guarantee in receiving any funds through a scholarship. Many have strict requirements. Many are also very specific in who they provide funds to and why. It may be worth taking a closer look at options to help cover the cost of a master’s degree or graduate degree. Below are some of the options that may be available. These may change often. Other nursing education scholarships may apply to some students as well.
Value: This is a $2,000 non renewable scholarship. There may be up to seven recipients for this award. Deadline: March 31 Requirements:
- Application form
Description: This award is for any student who is in nursing school anywhere in the US. The applicant for the award likely needs to watch the “A Nurse I Am” documentary in either the 32 or 62 minute version. It is recommended that the applicant watch both videos.
Value: This is a $500 one time non renewable scholarship. Deadline: December 31 Requirements:
- Application form
- Official transcript
- Personal statement
Description: This scholarship is for current or prospective nursing students. This is open to all levels of secondary students. The purpose of this scholarship is to help offset loans and tuition.
Value: There are a total of 40 scholarships that are awarded. There are ten for $10,000 and 30 for $5,000. These scholarships are for one year and they are non renewable. Deadline: June 27 Requirements:
- Two essays
- Application form
Description: This scholarship program is designed to help those students who have already completed at least one of ear of school in a healthcare program. The primary basis for this award is typically demonstration of leadership as well as academic performance.
Value: $3,909 Deadline: April 28 Requirements:
- Acceptance letter
- Statement of goals
- Copy of nursing license
- Official transcript
- Verification of tuition costs
- Application form
- Two letters of recommendation
Description: This award is for students who are in good standing as a member of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Students must be pursuing an MSN and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA as well.
Value: There are four scholarships awarded per your in increments of $2,500 per semester. This scholarship is non renewable. Deadline: December 30 Requirements:
- Application form
- Letter of recommendation
Description: This scholarship is for students in a graduate nursing program that is an AACN member institution. In order to be eligible, the student must have at least a 3.5 GPA. If not a member already, winners must join the AACN Graduate Student Nursing Academy (GNSA) and make a post summarizing their essay.
Nursing or General Healthcare (that includes Nursing): This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer or guarantee of employment and that may help prepare students to meet the licensing or certification requirements of the field they choose to study. Students should check with the appropriate licensing or certifying body to make sure the program they apply to will help meet any licensing or certification requirements. Students should also consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific program curriculum.
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