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Defining of Family Nurse Practitioner


The role and scope of practice of nurses depend not only on the type of practice but also on the professional organization. A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a quite broad specialist and possesses a sizable set of skills. FNPs usually work in primary and specialty care in the ambulatory clinic setting. They diagnose and treat illness in patients of all ages, create and review family histories, monitor health and provide prophylactic care (Iglehart, 2013). Family nurses deal with patients of all ages and are competent in communicating with them (Flinter, 2012). Defining FNP’s position within a professional organization would help better understand how to fit into the professional community and what to expect from the new role under its banners.

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Case Study

Family Nurse Practitioner within the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

The professional organization where I intend to work is American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). It is a professional membership organization that unites more than 234 thousand NPs across the United States (AANP, 2017). AANP was formed in 2013 on the basis of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners. Its goals include the promotion of high-quality healthcare, advancement of theory and practice across all spheres of nursing, patient-centered care, and many other topical issues. Within the organization, it is believed that NPs should take the leadership position in healthcare and implement their experience to provide care to the best of their abilities.

AANP advocates for NPs and their patients in the legal sphere broadening their authority in the spheres of advance healthcare directives, signature recognition, and other areas. The organization managed to pass over 30 state laws in close collaboration with Congress, Affordable Healthcare Act stakeholders, and other policymakers.

The Professional Fit for Advanced Nursing Role

In the AANP setting, family nurse practitioners while continuing their practice and fulfilling their professional duties also become advocates of their colleagues and patients. Additionally, they learn how to advance their skills and share their knowledge. NPS become members of a diverse community of specialists with different backgrounds, scopes of practice, and interests. All of them become a part of a vast interprofessional exchange aimed to provide high-level quality of care for their patients. The combined experience and knowledge of the members are used to improve the working environment through adjustments that are made to federal, state, and local standards of care. According to one of the goals for professional development set within AANP, a nurse member should also develop leadership qualities and display them at their primary working place setting the example for other colleagues.

Implementing a New Nursing Role in the Organization

Thus, as a member of AANP, a family nurse practitioner is expected to be involved in diverse activities initiated by the organization. An FNP competent in a particular sphere should not only advance in it but also educate other members. Contributing to interprofessional exchange is one of the primary tasks of FNPs as organization members. Their broad scope of practice and corresponding knowledge may become invaluable for other NPS. The peculiarities of communication with young patients can be taught to other professional members in the organization through publications in one of the two AANP scholarly journals as FNPs often deal with them. Due to their general lack of experience of working in stressful environments, family nurse practitioners could use the opportunity to learn about stress management from acute care nurses, as this skill is quite useful in any setting.

Through AANP membership and collaborative learning FNPs need to develop leadership qualities to be able to guide other professionals in the sphere. Using those skills, a nurse practitioner needs to inspire others NPs to learn and promote AANP values to realize that they are all responsible for the environment they work in. Above that, family nurse practitioners can identify weaknesses in their practice that are induced by the legislature. It is necessary to eliminate those gaps using the AANP channels because if left unattended, they can potentially hinder the possibilities for providing quality care. The Georgia Board of Nursing supports such role implementation stating in Georgia Registered Professional Nurse Practice Act that a registered professional nurse’s practice includes collaboration, evaluation, and teaching (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2017).


All things considered, the current role of family nurse practitioners requires at least a Master’s degree and status of a registered nurse. They should possess a number of personal qualities and skills including empathy, communication, drug administration, treatment and diagnostic of minor illnesses, overseeing health conditions, and the like. Their role is to provide high-quality care for all ages, promote good health, and push family-oriented nursing forward both theoretically and practically.

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Within the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners organization, FNP is to advocate for fellow-nurse practitioners around the country and collaborate with them in the sphere of education, legal issues, leadership, and promotion of organizational values. Thus, my role as FNP within the AANP is to identify the legal gaps negatively affecting practice, broaden the scope of practice through collaboration with other NPs, acquire new skills and teach them to colleagues, promote the organizational values, and be a leader that inspires others to provide top-quality care for patients. This new role conforms to the standards of nursing practice set by the Georgia Board of Nursing.


AANP. (2017). About AANP. Web.

Flinter, M. (2012). From new nurse practitioner to primary care provider: Bridging the transition through FQHC-based residency training. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1), 1-33.

Georgia Board of Nursing. (2017). Georgia Registered Professional Nurse Practice Act. Web.

Iglehart, J. K. (2013). Expanding the role of advanced nurse practitioners—Risks and rewards. New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 1935-1941.

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