The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) may be one of the most important solutions to the primary care crisis in Pennsylvania. With a shortage of general physicians and the inflated costs of care, FNPs are in high demand by hospitals, physician offices and corporations. As FNPs are vital to accomplishing the new guidelines set by the Affordable Care Act, FNPs also can balance healthcare costs and provide primary care for areas that are currently underserved. As a family health practitioner in Pennsylvania, you may discover the lucrative opportunities available to a valued healthcare provider.
To find a Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania that offers a Family focus, check out the schools on this page. Take a moment to request information from the schools below, including those that may offer online options for study. Once you have learned about programs and schools, you should be prepared to make a well informed decision about the future of your nursing education and career.
With the new reform policies in place, healthcare experts are expecting 500,000 more Pennsylvanians to have access to healthcare. Unlike physician assistants who are trained to work under a doctor's supervision, FNPs in Pennsylvania are prepared by their education to diagnose and treat patients as part of their scope of practice. Although FNPs are currently required to practice with the collaboration of a physician in Pennsylvania, the politically active Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners continues to move forward with the Senate Bill 1063 that is expected to empower FNPs with full medical authority and independence of doctors.
As outlined by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, FNP programs in Pennsylvania prepare you to practice with full autonomy within your defined scope of practice. Admission requirements include an active RN license in Pennsylvania and prerequisites are dependent on your current degree.
With convenient study programs for working professionals, options to your graduate degree include paths such as:
- RN to Master's degree in FNP
- BSN to Master's or Doctoral degree in FNP
- Non-nursing degree to FNP Master's degree
- MSN to post Masters certificate or Doctoral FNP program
Post completion of your graduate program, you may be awarded an FNP certification after passing a national certifying examination. Generally, graduates are required to practice with a preceptor for a specific span of time to satisfy certification.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Pennsylvania
Your graduate education as an FNP is dedicated to advancing your existing nursing knowledge and experience to a role that performs areas of care such as:
- Diagnose and treat in primary care
- Order diagnostic tests and manage drug therapy
- Follow up care and chronic disease management
- Refer patients to specialists and physicians
- Hospital admitting rights
- Bill Medicaid and Medicare for services
Courses in your curriculum are designed to move you from bedside care to a diagnostic clinician. FNPs practice with patients of all ages and treat the patient as an entire entity. The classes you may be required to complete include subjects such as:
- Advanced pharmacology for the action, purpose and evidenced-based rationale for prescribing
- Advanced pathophysiology presents disease states that affect all ages across the lifespan and the appropriate health interventions that apply
- Nursing practice of the family includes the mental, physical and social effects on the health experience of individuals and communities
- Family health assessment includes the evaluation and diagnostic rationale for primary care, preventative health and management of chronic conditions
- Clinical practicum provides the simulated and actual care of patients for three to four semesters
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Pennsylvania
Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act has foreseen the shortage of primary care providers and has made provisions to encourage you into the field of advanced nursing. Nursing students who demonstrate excellence in school may be awarded the AACN Scholarship. In addition, if you choose to practice in rural or urban areas that have little access to primary care, the Human Resources and Health Administration offers tuition reimbursement programs, financial aid services and assistance with living expenses while attending nursing school.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in Pennsylvania
As a graduate, you may find numerous and diverse opportunities that provide you with the self-satisfaction of caring for your community. As reported by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, FNPs can provide the care that is essential to preventing the increased complications of patients waiting too long for services, manage the complications of chronic disease in the elderly and assist with the health of children. Positions for the FNP include areas of care such as:
- Medical centers and hospitals
- An educator for colleges and universities
- Medical and pharmaceutical research
- Private corporations in occupational health
- Retail health and Fortune 500 Companies
- Community-based clinics and governmental settings
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FNPs can enjoy a median annual salary of $83,788. As an FNP, you may experience the exciting challenges and rewards of a new era in healthcare.