Are you a registered nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) who is thinking about a career as a family nurse practitioner (FNP)? If you live in California, you may want to consider an online MSN-FNP degree program. The demand for FNPs is strong and continues to grow. Online programs allow you to choose a school outside of California, and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) offers an online MSN-FNP program. Before you make a decision about an online program, you should learn about the role of an FNP and what to expect from the UTA program.
What Is an FNP?
An FNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed at least an MSN.
What Is the Job of an FNP?
FNPs focus on families and provide primary care to patients throughout their lifespans. They deliver care to newborns, children, adolescents, adults and seniors. An FNP can work autonomously or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
In Texas and California, FNPs do not have full authority to practice; they must be supervised by a physician in order to practice and prescribe medication.
What Are the Duties of an FNP?
FNPs often provide the same types of services as a physician. They are prepared to do the following:
- Perform physical exams.
- Provide immunizations.
- Provide preconception and prenatal care.
- Prescribe medication.
- Diagnose health problems.
- Treat minor illnesses and injuries.
- Manage chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes.
- Order lab tests and analyze the results.
- Educate patients about health and wellness.
What Is Unique About the Online UTA MSN-FNP Program?
The online UTA MSN-FNP program was only available in Texas, but is now open to nurses residing in California. The program is an affordable alternative for California nurses because they can pay the same tuition as Texas residents. Similar programs in California may cost nurses more money to complete.
What Is the Purpose of the Online UTA MSN-FNP Program?
The online FNP program prepares nurses to meet the health needs of patients throughout their lifetimes. Students learn the research, diagnostic and clinical skills necessary to treat and manage the health of diverse patient groups in a variety of healthcare settings.
How Are Students Prepared in the UTA Online Program?
The core preparation students receive in the online UTA MSN-FNP program includes:
- Instruction about evidence-based primary care practice for patients and families at each stage of life.
- Specialized knowledge that covers the areas of pharmacology, diagnostics, health assessment, advanced research and clinical management.
- Clinical experiences.
How Do Students Complete Clinical Preparation?
Students are able to complete clinical experiences in their area — no trips to Texas required. To fulfill the clinical requirements, there are certain steps students must take such as identification and approval of preceptors and clinical sites.
The online UTA MSN-FNP is a good option for nurses in Texas and California. The accelerated program gives nurses the opportunity to successfully transition into an FNP position. The shortage of physicians in Texas and California means the need for FNPs will continue to grow. By furthering your nursing preparation with an MSN, you can qualify for higher pay and find employment in a challenging and rewarding nursing specialty.
Learn more about UTA's online MSN - FNP program.
Nurse Journal: 15 Reasons to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
The Texas Tribune: Nurse Practitioners Again Push for Independence
San Francisco Chronicle: Doctor Shortage Is California's Primary Public Health Problem
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): Planning Your NP Education
Nurse Journal: Role & Scope of Practice of a Family Nurse Practitioner
WFAA: Study Finds Severe Shortage of Doctors in Texas
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