The medical field has various professional options for those who choose to pursue a career in health care. Each specialist’s position has its advantages and challenges, and so does the one of a family nurse practitioner (FNPs). Some may confuse it with that of a physician or a different nurse, which could be partially justified, as these professions may require similar sets of skills. However, FNPs work with families and recommend implementing healthcare plans and preventive procedures for the clients as needed. They can perform physical examinations, prescribe medications, and update the patients’ records when necessary.
The position of a family nurse practitioner usually requires a master’s degree in nursing and the experience of a registered nurse (RN). One who pursues this career has to acquire a certification and a license (Nurse Journal, 2021). FNP is a position that often allows its holders to work with physicians and other professionals. The family nurse practitioners are dedicated to treating patients to the best of their abilities, although they have fewer years of education and responsibilities than physicians. Despite that, modern studies show that FNPs sometimes care for patients with complex social and clinical needs even more often than doctors do (Fraze et al., 2020).
They provide the recommendations for the clients’ safety, educate on the preventive measures and general healthy lifestyle. In addition, family nurse practitioners ensure access to qualified medical care in rural areas, where the needed doctors are difficult to find. FNPs strive to improve patients’ well-being and contribute to an efficient health services system in a primary care setting.
Adult nurse practitioners require less training than family ones, and the licensing differs for these two professions. FNPs have the possibility to focus on various groups of the population, from newborns to elderly patients, or study a narrow medical field deeper in the future without the obligation to return to a medical school (Fraze et al., 2020). Family nurse practitioners hold a clinical position that ensures safety of their patients, their access to the appropriate care and information, based on the age, body state, and financial possibilities.
Being professionally educated and flexible, FNPs fit the Advance Nursing Practice concept through possible autonomy in clinical practice, leadership, and research opportunities. They are flexible in their functions and may adopt to circumstances to provide the needed help for the patients, whether that is performing a technical procedure, collecting statistical data, or supporting the clients emotionally.
Questions for an FNP
The professional to be interviewed is Sandra Carlson, FNP-BC, APRN, APRN-BC, BCIM from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, Louisiana. This clinician agreed to a Skype session focused on several questions regarding her profession and general FNP practices that are currently scheduled for January 29, 2021. The following questions will be discussed:
- What are the features that differentiate an FNP from a physician?
- How long does it typically take to become a licensed FNP?
- Is working alongside the physicians or independent practice more encouraged in the medical field?
- What further medical education options have potential today, in your opinion?
- How did COVID-19 affect your job field?
- What are the key differences between an FNP and an RN? Which of them would you recommend as a base for the future medical career?
- When did you realize you would like to work in the medical field?
- What is the current attitude toward family nurse practitioners in public hospitals?
- Do patients understand the current niche of FNPs?
- What additional education would you recommend for a freshly-licensed family nurse practitioner?
- What are some of the challenges that were surprising for you during the career?
- What personal qualities are essential for a potential FNP?
- Is it possible to effectively combine the family nursing practitioner’s career with married life?
Fraze, T. K., Briggs, A., Whitcomb, E. K., Peck, K. A., & Meara, E. (2020). Role of nurse practitioners in caring for patients with complex health needs. Medical Care, 58(10), 853–860. Web.
Nurse Journal. (2021). What is a family nurse practitioner (FNP)? Web.