The role of a family nurse practitioner is rewarding, as they can provide care for their patients throughout the lifespan – from pediatrics life to the older adult age, including women’s health.
During their studies, students who choose a family nurse practitioner specialization to have more choices for subspecialties, due to their large knowledge on a wide population range.
Because they focus further on the specific needs of one part of the population, such as women, they have even more opportunities.
For example, as students, FNPs can improve their clinical skills, by choosing a mentor in certain specialty areas, while they are still in school.
Because all nurse practitioners have to complete a certain set of clinical hours under supervision, they can focus on some specialty and further improve skills necessary for becoming an expert in that area.
In some schools, there is a more formal subspecialization track with the proper educational programs.
For example, DNP students at the University of South Alabama can subspecialize in the cardiovascular field.
NP students at Columbia University can choose the Oncology subspecialty.
Also, sometimes there are no subspecialty courses for FNP students other than adult/gerontology track.
Students who are interested in other subspecialties should research schools with other programs to find the one they want.
Next, nurse practitioners can further specialize in certain areas by choosing nurse practitioner residency programs and fellowships.
These programs for nurse practitioners are relatively new, but they are great for those nurse practitioners interested in different clinical fields.
Residency programs are usually run by healthcare facilities and have certain extensions for NP specialties.
Those are Surgery, Endocrinology, Emergency medicine, Oncology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, and Cardiology.
Choosing a subspecialty as a nurse practitioner may improve job opportunities and ensure further career development, but students must be aware of each state’s different licensing process.
Before NP student picks the specialization track, he or she should review the scope of practice and find out more about the licensing process.
Still, FNP programs are the most flexible program when it comes to choosing further subspecialization in all states.
However, in terms of education, FNP is the most flexible option when considering subspecializing.