MSN or Fnp – Which Should You Go For?

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Jan 09 2022
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The field and demand for registered nurses with advanced practice are growing by the day. An increase projection of 52% is stated to occur between 2020 and 2030. As a result of the phenomenal growth of this healthcare profession, many nurses are considering getting a master’s degree. It might interest you to know that there are different degrees that you can obtain at this level.


MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) and FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner also referred to as MSN FNP) are the principal advanced nursing practice degrees. As we said, these degrees are master’s level degrees and will equip you with the advanced skill and knowledge required to further your career.


The availability of both degrees possesses a dilemma for nurses that are planning to get an advanced degree as it becomes difficult to choose between the two. The dilemma is further compounded since both degrees are quite similar. It is because of this dilemma that we have written this article to inform you and help you decide.


Although MSN and FNP are somewhat alike, their curriculum, as well as career outcomes, might vary. Therefore, it is important that you know the similarities and differences between these two. That understanding will then enable you to decide by assessing which degree fits the goals and interest areas of your career objectives.


With that said, let’s take a look at the curriculum topics you will likely study as you go for these advanced programs.

MSN or FNP - Which Should You Go For - Nursing

Curriculum Topics of MSN and FNP

To discover the difference between these programs, you need to know what they each entail. A Master of Science in Nursing program is a master’s program designed as the standard nursing degree for nurses that want to improve their careers. Family Nurse Practitioner, on the other hand, is a specialized program, unlike the standard MSN that prepares nurses in order to operate as nurse practitioners where they will offer their services in primary care backgrounds.


For both programs, the similar curriculum topics in advanced nursing practice you should expect include pathophysiology, pharmacology, nursing research, and physical assessments. Visit https://rnspeak.com/nursing-research-definition/ to learn more about nursing research. Despite these shared topics, there is still a curriculum difference between these degrees.


If you opt for the FNP program, you will learn specialized courses that will inform you with the relevant knowledge on how to deliver clinical family care at an advanced level. In some institutions, you will take classes that will place emphasis on human lifespan in every area. Furthermore, you might even take courses that will teach you how to specially care for children, adults, and women. Hence, anyone who goes for this degree will be well-versed in family care practice.


If you opt for the MSN program, then it means you want a wider range of curriculum topics instead of that of the FNP that is specialized. Hence, you can see why some folks say MSN FNP since the Family Nurse Practitioner program is a specialized MSN program.


In the MSN program, you will study courses that deal with topics on population health and general leadership in relation to nursing. As a result, nurses who go for this program are trained to lead their nursing departments, interact with larger and external medical teams, campaign for a better healthcare system, manage resources, create policies, and plan budgets.


Irrespective of which degree you opt for, the bottom line remains that both are great ways to enhance and develop your career in the nursing field.

MSN or FNP - Which Should You Go For - Nursing Class

Career Outcomes of MSN and FNP

For MSN and FNP, both are very rewarding in terms of the career options you can opt for. The pay is also high and nurses with any of these degrees are usually well-sought after.


However, it is important that you also know what career path you can walk in after bagging your Master’s degree before you even start the program. This will ensure that you choose a program that will fit your goals and interests.


You are qualified to work in different clinical settings such as hospitals, hospice centers, private practices, school clinics, outpatient clinics, community health centers, and home healthcare with an FNP degree. Once you are an FNP, you can make treatment plans to help your patients with chronic or acute ailments.


FNPs usually act as primary care providers; hence, they can work with all sorts of patients ranging from the elderly to infants. Also, they can become nursing educators either in administrative or academic roles. If your area of interest is providing primary care for different age groups, then going for an FNP program is the option you should choose.


If you bag an MSN degree, job opportunities abound aplenty for you. You could function as a nurse administrator, population health director, or manager. All these are leadership roles that allow you to lead nursing departments, medical teams, and healthcare campaigns. Click here to learn how to create an effective health campaign. You could also become a nurse educator to instruct up-and-coming nurses.



So, which should you go for? As we said, your career goal will determine which of the programs is the best fit for you. However, whichever of the two you opt for; there are lots of opportunities that you can leverage to build your career.

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