A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a holistic primary care provider and, as such, has immense responsibilities. An FNP performs duties that are similar to a doctor’s, and that is possible because these professionals have the right qualifications and knowledge.
If you are interested in becoming a family nurse practitioner, there are skills you need to master to be able to not only assist and care for patients but also properly diagnose diseases. A career as an FNP can be rewarding, exciting, and fulfilling. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners will increase by 40% between 2021 and 2031.
While the projected job outlook means that for the next decade the demand for family nurse practitioners will be high, there are still specific skills that an FNP should possess to become successful in their career. If you already have a BSN, you could enroll in the TWU online FNP program. Through this program, you’ll acquire some of the essential skills a family nurse practitioner should have. It will help you be at the forefront of health and patient care.
When you want to work as a family nurse practitioner, you need core competencies. These are ethical standards that you need to develop and will decide how successful you are in your career. As an FNP, you should have a solid and thorough scientific foundation and understanding of clinical skills. The care you provide a patient should be as per the hospital’s policies. In addition, a family nurse practitioner should be well-versed in technology to ensure better health outcomes.
Outstanding communication skills
Although every career requires effective and efficient communication skills, the need is higher for a family nurse practitioner. An FNP deals with a wide range of patients, and the language they use will vary based on the patient they are treating. The way a family nurse practitioner speaks to a child will be quite different from the way they talk to an adult. As an FNP, you will need to talk to patients to collect relevant information and confirm important details. Furthermore, you will have to explain the possible treatment and the options they have in simple terms so that patients understand. Coming across as compassionate and understanding are essential aspects of communication with patients and their families.
Your team will be looking to you for guidance and to make informed decisions. Since every case is different, your decisions need to be effective as well as efficient. If you want improved health outcomes, you need to manage your team well. Otherwise, your team will be disorganized, chaotic, and confused. As a family nurse practitioner, you can be a take-charge leader until your patient’s condition improves and steadies. Being a leader enables you to ensure optimal healthcare performance and allay the stress and worries of family members.
When reading a patient’s case file, you must identify whether the disease is developmental or congenital. In case the disease is congenital or hereditary, you must determine the right treatment, if any. You need to study each case deeply to be able to properly diagnose the patient, and that, in turn, will help you think of different methods to help and treat the patient. To cultivate an analytical mindset, read or publish research papers and take on more cases to get hands-on experience. That will come in good stead when you have to analyze case files and assist doctors in treating patients.
Handle pressure without cracking
Hospitals can be chaotic and emotional. Hundreds of patients come and go, and you may have to handle multiple cases simultaneously. With one medical provider for several patients, it falls on the FNP to balance these cases. Some patients can be uncooperative and aggressive while others will do what you say. Rather than getting frustrated and losing your cool with difficult patients, you need to handle them carefully and gently. In between, you must do the paperwork for each patient you see. This scenario can be nerve-wracking but you need to maintain your composure and not let the pressure get to you.
Facilitate a learning environment for new and fresh FNPs
When new or fresh family nurse practitioners join your department, they will look to you, an experienced FNP, to guide them and help them learn on the job. Between juggling the needs of your patients, you will also have to work as a mentor and guide new FNPs through their careers. Invariably, new FNPs work under experienced FNPs, who inform them about ethical standards, the techniques being used and why, and teach them to do the paperwork correctly. When you cultivate such a learning experience, it will help you thrive and hone your skills as an FNP.
Manage your time effectively and efficiently
As a family nurse practitioner, you will always be on your feet, helping doctors and patients. However, you need to ensure optimal time management so that you get adequate time to relax. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Instead, delegate tasks to your team. Once you do that, you will be better equipped to manage your time and be more productive at work.
Family nurse practitioners are invaluable to the healthcare sector. Knowing and practicing these skills will help you succeed as a family nurse practitioner and enable you to provide a full spectrum of healthcare services to patients. That in combination with further education will help you meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare industry and further your nursing career.