For those nurses looking to take their career to the next level, pursuing a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree is a surefire way to do so. A master in nursing program will equip you with the skills and advanced training you need to give high-quality nursing care in a specialized role, such as nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioners have a higher degree of training, in both the classroom and clinical setting, than Registered Nurses do, although becoming an RN is a prerequisite. A family nurse practitioner (FNP), is a registered nurse with specialized educational and clinical training in family practice. FNPs serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. Earning your MSN/FNP qualifies you to deliver many of the same health care services that physicians are qualified to do.
MSN/FNPs typically do the following:
- Perform physical exams and observe patients
- Create patient care plans or contribute to existing plans
- Perform and order diagnostic tests
- Diagnose various health problems
- Analyze test results or changes in a patient’s condition, and alter treatment plans, as needed
- Give patients medicines and treatments
- Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals, as needed
More and more states are allowing FNPs to work independently due to an extreme lack of doctors. Check below to see if your state is one that allows you to work autonomously.
Full Practice: State practice and licensure laws provides for all nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments—including prescribing medications and controlled substances—under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. This is the model recommended by the National Academy of Medicine, formerly called the Institute of Medicine, and National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Reduced Practice: State practice and licensure laws reduces the ability of nurse practitioners to engage in at least one element of NP practice. State law requires a career-long regulated collaborative agreement with another health provider in order for the NP to provide patient care or limits the setting of one or more elements of NP practice.
Restricted Practice: State practice and licensure laws restricts the ability of a nurse practitioner to engage in at least one element of NP practice. State law requires career-long supervision, delegation, or team-management by another health provider in order for the NP to provide patient care.