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.