3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Enrolling in an FNP Program
When I decided to go back to school for my MSN FNP and become a nurse practitioner, I did a great amount of research on my options. I looked into the length of different programs and weighed the benefits of going to school full-time versus part-time. I also considered the cost of continuing my education and compared the pros and cons of getting a nurse practitioner degree online instead of being on campus.
Starting the MSN FNP program has been challenging, but ultimately very rewarding. Here are three things I’ve learned so far that can help you choose the FNP program that’s right for you:
1. It’s possible
Working and earning your MSN FNP is possible. After completing my first semester working full-time and taking a full-time course load, the realization set in: I can do this. Time was one of the biggest hurdles that contributed to my procrastination in continuing my education. Now, my graduation day is just a few months away. Five years ago, I could not have imagined myself in this scenario – not even in my dreams.
2. The work is very rewarding
My favorite part about the program is working with nurse practitioners during clinical rotations and experiencing first-hand the rewards this profession brings to the community. “Why did I wait so long before furthering my career?” I often wonder. I’ve read about nurse practitioners and have been treated by them, but never saw the entire picture until I started working alongside them.
3. Finding a preceptor is important
Locating a preceptor is one of the biggest challenges FNP students face, but it is crucial to completing the program successfully. At Herzing, each student in the FNP program is assigned a clinical coordinator, who helps students locate clinical sites and preceptors that have worked with Herzing students in the past. This is a tremendous help for students who do not know where to start their search or have exhausted all their options.
If you'd like more detail on the process, read Herzing's guide on how to find an NP preceptor for your clinicals, which includes information on who you can choose, where you can look, and how they help you secure your clinical.
Become a versatile, highly qualified nurse practitioner
A big advantage of becoming a nurse practitioner is your versatility to administer care to a wide variety of patients. The biggest difference between NPs and family nurse practitioners is FNPs are qualified to practice all types of family care, while NPs with a specialty in pediatrics or geriatrics will be restricted to those fields.
Nursing allows you to be part of a great profession and also opens up the door to a variety of different areas of expertise to explore. Given the choice to start over again, the online FNP program at Herzing University would still be my No. 1 choice.