Family Nurse Practitioner: Understanding Their Roles

HomeArticlesFamily Nurse Practitioner: Understanding Their Roles

As an aspiring nurse, you can explore different career options as nursing is a wide field. But if you want to advance in the healthcare field and build a promising career, then aim to become an FNP (family nurse practitioner). FNPs are advanced-level nurse practitioners who cover a wide range of work. From treatment to disease management and diagnosis to health prevention, they perform different duties. Also, FNPs work in different healthcare environments with people of different ages and communities.

With the increase in population across the globe, the demand for family nurse practitioners is increasing big time. They provide specialty and primary care to patients and work in rural areas as well, where primary care providers are required.

A career as an FNP can be rewarding, but you have to prepare yourself for the challenges due to the tough nature of the work. You may have to work long shifts according to the workflow. Therefore, you have to be really passionate and selfless to choose a healthcare career as an FNP.

Let’s find out what the roles and responsibilities of the FNP are.

1. Doing a Physical Examination

One of the primary responsibilities of the FNPs is doing physical examinations. The duties can vary according to the workload and employment place. Performing physical examination is one of the crucial roles of a family nurse practitioner because they have to analyze the patient’s health and report to doctors accordingly.

The nurses perform routine checkups to assess how the recovery of patients is going on. It also helps to diagnose and identify possible health issues to take timely measures. The major purpose of doing a physical examination is to examine the mental and physical well-being of the patients. It helps to evaluate the extent of a particular disease to the right action accordingly. Physical examinations help FNPs to notify the patients and their families about early symptoms of a particular disease.

2. Creating healthcare Plans

Another responsibility of the FNPs is developing effective healthcare plans according to the condition of the patients. Creating a personalized healthcare plan allows doctors and other medical experts to implement it efficiently, which positively impacts their recovery.

In some cases, FNPs also provides general counseling to patients and families that can help them manage their injuries and illnesses. It also gives an idea to patients of what they have to do in case of emergency situations. For example, it teaches patients what they should be doing if they find themselves in a road accident.

In another case, FNPs make patients aware who have a complex medical history in their families, like cardiac issues, cancer, organ failure, and others. It helps individuals to know about worrying health signs and stay vigilant, so they can make the right changes to their lifestyle.

3. Prescribing Medications

In some states, FNPs also prescribe medication to patients as per their requirements. They also have to monitor how the patient’s body reacts to a particular medication. It helps to decide whether it will be suitable to continue with that medication or not and what will be the right treatment option for the patient. Apart from prescribing medications, FNPs also order diagnostic tests. They evaluate the test results to figure out the root cause of the issue, so they can better define the healthcare plan and prescribe medications.

4. Working with Other Healthcare Professionals

FNPs also have to consult with other healthcare professionals to work on the treatment of patients. They work with doctors, physicians, therapists, and other medical experts to modify the existing healthcare plan.

You should understand that during treatment, the condition of the patient never remains the same. It can show improvement, or it can get worse, so FNPs have to stay in touch with other healthcare professionals to keep track of patients health.

In some scenarios, FNPs can also independently work to act as the primary care provider for patients. They just have to ensure that patients are taking the required medication on time and following the guidelines properly.

5. Performing Diagnostic Tests

FNPs are capable of performing diagnostic tests in order to assess the patient’s condition. The purpose of doing diagnostic tests is to find out whether the current treatment plan is working or not. It allows nurses and other medical experts to make changes to the treatment plan accordingly.

As an FNP, you can conduct screening tests anytime if you are not satisfied with the recovery of the patient. You can also refer patients to specific departments or physicians according to their needs.

6. Staying on Top of Healthcare Trends

Healthcare trends evolve rapidly; therefore, FNPs have to stay updated about the current healthcare trends. You never know when something like COVID-19 will hit the world again, and the entire healthcare sector has to change strategies.

Therefore, as an FNP, you have to continuously learn that can also positively impact your career growth. The best way to keep up with healthcare trends is to stay in touch with healthcare experts from other organizations.

Each healthcare organization has a different business model, so they follow a different approach to stay on top of the latest industry trends. Therefore, by getting in touch with industry professionals who are working in different states and organizations, you can learn a lot.

For example, you never know other healthcare organizations are following different technology to diagnose or treat patients for a particular illness. So, by knowing about this, you can not only enhance your skills but also help your organization to grow.


FNPs are the backbone of any healthcare organization, as they have to fulfill different responsibilities. From creating healthcare plans to prescribing medication to creating healthcare plans, FNPs work in different roles. They not only play a major role in patients’ other operational activities on track by coordinating with other healthcare professionals. As an FNP, you have to be mentally and physically strong to do justice to all responsibilities. The precious lives of patients will be in your hands, so you have to stay focused and vigilant.

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