The Role of Advanced Nursing Practice

Advanced nursing practice roles are associated with a variety of tasks completed by nurses on a daily basis, involving their leadership skills. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are advanced practice nurses who are responsible for providing care for patients during their lifespan while using a holistic nursing approach. FNPs work with people who belong to different age categories, and they usually cooperate with a whole family while focusing on persons’ past medical history and specifics that are associated with a certain patient population (Hoyt & Proehl, 2015). Thus, according to the principles of the South University Family Nurse Practitioner Program, FNPs “promote positive health behaviors, practice preventive care, and diagnose and manage common health problems at all developmental stages” (South University, 2018, para. 2). The purpose of this paper is to distinguish an FNP’s role and discuss related patient outcomes, apply the Advanced Nursing Practice Concept to the analysis of this role, and propose questions to interview an FNP.

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Distinguishing the Role and Promotion of Patient Outcomes

FNPs’ roles should be discussed as clinical in their nature in contrast to non-clinical ones. The reason is that, in spite of working with medically stable persons, FNPs are responsible for helping patients in managing chronic diseases, addressing acute injuries, diagnosing conditions, interpreting laboratory tests, controlling treatment and patient progress, and treating some acute illnesses typical of individuals from different age groups. As a result, FNPs are concentrated on providing regular health care for their patients in those situations when the involvement of specialists and hospitalizations are not required (Johnson, O’Brien, Emerson, & Reed, 2017). Still, there are also cases when non-clinical roles are performed: patient education and consultation. While focusing on clinical roles, FNPs promote patient outcomes in terms of guaranteeing access to care and counseling, providing effective disease management, and ensuring health promotion (Hoyt & Proehl, 2015; Johnson et al., 2017). Consequently, cooperating with FNPs, patients improve their health status, receive preventative and acute health services, and get assistance and care during their whole lifespan. These outcomes can have prolonged and positive effects on patients’ well-being.

Applying the Advanced Nursing Practice Concept

One of the key nursing conceptual models is Dorothea E. Orem’s self-care deficit theory. According to this model, nurses’ focus should be on facilitating patients’ abilities in self-care to improve the quality of their life (Menezes et al., 2015). In their randomized clinical trial study involving 110 individuals, Hashemi et al. (2014) focused on interviewing burn patients regarding the quality of their life while following the intervention based on Orem’s self-care model. The researchers found with the help of applying the SPSS tool that the application of the model had led to improving patients’ quality of life. Menezes et al. (2015) completed the research based on a case study design that was focused only on one female patient who had a spinal cord injury. Changes in this woman’s health state and self-care as a result of applying the intervention based on Orem’s theory were considered, and positive outcomes were observed. Therefore, it is possible to state that FNPs are expected to apply Orem’s model in their practice because their task is to educate patients regarding the principles of self-care to make their daily life more comfortable.

Questions for the Interview

Selena Garza is an FNP who was also certified as a CCRN (critical care registered nurse). She works in one of the hospitals in Miami, Florida, and the interview with Ms. Garza is planned to be conducted on August 6, 2018. This nurse is selected for the interview because she has the important experience of working as an FNP in different healthcare settings. Some questions have been formulated to guide the interview with Ms. Garza (Appendix A). It is important to find out what barriers and challenges FNPs face while addressing different patients and specific conditions, whether they apply an evidence-based practice approach, and how such general issues as nurse shortages can influence their practice. Thus, the answers to these questions can provide a novice nurse with the required knowledge to understand specifics of FNPs’ everyday work. As a consequence, the rationale for asking each question is in the necessity of discovering how theoretical knowledge in nursing is applied to practice.


It is possible to conclude that FNPs belong to the group of advanced practice nurses whose roles can be viewed as determined according to the Advanced Nursing Practice Concept. Furthermore, the role of FPNs is associated with a clinical context and activities in spite of settings where these nurses can deliver their care and support patients. Thus, the main focus is on addressing conditions of patients who differ in their family history, age, and needs. As a result, the emphasis is put on diagnosis, treatment, disease management, and prescription of medications. From this perspective, FNPs usually perform roles that are similar to primary care physicians. A list of questions for the interview has been proposed in order to guide the conversation with one of the practicing FNPs.


Hashemi, F., Dolatabad, F. R., Yektatalab, S., Ayaz, M., Zare, N., & Mansouri, P. (2014). Effect of Orem Self-Care program on the life quality of burn patients referred to Ghotb-al-Din-e-Shirazi burn center, Shiraz, Iran: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery, 2(1), 40-50.

Hoyt, K. S., & Proehl, J. A. (2015). Family nurse practitioner or acute care nurse practitioner in the emergency department? Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 37(4), 243-246.

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Johnson, R., O’Brien, T., Emerson, S., & Reed, L. (2017). Perceptions of family nurse practitioner clinical preceptors about usefulness of onsite clinical site visits. Nurse Educator, 42(1), 51-54.

Menezes, D. J. C., Medeiros, E. R., Vieira, C. E. N. K., Coura, A. S., Enders, B. C., & Dantas, D. N. A. (2015). Nursing care of an elderly woman with spinal cord injury: A case study. Revista de Pesquisa: Cuidado é Fundamental Online, 7(2), 2192-2199.

South University. (2018). Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in family nurse practitioner. Web.

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