With several similar roles available in the healthcare sector, it is important to know what distinguishes one profession from the other – that way, healthcare workers will not only know their individual roles, but will also be able to rightly determine what roles would fit them most based on the unique job descriptions.
Of course, it is normal to expect an overlap of duties as the responsibilities of a family nurse practitioner (FNP) can be somewhat similar to that of a caregiver, and to the layman, the roles of a physical therapist appear largely the same as that of an occupational therapist, though there are differences.
An FNP plays an essential and dignified role in healthcare and earns one of the highest salaries as a nurse. Keep reading to find out what it means to be an FNP and what specific roles they play in healthcare.
What is an FNP?
Workable defines the FNP as a professional who provides advanced healthcare to patients of all ages for disease prevention, counseling, and the treatment of complex medical conditions.
What are the responsibilities of an FNP?
An FNP has quite a number of responsibilities. However, their specific roles may vary from organization to organization and could also depend on their qualification or specialty. Generally, the roles of an FNP include but are not limited to the following.
Diagnosing health problems
The FNP role is similar to that of a primary care physician in that they are able to diagnose health problems, order tests that will provide more insight into the situation, and analyze test results.
Prescribe medications and develop treatment plans
While authorization extents could vary across states, the FNP is usually able to prescribe medications to their patients and develop treatment plans based on test results, patient history, and other analyses of the patient’s situation.
Educate patients on disease management and counsel them about treatment options
Upon diagnosis, the FNP will expose the patient to available treatment options and guide them in making the best decisions. They will also educate the patient on preventative care and disease management to prevent future occurrences or to prevent the situation from becoming worse.
Other roles of the FNP are:
- Managing overall patient care.
- Consulting and collaborating with other healthcare practitioners as appropriate.
- Checking up on patients’ health, treatment plans, screenings, vaccinations, etc.
- Conducting research and implementing programs to provide impactful health education to the community.
Did you know that North Carolina is one of the American states with the highest-paying salary range for FNPs? To become a family nurse practitioner in North Carolina, registered nurses would need to obtain a master’s degree such as the specialized online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program offered by Texas Woman’s University.
There are several roles that a nurse can diversify in. Some of these roles, such as that of the FNP, offer more satisfaction, pay better, and allow nurses to do more than just routine bedside care. Obtaining a master’s degree in nursing is the best way to prepare to attain these improved work opportunities for nurses.