Are you a registered nurse that's ready to make an even bigger difference in your patients' lives? If so, you might be a great fit for a family nurse practitioner program. Family nurse practitioners in Arkansas offer personalized care to people of all ages under the supervision of a licensed physician.
Arkansas is expected to need more skilled Family Nurse Practitioners, due to the increased amount of people anticipated to have access to medical care after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nurse practitioners can be an affordable solution to the shortage of primary care providers in Arkansas.
The average salary of a nurse practitioner in Arkansas is competitive; O*Net reports that the median salary is $84,900 per year. Nurse practitioners with greater responsibility or experience may be able to earn up to $113,500 on the high end of the pay scale (O*Net, 2013).
There are many rural communities in Arkansas that are far enough away from large cities to make health care visits impractical. Family nurse practitioners can be especially valuable in these areas by offering routine check-ups and care. Being able to work in this capacity requires leadership skills, deep knowledge of pharmacology, and a strong ability to diagnose illness. You can learn all of these skills and more in an Arkansas nurse practitioner program.
To find the Nurse Practitioner program that can best meet your needs, submit a request for information to all of the schools below that offer a program you are interested in.
Family Nurse Practitioner Program Curriculum
There are many nurse practitioner programs in Arkansas that offer classes both online and in a traditional classroom setting. The schools featured above typically offer this option for students, which may make it possible for you to take nurse practitioner classes even if you are already working full-time as a nurse. The majority of programs in Arkansas take between three and four years to complete, depending upon whether you enroll with full-time or part-time status.
Classes required at this level test your academic skills in addition to your clinical skills. You will likely be required to take courses in Advanced Health Assessment, Research for Evidence Based Practice, Health Policy and Economics, Primary Care of Women, and Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics. Many of these classes delve deeper into what you have already learned at the undergraduate level, expanding upon your essential nursing knowledge base.
It is often beneficial to study your coursework and examinations from old nursing classes, particularly if it has been more than two years since you graduated from nursing school.
You are also expected to complete between 500 and 800 clinical hours, depending on which program you attend. Your clinical hours give you the chance to practice your skills, hone your bedside manner, and learn how to put what you've learned into practice.
Between the coursework and clinical practice, it is clear that a nursing practitioner program can prepare you to take on a strong leadership role in a health care facility. Beyond seeing patients, you may be prepared to handle the financial and insurance aspect of health care, supervise and lead other nurses, and oversee the running of a clinic.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Arkansas
There are beneficial scholarship opportunities for dedicated nurse practitioner students. The Arkansas Nurses Foundation Scholarship offers one scholarship each year to a graduate student that is a member of the Arkansas Nurses Foundation.
Arkansas Specific Employment Information for Family Nurse Practitioners
Arkansas law requires nurse practitioners to work in collaboration with an overseeing physician, and FNPs currently have only limited prescriptive authority. As an NP in the state, you may either be directly overseen by a physician or you may work with the physician to create a detailed plan of care that outlines your responsibilities and limits as a nurse practitioner. Templates for these plans are provided by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The board may request this plan and evidence of compliance at any time.
After you earn your nurse practitioner license from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, you must renew your license every two years. If you were born in an odd-numbered year, you renew your license every odd-numbered year. If you were born in an even-numbered year, you renew your license every even-numbered year. You must complete 15 hours of continuing education every two years in addition to paying a $75 fee. If you have prescriptive authority, you also pay a $150 fee.
Working in Arkansas gives you the opportunity of working in a variety of settings and locations. Whether you want to work and live in a rural, suburban, or city area, Arkansas likely has something for you. You may work in a health care facility as a primary care provider or in an urgent care facility. Some of the largest nurse practitioner employers in Arkansas include Diamond Healthcare in Rogers, St. Vincent in Bryant, Memorial Healthcare in Little Rock, and Christus Health in Hope.