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Alternate Route to FNP?

Has 4 years experience.

I would like to know if there is an indirect route to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, other than the traditional 2 year nursing FNP program. Can a BSN RN earn their online Nursing Masters Degree in Education, Clinical Leadership, or other classroom based nursing graduate degree and then go to one of the many schools that offer an "add-on certificate" in Family Nurse Practitioner?

I just want to make sure that the "add-on" certificate I have seen is not only available to a Advanced Practice Nurse who has also done clinicals with their Masters Degree in an other specialty and that this "add-on certificate" option is also available to a Master Degree prepared nurse who only has classroom experience for their masters degree.

Thank you in advance for your help with my question.

SopranoKris, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

You can certainly get a post-master's certificate in any NP specialty, you just have to take the courses your original MSN was lacking. Question, though: why spend all that time & money to get an MSN in a different specialty to add the FNP later? Post-graduate certificates are not eligible for federal financial aid, so you would have to pay out-of-pocket to get one.

You can also look at this the other way around: it's easy to get the FNP and then get a post-grad subspecialty in education, leadership, informatics, etc.

I would really think about what your main focus is. What do you REALLY want to do with your degree? If your aim is to teach, then stick with MSN in Education. Do you want to work in administration as a Nurse Leader? Then go the MSN Leadership route. Don't get an FNP just to have it. You really need to want to assess, diagnose, treat and follow-up with your patients. If that doesn't appeal to you, I wouldn't waste the time, money and energy on it.

The school I'm attending has post-master's specialty certificates in just about every track of NP specialties, as well as sub-specialty certifications (e.g. cardiology, hospice, education, etc.)



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