Roles & Responsibilities of a Family Nurse Practitioner
Depending on the location of practice, the level of independence for a nurse practitioner may vary greatly. Often times the nurse practitioner will work completely independently of a physician. Sometimes nurse practitioners are required to work in collaboration with a physician. The role, duties, medical treatments, and pharmacologic abilities of the nurse practitioner depend on the state of licensure.
Nurse Practitioner role and responsibilities may include:
- Diagnosing, treating, and helping patients manage acute and chronic illnesses
- Conducting physical examinations and interpreting medical history
- Ordering and performing diagnostic tests and procedures
- Prescribing age-specific physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescribing pharmacologic treatments (depends on state regulation)
- Providing prenatal care, family planning services, and screening services
- Primary and specialty care services for adults and children
- Performing minor surgeries and procedures
- Counseling and educating patients about preventive measures to avoid illness
A Family Nurse Practitioner specializes in the treatment and diagnoses of patients in a wide age range, from childhood to the elderly. People drawn to this specialty are life-long learners who seek more responsibility and independence in their career. They find professional satisfaction in evaluating and treating patients and pay special attention to the family unit. Family nurse practitioners are equipped to work in hospitals, private practice, government organizations, community health organizations, and other health care systems.