What Does a Family Nurse Practitioner Actually Do?

A family nurse practitioner is an experienced registered nurse who had accomplished for specific advanced academic education, such as a master degree, before they proceed to take up the challenges of more specialized roles such as those handling diagnostic and medical treatments for the family members, the adults as well as their children. Some of the family nurse practitioners have been authorized to carry varying levels of autonomy especially in handling special cases of illness because of family genetic and background.

Under the State’s Nurse Practice Act, these family practitioners are legally authorized to provide health care and assistance in their own professional settings to their patients. Most of them work closely with the physicians to provide the best treatment and service for their patients.

Other than family medical practitioner, there are some other popular options such as the pediatrics, oncology, mental health, women health, emergency treatments, internal medicine and occupational therapy which any nurse practitioners can select from.

The job of a family nurse practitioner is very rewarding, but yet exciting and challenging at the same time; Just like doctors, they are the key health caregivers who can help out in providing all sorts of health related advise and treatments to their customers.

In many hospitals and many of the medical settings, the family nurse practitioners are gradually replacing doctors in providing health care and treatment for non-critical illness and health conditions, which inclusive of treating fractures and minor injuries, writing prescriptions, ordering medications and treatment services, immunizing small children against common diseases and virus threat, carrying out medical physical examinations and many more.

Recent data anticipate that the demand for this profession will continue to grow at an astonishing pace especially in the primary care setting, prioritizing on these 2 main groups -the infants and the elderly. Primary care has always being dominating a larger focus of medical profession, with their target groups being the adult patients, the elderly and the children in the family.

In general, family practitioners provide great treatment and keen medical advice and services to the community by playing an integral part of patients’ treatments, recovery and subsequent maintenance on the well-being of their patients’ health

Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs

A nurse practitioner is a term that means that the individual is a registered nurse.

It also means that the nurse has completed a masters degree or doctoral degree and any thing else that is associated with management and diagnosis of some few medical conditions.

Nurse practitioner degree is a program that provides the student with a broad range of health care services degrees. Chronic and acute conditions are treated through physical therapy by nurses within their scope of practice.

In order to be a nurse practitioner and to have a license and certificate, there are certain programs that you must go through and complete.

You should be a holder of an associated degree in nursing; you should have completed a diploma program as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

Some programs like the associated degrees in nursing are easily offered by community colleges so those ones will not be very difficult to get.

If you come from areas where such colleges are not available, then you can enroll in the ones that are available through the internet because they are also quite competent.

It usually takes a period of about 2-3 years at most. The diploma can be offered in the community hospitals and they also take a minimum of about 2-3 years.

While completing the RN degree, the candidate might also be required to fill out some NP requirements.

In most cases the employers and also the government require that the individual be a holder of master’s degree a minimal requirement.

The candidate must on the other hand be ready to complete advance training program which is state proven once the registered nurse status is attained.

This program mainly deals with women’s health, internal medicine and family practice. The history of this line of profession is the one that dictates the educational path that the candidates have to take.

It has been encouraged as a basic degree since the year 1965 when the profession was established.

It is also during this period that the government started funding and encouraging the practice because of the nurse practitioner shortage.

After the completion of the nurse practitioner degree, that is when the candidate takes the other steps in order to be able to be licensed by the state to be a practitioner.

To Become a Nurse Practitioner

If one is looking for a rewarding career path, he/she can pursue a degree, and turn out to be an advanced nurse practitioner. A practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who is qualified to act as a specialty care or a primary care provider. Also known as nursing practitioner or NP, nurse practitioner can perform both health care and nursing services. Advanced practitioners can diagnose as well as practice medications and can treat a wide range of diseases.

With regard to career paths for advanced practitioners, they can choose from a wide variety of specialties such as family practice, pediatric, geriatric, neonatal, women’s health and psychiatric. In addition to this, some other advanced nursing spheres are clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists. Some advanced nurse practitioners prefer to go into hospital administration since there are various paths for practitioners to follow within health care.

Master’s degree is a must for nurse practitioners. The time span for majority of programs is two years and necessitates a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN for entry. There are a few schools that require one to two years of practice as an RN or a registered professional.

Nursing being the leading health care occupation employs 2.5 million people and is likely to adjoin almost 600,000 jobs over the next few years. The salary for nurses differs according to geographic location, years of experience, type of nursing and level of education. Initial salaries for entry level staff nurses varies from $30,000 to $45,000 per year including extra pay for evening, night and weekend shifts. The median annual salary for advanced practitioners is $82,950 and the median annual salary for registered nurses is $65,130. Being a nursing practitioner, one can create a difference in one’s life and also in the lives of others.

The Types of Nurse Practitioner Areas to Specialize in When Pursuing a Medical Career

Most people start their careers in general nursing before carving out an area of specialization later on. A nurse practitioner typically requires a Master’s degree in the area he or she has practiced in. These professionals are authorized to work autonomously and collaboratively in an extensive clinical role. In this career, nurses are involved in assessing and managing patients. They may refer patients to doctors, prescribe medication, and order diagnostic investigations.

There are different kinds of nurse practitioners serving in hospital facilities all around the country. This list highlights some of the most popular NP positions.

1) Adult Gerontology nurses

These medical professionals offer care and education on disease-prevention topics. They strictly serve adult patients by assessing, diagnosing and managing common problems they might have from time to time. You will find them in community clinics, ambulatory care centers, internal medicine offices and other medical facilities.

2) Pediatric nurses

They provide medical care to children and teens in general. You’ll find them working in a wide range of settings, including those situated in under-served communities and ambulatory facilities. They take care of both sick (or those who have chronic illnesses) and healthy children.

3) Psychiatric nurse practitioners

These NPs work with individuals, families or specific population which may be suffering from mental problems. They manage therapy and provide intervention treatment. The law also allows them to prescribe medication to mentally-ill patients.

4) Emergency nurse practitioners

The needs of an emergency room are so vast, which is why nurses wanting to practice in this area must learn all facets of basic care. Emergency rooms typically handle all types of patients, whether adult or kids. These medical practitioners are trained to understand various healthcare needs of a population.

5) Neonatal nurse practitioners

Their work is strictly done in a nursery or a neonatal intensive care unit. They address problems suffered by newborns and infants too. They work with parents and other healthcare providers to offer medical solutions where needed.

6) Acute care nurses

They handle patients who need short term medical care. They may work in an emergency care setting, outpatient facility or in a mental institution. They will assess the type of illness a patient is suffering from, suggest a solution or consult with other medical professionals to find a lasting solution.

7) Nurse practitioner

This mainly involves students taking nurse practitioner programs, and may specialize in a variety of areas. For instance, they may handle adult care, pediatric care, mental care, and sometimes emergency care. With enough hours to practice, they gain in-depth knowledge in assessing and diagnosing patients. With more experience, they acquire treatment skills in the area where they’ve specialized in.

8) Family nurse practitioner

They assess the health of their patients, offer them direct care and teach both individuals and families on matters concerning their health. In order to succeed in their work, they must collaborate with primary care physicians as well as other medical care professionals.


The types of nurse practitioners can vary based on the niche they serve. The 8 areas described above are the main niches where nurse practitioners choose to specialize in. Also, most areas mentioned above require graduate-level education, although others will require Masters-level training.