Family Nurse Practitioners

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Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are indeed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) and hence possess post-graduate education in nursing. National certification is also necessary for FNP licensure by the different states according to the set standards. This certification is undertaken by various nationally recognized bodies such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). An FNP does offer family-focused care across the lifespan including a wide-range of healthcare services (


When it comes to the educational requirements to practice as an FNP, first, one has to become a Registered Nurse (RN) by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and meeting the requirements and set standards (Kish, 2008). One is then required to become a licensed RN by undertaking a National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) ( After gaining significant experience from working as a registered nurse, one then undertakes a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus in family practice or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The DNP is the recommended terminal degree for preparing nursing practitioners according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) ( For the scope of practice for FNPs, this is determined by the respective state boards of nursing which fall under the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The scope of practice is however defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA). This role of defining also falls under state legislation ( Credentialing is done by certification bodies such as ANCC which is a subsidiary of the ANA. The choice of a credentialing body depends on the state’s recommendation. FNP professional and political organizations such as the ANA and the ACNP work towards raising the standards of nursing, lobbying Congress on pertinent issues, and promoting the rights of the nurses in their workplace.


Kish, C. (2008). Family nurse practitioner certification intensive review: Fast facts & practice questions. Nursing Education Perspectives29(6), 372.


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