Skip to main content

How to Become a
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Join a rapidly growing career path

If you are a nurse looking for more responsibility, 优秀的收入潜力,更强的使命感和职业成就感, 成为一名家庭执业护士(FNP)可能是通往那里的道路.

Your services will be in high demand and you’ll have what it takes to be a difference-maker in healthcare across America.

Take these steps to become a family nurse practitioner:

How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner FNP

Roles & Responsibilities

1. Understand the role: What does a Family Nurse Practitioner do?


传统的医疗服务以医生诊断疾病为中心, 开出治疗和药物处方,并对病人的健康负责. Today the roles of healthcare providers have evolved. With the changes in healthcare reform, 家庭护理从业者在照顾家庭方面发挥着越来越重要的作用.

As our population continues to grow and age, the corresponding need for qualified providers to efficiently and effectively care for patients is skyrocketing. 这导致了新的和扩大的角色,护士从业人员谁接受培训,以评估, diagnose, treat and manage illnesses in various patient populations.

执业护士是受过硕士或更高水平教育的高级执业注册护士(APRN). They typically work in emergency rooms, primary care clinics, urgent care centers, 以及治疗各种疾病和/或危及生命的病人的医院. 初级保健FNP经过认证和许可,可以在各种环境中治疗所有年龄的患者.

Learn everything you need to know about what a family nurse practitioner is and what they do.

Life as a family nurse practitioner: career profile

U.S. News and World Report ranked nurse practitioner #1 on its 2023 list of Best Health Care Jobs and #2 on its list of the 100 best jobs in America. It ranks so highly, in part, because of the tremendous job satisfaction FNP-trained nurses report as they gain more and more autonomy as primary healthcare providers. 这份年度报告还将增长潜力、工作与生活的平衡以及薪资考虑在内.

Increasingly, a family nurse practitioner provides services for which patients would have historically waited weeks to see a physician, 特别是在缺乏初级家庭医生的农村地区.

Where can you work?

作为FNP,在选择设置类型时,您将有很多选择 where you’ll work every day. 无论你选择专注于家庭医疗,老年医学, pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, neonatal (ICU), urgent care, surgical/OR, internal medicine or primary care, 你将成为众多医疗机构的宝贵员工, including:

  • Urgent care sites
  • Private physicians or NP practices
  • Nursing homes
  • Home health agencies
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Hospice and palliative care centers
  • Schools and colleges
  • Public health departments
  • Women’s health facilities
  • Veteran’s Administration

There are many different nurse practitioner concentration programs you may choose from. Take our online nursing personality quiz to find out what type of nursing specialties are best suited for you.

What is the job market like for FNPs?

There is a great deal of demand for Family Nurse Practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment for nurse practitioners to grow by 45% from 2022-2032. This is much faster than the national average for all occupations and is largely due to the increasing emphasis on preventive care and the burgeoning need for healthcare services for our aging population.

总的来说,护士从业人员的工作机会仍然很好. Now might be the ideal time to earn the credentials necessary to elevate your career in this highly rewarding field.

How long it takes to become a family nurse practitioner

成为一名FNP可能需要大约2-5年的时间,这取决于你现在从事的护理工作, the number of credits you can transfer, and whether you choose a full or part-time schedule. After attaining your master’s degree you’ll need to get certified and obtain licensure in your state before officially becoming a nurse practitioner.

Become an RN

2. Become an RN with a nursing degree (ADN, BSN)

There are several different routes you can take to become a nurse practitioner depending on where you are in your current career and the amount of transferrable credits you already have from a prior degree.

To enroll in one of Herzing University’s FNP program options, completion of an associate degree, bachelor's degree or RN diploma is required, and you’ll need to hold a current, active and unencumbered license as a registered nurse.

The biggest step to become an RN is to enroll in an undergraduate nursing degree program. Herzing大学护理学院旨在帮助您开启令人兴奋的护理新职业生涯:

Discover our many potential BSN pathways, including bridge options for LPNs and other healthcare professionals, an accelerated BSN option for those who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and an online BSN option available in select states.

You can potentially earn RN licensure faster in the ASN pathway, then enroll in an RN to MSN-FNP program in the future. We also offer bridge options for LPNs and other healthcare professionals—available at select campus locations (no online option).

