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Family Nurse Practitioner: Requirements and Responsibilities

Education requirements

Every representative of the nursing profession has certain educational requirements. It seems significant to highlight educational requirements for family nurse practitioners. It is worth pointing out that family nurse practitioners are responsible for undergoing the programs that are directed to the improvement of the essential skills and abilities that are needed for the high-quality performance in the following spheres, namely:

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  • Assessment;
  • Treatment;
  • Counselling;
  • Monitor of family healthcare.

Every health care provider has some peculiarities regarding the working process. Thus, it seems essential to highlight that family nurse practitioners can perform the following work:

  1. Prescribe medications;
  2. Order tests;
  3. Refer patients;
  4. Treat certain health conditions.

Every state has some differences regarding the educational requirements for a family nurse practitioner, however, the essential points that are represented in the standards of Florida are considered to be the following ones, namely:

  1. Master of Science in Nursing;
  2. Completed registered nursing program;
  3. Licensure of the registered nurse.

Licensing Requirements

It is vital to highlight the licensing requirement for the family nurse practitioners in order to get deeper involved in the question related to this profession.


  1. Valid license;
  2. Educational requirements:
  1. The nurses “who graduated on or after October 1, 1988, must have completed requirements for a master’s degree or post master’s degree certification” (Poe, 2008, p. 260).
  2. Those ones who graduated prior this period are excluded from the stated above requirement;
  3. Those people who graduated from a program that is now closed are supposed to provide supporting documents that reflect that the program corresponded to the Board guidelines.
  1. The nurses are supposed to submit a “proof of national advanced practice certification from an approved nursing specialty board” (Poe, 2008, p.261).
  2. “Proof of malpractice insurance or exemption” (Poe, 2008, p.261).

New York:

  1. The nurse should be currently registered in the New York state as well have a license;
  2. The nurse should be graduated from an acceptable program that was developed for the nurse practitioner and approved by NYSED. In addition, the nurse can be certified as the nurse practitioner by the organization that reflects and corresponds to the standards of NYSED;
  3. The pharmacology course is essential to be fulfilled;
  4. The nurse is supposed to apply for the certification of NYSED.


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  1. The graduate program should be completed.

Certification and recertification requirements

Being a student, would-be family nurse practitioners should keep in mind that after graduation they need to undergo the certification process by the certification body. The process of certification proves that the family nurse practitioner successfully completed the process of determination and assessment of gained while the education knowledge needed for outstanding performance at the workplace. Certification shows that a family nurse practitioner is capable of work in the chosen sphere. In 2008, the Consensus Model was developed by a number of organizations (AANP, APRN, etc.) to create norms for assessment of the:

  1. Licensure;
  2. Accreditation;
  3. Certification;
  4. Education.

According to the Consensus Model of 2008, the certification is “the formal recognition of the knowledge, skills, and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by the profession”, differentiating it from licensure, the “granting of authority to practice” (Poe, 2008, p.267). For the certification, it is essential to:

  1. Graduate the nurse practitioner program;
  2. Complete certification program;
  3. Correspond to the standards provided by the American Board of Nursing Specialties and the National Commission for Certification Agencies.

Certification is required almost 95% of the states. There are two organizations that provide nurses with certifications:

  1. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC);
  2. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (ANNP).

The reason for the certification is understandable as it proves that the family nurse practitioner has an appropriate professional knowledge and skills and is ready to work in the nursing sphere.

ANCC provides the following certifications:

  1. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner;
  2. Adult Nurse Practitioner;
  3. Family Nurse Practitioner;
  4. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner;
  5. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner;
  6. Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner;
  7. Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner;
  8. Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family nurse practitioner certification eligibility criteria, n. d).

AANP provides the following certifications:

  1. Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP);
  2. Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (GNP);
  3. Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) (Family nurse practitioner certification eligibility criteria, n. d).

For the family nurse practitioner to get a certification, the following characteristics should be met:

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  1. Master degree;
  2. Postgraduate from a program for the family nurse practitioners;
  3. 500 clinical hours should be involved in the family nurse practitioner program.

It should be stated that every five years, the family nurse practitioner should face the recertification process. In order to perform the recertification, the family nurse practitioner should fill the renewal application.

Continuing Education Requirements

According to the standards of Florida, continuing education can be performed within the two years of the license. Thus, the family nurse practitioner should complete the twenty-four hours programs of continuing education, among these hours are two hours of medical error prevention and three hours of domestic violence prevention.

Credentialing requirements

As a matter of fact, family nurse practitioners are considered to be registered nurses who completed the program at the graduate level and have similar responsibilities like doctors (can treat illnesses and prescribe medications). Family nurse practitioners are involved in the process of diagnosing the symptoms. The credentialing requirements include the following ones:

  1. Registered nurse license;
  2. Accredited graduate degree (master or doctorate);
  3. Examination in order to prove the competence;
  4. Application procedure (Grossman & O’Brien, 2010).

Protocols: hospital-based and office/clinic-based

It is worth pointing out that the protocol is considered to be a framework that determines the care that is going to be provided to the client. The protocols do not indicate the way of care performing, however, state essential information. The protocols should include the following information:

  1. Practice standards;
  2. Methods of cooperation;
  3. Review of diagnostics;
  4. Ambulance transportation in case of an emergency;
  5. Plan for improvement of the performance;
  6. Prescribing.

