As a family nurse practitioner (FNP) in Maryland, your practice environment may be influenced by the evolving legislation, clinical practice models and professional relationships that shape your role as a diagnostic clinician. FNPs in Maryland are highly organized and continually strive to increase the standards of medical authority to be effective patient advocates and providers of optimal primary care. As an FNP graduate, you may discover numerous opportunities with the challenges and rewards of achieving the most highly desired graduate degree in nursing.
To find out more, request information from the schools on this page.
Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Maryland
The Maryland State Board of Nursing follows the AACN recommendations for a master's degree as a minimum requirement. To be eligible for admission, you may be either licensed as an RN in Maryland or possess a compact RN license. Programs present with flexible and convenient schedules that allow working professionals to complete an FNP degree such as:
- RN to master's in FNP
- BSN to FNP master's program
- MSN to FNP doctoral degree
- Non-nursing degree to FNP master's degree
Unlike physicians who practice with medical protocols to treat disease, FNPs apply their strong assessment and evaluation skills to work through the diagnostic process and treat the individual as a whole. An FNP program prepares you for comprehensive treatment planning, evidence-based recommendations and the development of advanced critical thinking skills. As indicated in a research study by the Institute of Health for Healthcare Reform, the education for nurse practitioners in the changing faces of healthcare reform is required to support an independent clinician that is capable of performing areas of care such as:
- Health assessment, evaluation and implementation of care
- Admitting patients to medical and hospital facilities
- Referring patients to specialists outside the FNP scope of practice
- Ordering diagnostic tests and interpretation of results
- Prescription authority and medical judgment
Program Curriculum in Maryland FNP Programs
Classes are designed to build on your existing knowledge, skills and experience to prepare you as an advanced diagnostic clinician and primary care provider. Courses that comprise your curriculum may include subjects such as:
- The role of the FNP describes the intricacies of financing medical care, nursing theories of primary care and the application of research-based rationale and treatment
- Advanced pathophysiology provides the role of the FNP in ordering diagnostic tests, administering treatment and interpreting laboratory results
- Advanced pharmacology provides the FNP with knowledge required for drug administration and prescription authority
- A clinical practicum is typically provided for three semesters in most programs of study
With successful graduation of your program, you may be required to pass a national certifying examination for FNP certification. Depending on your location of practice, FNP graduates may require a preceptor for a specified amount of time with a practicing physician or seasoned FNP.
Funding Your FNP Degree
Due to the Affordable Care Act (2010), governmental and state agencies have increased funding for nurse practitioners. The National Health Service Corps provides loan repayment programs for FNPs who work for a specific amount of time in areas that have little or no access to healthcare. The Human Resources and Health Administration also offer scholarships, tuition reimbursement programs and stipends that help you manage your finances while attending school.
Opportunities for FNP Graduates in Maryland
Although currently FNPs are expected to practice with the collaboration agreement with a physician, the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland is in strong support for the recent recommendations by the Institute of Medicine to eliminate these obstacles of the FNP practice and provide the same Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that physicians receive. With the shortage of primary care physicians, an already overwhelmed healthcare system and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (2010), healthcare experts are relying on the FNPs who specialize in family health to provide the primary care needed to maintain healthy communities.
FNPs are in high demand in Maryland due to an advanced scope of practice that allows the care of all ages in a primary care setting. As reported in Forbes Magazine in 2013, the public appreciates nurse practitioners and over half surveyed reported that FNPs were better healthcare providers and patient educators of preventative health than primary care physicians. FNPs in Maryland work in private physician office and medical group settings and have numerous other areas of care to practice such as:
- Hospital teams and specialty areas of care
- Medical research and pharmaceutical companies
- Community-based clinics and outreach centers
- Nurse educators for universities and hospitals