As a family nurse practitioner (FNP), you may experience the exciting challenges that are taking place in Massachusetts for advanced practice nurses. With increased responsibilities and an expanded scope of practice, FNPs are currently enjoying numerous opportunities and lucrative career positions. As a primary care provider, you may perform diagnostics, health interventions and manage drug therapy with medical authority. With an advanced FNP degree, your dedication to nursing may provide you with the personal satisfaction of caring for your community.
To learn more about specific requirements, curriculum and program timelines, request information from schools on this page. Here you will find all the Family Nurse Practitioner programs available in Massachusetts, you need only select those schools that interest you most.
Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Massachusetts
As a registered nurse in Massachusetts, you have an extraordinary opportunity to work as an advanced nurse in family health. With an expanded role in primary care, your scope of practice is designed for you to treat patients of all ages. As discussed in an AACN white paper, nurse practitioners in family health are the front-line of health services that is lower in cost, comparable to physicians and readily available for the needs of the community.
Massachusetts requires you to attend a state-approved graduate program that prepares you to perform primary care in family health. With flexible and creative course plans, busy working professionals may find a program track that meets their scheduling needs.
Graduate programs may include options such as:
- ADN or BSN to FNP master's degree program
- MSN to postgraduate or FNP doctoral program
- Non-nursing degree to master's degree FNP program
Program Curriculum for FNPs in Massachusetts
By building on your current nursing skills, knowledge and experience, your FNP program in Massachusetts provides the advanced education that supports your ability to diagnose, treat and manage drug therapy. FNPs are provided with clinical practicum experiences that help build confidence in performing invasive procedures and patient examinations that are commonly used in primary care settings.
Courses that encompass your curriculum may include subjects such as:
- Health care systems is an introduction to the contemporary trends in healthcare organization that relate to team building, coordinating services and decision making theory
- Human experience of health across the lifespan examines issues of ethnicity, spirituality, belief systems and environment in families and communities that influence chronic health conditions and the health experience
- Integration of theoretical and clinical aspects of nursing provides a sound foundation for diagnostic rationale, decision making and evidence-based practice considerations
- The nurse as a facilitator of learning provides you with optimal tools and skills to provide patient teaching and preventative education in a primary care setting
- A series of three or four semesters provides a precepted clinical practicum that examines all ages across the lifespan in an actual medical setting
In addition to completion of your graduate FNP program, you are required in MA to pass a national certifying certification as outlined in the MA nurse practitioner practice act.
Opportunities for FNPs in Massachusetts
Although current laws allow FNPs to diagnose and treat their patients, prescription authority requires the collaboration of a physician. However, with the challenges of the shortage of primary care physicians as described by the Boston Globe, the FNP can be the solution for cost-effective and available care. As reported by the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, FNPs require full practice authority to alleviate the physician shortage and provide low cost care to patients. In response to these recommendations, the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners has filed legislation known as HB 1079/SB 2009 to remove the barriers of care from the FNPs practice.
According to Forbes Magazine in 2013, nurse practitioner positions have climbed into the top 20 most desired jobs for the first time in history. With the growth of retail health and popularity of nurse-run clinics, FNPs have limitless opportunities to practice in numerous areas of care. FNPs can also explore other opportunities such as:
- Medical and pharmaceutical research
- Hospitals, medical centers and urgent care facilities
- Community-based care and outreach centers
- Home health agencies and visiting home services
- Occupational care in Fortune 500 Companies
- Physician offices and medical groups
- Surgical centers and family planning facilities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, FNPs may expect an annual median salary of $102,340. As an FNP in MA, you have the options of practicing in an environment that is dedicated to the care of communities or working as a nurse educator in higher education. Your commitment to the highest level of nursing may provide you with the fulfillment of serving the community as a respected medical professional.