What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
The FNP is a nurse who is prepared at the master’s level as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to practice in a variety of primary care settings. The FNP is prepared to diagnose and manage commonly occurring episodic and chronic health problems of patients from infancy through adulthood. The FNP promotes the health and education of patients who may be encountered as individuals, groups, and /or families.
The FNP is prepared to obtain and assess health histories and physical examination data, order and interpret common diagnostic tests, identify actual and potential health problems, and formulate with the patient/family a comprehensive plan of therapeutic measures that promote, maintain, or restore health. The FNP may also manage minor trauma, including suturing. This plan may include consultation with other health professionals or referral for complicated medical management. Emphasis is placed on implementing prevention measures into practice for adults and children; health education, and patient follow-up to decrease health complications.
Where can the FNP work after graduation and certification?
The FNP may practice in a variety of clinical settings ranging from private practices, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and businesses to managed care organizations, correctional facilities, and government agencies.
The FNP often works autonomously as well as collaborates with different healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage patient health especially in areas with little access to health care services. In certain settings, the FNP may be the only healthcare provider in an underserved area such as rural communities. In this type of environment, the FNP works more independently consulting with physicians when necessary.
Are there jobs available for the FNP?
Yes, there are definitely jobs available. With the growing complexity of health care and diminishing availability of primary care physicians, many patients are seeing family nurse practitioners for their primary care needs.