degree-of-interest: Post Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Career Spotlight: Becoming a PMC-FNP – Education, Skills, and Opportunities

Career Spotlight: Becoming a PMC-FNP – Education, Skills, and Opportunities

If you’re currently working in the nursing field with an advanced degree (such as a master’s degree) and are interested in making a career pivot, then working on gaining Post-Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate may be right for you. With a post-master’s certificate program, you could be as little as two years away from your ideal nursing job.

So, what exactly does a Family Nurse Practitioner do and what are the educational and professional requirements to become one? We’re diving into this, and more, below so you can get a better feel for whether this may be the right career pivot to suit your interests.

Growing Demand for PMC-FNPs

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) are a specialized type of nurse practitioner (NP) who works with family units, or patients across all ages and walks of life.

Now is a great time to make the switch to working as an NP or specialized FNP, especially when you consider the growing demand that exists across the country and across the globe for these experienced nursing professionals. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 38% between 2022 and 2032 alone. That’s much faster than the national average for all occupations.

How much does a nurse practitioner make as an FNP? This can vary based on many factors, ranging from level of experience to location. However, according to BLS data, NPs made a median pay of $125,900 per year in 2022, with the highest 10% earning more than $208,000 annually.

The Role of a PMC-FNP

So, what does a nurse practitioner do as a PMC-FNP? While exact roles and responsibilities can vary from one job to the next (as well as one state to the next), there are some things you should know about the everyday work of these professionals.

Responsibilities and Scope of Practice

FNPs are registered nurses who have received at least a master’s degree in a nursing field of study. These professionals are responsible for providing comprehensive health and wellness care to children and adults of all ages. Typically, they work with families not just to keep them healthy, but to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illness as well. Some common everyday responsibilities of the FNP include:

  • Providing preventive health services and screenings
  • Offering patient education
  • Disease management and illness prevention

Difference From Other Nursing Roles

Compared to other nursing roles, FNPs must provide a much more comprehensive scope of care to a wide range of patients. Their patients may range in age from newborn all the way to senior and geriatric, so the FNP must have a wide array of knowledge and the ability to apply it to each patient as needed. FNPs also need to be culturally sensitive, as their patients may come from diverse backgrounds.

Importance in Primary Care Settings

It is common for FNPs to serve as primary care providers, offering the first line of defense against disease and illness. This is an important role because primary care providers are typically the first medical professionals to see a patient when they are seeking preventive care, needing a diagnosis, or suffering from an injury. In this sense, FNPs need to know when they’re able to help treat a patient and when they should refer a patient to a secondary care provider/specialist.

Education Pathways

Wondering how to become a nurse practitioner or FNP? Typically, this is something that NPs return to school for after having already completed a master’s degree in nursing.

Requirements for the Title of PMC-FNP

In order to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner, you will need to first become a Registered Nurse(RN). This involves completing a degree in nursing and being certified as an RN in your state (as well as passing the NCLEX-RN examination).

From there, you can apply to an FNP program. Typically, these are post-master’s degree programs that will require you to have at least a couple of years’ experience working as a registered nurse in the field. The exact requirements for title for PMC-FNP can vary from one state to the next, but most of these programs consist of around 32 credit hours with a total of 500-600 clinical hours.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

In addition to completing a certificate program, FNPs also need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Because they work with patients from a very wide range of backgrounds and cultures, being able to communicate clearly and connect with patients on a personal level is so important to providing the high standard of care that all patients deserve.

Likewise, FNPs need to be able to communicate clearly with other nurses and medical professionals. This includes not just interpersonal communication, but written communication as well.

Technology in Medical Settings

FNPs need to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations and medical technology in order to best serve their patients, which is why working as an FNP requires continuing education and licensing credits to keep the certification active.

Clinical Experience and Training

As part of a PMC-FNP program, hands-on experience in the form of clinical hours is usually offered (or required) as a means of getting nurses the real-world experience they need to prepare for successful careers as FNPs.

Clinical Hands-On Experience

Being able to work in a clinical setting and gain hands-on work experience is the single best way for aspiring FNPs to get a feel for what they will be doing on a regular basis.

Clinical Placement and Opportunities

Some post-master’s programs may also offer clinical placement and similar opportunities to ensure that aspiring FNPs get the experience they need before working in the real world. This may include clinical placements and rotations that add up to hundreds of clinical hours by the time they graduate.

Finding a Mentor

Some aspiring FNPs will also find mentorships in the field, which can be a great resource for any questions you have or guidance you may be seeking in your career advancement.

Licensing and Certification

Before you can start applying to nurse practitioner jobs, you’ll need to follow important licensing and certification requirements set forth by the state in which you wish to work.

Licensing Requirements

Exact licensing requirements can vary from one state to the next, but at the very least, FNPs need to be licensed as nurse practitioners.

Necessary Certifications

Additionally, there are two different certifications offered for FNPs: the AANP Family Nurse Practitioner Certification and the ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner Certification. Getting certified in either of these will require you to pass an exam that ranges from 150-200 questions. Which certification is best for you to pursue will depend largely on the type of work you plan to do, but you can learn more about the differences between these two certifications here.

Continued Education and Licensure

FNPs must renew their certification/licensure every five years, and the requirements for renewal can vary depending on whether you got your certification through the ANCC or the AANP. Typically, however, you will need to gain a certain number of educational contact hours or training hours to renew your credentials.

Career Opportunities

Is a career as an FNP right for you? There are a number of potential benefits to consider in this rewarding line of work.

Diverse Job Settings

One of the best things about working as an FNP is the ability to work just about anywhere and at any time you wish. Whether you prefer a more traditional schedule or something with less conventional hours, there is a diverse array of opportunities available to FNPs. This includes many areas of specialty for FNPs who may be interested in working with a specific population or in a certain concentration of nursing.

Advancement and Specialization

Getting a post-master’s certificate as an FNP can also be a great way to advance your career and qualify for more skilled positions (including leadership positions) that you may not have been considered for in the past. Likewise, if there is a certain area or specialization in the nursing field that you have been wanting to study, this type of program allows you to pursue your interests.

Contributions of PMC-FNPs to Healthcare Teams

PMC-FNPs play a critical role in providing quality and compassionate healthcare to patients of all ages and walks of life. They are valued members of healthcare teams who are often turned to for guidance and leadership. Working as an FNP is a great way to enjoy a challenging yet fulfilling career where you will always be needed.

If you’re serious about advancing your nursing career but are not quite ready to commit to a doctoral program, a post-master’s certificate program as a family nurse practitioner may be the next logical step. And if you’re looking for a program that’s flexible enough to fit into your busy schedule, Carson-Newman’s post-masters FNP certificate may be right for you. Through our Christian university, you can earn your PMC-FNP entirely online without the need to set foot inside a classroom. This means you could complete your certificate program in as little as two years—with financial aid available to those who qualify.

Ready to learn more about Carson-Newman’s PMC-FNP program? Get in touch today to request more information about our curriculum. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Likewise, you can get the ball rolling on your future by starting your online application right now.

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