As a family nurse practitioner (FNP) in Texas, you can contribute your skills and clinical expertise to resolve the severe critical shortage of primary care providers. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Texas is in desperate need of thousands of primary care practitioners to comply with the Affordable Care Act, the Patient Protection Act and care provisions for the existing populations that do not have access to providers. As an FNP, your role may be vital to the diagnosis, treatment and disease management for patients from infancy through adulthood in a primary care or hospital setting.
As the FNP’s role evolves in a new era of healthcare, legislators are striving to provide more independence for the advanced nurse’s practice. Despite training that prepares the nurse practitioner in family health to work in an independent practice, FNPs in Texas were required by law to practice in collaboration with a physician. However, with the strong support of the politically active Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice, the Bill 406 passed in 2013 and has granted FNPs the right to apply their medical and prescription authority to practice with less dependence on physicians.
Find programs below, and request information from the schools you are interested in.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Texas
As a licensed registered nurse in Texas, you have an opportunity to further your career as a nurse practitioner who specializes in family health. The path to an FNP certification begins with a state-approved master’s degree or graduate program that provides the support and education for your specialty.
With numerous course schedules and part-time programs for working professionals, you may complete your degree with options such as:
- RN to master’s degree in FNP
- BSN to master’s program in FNP
- MSN to post graduate certificate in FNP
- Non-nursing degree to FNP master’s program
As a student in an FNP program, your courses may build on your existing nursing experience, skills and scientific knowledge. Advanced classes prepare you to function as an independent practitioner in a primary care role. With advanced research, nursing theories and pharmacology, your scope of practice evolves from bedside care to the performing of diagnostics, treatment and drug management.
Your courses may include topics such as:
• Health assessment, evaluation and treatment provides a foundation for your role as a clinician and the application of appropriate health interventions
• Health culture and diversity discusses how a patient’s experience and ethnicity affects his health and preventative care
• Advanced pathophysiology is mandatory and integrates all ages of the lifespan throughout three or four semesters of study
• Advanced pharmacology addresses drug therapy management with acute disease and chronic disease states
• Depending on your program of study, a clinical practicum of three semesters is provided to work with actual patients that help prepare you for independent practice
Depending on your degree option of choice, programs may be completed in two to three years in a full time program of study. In addition, your credentials as an advanced practice nurse require the passing of a national certification examination that targets family health and primary care.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Texas
As a student FNP in Texas, you can find several programs that provide financial aid, scholarships, tuition reimbursement programs and monthly stipends that are designed to provide support for your advanced degree. NurseCorps is federally funded and offers numerous options to assist you with finances and living expenses incurred as a student. In addition, the AACN provides scholarships for students who meet their criteria and consistently maintain optimal grades in classes.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in Texas
As a graduate, you may realize the high demand for FNPs and the numerous positions available to you as a health provider.
As a nurse practitioner in family health, your scope of practice includes the care and treatment of all ages across the lifespan which provides you the ability to work in a variety of settings such as:
- Family health clinics
- Governmental and federal facilities
- Medical centers and hospitals
- Rural healthcare clinics
- Retail and occupational health settings
- Children’s hospitals and clinics
- Family health physician offices and medical groups
- Medical and pharmaceutical research facilities
- Nurse educator for universities and colleges
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FNPs may expect an annual median salary of $97,710. As an important healthcare provider, you may be welcomed into a community of advanced practitioners that value your dedication to the field of nursing, advanced practice and the care of the residents of Texas.