Family Nurse Practitioner Job Description
The job description of a family nurse practitioner typically revolves around a specialty area of medicine such as obstetrics, pediatrics, acute care, oncology or another area in which the individual has a special interest or passion. A family nurse practitioner has more education, certification, authority and responsibility than a registered nurse but less than a physician.
The tasks performed by family nurse practitioners that differ from registered nurses include prescribing medications, performing minor surgical procedures in an office setting and providing primary care to a patient in a similar fashion as a doctor.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Family Nurse Practitioner
•Diagnoses and provides treatment for patients with chronic illnesses, diseases and injuries.
•Obtains medical histories from patients.
•Conducts yearly physical examinations.
•Orders and performs diagnostic testing and interprets results.
•Prescribes medication, physical therapy and other treatments based on patient’s diagnosis or test results.
•Recognizes signs of substance abuse or addiction and takes steps to get patient into an appropriate treatment program.
•Serves as a midwife providing family planning, prenatal and postnatal care to women.
•Provides well child care such as immunizations, sports physicals and other screenings.
•Conducts gynecological exams and pap smears.
•Performs minor surgeries or assists a physician with surgeries.
•Recognizes signs of mental or emotional illness in patients and refers patients to the appropriate doctor for evaluation and treatment.
•Reports suspected cases of abuse or neglect to county or state authorities.
•Provides education to patients regarding health risks, preventive care, diet, exercise and overall health maintenance.
•Collaborates with other health care providers in coordination of care and case management.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Possesses strong active listening skills and reading comprehension abilities.
•Demonstrates excellent written and verbal communication skills.
•Exhibits superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
•Has extensive knowledge of scientific rules and methods as well as biology, anatomy and chemistry.
•Shows working knowledge of pharmaceuticals, side effects and potential problems with medicine combinations.
•Possesses a high level of social perceptiveness.
•Has the ability to recognize signs of physical and emotional abuse in a patient.
•Displays exceptional customer service skills.
•Demonstrates strong active learning skills as well as complex problem solving abilities.
•Possesses excellent judgment and decision making skills.
•Exhibits strong organizational skills and effective time management abilities.
•Has superior negotiation and persuasion skills.
•Demonstrates excellent technological and mathematical abilities.
Education and Experience
•Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
•Pass state licensing exam for nurses.
•Minimum of 2 years practical experience working as a registered nurse
•Master’s degree in Nursing.
•Pass additional state licensing exam for family nurse practitioners.
•Board certification through the American Board of Nursing Specialties.
•Works varying hours in hospitals and clinics, including evenings and weekends, although can work regular office hours of 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday in a private physician office setting.
•Endures stressful emergency situations when a patient is seriously ill or badly injured.
•Faces high pressure situations when large volumes of patients must be seen and treated in the course of a day.
•Risks exposure to airborne diseases and contaminated body fluids.
•Salaries for family nurse practitioners range from $75,000 to $125,000 depending on years of experience and the area of the country in which the individual is practicing.