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Family Practice Nurse/Nursing

Program Description

Just the Facts

Family Practice Nurse/Nursing. A program that prepares registered nurses to provide independent general care for family groups and individuals in the context of family living. Includes instruction in family theory and intervention, role synthesis, family primary care, nursing practice and health care policy, holistic practice, pediatric practice, gerontological practice, health assessment, clinical pharmacotherapeutics, clinical techniques, and pathopsychology.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Additional Information

The road to becoming a nurse practitioner is a long one. You have to become a registered nurse, then take additional training.

Nurse practitioner programs can offer either a master's degree or a post-master's certificate.

Some states do not recognize NPs. Contact your state's nursing organization or department of health for information.

You'll need to excel in book learning as well as in people skills. "NPs need to understand the science of medicine and nursing as well as the complexity of human social interactions and adaptations," says Mary van Soeren, a professor formerly in a NP program.

Ideally, students should possess "imagination, adaptability, critical thinking, plus a balance between skill in biological science and humanities or social science," she adds.

If you want to begin preparing now, good courses to take include "anything that promotes critical thinking," van Soeren says. Specifically, she mentions "biology, chemistry or biochemistry, English, law, nutrition [and] anything that promotes health and physical activity."

There are also things you can be doing now outside of the classroom to prepare yourself. "Volunteering with any kind of medical facility is always great," says professor Barbara Metcalf.

Textbooks are costly. "It's not a price for the faint of heart," Metcalf says. "Many of our books the students use during their entire program, so there is a huge initial outlay, but it tapers off as time goes by."

Expenses also include the purchase of a stethoscope, "and possibly some specialty equipment depending on where you work -- reflex hammer, etc.," van Soeren says. She adds that these are minor costs.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Registered Nurses

NP Central
Information for and about nurse practitioners

U.S. Nursing Network
Find out what's happening in the field

Nurse Practitioner Links
Find out about jobs, education and more


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