Last updated Jly 27, 2017.
As a family nurse practitioner (FNP) in the District of Columbia, you have an optimal opportunity to practice in collaboration with medical professionals or as an independent practitioner. Unlike most states that are supporting legislation to reduce medical and prescription barriers to the FNP's practice, the District of Columbia granted full authority of independence to their nurse practitioners over five years ago. As an FNP, you may enjoy opportunities to practice as a highly esteemed and valued medical professional.
FNPs in the District of Columbia maintain full practice authority as supported by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. As an FNP in DC, you have the authority to work in private practice and can bill for Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for reimbursement of your services.
In primary care settings, FNPs diagnose, treat and prescribe medications with full prescriptive authority in D.C.. For those who prefer the collaborative model, FNPs also work alongside physicians in private practice, community-based clinics and numerous medical settings. As discussed in amednews.com, the nurse practitioner is becoming a growing presence in primary care and family health.
As you search for the Family Nurse Practitioner program that is right for you, take some time to request information from the schools on BestNursingDegree.com. We have compiled a thorough listing of both online and campus based programs, and have featured some of the most flexible programs directly below. We try to save you time while you search, so that you can spend the time it takes to research program specifics in order to make a well informed decision about where to pursue your Advanced Practice nursing degree.
Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in the District of Columbia
In order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, the District of Columbia requires an RN to earn a graduate degree in a state-approved program that focuses on family health. The FNP program prepares you to manage acute and chronic conditions, navigate the healthcare system and define your role as an FNP in primary care. Your graduate degree may be satisfied with several options that provide a flexible and creative schedule to meet the demands of working professionals with full and part-time program tracks such as:
- ADN or BSN to master's degree program
- MSN to postgraduate certificate or doctoral nurse practitioner program
- Non-nursing degree to FNP master's degree program
Program Curriculum for FNPs in the District of Columbia
The FNP programs of DC support your role as an independent practitioner that treats all ages across the lifespan. The courses prepare you as a primary care practitioner who provides health interventions, requests specialist referrals and manages hospital-admitting rights. As your scope of practice moves from the bedside to the health of individuals, families and communities, your curriculum will build on your current nursing knowledge base.
Classes will likely include:
- Human experience across the lifespan, which examines the impact of culture, environment, belief systems and spirituality on the health expectations of individuals, families and communities
- Advanced pathophysiology, which explores the identification of disease via health history, diagnostic tests and health assessment skills
- Advanced pharmacology, which prepares you to prescribe, manage and select appropriate drug therapies in a primary care setting
- Advanced health assessment, which integrates medical histories, clinical reasoning and diagnostics to form a rationale for diagnosis and treatment protocols
- A series of clinical practicum experiences focuses on the care and treatment of patients of all ages and commonly encountered conditions in primary care
After completion of your FNP program, the DC Board of Nursing requires you to complete and pass a national certifying examination that specializes in family health. After successfully passing the exam, you can obtain your certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in D.C.
If you find that funding your advanced degree is challenging, the affordable Care Act provides support and funding for scholarships, monthly stipends and tuition reimbursement through NurseCorps in exchange for about two years of practice in underserved areas of care. You can also find additional funding opportunities here.
Career Opportunities for Family Nurse Practitioners in D.C.
As an FNP graduate, your expertise is in high demand, supported by needs of DC area residents and your dedication to an intellectually challenging degree. Your efforts to expand both your education and your professional practice may place you in a position to enjoy a lucrative and diversified career. According to MSNBC, healthcare reform has already provided millions of previously uninsured citizens with access to care. As a result, an increasing shortage of primary care providers and cost-effective strategies for healthcare delivery have manifested. NPs offer affordable, high quality primary care to patients, families and communities, making them a viable option to reduce the strain that may be put upon our already burdened healthcare system.
With the rapid growth of retail healthcare, nurse-run clinics and independent nurse practitioners in rural and urban health, patients no longer have to wait for physician appointments, which can cause suffering from delayed access to treatment. By earning your Family NP degree, you can make a significant impact in many ways.
Family Nurse Practitioners in DC have the option to practice in numerous areas of care such as:
- Medical and pharmaceutical research
- Hospitalist positions in medical centers, hospitals and ambulatory care
- Indian Health Centers
- Independent practice options
- Physician and medical group offices
- Occupational health for Fortune 500 Companies
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, DC FNPs enjoy a mean annual salary of $105,480. As an advanced practice nurse and primary healthcare provider, you may discover a multitude of opportunities for personal, financial and profession rewards as a result of earning your Nurse Practitioner degree. You can also expect that the need for new NPs in DC will continue, with BLS predicting a 31% increase in growth in the profession through 2024 (BLS, 2017).