In recent years, the state of Pennsylvania has made great strides to ensure that its constituents receive affordable, straightforward, accessible healthcare. It has done so through the state's Health Choices Medicaid program under which over 700,000 Pennsylvanians were insured under in early 2017.
As a result, the percentage of insured persons in Pennsylvania has dropped from 10.2 percent in 2010 to 6.4 percent in 2015. To keep up with the demand, Pennsylvania also increased its number of primary care providers including physicians and nurse practitioners.
Yet, as people continue to become insured and able to access healthcare, the need for primary care providers will continue.
Pennsylvania is home to a number of highly ranked Nursing School programs, and they, as well as their graduates, believe that as education evolves, nurse practitioners are more ready than ever to provide the primary care and meet the need.
Thus, if you are looking to contribute to the health field by providing quality primary care, you may want to consider one of Pennsylvania's esteemed Family Nurse Practitioner programs.
Below, we'll break down a couple of distinguished programs where you'll be able to learn from leaders in the field and contribute to the expansion of nurse practitioner autonomy.
What Does Pennsylvania Require to Earn an FNP?
An aspiring nurse practitioner in Pennsylvania needs to complete a master's degree or higher in nursing, from an accredited and Board-approved program.
Additionally, earning a national certification through national examination is also required.
If you are an out-of-state or international prospective nurse practitioner, you need to meet state eligibility requirements for certification at the time of initial licensure or state certification.
Keep in mind, renewal of a Pennsylvania NP license is on a biennial basis.
Online Programs You Can Enroll in Pennsylvania
There are a lot of different options both in-state and online that will allow you to earn your FNP degree in Pennsylvania. We wanted to show you how we highlight differences between schools to help you decide on an option that works best for you in regards to cost, length, and core degree concepts.
Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions has been recognized for both it's Master and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.
For those looking to take advantage of its esteemed education, the university offers many online degrees including a few options for those who would like to become Family Nurse Practitioners.
Its Post-Master's Certificate is geared toward experienced nurses who have already obtained a Master of Science in Nursing and now wish to become a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner.
The curriculum consists of the following courses: Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Clinical Health Assessment, Diagnostic Reasoning, Primary Care of Patients Across the Lifespan, and Professional Issues for Nurse Practitioners.
The program includes five clinical courses. Four of which require 160 practicum hours and one that requires 80 practicum hours for a total of 720 practicum hours. Students have to be present on three occasions, the longest of which require 3 days of attendance. Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to work in their own private practices (in the states that allow it), physician's offices, emergency settings, family practice, and home health agencies.
Drexel also offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program for those who have obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and wish to expand their role.
The program prepares students for successful careers in the following areas: Contemporary Healthcare, Decision-Making, Quality and Safety, Healthcare Ethics, Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning, Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Primary care of patients across the lifespan.
It does so by demanding students take 56 credit hours over the span of four 10-week quarters. Thus, this program is ideal for those who are highly motivated and wish to complete their MSN and become Certified Family Nurse Practitioners in as short a time as possible.
Students take six core courses, five support courses, and five clinical courses.
The core courses include these classes:
- Confronting Issues in Contemporary Health Care Environments
- Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
- Quality and Safety in Healthcare
- Research Methods and Biostatistics
- Evaluation and Translation of Health Research
- and an Elective
The support and clinical courses closely resemble the courses offered in the Post-Master's Certificate listed above.
Graduates of these programs are eligible for certification through the American Association of Nurse Practitioner's (AANP) or the America Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and both programs enjoy a 100% board pass rate.
Duquesne University's School of Nursing is consistently ranked among the best nursing schools in the country. It is highly regarded for both its and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and is also distinguished for its Family Nurse Practitioner program.
Duquesne University's School of Nursing is committed to The Synergy Model for Patient Care, which is built around the belief that the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence the nurse's characteristics or competencies.
Students holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) who wish to become a Family Nurse Practitioner can engage with this model by way of the university's online Master of Science in Nursing program.
How Many Core Credit Hours Are Required?
The program is divided into seven core MSN coursework amounting to 21 credit hours five courses of Family Nurse Practitioner specific courses amounting to another 21 credit hours totaling to 12 courses and 42 credit hours for the entire degree.
The Family Nurse Practitioner specific courses include these series of classes: two Foundations of Family Care, one in women and the other in infants, children, and adolescents, two Foundations of Family Care and Individual Care, and Transitioning to Advanced Practice Nursing.
In addition, students are able to add a concentration in one of the following areas: Forensic Nursing, Nursing Education and Faculty Role, or Transcultural Nursing. Students are only be asked to visit campus twice throughout the duration of the program.
They must have taken a statistics course and received at least a C in the class. In addition to having graduated with their BSN from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Eligible candidates must hold an unencumbered registered nurse license and have completed at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse prior to registering in clinical or specialty courses.
FNP Degree Versus a PNP Degree in Pennsylvania
Many nurses go into this field because they want to care for sick children, and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) is usually the career path most healthcare professionals choose if they want to work with children populations.
FNPs and PNPs are similar in certification requirements and curriculum undertaking. There are differences, too. The apparent difference between the FNP and PNP paths is that PNPs work to exclusively serve children while FNPs serve entire families. However, PNPs do work with parents at times to counsel them on child development issues and healthy lifestyle choices.