If you have are not yet an RN and hold a non-nursing bachelor's degree, you may be eligible for our online MSN - Direct Entry program. You can first become an MSN-prepared RN, then enroll in a post master's certificate FNP program in the future.

If your GPA isn’t high enough to qualify for nursing school, 你可能有资格参加软件下载的通识科学副学士-护理预科课程. You can potentially increase your GPA, take some nursing support courses, and apply to nursing school in the future.

After completing your education you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN and meet the board of nursing requirements in your state to become an RN. How long it takes to become an RN depends largely on your prior education and chosen degree path. Current RNs can potentially bridge to NP in less time given their prior education and experience.

Regardless of where you are on the nursing continuum, there’s a path you can follow with Herzing University to achieve your career goal of becoming a family nurse practitioner.

Earn an MSN

3. Enroll in an FNP program

You can potentially choose from multiple online FNP programs with Herzing University. The pathway you choose depends on what nursing education you've already earned (or plan to earn as part of first becoming an RN):

  • Program length: 20 months
  • Classes: View the curriculum
  • Degree required: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Program length: 24 months
  • Classes: View the curriculum
  • Degree required: Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Program length: 16-20 months
  • Classes: View the curriculum
  • Degree required: Master of Science in Nursing

Alternative options. 如果你想成为一名初级护理执业护士,你也可以考虑 adult gerontology and pediatric specialties. We also offer similar degree pathways in these concentrations. Learn more about our AGNP and PNP programs.

Classes Start July 8th

Waived Enrollment Fee

4. Complete your clinicals and graduate

成为一名执业护士最重要的因素之一是FNP幸运28计划临床. At Herzing, you’ll complete 675 hours of precepted clinical experience with a preceptor that you have identified in your local area and 500 individual patient encounters to practice your skills of assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation.

寻找导师可能是许多护理专业学生面临的最大挑战之一. Our guide to finding an nurse practitioner preceptor 能回答很多关于面试过程的问题和对你的期望吗. With Herzing University you are never alone. 软件下载支持你为你的临床实习寻找导师.

A distinct advantage of earning your master’s degree at Herzing is the university’s vast network of partnership sites. 在Herzing,你会有一个临床协调员,他会帮助你找到临床地点和导师. There is a clinical guidance process to help you along the way as well as online nursing orientation and clinical readiness modules to ensure you have the tools you need to be successful along the way.

Certification Exam

5. Pass the certification exam

Graduates from the Herzing University FNP program are eligible to sit for one of two FNP certification exams:

You may choose the exam you’d like to take. 这两个组织都是被广泛认可的认证委员会,通过其中任何一个考试都可以成为FNP认证.

The MSN faculty are invested in your success on the certification exam. 从你在Herzing大学开始你的幸运28计划到毕业那天, you will receive tips for certification success. There are educational touchpoints with an academic advisor as needed and exams that are placed strategically throughout the curriculum to ensure that you are meeting the appropriate benchmarks in the program.

如果您能够满足特定要求并在第一次尝试中通过认证考试, you will receive reimbursement for the cost of the exam.

Obtain Licensure

6. Obtain licensure in your state

Licensing is handled by your state’s board of nursing. There are very few states allowing nurse practitioners to practice without certification – but even in those cases employers and insurers often require nurse practitioners become certified.

In order to practice in another state you will be required to become licensed there as a registered nurse if you are not currently in a compact state. Then you may become licensed as an advanced practice nurse.


Frequently Asked Questions

如果你已经是一名APRN,并且在其他专业获得了护理学硕士(MSN), 软件下载可以帮助您更快地过渡到成为一名合格的执业护士. Our online post graduate FNP certificate program is built for you.

注册全日制课程,你可以在16个月内完成课程. Coursework is delivered 100% online with a 675 clinical hour requirement to fully prepare you to thrive in your new career as a family nurse practitioner.

The answer really depends on the state where you’d be working. There are a few basic levels of practice: full, reduced and restricted.

Explore this map from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 发现你所在州的标准,并了解其含义.

