As a registered nurse, you already have a huge effect on your patients' lives. If you're interested in working as a primary care provider and spending more time with patients, you might be the perfect candidate for a family nurse practitioner program. Family nurse practitioners can provide primary care to patients of all ages, making them a wonderful asset to their communities. If you become a family nurse practitioner, you can diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and be a leader in your workplace.
In Wyoming, nurse practitioners have full practice rights, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. As an NP, you can treat, diagnose, and prescribe within the guidelines of the nursing act without the overnight of a physician. This also gives NPs the freedom to open their own clinics. Since many communities in Wyoming do not have a doctor, a family nurse practitioner can be a very important part of rural communities.
You may also increase your earning potential by becoming a family nurse practitioner. Per O*Net the median salary for NPs in Wyoming is $86,200 per year. With experience and seniority, you may be able to earn up to $116,600 (O*Net, 2012).
To learn more about how you can expand your education and practice by becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, request information from the schools below. You will want to learn as much as you can before choosing a program of study, to ensure you are making the best decision for you.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Wyoming
In order to get as much as possible from your nurse practitioner program, you should choose a program that fits your needs and schedule. Some students choose to attend a program that offers classes online, because you can then complete coursework as it suits your work schedule. Others learn better in an in-person setting; you can choose from daytime, evening, and weekend classes at many schools.
No matter which school you choose, the core coursework is very similar between programs. Classes you may have to take include Advanced Pathophysiology, Health Behavior Change, Pharmacotherapy, Wellness for Children, and Primary Care for Adults. As a family nurse practitioner, you need to have the knowledge and skills to treat patients of all ages, which is what these courses prepare you for. The University of Wyoming has an emphasis on rural care, which enables you to better serve the many small, rural communities of Wyoming.
While you take classes, you also have to complete your required clinical hours. Requirements differ from school to school, but most schools require between 600 and 800 clinical hours. Some or most of these hours may be scheduled at a rural health care site, in order to prepare you to work with rural communities and residents.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Wyoming
Prior to taking out student loans or paying for school out-of-pocket, you should apply for any scholarships that you qualify for. In Wyoming, you can apply for the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, The National Health Service Corps awards scholarships every year to qualifying students.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in Wyoming
Upon earning your Master's degree, you can apply for an advanced practice nursing license from the Wyoming Board of Nursing. Renewal is required every two years in order to keep your license current. Prior to renewing your license, you have to complete 15 continuing education hours in pharmacology.
Some of the top nurse practitioner employers in Wyoming include UW Family Medicine, Delta Healthcare, HealthCare Initiative, and Baxter Healthcare. However, there are also many opportunities for you if you want to settle down in a rural community and open your own clinic.
As a student or a nurse practitioner, you can join the Wyoming Nurses Association. You can learn about new job listings and network with other nurse practitioners by joining the association.