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What Is a Family Nurse Practitioner and How to Become One

What Does a Family Nurse Practitioner Do?

As a family nurse practitioner, you provide primary medical care to a wide variety of patients of all ages on a daily basis. You may see patients with various illnesses, provide diagnosis, and prescribe treatment. You often see patients for preventative care including regular check-ups. FNPs are also able to administer vaccinations and write prescriptions as needed.

How Do You Become a Family Nurse Practitioner?

To become a family nurse practitioner, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then you will need to pass your state registered nurse exam to become a licensed RN. It is suggested that you work for at least a year as an RN to gain some real-world experience before applying to a master’s degree program, which is the next step in the process. Once you have completed a family nurse practitioner master’s program, you will need to pass the FNP certification exam.

Where Can a Family Nurse Practitioner Work?

Family nurse practitioners work in many healthcare environments. Some have private independent practices. Others work in a physician’s office or hospital. Some specialize in particular areas, like pediatrics or mental health. There are even opportunities available for family nurse practitioners to work from home for online health companies and insurance companies. The medical field is growing rapidly, and there are many opportunities available to family nurse practitioners.

Can Family Nurse Practitioners Work in Psychiatry?

It is not uncommon for family nurse practitioners to work in the mental health, or psychiatry, field. FNPs are legally able to prescribe medication and diagnose illnesses. However, mental health is a unique field that requires additional experience and training. Family nurse practitioners working in this field should complete clinical rotations in the mental health field during their training or work in this field as an RN to gain experience.

Family Nurse Practitioner Job Description Sample

With this Family Nurse Practitioner job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Family Nurse Practitioner role.

Job Summary

Our family practice is looking for an experienced Family Nurse Practitioner to join our staff. In this role, you will take on all aspects of primary care for our patients. You will perform tests, make diagnoses, and prescribe medication. Our ideal candidate already has experience in an FNP role, but we are willing to work with applicants that have a master's degree in nursing, ANCC certification as an FNP, board certification as a registered nurse (RN), and experience in a clinic or hospital. You need to have strong communication skills to work with our patients. Experience in a specialized field, such as geriatrics or pediatrics, is a plus.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide primary care
  • Perform and order tests
  • Make diagnoses
  • Create care plans
  • Prescribe medications

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Master's degree in nursing
  • Board and ANCC certification
  • Nursing experience
  • Communication and patient care skills
  • Familiarity with HIPAA requirements