The signed protocol is considered to be proof of the mutual agreement. Within a month after the license renewal, a family nurse practitioner needs to fill the protocol. The protocol should be sent to the Florida Board of Nursing. The hospital-based protocols prove the agreement between a family nurse practitioner and physicians regarding the process of cooperation. The office-based protocols aim to provide evidence for the appropriate cooperation between the family nurse practitioner and the family.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

As a matter of fact, every person who is working in the health care segment has a number of responsibilities and duties. In most the cases they vary between the specialty as nurses practitioners, registered nurses, and family nurse practitioner have different duties and responsibilities. The performance of a nurse is highly dependent on the fact whether she realizes her duties and can apply professional skills and abilities in order to reach professional objectives. Thus, it is significantly important to make an accent on the duties and responsibilities a family nurse practitioner has, among them are the following ones, namely:

  1. Nurses are supposed to work in clinics that are focused on work with families;
  2. Nurses are responsible for high-quality general and preventative care;
  3. Provide check-up process;
  4. They are responsible for the treatment of illnesses;
  5. Nurses are responsible for ordering tests in the laboratory;
  6. Prescribe medications.
  7. Consult and collaborate with physicians regarding the child care;

According to the recent information, 18 states provided independence to the family nurse practitioners and removed limitations (Larson, 2014). The nurses are restricted to work only in the scope of her practice.


The malpractice coverage in Florida is an integral element for a family nurse practitioner work because it provides a confidence in possible financial issues associated with malpractice. The lack of coverage can not only cause financial difficulties, but also can negatively influence career opportunities. Sometimes a family nurse practitioner can be sued for no reason, and thus, being a member of the health-care segment, a family nurse practitioner is at the risk. Family nurse practitioners are a vulnerable group that can face a liability claim. The employer’s coverage does not always cover all the expenses on the lawsuit. The limitations of this coverage are:

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  1. No coverage for off-duty incidents;
  2. The coverage can be cancelled.

NSO offers a malpractice insurance for nurses that covers up to 750,000 of dollars. This insurance is provided by a CNA company which is famous across the United States. HPSO is another malpractice insurance that secures health care providers and contributes to better financial future.

Family nurse practitioners work with families and can function as a physician. Family nurse practitioners can diagnose the family members and prescribe medications. There are some points that need to be taken into consideration and should become the matter of concern:

  1. A family nurse practitioner should correspond to the standards of care;
  2. Effective communication;
  3. Appropriate documentation;
  4. High quality assessment and monitoring process.

There are three medical malpractice policies:

  1. Occurrence policy: This type of policy provides coverage for the events that occur within the period of its validity. Occurrence policy is the broadest type of coverage. It is considered to be expensive for the policyholder. This type is not appropriate for the malpractice because there can be a gap in time between the claims and the policy period.
  2. Claims-made policies: In contrast to occurrence policy, the claims-made provides coverage on the events that had happened during or after the policy period. It is dependent on the retroactive date. It is not very expensive in case the retroactive date corresponds to the beginning of the policy. This type of policy is the most suitable one for the malpractice coverage.
  3. Modified occurrence policy: This type of policy combines the features of the first two that were stated above. Coverage is provided in accordance with the claims-made policies, however, has a limited extended reporting period that usually lasts for seven years.

Position statement by their corresponding APN organization and medical association most closely related to your APN specialty

The position statement of the family nurse practitioner can be found in the dimension of protection and improvement of the outcomes of the patients (Advanced practice nurses, n. d). A family nurse practitioner is responsible for providing high quality assessment, monitoring, and treatment process. The position of the family nurse practitioner is well developed and incorporates all essential matters of concern and takes into consideration the scope of practice.

Anticipated salary ranges, benefits and corresponding work responsibilities for APN.

The salary for the APN is $72,239 – $107,424 a year (Advanced practice nurses, n. d). The APN is considered to be a general career in the medical sphere. The representatives of this profession usually work with families and patients that belong to the following segments:

  1. Women’s care;
  2. Mental health;
  3. Adult acute care;
  4. Geriatrics;
  5. Pediatrics.

The APN usually dedicate their attention to the general health of the patient. Furthermore, their responsibility is to educate the patient in order to prevent diseases and highlight the peculiarities of the treatment process.

Include a discussion on national, regional and local salary ranges; what has been the trend in salary and benefits over the past 5 years. (Make sure you reference your sources)

There are a lot of factors that influence the salary in the nursing profession, among the most popular factors are:

  1. Region;
  2. Experience;
  3. Skills.

The average salary for the NP across the United States counts $ 88,000 a year; however, the salary varies among the states:

  1. San Francisco – $ 109,000 a year;
  2. New York – $ 88,000 a year + 18 percent;
  3. Los Angeles – $ 88,000 a year + 12 percent;
  4. Houston – $ 88,000 a year + 7 percent;
  5. Philadelphia – $ 88,000 a year + 6 percent.

According to the tendency, the salary is rising.


Advanced practice nurses. (n. d.)

Family nurse practitioner certification eligibility criteria. (n. d.)

Grossman, S., & O’Brien, M. (2010). How to run your nurse practitioner business: A guide for success. New York, NY: Springer Pub.

Larson, J. (2014, March 27). The limits on nurse practitioner practice: Current and future trends.

Poe, E. (2008). Medical malpractice insurance: Selection of companies and policies. Risk Prevention in Ophthalmology, 259-267.

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