Family Nurse Practitioner Roles

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Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are a core component of the healthcare system. These individuals offer vital care services and wellness advice to patients in need. FNPs are advanced practice registered nurses who complete specialized training and education to attend to individuals in various primary care settings (Norwich University, 2020). They work independently or in cooperation with other healthcare professionals to offer family-centered services. Their expertise is critical to the improvement of efficiency within various sectors of healthcare service delivery. FNPs must have a proper balance of communication, leadership, and management. These abilities are often developed through experience and comprehensive schooling. The services they offer range from disease prevention to wellness counseling across all age groups.

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Reasons for Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

I decided to embrace the Family Nurse Practitioner profession because of the desire to offer services to communities without access to healthcare professionals. In addition, I possess specific qualities such as compassion, resourcefulness, and resilience necessary for the profession. I was attracted to the occupation because FNPs can record patient histories and conduct physical examinations to evaluate client symptoms. They are also required to order specific tests that are useful in the diagnosis of specific mental and physical ailments. I was especially intrigued by their ability to prescribe medication, create detailed treatment plans and track patient responses in the course of treatment. Finally, FNPs are expected to communicate with relatives, refer clients for specialized care and coordinate the delivery of services with other health professionals. I found this scope of practice appealing because it facilitates the delivery of comprehensive care in a variety of primary care settings.

Research Article Summary

The scope of practice is a regulatory measure used by various licensing boards to regulate professional practice. In her research article, Balestra (2019) notes that FNPs are often the first to meet patients in primary care settings. They commonly treat individuals with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression as defined in their scope of practice. FNPs run the risk of breaching the limitations on their roles when they fail to monitor and evaluate patient outcomes prior to specialist referral (Balestra, 2019). In addition, refusal to send patients with complex mental illness for specialized treatment and exceeding defined prescribing authority for therapeutic medications may contravene laid laws on FNP roles.

There are specific strategies that can be applied to prevent conflicts with the outlined FNP scope of practice. According to Balestra (2019), FNPs must acquaint themselves with their region’s scope of practice guidelines. In addition, they must rigorously evaluate patients and use the recommended assessment tools. It is vital to understand one’s prescribing authority as outlined by the state and collaborate with other health experts to improve the quality of care (Balestra, 2019). It is essential to practice extreme caution when prescribing alternative care. Taking additional coursework helps healthcare professionals to sharpen their skills with regard to the diagnosis and management of a variety of illnesses.

The author also presents case scenarios that highlight various disciplinary actions taken by different Boards of Nursing in situations where the FNP scope of practice was violated. It is often the case that FNPs found in violation of the specified regulations defining their roles are put on probation or have their licenses revoked (Balestra, 2019). Additionally, culpable FNPs may face legal action in the form of malpractice suits in scenarios where patients suffer adverse consequences as a result of the healthcare professional’s actions. Balestra (2019) notes that the increasing prevalence of mental illness coupled with the decline in mental health professionals means that FNPs will be required to manage a variety of diseases. Therefore, it is essential for these professionals to understand the scope of practice as outlined by individual states to facilitate the delivery of quality services to individuals in need.

The Institute of Medicine’s Position on Nurse Practitioners

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) maintains that nurse practitioners are a vital component of the healthcare system. It is critical that nurses are allowed to practice to the extent of their training, which should prepare them to deliver patient-centered care (Sullivan, 2018). In order to ensure that nurse practitioners serve populations in need effectively, the IOM proposes amendments to the nursing scope of practice. In addition, it offers the advancement of nursing education at all levels and the improvement of working conditions across the continuum of care. The IOM also suggests that leaders at all levels of the healthcare system must deploy nurses appropriately as members of effective healthcare teams (Sullivan, 2018). It is essential to improve the education system by ensuring that it encourages flawless academic progression.

The IOM reiterates that nurses are unique because they have regular access and contact with patients, and they understand the care processes across a diverse range of healthcare scenarios. Therefore, they are suitably placed to partner with other professionals in ensuring that healthcare systems are effectively redesigned to address prevalent demands (Sullivan, 2018). Nurses also serve as a bridge between access and coverage. As a result, they are capable of coordinating complicated care activities in increasingly diverse populations in a variety of settings. They are central to the healthcare system’s efficiency because they prevent medical errors, limit the rates of infection and manage the transfer of patients from hospitals to their respective residences. It is clear that nurses are essential to the healthcare system’s functioning, and they must be accorded every opportunity to develop and improve their skills.

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Effects on Patient Outcomes and the Healthcare Industry

I intend to make significant contributions aimed at improving patient outcomes and positively impacting the healthcare industry. For instance, I plan to reduce hospital stays for patients under my care. This can be accomplished through infection prevention, timely administration of treatment, and avoiding complications. Woo et al. (2017) note that there was a significant decline in the duration of hospital stay among patients cared for by Nursing practitioners compared to those managed by physicians. I also intend to reduce the time for consultation and time to treatment. This will ensure that patients in need of emergency care access services as soon as possible. The reduced lengths of stay and diminished time spent waiting for treatment significantly impact the cost of healthcare. This affects the entire industry by increasing access to essential healthcare services.


Family Nurse Practitioners are critical to the effective functioning of the healthcare system. Their roles range from the diagnosis to the management or referral of patients in a variety of primary care settings. FNPs fill the gap created by an acute physician shortage, and they ensure that various challenges with regard to service delivery in the health industry are effectively addressed. In the context of an increasingly diverse population in need of specialized healthcare services, FNPs ensure that every individual in need gets the care they require.


Balestra, M. L. (2019). Family nurse practitioner scope of practice issues when treating patients with mental health issues. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(7), 479–482. Web.

Norwich University. (2020). The family nurse practitioner’s role in primary care. Web.

Sullivan, T. (2018). Institute of Medicine report – the future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Policy & Medicine. Web.

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Woo, B. F. Y., Lee, J. X. Y., & Tam, W. W. S. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: A systematic review. Human Resources for Health, 15(1), 1–22. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, July 4). Family Nurse Practitioner Roles. Retrieved from


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"Family Nurse Practitioner Roles." NursingBird, 4 July 2022,


NursingBird. (2022) 'Family Nurse Practitioner Roles'. 4 July.


NursingBird. 2022. "Family Nurse Practitioner Roles." July 4, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Family Nurse Practitioner Roles." July 4, 2022.


NursingBird. "Family Nurse Practitioner Roles." July 4, 2022.