5 Steps to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner


In the US, demand for healthcare providers has steadily increased, outpacing the supply of professionals who provide the services. Healthcare providers like family nurse practitioners have been recruited to ensure communities meet their health demands.

family nurse practitionerFamily nurses are registered nurses who have received specialized training that allows them to offer medical care to patients of all ages in a family. This job is appropriate if you want additional responsibility, better earnings, and professional fulfillment. If you have been wondering how to break into this role, the following ways can help you achieve a career as a family nurse practitioner.

Get Registered as a Nurse

You won’t be a registered nurse if you have not fulfilled some qualifications such as having a degree in nursing. Individuals who don’t have a degree cannot be registered as nurses but they can achieve this by obtaining an associate’s degree (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in nursing. While you don’t need a bachelor of science in nursing to enter this field, most nursing practitioner programs will require this degree for admission. This program will entail teacher-instructed training and clinical hours for two to four years.

Register for an Accredited FNP Program

When you have become a registered nurse, pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in family nurse practitioner is a gateway to this lucrative career. However, ensure that the program you are enrolling in is accredited to avoid falling into the wrong program. Pursuing a post masters FNP program online will introduce you to several topics designed to make you become an effective family nurse practitioner who can work with patients from different ages and backgrounds.

Pass the NCLEX Exam

After completing your bachelor of science, you must sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to get certified. You must pass the exams to practice as a family nurse practitioner. Your score will determine your entry to the job since it will prove to the board of nursing in your state that you are ready to work as a nurse. Ensure you prepare for the exams because the questions you will encounter can entail what you learned in nursing school, and this requires a few weeks to prepare.

Look for Experience

The importance of family nurse practitioners in every community requires them to look for experience before moving to other steps. While some schools allow nursing students to progress straight from undergraduate to graduate schools, others require students to gain a one to two-year experience as a registered nurse before returning to class to pursue family nurse practitioner. Most FNP programs prefer individuals who have clinical nursing experience. Acquiring experience before joining graduate school helps you to apply your skills practically, thus expanding your medical knowledge.


Get NPI and DEA Numbers

Family nurse practitioners are required to get the National Provider Identification (NPI) and Drug Enforcement (DEA) numbers. This will help to differentiate them from other practitioners in the country, and the good thing is that they won’t need to renew these numbers because they don’t change. It is a requirement for family nursing practitioners to have a DEA number to be allowed to prescribe scheduled drugs like opioid treatment or hormone therapy.

Most nursing practitioners require these numbers because of the different kinds of patients they handle. If taking care of your children and other responsibilities bar you from pursuing this path, you can find easy ways to start your career as a family nurse practitioner with limited resources and less time.


Before pursuing your program, check your state’s board of nursing because there are state-specific licensing requirements. This is vital since regulations vary in each state. Regardless of your level in nursing, there is a process you can follow to achieve your dream of being a family nurse practitioner. This lucrative career is within reach if you follow the above steps today.