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Ten Things to Know About FNPS and Their Role in Healthcare



At present, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is one of the fastest-growing professions. As per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ statistics, 65.4% of general nurse practitioners specialize in family care to pursue their careers.

Since FNPs’ advanced education and training place them at the forefront of nursing, many nurse practitioners prefer to work as family care providers. Moreover, FNPs can provide patients with care beyond the capabilities of a registered nurse. In this article, you will find ten things worth knowing about FNPs and their role in the healthcare system.

Who are FNPS?

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who can attend to patients, diagnose them, and, in some situations, can even offer treatment plans. These may include prescribing medications, physical therapy, or referring them to a specialist.

This is a key argument that makes it different from nursing, where you do not have the power to diagnose or develop treatment plans for patients. Besides, there are major academic distinctions between family nurse practitioners (FNPs) and registered nurses, such as advanced certifications or skills.

Nursing Professionals who want to pursue their career as family nurse practitioners have to begin by becoming licensed registered nurses (RNs). After licensing and gaining some work experience, RNs must undertake an advanced degree such as an MSN FNP degree to become certified family nurse practitioners.

On account of their valuable merits, Family nurse practitioners play crucial roles in the stability of the healthcare system. Some prominent roles FNPs play in the health care system are mentioned below:

Filling Staffing Gaps

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges statistics, by 2030, there will be a “shortfall of 105,000 doctors.” Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) can play a significant part in closing this gap as they have advanced medical qualifications, expertise, and capabilities to provide direct patient care.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has also shown that Family Nurse Practitioners (FLPs) can perform many of the duties of physicians and thus may help overcome this staffing gap.

Providing Primary Patient Care

Family Nurse Practitioners provide primary care services for patients. These services include medical checkups, screening for disease symptoms, diagnosing, managing treatments, and prescribing tests to enhance patients’ overall well-being.

FNPs also take care of their patients by helping them with preventive health services, health education, and disease management guidance. Imparting basic care services to patients is one of the salient roles of FNPs, for it alleviates most of the burden of the health care system.

Treating Patients of All Ages

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) receive adequate training to deal with patients of all ages, from infants to older adults. This implies that FNPs have great flexibility to work with patients of various ages and may have the opportunity to treat all members of a family.

As FNPs serve patients of all ages, they can practice in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, and community clinics.

Treating Patients for Their Lifespan

As Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) can treat all age groups, they usually serve their patients as family care providers for a long time. This is also because they are often able to create long-term relations with families. FNPs may serve an entire family, from an infant to the elderly, once they gain their trust and satisfy them with their treatments.

A Connecting Link Between Physicians and Patients

On the point that FNPs usually provide health care for a long time, they better understand patients’ health care throughout all stages of life. They act as a connecting link between patients and physicians. Moreover, they facilitate physicians with support in documenting patient data.

FNPs consult with doctors and other medical experts to prevent disease and endorse a patient’s overall health.

Additionally, they may assess blood work and lab results to approve the prescription of certain medicines. Furthermore, they may also regularly monitor a patient’s health care plan and make necessary changes.

Collaborating With Specialists

Although not compulsory, many Family Nurse Practitioners earn additional medical certifications in certain specialties, such as emergency medicine, pediatric medicine, and women’s health.

Often FNPs work with other specialists, like dermatologists, to co-manage a patient’s condition, as they can handle a wide scope of responsibilities. In this situation, the FNP and the specialist work together on a collaborative health plan for the patient.

Health Care Advocates

Another valuable role of FNPs is promoting, educating, and advocating the health care system to communities. They may work as health care advocates by conducting research to evaluate a community’s health concerns or establishing programs to educate about health care.

They may also provide private health care to communities and areas in need. FNPs have the advanced education, training, and experience to be exceptional advocates.

Essential Providers of Preventive Care Services

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) can provide essential preventive care services that reduce the burden of repeat visits.

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These necessary preventive measures include ensuring that patients follow treatment recommendations and counseling patients on healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Providing preventive care services is a requisite role of FNPs that immensely help a health care system.

Facilitate Isolated Towns or Low-Income Neighborhoods

There are numerous areas worldwide that experience trouble accessing sufficient rudimentary health care facilities. The studies of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has shown a shortage of nearly 15,000 primary care physicians across the nation.

Family Nurse Practitioners are an optimal solution for such areas as they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to improve the quality of care by filling this gap.

In a nutshell, FNPs act for a health care system just as a buttress for buildings. They provide lifetime, all-inclusive care to patients of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly. Since FNPs have such extensive knowledge and experience in treating diverse ages, their role in a health care system is usually equated to that of a primary care physician.

Moreover, they lessen health care systems’ concerns by providing preventive care services to patients and fixing the shortage of physicians for underprivileged areas with limited access to medical resources and facilities.

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