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The Role of a Family Nurse Practitioner

Healthcare practitioners have been experiencing immense pressure in the course of their work. In order to alleviate such pressures that are linked to increased patient perspicacity as well as medical endeavors, there has been operationalization of advanced nursing practice (APN) in various hospitals. The purpose and intend of the advanced nursing practice is to broaden the customary range of nursing information as well as furthering the advancement of this sector (Rolfe & Fulbrook, 1998). An advanced nursing professional cooperates and confers with colleagues within the profession, which therefore means that he/she is a representative of change. The paper is going to examine the role of a family nurse practitioner and the role that the practitioners play to ensure that patients are safe.

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According to the National Patient Safety Goals, famously referred to as the NPSGs, the Family Nurse Practitioner is non-clinical. Family, they say, affects a wide range of an individual’s health (Vaughan, 1998). The role of a Family Care Practitioner (FCP) entails the provision of thorough primary healthcare services to an individual as well as their family throughout their lives. Similar to other Advanced Nursing Practitioners, FCPs can work either autonomously or collaboratively with other players in the sector. They also undertake their duties in multifarious environments including homes, clinics, and workplaces.

The practice of family nursing promotes safety in a number of ways. They work closely with other physicians, meaning that they will refer those conditions that they cannot handle. Family practitioners are also sufficiently trained (Benner, Turner, & Chesler, 2009). Consequently, they ensure the safety of patients by enhancing the safety of utilizing drugs through the recommendation of appropriate drugs for various conditions (Maurer & Smith, 2014). Further, these healthcare professionals perfect the process of the identification of patients to avoid treating a patient using wrong information.

The issue of transition between cares has been acknowledged as a period of substantial susceptibility for kids. This is especially the case if the children in question are suffering from multifarious chronic conditions and when they have social necessities. Transferring a patient between healthcare providers needs effective communication between the two. Dearth of such communication jeopardizes the health of the patient. Consequently, such a commission will decrease the patient’s quality of life as well as increase the cost of care. In Overview & Summary: Care Coordination: Benefits of Interprofessional Collaboration, Lamb examines various articles that have reflected on crucial advancements regarding the growth and history of the coordination that exists between family nursing practitioners and their counterparts in conventional medicine.

According to one of the articles examined, evidence was produced to the effect of the impact that a Transitional Care Model, which was pioneered by scholars at the University of Pennsylvania, has had on the cost and quality of healthcare services. According to the results of the study, the model reduced the cost of treatment of patients in critical care. Therefore, the system needs to be subscribed even by the Nursing Practitioners in order to improve their services. Lamb, in his article, postulates that practitioners need to improve, continuously, the quality of services that they provide. The paper emphasizes on the need for hospitals and nursing practitioners to enhance the care transition in order to guarantee quality services. Further, the author analyzed a study that examined the roles of nursing practitioners as well as other health practitioners. However, similar to other studies, the author opines that collaboration is the key ingredient in the success of nursing practitioners’ services.

In The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Reinventing Primary Care by Naylor and Kurtzman, the authors state that nurse practitioners belong to the fundamental group of Advanced Practice Nurses that provide services known as primary care in the health system in the United States. The article evaluated the existing nurse practitioners as well as the projected figures of the workforce. Moreover, the author used the obtainable proof of the nurses’ impact on enhancing the healthcare sector. Additionally, the challenges that the nurses face, such as inadequate workforce, were captured in this article. Furthermore, factors such as rules and regulations instituted by States, the existing policies for payment and the tensions between the players in the sector have contributed to the impediments that nurse practitioners face.

Naylor and Kurtzman also studied the solutions that can be adopted to overcome the barriers. Research has always identified unwarranted limitations as hampering the delivery of healthcare services by nurse practitioners. Therefore, such restrictions ought to be eliminated. In addition, the equalization of payments between hospital settings and the ones that nurse practitioners charge should be made. This will have the desirable impact of ensuring that individuals get quality services at affordable rates (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). There is need to hold nurses accountable for their involvement in the provision of excellent-value care. The authors opine that this should be done through the disclosure of information related to nursing practitioners to the public.

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The most important solution that the article offers is its suggestion regarding the tension between professionals. Tension has caused a drop in the quality of services provided by both independent nursing practitioners and hospital physicians (Rolfe & Fullbrook, 1998). According to The Joint Commission (2015), the co-ordination among them consequently becomes disjointed. Patients are the ones who suffer if the situation persists. The article therefore recommends rapid resolution of such tensions to ensure that more nursing practitioners are utilized to manage certain acute conditions.

In an article that featured in the Wall Street Journal, Angela Golden, a member of the American Association of Nursing gives her expert opinion on why these practitioners ought to treat patients minus oversight by the doctors. According to her, these practitioners plug a gap that has been tremendously expanding over the years. In fact, seventy-five per cent of all states have allowed them to practice without oversight. Therefore, Angela argues that it is time that all the states adopted the same policy.

One of the reasons why nursing practitioners ought to have independence is the amount of hours that they take to attend to their patients. She quotes studies, which have concluded that nursing practitioners use relatively more time to offer care collaboration, counselling and education to patients.

Besides, research has indicated that the satisfaction rates that are delivered by these practitioners are either equal or higher compared to doctors (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). She further states that a revered peer review journal known as Heath Affairs, which reports on policies and practices in health care, stated that studies between the two groups concluded that their clinical results are similar.

In addition, Angela states that nurse practitioners are academically qualified. Just like their physician counterparts, they undergo intensive doctoral graduate education. They also undertake clinical education. Consequently, their preparation is sufficient for them to offer services independently.

In the article, Angela also argues that nurse practitioners make referrals in a manner that is similar to the physician. Therefore, all the stakeholders should concentrate on ensuring that the patients are safe. She further charges that for this to happen, the lacuna between the legal and educational aspect of nurse practicing ought to be closed.


The Joint Commission (2015). Hospital national patient safety goals. Web.

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Benner, P. E., Tanner, C. A., & Chesla, C. A. (2009). Expertise in nursing practice, second edition: Caring, clinical judgment, and ethics. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2014). Community/Public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations. Los Angeles, LA: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Naylor, M. D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Reinventing Primary Care. Health Affairs Journal, 34(10).

Rolfe, G., & Fulbrook, P. (1998). Advanced nursing practice. Oxford; Butterworth Heinemann: Elsevier.

Vaughan-Cole, B. (1998). Family nursing practice. Philadelphia, PS: W B Saunders Company.

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