Over the course of your education, 你会学到更多关于家庭护士执业范围的细节. other roles in healthcare.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 从2020年到2030年,对执业护士的需求预计将增长52%, an expectation far surpassing the average across all occupations.*


No, an FNP is not a doctor, or physician. Their duties, roles and responsibilities are very different, along with their required education and certification.

However, 家庭护士越来越经常地充当初级保健提供者, especially in rural locations and certain states where there is less restrictions on what nurse practitioners can and can’t do. 在适当的情况下,志愿人员经常获得独立和自主权.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $124,680 per year ($59.94 per hour). Pay depends on many factors, including your location, what healthcare institution you work for and your level of experience.*

Discover the average nurse practitioner salary by state and find out what nurse practitioners make on average near you.

Take it from an RN who has already made the leap. Here are the biggest reasons to become a family nurse practitioner. 这一切都是从获得下一步所需的教育和资格开始的.

It’s a big decision for you and your family. One former Herzing University FNP student explains what you need to know before enrolling in an FNP program.

The Herzing University online MSN-FNP program is not entry level. 软件下载需要一个认可的大学或学院的学士学位和当前, 作为注册护士的有效和不受限制的许可证,以接受软件下载的MSN-FNP计划.

If you have no experience in nursing and are considering a second career as a family nurse practitioner, see our accelerated BSN program option or MSN Direct Entry program. These programs can put you on track to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing to become an RN and qualify for our FNP program options.

Additional RN options include our Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and 3-year BSN programs. We now offer an online BSN program for non-nurses, available for enrollment in select U.S. states.

Learn more about a career as an FNP

  1. What does an FNP do?

    The day-to-day duties of an FNP include performing physical exams, developing care plans, prescribing medications, ordering tests, and consulting with other healthcare professionals. It’s a big step up from your role as an RN.

    What Does an FNP Do?

    Family Nurse Practitioner Taking Heart Rate of Pediatric Patient
  2. What are the different types of nurse practitioners?

    Family nurse practitioners are versatile healthcare professionals with a potentially broad scope of practice across the lifespan. 但也有许多其他类型的护士从业人员专门从事其他患者群体.

    Different Types of Nurse Practitioners

    FNP Smiling at Geriatric Patient in Wheelchair
  3. FNP vs. PMHNP: what’s the difference?

    If you’re considering these two specialties, 你需要权衡你在护理方面的优势和劣势,然后再决定你最好的前进道路. The type of care you prefer to deliver vs. your desired patient population can be big factors in your decision.

    FNP vs. PMHNP: What’s the Difference?

    FNP Discussing Healthcare Options with Family
  4. What skills do you need as an FNP?

    所有执业护士都必须培养一套先进的技能,才能真正胜任这个角色, including key core competencies, communication skills, leadership abilities, and resilience in the face of stress.

    What Skills Do You Need to Succeed as an NP?

    Family Nurse Practitioner High Fiving Pediatric Patient
  5. How much does an FNP make?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $124,680 per year ($59.94 per hour).* NP salary can vary based on where they work, years of experience, education earned, and state of employment.

    How Much Can an NP Make?

    FNP Smiling at Adult Patient in Medical Office
  6. Where do family nurse practitioners work?

    FNPs can work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including physician’s offices, private practices, school clinics, hospice care, and more.

    Where do Family Nurse Practitioners Work?

    Medical Team with FNP Discussing Patient Care

7. Start Your Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner can be life-changing for you as well as for the patients you treat and the community in which you live.

如果您已准备好参与解决当今医疗保健行业所面临的挑战, there’s never been a better time to get started on the path to an exciting new career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Learn more about our FNP program options


1. The master’s degree program in nursing at Herzing University Online is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, 职业就业和工资统计2022 /职业展望手册2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

Classes Start July 8th

Learn More Today

Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

通过选择此按钮,您同意接收来自Herzing大学的更新和提醒. Text HELP to 85109 for help, Text STOP to 85109 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. 不勾选此框,您将无法选择接收SMS消息. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Request Information
Ready to get started?

Contact us to request more information

Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

通过选择此按钮,您同意接收来自Herzing大学的更新和提醒. Text HELP to 85109 for help, Text STOP to 85109 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. 不勾选此框,您将无法选择接收SMS消息. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.