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The Family Nurse Practitioner is a role in advanced nursing practice.
Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are advanced nurses who provide comprehensive health care services for individuals and their families throughout the life span. FNPs are clinical practitioners who have the power to diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions. This includes ordering diagnostic tests and interpretive reports, prescribing medication, and performing procedures. Also, by improving the access to health care and educating patients to become more self-reliant in their healthcare, FNPs can play an important role in enhancing patient outcomes.
FNPs play a crucial role in the clinical setting, especially in communities with limited access to health care. Together with other providers of healthcare, such as physicians, they work to provide timely and high quality care. They also have a major role to play in improving patient safety through patient education, which promotes health literacy.
The FNP can apply the concept of patient-centered nursing to their role. The patient-centered care concept emphasizes that patients should be involved in all decisions to make sure their preferences and needs are met. FNPs are essential in the promotion of patient-centered health care because they collaborate closely with patients when developing and implementing healthcare plans. Listening to patients and understanding their preferences and needs, as well as providing personalized care can help FNPs improve outcomes for patients and increase satisfaction.
The following are ten questions I’d like to ask a FNP:
- Why did you become a FNP? What do you enjoy most about it?
- What are the best ways to ensure your clinical practice is up-to date with current guidelines?
- What are your strategies for building rapport and trust with your patient?
- What are the best ways to manage cases requiring interdisciplinary cooperation?
- What are the biggest challenges that you have to overcome in order to promote patient education and what is your strategy?
- What do you do when patients’ beliefs and preferences about healthcare are in conflict?
- What are your strategies for promoting cultural competence and ensuring that you practice includes diverse patient populations in order to ensure inclusion?
- What are your strategies for keeping up with the latest technology?
- What would be your advice to someone considering a career in FNPs?
- How do your plans for adapting to the changes in the FNP’s role over the next 5 to 10 years look?
The following two research articles support the role of FNPs in improving patient outcomes:
- Kuo, Y. F., Chen, N. W., Baillargeon, J., Raji, M. A., & Goodwin, J. S. (2015). Nurse practitioners and physicians provide primary care for Medicare patients who have diabetes. Medical care, 53(9), 776-783. In this study, patients with diabetes receiving primary care from nurse practitioners experienced a significantly lower hospitalization rate than those treated by physicians.
- Sangster-Gormley, E., Martin-Misener, R., Downe-Wamboldt, B., & Dicenso, A. (2016). An integrative review of factors affecting the implementation of nurse practitioners in Canadian settings. Journal of advanced Nursing, 72(2). 332-346. This review identified a number of factors that influence the FNP role’s implementation in Canadian healthcare settings. These include inadequate understanding of this role, limited autonomy and the challenges of collaborating with healthcare providers. In addressing these issues, healthcare providers can improve the FNP’s role in order to promote better patient outcomes.