You’ve probably heard of the term ‘nurse practitioner,’ but you may not have been sure exactly what that meant. A nurse practitioner is an RN, or registered nurse, who is qualified to treat medical conditions and assess patient needs without the presence of a physician.
Perhaps the most common nurse practitioner is an FNP, or family nurse practitioner, who takes care of these assessments for patients of all ages. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into this line of work from what can be done in clinical practice to how an RN can elevate to an NP.
Academics and Certifications
Becoming an FNP nurse in the United States starts by passing the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. After gaining some years of experience as an RN, a nurse can pursue a master’s degree in nursing, known as an MSN. You can acquire an MSN that is specific to the concentration of family practice. Some nurses also opt for a doctorate of nursing practice, also known as a DNP. This can be achieved through in-person FNP programs or online programs.
Upon completion of collegiate nursing education, a family nurse practitioner can seek national certification from groups like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credential Center. Recognition through the AANP is achieved after a registered nurse completes at least 500 clinical hours of supervised practice. They must also complete courses in advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment. Once those requirements are, an applicant can take the certification examination.
As for the ANCC, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, they offer FNP-BC primary care certification to applicants with an active RN license and an advanced collegiate degree from an accredited FNP program. The requirements for certification are similar to the minimums needed for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Family nurse practitioners may work in a variety of settings, including clinics, schools, and hospitals. FNPs seek to emphasize wellness and prevention through their healthcare services. However, they are also qualified to provide treatment for everything from the common cold to more serious conditions affecting patients from children to grandparents. Among the other duties an FNP nurse can perform are:
- Developing treatment plans for ailments
- Emphasizing preventative care and disease management
- Educating patients on disease prevention and healthy lifestyle habits
- Conducting exams
- Performing diagnostic tests
- Prescribing medications
FNPs are also allowed to conduct their services out of a private office, some opting for the home office environment. This renovation process for a private practice can be seen as a long-term investment for an FNP’s personal property. It also gives good reason to look into useful repairs throughout the household as a whole to insure family and future patient safety.
Expansion of Services
Beyond standard physical exams and regular diagnostic testing, a family nurse practitioner can expand their primary care setting beyond their general graduate degree. Many FNPs to be chosen to center their master’s education on an FNP specialization. The subspecialties available to family nurse practitioners include:
- Long-Term Care for Chronic Illness
- Critical Care
With this expansive clinical knowledge, family nurse practitioners set themselves up to treat patients in the long run. This is the best way to keep a private practice active and keeping more active hours. Using up the power to welcome in more patients could be why your electricity bill is increasing. It can also be blamed on a few additional household issues. Be sure to check the ducts of your air conditioning and heating system. If you find you are pushing the thermostat too low in the summer months, or too high in the winter months, there could be a leak in the HVAC system.
If you’re welcoming people of all ages to your practice, their comfort and safety must also be paramount along with their overall health.