Journey to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

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Nursing Goals: Journey to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

        When I graduate from the nursing program at East Carolina University, I want to work as a neonatal nurse.  I want to be able to use my nursing degree to help people that need healthcare in the community.  I want to gather experience while working at a hospital when I graduate.  I want to go on to obtain my Masters of Science in Nursing degree, and finally obtain my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

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  I want to work for a year or two as a registered nurse before I apply to graduate level programs to obtain my master’s and doctorate.  In the future, 10 years from now, I see myself as a family nurse practitioner.  I see myself being an advocate for patients that is well-established in that field in healthcare.  I want to make a positive impact in each one of my patients lives.  I hope to become a hardworking healthcare professional.

        There are many steps that you must take to become a family nurse practitioner such as, earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX.  Then earn a graduate degree in a MSN or DNP and then acquire your family nurse practitioner certification by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or FNP-BC certificate by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. (Family Nurse Practitioner, n.d.) You must complete a formal post baccalaureate or graduate nurse practitioner education program to become certified or be licensed as a nurse practitioner.  (Donald et al., 2014) While in the family nurse practitioner program you must complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours. (Dillon & Hoyson, 2013) In 46 states, nurse practitioners are required by law to have a Master’s degree, which allows them to take a national certification examination.    Individual states law governs the specific criteria that is necessary for licensure.  Once your certification boards have been successfully completed then you may submit your application to the state Board of Nursing for your nurse practitioner license. (Dillon & Hoyson, 2013) The Board Certification must be obtained in the family nurse practitioner specialty.    Nurse practitioners can diagnose and may prescribe medications in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.    In 49 states and the District of Columbia, nurse practitioners may prescribe controlled substances. (Dillon & Hoyson, 2013) The certification allows you to work as a certified Nurse Practitioner.

        There is a great need for nurses in the family nurse practitioner field.  The future for family nurse practitioners is very optimistic.  According, to the Nurse Journal, the rate of growth of jobs for family nurse practitioners is going to increase by 22% by the year 2022.  There are reasons for this growth such as, an increase in demand for health care services because of increasing emphasis on preventive care. Also, there are many individuals that are newly receiving coverage under the affordable care act. The baby boomer population is aging as well. (Family Nurse Practitioner, n.d.) In other words, there is expected to be a great need for family nurse practitioners for the future in healthcare.  Employment opportunities should be greatly available. 

        There are many challenges that I might encounter on my journey to become a family nurse practitioner.  One of the challenges that I might encounter is getting accepted into an accredited master of science in nursing or doctor of nursing practice program.  I am fully aware of how challenging it can be to get accepted into these programs.  I want to be accepted into a great program and be successful as a family nurse practitioner.  I know it will not be easy to be accepted into a great program because I know it will be very competitive since a lot of my peers will be amazing candidates for the position as well.  I also, might face challenges when I enter the workforce as a nurse.  I take all my work very seriously and is very precise and thorough with anything that I set my mind out to do.  I consider this to be one of my positive attributes but sometimes it might make me too hard on myself, puts my focus on perfecting one thing, and puts me behind schedule sometimes.  I will need to learn how to better prioritize my time. Also, how to adapt to new situations that might make me uncomfortable.  I believe that it is important to be able to interact with patients and be an advocate for them.   I believe as a nurse practitioner you must become a leader that has amazing communication skills.  Nurse practitioners must be able to be able to work with different professionals in healthcare as well.

        Nurse practitioners must be able to communicate with other healthcare workers so that their patients will be able to receive the best care possible.  As a nurse practitioner, you are supposed to find several ways to interact with patients.  You must provide care that is both appropriate for the patient and their family’s too to gain their trust.  I am a very compassionate, hardworking, and sensible individual.  Each one of my patients will always be my number one priority.  I will make sure that their needs are taken care of.  I am very precise and pay close attention to detail.  I believe this is a positive attribute when it comes to patient care so I have a less chance of making an error in their care.

        I have been working as a nurse aide since May at a nursing home back home.  This experience has made me want to work with patients of all ages other than neonates.  The time I have spent working as a nurse aide this summer has made me fully aware of the care that older adults need. I am now more aware that patients of all ages deserve the best health care no matter their age, gender or so forth.  My aunt has been the most influential factor in my choice to become a family nurse practitioner.  She has been a family nurse practitioner for over 10 years and has just received her doctor of nursing practice degree over a year ago.  She has told me several times how she is so lucky to be able to care for patients of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.  I have had the chance to witness the struggle she has went through to become a family nurse practitioner and I know that if she reached her goals then so can I and be successful while doing so.  I am very fortunate to have her as a role model to look up to. 

        I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of each one of my future patients.  My short-term and long-term goals are goals that I see myself achieving with hard work and dedication.  I hope to obtain my BSN by May 2019, pass the NCLEX, and begin working as a neonatal nurse then eventually go back to school to obtain my MSN and DNP so that I can become a family nurse practitioner and make a difference in healthcare.  I want to be satisfied with how far I have come in 10 years from now.  I want to be able to use my future career as a family nurse practitioner to impact the lives of my future patients.


  1. Dillon, D. L., & Hoyson, P. M. (2013). From graduation to employment: A guide for the new nurse practitioner. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 9(5), 312-315. doi:
  2. Donald, F., Kilpatrick, K., Reid, K., Carter, N., Martin-Misener, R., Bryant-Lukosius, D., … DiCenso, A. (2014). A Systematic Review of the Cost-Effectiveness of Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists: What Is the Quality of the Evidence? Nursing Research and Practice, 2014, 896587.
  3. Family Nurse Practitioner ??“ FNP Job Description, Eligibility, Procedure, Salary, and Career Outlook. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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Journey to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner. (2019, Jun 19). Retrieved from