As the need for skilled healthcare professionals grows in Connecticut, the need for nurse practitioners is also growing. If you are a nurse and you're wondering how you can take the next step in your career, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner may be just what you have been looking for. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, you can enjoy a role as a primary care provider, utilizing your skills and nursing knowledge to promote health and wellness across the lifespan.
Connecticut, like many other states, has an increasing demand for family nurse practitioners. According to O*Net job growth for nurse practitioners in Connecticut is expected to increase by 19 percent each year between 2010 and 2020, creating and estimated 1,300 new nurse practitioner job openings. Finding a Family Nurse Practitioner program now may enable you to take advantage of expanded career opportunities in the future.
To learn more about FNP programs in your state, simply request information from the schools on this page. Many of the featured schools below offer distance learning options, which may offer a degree of flexibility that traditional campus based programs may lack. Keep in mind that taking the next step in your nursing education involves making a well informed decision about which Nurse Practitioner program is best for you. We recommend requesting information from multiple schools, so that you can make a well thought out decision about how to transform your nursing future.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Connecticut
Attending a nurse practitioner program in Connecticut can help prepare you for an expanded nursing career. Under the oversight of a physician, FNPs in Connecticut may prescribe medications, diagnose and treat patients. You may oversee registered nurses and certified nursing assistants, so a nurse practitioner program can also enhance your leadership skills, which is essential in today's healthcare system.
There are many different schools in Connecticut that offer family nurse practitioner programs. In general, you can expect to spend between two and three years in graduate school. When you finish your degree, you should have completed enough courses to have a Master's degree in nursing. The exact length of your program depends on whether you go full-time or part-time, and whether or not your institution offers summer classes.
Typical courses in a Family Nurse Practitioner Program can include:
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Physiology / Pathophysiology
- Advanced Concepts of Pharmacology
- Research Methods & Biostatistics for Healthcare Providers
- Foundations of Health Systems and Policy
- Health Care Ethics
- Research Evidence and Best Practices in Health Care
- Professional Aspects of Advanced Practice Nursing
- Primary Health Care of the Family I
One of the most important parts of your educational experience is your clinical work. Most programs require you to complete between 550 and 800 hours of clinical work. These are usually spread throughout your entire program. In addition, some schools give you the opportunity to gain extra experience. For example, Southern Connecticut State University requires students to complete either a special project or a thesis. This gives you the chance to delve into an area of nursing that interests you, in addition to gaining marketable skills as a nurse practitioner.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Connecticut
It's also important to plan out how you will pay for your education. Luckily, there are many scholarship opportunities in Connecticut. The Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society offers two scholarships every year to students that are accepted into nurse practitioner programs. There is a $50 registration fee, but that fee is waived for student members.
Career Opportunities for Family Nurse Practitioners in Connecticut
After graduating from your nurse practitioner program, the next step is getting your NP license. First, you must have a current Connecticut registered nurse license from the Department of Public Health. You should also be able to provide proof of 30 hours in pharmacology education, which may likely be covered by your degree program. You can then submit your application with a fee of $200. Your license must then be renewed every year, along with a $125 fee.
Nurse practitioners are well-compensated in Connecticut, reflecting the advanced education and nursing skills that result from earning your Advanced Practice degree. The median salary for a nurse practitioner is Connecticut is $91,600 per year (O*Net, 2012). Depending upon practice setting and experience in the field, you may be able to earn up to $119,000 on the high end of the salary scale (O*Net, 2012).
In Connecticut, family nurse practitioners must have collaborative agreements with overseeing physicians to allow them to work with patients, and can work in a variety of settings. As a family nurse practitioner, you should be prepared to work with people of all ages. This may qualify you for a clinic job, in which you often see and treat entire families. You may even see the same patients throughout their whole lives. However, family nurse practitioners can also work in urgent care clinics, where your practice is more likely to be focused on acute diagnoses and quick care.
There are many large family nurse practitioner employers in Connecticut. Some of the largest employers include Caring Hospice Services, Community Health Center Inc., Concentra, and Hartford Healthcare. Regardless of where you choose to practice after earning your Family Nurse Practitioner degree, you can expect an expanded scope of practice along with enhanced nursing career options to choose from.