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5 Steps to become an FNP

If you have a passion for nursing and want to challenge yourself and advance your career, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is an excellent career choice. Becoming an FNP will help you treat a broader range of patients and give you more authority and autonomy in deciding the treatment plan.

If that appeals to you, you should prepare to become an FNP. But before starting the journey, you need to know the steps to reach your destination. Hence in this article, we will explore the process of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Steps To Becoming An FNP:

Though the path to becoming an FNP may vary depending on various factors, for most people, it will follow the following steps

  1. Become a Registered Nurse:

    To become a nurse, you must complete a four-year university nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

    After graduating from the nursing program, you need to get licensed as a Registered Nurse. For this, you must clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and meet your state's board of nursing standards. Once you have cleared this exam, you will receive your license to practice as a Registered Nurse.

    If you want help to make this step easier, you can check out our ArcherReview NCLEX-RN Course and Qbanks.
  2. Begin working and gaining experience:

    Many nurses gain valuable experience working as an RN before advancing to a higher degree. This will allow you to get a lot of experience working in a clinical setting and treating a diverse range of patients. In addition, it will help you to become an excellent FNP.
  3. Earn your MSN or DNP degree:

    Doctorate and Master's degrees in Family Nurse Practitioners programs are available through accredited colleges and universities. In addition, many schools offer full-time or part-time degree programs and the flexibility to take classes on campus or online.
  4. Become certified as a Family Nurse:

    To become a Family Nurse Practitioner, you need to be certified by either the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) or AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). You should also note that both exams need you to get recertified after every 5 years.

    If you want to know the distinctions between both exams and which one you should choose, you can check out our blog on ANCC vs. AANP.

    And if you want help with clearing this exam, you can check out our FNP Review.
  5. Start working as an FNP!

    Now that you have your license as an FNP, you are ready to get to work. As an FNP, you will have the opportunity to work in various settings, like hospitals, private practice, physician offices, nursing homes, community clinics, and government or occupational settings.

Why should you become an FNP?

Becoming an FNP will not only help you to serve your patients better but also will give you a lot of benefits like:

  1. Higher salary: According to salary.com, a Family Nurse Practitioner earns between $108,460 and $126,980 per year in the United States. With a median salary of $116,880. 
  2. More Autonomy: Getting certified as an FNP grant you greater independence than being a Registered Nurse (RN). You will be permitted to conduct exams, order lab work, write prescriptions, and plan diagnosis and treatment in this role.
  3. Better work-life balance: Most nurse practitioners work in offices and clinics that don't have 24-hour care. As an FNP, you will work for standard business hours with limited on-call and after-hours requirements. As a result, you will be more likely to maintain a better work-life balance and spend time with your friends and family.
  4. You will be in demand: As per the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, nurse practitioners' employment will increase by 40% between 2021 and 2031. This occupation is growing much faster than all other occupations combined.

How much time does it require to become an FNP?

Becoming an FNP is a long journey that can take up to 8 to 10 years for many nurses. Hence it will require you to commit a lot of time and resources.


Now that you understand the steps to becoming an FNP, you are ready to begin your journey. Though it is a long and arduous process, you must be resilient and give your best. And if you want more information about FNPs, their scope of work, salaries, and more, the n you can check out our comprehensive article about Family nurse practitioners.

And if you want to pass the AANP or ANCC exams super easily, you must check out your FNP Review.