Blog The Role of FNPs In Primary Medical Care

The Role of FNPs In Primary Medical Care

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is specialized in providing child and adult healthcare. Their advanced education in nursing and certification position them at the forefront of the field.

It enables them to give their patients care much more than the capabilities of any registered nurse (RN), often working in the primary care facility. FNPs understand patient healthcare throughout every stage of life and act as a bridge between doctors and patients, offering doctors support in documenting healthcare data as well.

Read on to know about the role of FNPs in primary medical care!


Family Nurse Practitioner’s Role in Healthcare

Family Nurse Practitioner's Role in Healthcare

The role of family nurse practitioners is crucial in offering family-centered primary care to the patients. Of those who want to pursue their career as a nurse practitioner, 65.4% study family healthcare, as per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) report.

As the title suggests, all family nurse practitioners (FNPs) specialize in a wide variety of healthcare needs that are more inclined toward family care. Alongside family nurses, general nurses specialize in various other areas of medical care, including pediatrics, mental health, gerontology, psychiatric, and women’s health.

Professionals who desire to pursue careers as family nurse practitioners start by becoming registered nurses (RNs). After getting their licensing, these RNs should get some work experience, then enroll in an advanced degree program.

After graduating from an accredited university, you can obtain nurse practitioner certification in any specialty of your choice. For instance, family nurse practitioners take their FNP certification exam provided by the AANP certification board.

There are some significant differences between the role of registered family nurses and that of general nurse practitioners. Besides more crucial educational obligations, NPs have more professional independence than RNs, when treating their patients. Many nurses practitioner practice in clinics.

They can also start private practices in their clinics, which enables them to work standard working hours compared to the chaotic schedules of registered nurses.

The Association of American Medical Colleges anticipates there’ll be a shortage of over 105,000 physicians in the next five years. These nurse practitioners play a pivotal role in ending this huge gap through their expertise, medical experience, and ability to offer primary patient care.

Job Description of the Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurses who want to practice as family nurse practitioners can anticipate a fast-paced nursing role that enables them to use their healthcare knowledge. All FNPs focus on three crucial clinical care fields: primary care, urgent care, and internal medicine (According to the AANP). Such a wide range of medical knowledge allows these family nurses to care for different patient concerns across all age groups.

The responsibilities of a family nurse practitioner closely resemble those of a primary healthcare doctor. Like doctors, FNPs can also diagnose any health issues, and in some cases, these nurses have the permit to prescribe various medications to their patients without a doctor’s supervision.

These FNPs can also chart patient information and evaluate their medical histories. Depending on a patient’s medical history, these family nurses can work with their patient to build a better healthcare plan. FNPs can typically handle around 15-20 patients every day.

Furthermore, these FNPs consult with primary care physicians and other medical care providers to prevent any diseases and encourage the overall well-being of all patients.

FNPs can also practice as healthcare advocates, conducting further research to consider a community’s particular health issues and concerns to establish programs that provide better healthcare education to the community. These family nurses can also open clinics to offer healthcare to different locations and communities in need.

Where Do FNPs practice?

Where Do FNPs practice?

The wide-ranging role of family nurse practitioners allows them to work in various healthcare settings. Most FNPs work in different hospital outpatient clinics. BLS anticipates this trend to persist as the role of most APRNs is growing in team-based healthcare. Environments that utilize that model, such as ambulatory facilities, may require hiring more professional nurse practitioners.

Along with hospital outpatient clinics, these FNPs can also practice in:

  • Physician offices
  • Educational services
  • State, local, and private hospitals
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Community health centers

The states with the highest levels of RNs employment include New York, Texas, and California. Around the country, rural areas and inner cities are usually underserved by healthcare services. So, the need for these APRNs there is exceptionally high.

Why Do Patients See a Family Nurse Practitioner?

The patient sees a family nurse practitioner as the primary healthcare provider. While these FNPs are not doctors, they are prepared to give holistic primary care.

AANP research reveals that nurse practitioner services are high quality, safe, and cost-effective. Patients of these NPs have shorter hospital stays, fewer emergency room (ER) visits, and are fully satisfied with the primary care they receive.

In areas with a dearth of primary care doctors, these FNPs can help fill that gap. Luckily, registered nurses (RNs) can also help address this deficit by getting their FNP certification.

Family Nurse Practitioners Job Outlook and Earning Potential

Family Nurse Practitioners Job Outlook and Earning Potential

Professionals who become family nurse practitioners (FNPs) can anticipate a rewarding and satisfying nursing career. According to BLS, nurse practitioner positions are projected to expand by about 26% in the coming years.

NPs mainly practice in doctor’s clinics, offices, hospitals, higher education organizations, and outpatient care centers. The BLS (Bureau of labor statistics) estimated the states with the highest salaries for NPs are Washington, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, and New Jersey.

As per BLS reports, the national annual pay of nurse practitioners is around $109,820. These NPs can also obtain further health certifications in specific fields of care such as diabetes care, pain, and obesity management, which will enable these professionals to command higher earning potential.

As for family nurse practitioners, the AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey reveals their average annual salary is about $114,000, depending on their yearly salary along with bonuses.


To explore the fundamental role of family nurse practitioners, you should think of expanding your medical and healthcare knowledge. You can enroll in any advanced nursing degree program that offers the freedom to select the desired field in nursing, such as FNP, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, Psychiatric-Mental Health NP, and beyond.

Every professional nurse will benefit from such courses because these help them become more competent nurse practitioners. Family nurse practitioners are significantly in demand, and due to this reason, they have fantastic career opportunities and higher earning potential in different healthcare settings.

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