With its abundance of rural communities, Idaho is a great state for nurse practitioners to make an impact on rural access to healthcare services. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the government is trying to find ways to make health care more affordable and accessible for citizens. As a result, Idaho is one of the 19 states in the country using Affordable Care Act money to develop better care models. This includes the use of family nurse practitioners to provide primary care to Idaho residents.
Family nurse practitioners are highly desired in Idaho because they are more affordable than physicians, and provide holistic, well rounded care at a more affordable price. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Idaho provides full practice rights to nurse practitioners requiring no physician oversight or collaborative agreements.
As a registered nurse, you may be wondering how you can use your knowledge and experience to better serve your community. Completing a Family Nurse Practitioner program can give you the education you need to supervise nurses, assess, diagnose and treat patients, as well as prescribe medications.
To find a Family Nurse Practitioner program in Idaho that can meet your needs, simply request information from the featured schools below to get started. Most of these schools provide some degree of online or distance education coursework, allowing for more flexibility than traditional ground based programs, which many working nurses need. Keep in mind that there are slight differences between programs, so having information from multiple campuses may prove beneficial, allowing you more information upon with to base a decision.
Family Nurse Practitioner Program Curriculum in Idaho
You can choose from a variety of programs in Idaho, both those that offer traditional, in-person classes and those that offer classes online. Many programs allow you to choose to attend full-time or part-time. If you attend full-time, you may complete your nurse practitioner program in two to three years. Those attending school part-time typically graduate in three to four years.
The courses involved in a family nurse practitioner program are designed to prepare you for every facet of a nurse practitioner's career. There are courses in patient treatment, courses in collaboration with other health care professionals, and courses in supervising other nurses.
Some courses that are included in most Idaho nurse practitioner programs include:
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Human Pathophysiology
- Statistical Analysis
- Care Throughout the Lifespan
There are also opportunities for further educational growth; at Idaho State University, you can complete a scholarly project based on a research objective or interest. Clinical hours vary between schools, but an average of 800 hours are required throughout the duration of the program.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Idaho
Taking advantage of scholarships can make your education as affordable as possible. If you join Nurse Practitioners of Idaho here, you can apply for an annual scholarship. Idaho State University also has a variety of scholarships available, including the Ellen Raether Scholarship and the Barbara B. Harman Scholarship which you can learn about here.
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Career Outlook for Family Nurse Practitioners in Idaho
The next step in becoming a family nurse practitioner is becoming licensed by the Idaho Board of Nursing. After you graduate from your program, you can apply for an advanced practice license. After initial licensure, you have to renew your license every two years. Your nursing license will need to be renewed by August 31 in odd-numbered years. Unlike many other states, there are no continuing education requirements.
Idaho has a fairly sparse population density throughout the state, which means that many residents are left in rural areas, without easy access to health care, including primary care services. As a result, there are openings for family nurse practitioners in rural areas that do not have physicians. You may choose to work in an urgent care setting, which includes diagnosing and treating mild illnesses. You could also choose to work in a clinic or hospital setting. This may include seeing the same patients on a regular basis, in addition to seeing patients for emergencies. Many nurse practitioners even choose to open their own clinic, which may allow you to offer care to communities that otherwise do not have health care options. Some of the largest nurse practitioner employers in Idaho include Amedisys, Covenant Dove, and MHM Services.
Completing your nurse practitioner degree can also increase your earning potential. According to O*Net the median annual salary for a nurse practitioner in Idaho is $92,600. Nurse practitioners can earn between $65,800 and $133,700 per year in Idaho (O*Net, 2012). The demand for nurse practitioners is also expected to grow 40% between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010).