Iowa is an excellent state for family nurse practitioners to work and study in, thanks to the freedoms they allow nurse practitioners. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, nurse practitioners in Iowa are granted full practice rights without the need for a collaborative agreement with a physician.
More and more patients now have access to primary medical care as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In many states, there are not enough primary care physicians to see all of the people seeking care. This is where Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) come in; they offer a cost-effective, evidence-based approach to care for people of all ages.
Your tasks as an FNP may include getting a baby's measurements, prescribing antibiotics to a middle-aged woman with strep throat, or helping an elderly patient navigate chronic, minor health issues. FNPs are licensed to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, and with your past nursing experience, you can apply your patient centered care in a meaningful way.
With the added responsibility and rewards of being a nurse practitioner comes a higher earning potential. The median salary for nurse practitioners in Iowa is $86,300 per year, according to O*Net. Nurse practitioners with lots of experience or seniority may be able to earn up to $114,700 per year (O*Net, 2012).
If you want to work as a family nurse practitioner, the first step is finding the right Master's or Doctoral degree program for you. These programs include coursework in diagnosis, treatment, and research, all of which are important parts of being a nurse practitioner. You will find a complete list of all the schools offering FNP programs to Iowa residents on this page.
Simply submit requests for information to all of those schools that you are interested in. The more information you have about program requirements and specifics, the better prepared you will be to make a well informed decision about the FNP program that is right for you.
Family Nurse Practitioner Program Curriculum in Iowa
There are two routes to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. A Master's degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track takes between two and four years to complete, while a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree takes about twice as long. If you attend full-time, you may be able to complete your program in as little as two-four years, while part-time students may need four-six full years to graduate, depending on the track you take.
The coursework for a family nurse practitioner program is intense and varied in order to prepare you for the many responsibilities of a nurse practitioner. Courses included in Iowa NP programs include Health Policy, Clinical Leadership, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Epidemiology. Many schools also require you to complete a project or thesis in order to hone your skills. The University of Iowa, for example, requires you to complete a clinical leadership project.
In addition to traditional classes, nurse practitioner students have to complete a considerable amount of clinical hours. The amount varies between 550 and 750, depending on the program. During clinical hours, you can typically expect to see patients with a variety of needs and ailments. This should prepare you for the many different types of patients you see as an NP.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Iowa
If you study in Iowa, there are many state-specific nurse practitioner scholarships you can apply for. The Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society offers annual scholarships to students that are part of the Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society. There are also several funding resources to check out on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing website as well, as a result of many funding collaborations enacted within the last decade. These efforts, combined with the availability of online NP programs, are aimed at increasing the number of Nurse Practitioners practicing in the United States.
Career Outlook in Iowa for Family Nurse Practitioners
After you graduate from an accredited, board-approved Family Nurse Practitioner program, the next step is getting your advanced practice nursing license. This is given by the Iowa Board of Nursing, and you can find specific information here. You have to have a current unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license in order to apply for advanced practice licensure. You should renew your license every three years in order to keep it current; this also requires the completion of 36 continuing education hours..
Nurse practitioners have full freedom to work and practice in Iowa, giving you many different workplace environments to choose from. The Iowa Board of Nursing notes that some nurse practitioners choose to have a collaborative agreement with a physician, but that it is not required.
Some NPs work in a clinic or hospital, where they can see patients independently. As a family nurse practitioner, you may also choose to work in an urgent care or walk-in setting. There are many large nurse practitioner employers in Iowa. Some employers include Orchard Place, Concentra, the University of Iowa Hospital, and Mercy Medical Center. One of the more popular trends being seen nationwide is the formation of nurse managed clinics, which are supported by the federal government, and offer a new means of delivery of primary healthcare services.
To learn more about your options for FNP programs of study, request information from the schools on this page, taking advantage of our database to save both time and energy. The featured schools near the top of the page typically offer some degree of online coursework, which many NP students find to be both flexible and convenient. Regardless of where you end up, it is important to take time to research what's available so you can make a well informed decision about furthering your nursing education and career!.