On January 1, 2009, the nurse practitioners of Washington were granted full authority by the U.S. Department of Health to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications within their scope of practice. As a family nurse practitioner (FNP) in Washington, you can enjoy treating patients of all ages as a medical professional while increasing your opportunities in new and exciting areas of advanced nursing practice. With an advanced degree in nursing, you can contribute to the challenges of a new age of healthcare and reap the exceptional rewards of caring for your community.
To learn more about how you can continue your nursing education and become a Family Nurse Practitioner, check out the programs below. We have compiled a list of every FNP program available to nurses in the state of Washington to aid in your search. You can request information from any of the schools on this site, and we encourage you to explore all of your options before choosing a program.
Directly below, you will find schools that offer online and distance learning options within the Nurse Practitioner curriculum, which many students find increases the flexibility and ease with which they can complete courses.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Washington
Graduate programs in Washington prepare FNPs as fully independent practitioners that provide primary care within their scope of practice. The supportive education and clinical experiences provided by your program of study enable you to make patient referrals, order diagnostic tests, identify and treat illness and prescribe drug therapy. Full and part-time programs are available in various tracks and schedules that conform to your busy work schedule. All FNPs must possess an active RN license in Washington and complete a graduate, post graduate certificate or a doctoral degree that is state-approved and accredited.
Your program options for the completion of a program of study may include:
- ADN to graduate FNP program
- BSN to masters FNP program
- Non-nursing degree to graduate FNP program
- MSN to doctoral nurse practitioner
Typically, RNs may complete a BSN to master’s degree in two to three years of full-time study.
As the role of the FNP evolves in the healthcare system, your program of study in Washington prepares you for the unique challenges of the FNP with full practice authority. Core courses are designed to sharpen your critical thinking skills and offer guidelines that build on your current nursing experience and knowledge. Classes provide the foundation for practice with health assessment, identification of pathology and the protocols for appropriate healthcare interventions.
Courses in your curriculum may provide focus on areas such as:
- Critical analysis of nursing research and theories support your health interventions and assessments with evidence-based practice protocols for all ages of the lifespan
- Current topics in health services research provide support for the role of the FNP in financing and organizing within the current U.S. Healthcare System
- Advanced pharmacology focuses extensively on appropriate drug therapy management, prescription protocols and the intention of pharmaceutical actions
- Community-based nursing explores diversity, environment and the effects of culture on the health experience
- Clinical experiences are generally three semesters in length and provide a hands-on practicum for effective management of acute disease and chronic conditions in a primary care role
After successful completion of your FNP program, you may be required to pass a national certifying examination for your credentials. Due to the autonomous practice of the FNP, Washington also requires at least 1000 hours of clinical experience with a qualified preceptor to satisfy certification objectives.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Washington
With the support of the Affordable Care Act (2010), governmental programs have evolved to assist and promote an increase in practicing FNPs. NurseCorps offers tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness programs for graduates who practice in medically underserved areas of care in Washington.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in Washington
In a research report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2010, the practice of FNPs is crucial to solving the critical primary care shortage, increasing the promotion of health education and providing the timely treatment of patients in underserved areas of care.
As nurse-managed clinics for primary care continue to become popular in Washington, FNPs are offered the opportunity to function as independent medical professionals in their communities. According to the Seattle Times, retail healthcare continues to offer independent practice settings for FNPs with freestanding clinics that promote effective care for the communities in Washington.
With an array of rewarding settings for the FNP practice environment, areas of high demand include:
- Medical and pharmaceutical research
- Medicaid clinics and rural healthcare
- Telehealth positions
- Physician offices and medical groups
- Independent practice settings
- Hospitals, medical centers and urgent care facilities
- Nurse educators in higher education
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, FNPs in Washington can expect an annual salary of $95,260. CNN Moneyranks FNPs as the 65th best job in America out of a scale of 100. As the healthcare system evolves to provide care for the medically underserved, fulfill the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act and accommodate millions of people previously uninsured, the role of the FNP can only expand as an integral part of healthcare for years to come.