Nursing Homework Paper on Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

It is quite fundamental for nursing practitioners to be culturally aware, and competent in dealing with patients who seek their help in getting the right treatment. Family nurse practitioners usually deal with patients throughout their entire professional lives, as their duties include diagnosing disease, conducting exams, as well as prescribing medication. Family nurse practitioners can work effectively in a hospice facility, where they can exercise their profession to the maximum. This study will focus on family nurse practitioners in hospice environment and the law guides their practices.

Family nurse practitioner (FNP) is the most common specialty in the nursing practice, which involves providing health care to women, children, and the entire family (Pillitteri, 2010, p. 22). Family nurse practitioners usually work closely with physicians to offer prenatal care to women with no complicated pregnancies. They have a broad knowledge in dealing with patients of all ages. Family nurse practitioners can work in their own established clinics, but a hospice is among the best places for family nurse practitioners to work in. A hospice is a type of health care that is designed to cater for seriously ill patients. These patients do not have to go to the health care facility, as family nurse practitioners come to attend them on daily or monthly basis.

Hospices normally provide palliative care, which involves helping the patients to improve their quality of life. Hospice care is usually covered through Medicare or Medicaid, while life-threatening ailments, such as cancer, dementia and renal diseases may require a certification of a family nurse practitioner to certify or recertify any diagnosis of such illnesses. Nursing practitioners, who include family nurse practitioners, may be assigned a task as attending physicians for hospice patients, but their Medicare reimbursement for this service is 85% of the normal fee (Hensley & Williams, 2010, p. 340). Most the hospice programs are usually home-based. Family nurse practitioners visit their patients at their homes, thus, it is their duties to ensure that they meet the requirements of their clients in their residential homes. Working in the palliative care is more of comforting than curing. Therefore, family nurse practitioners are usually trained in counseling, in addition to diagnosing and treatment procedures.

The main obligation of the family nurse practitioner is to help the patients by acting on their best interest. Each state in the US has a state board that regulates the nursing practice. The Nurse Practice Act guides the family nurse practitioners’ responsibilities by ensuring that all complains and issues of licenses are handled in best way possible. State boards enforce the nurse practice acts with an aim of safeguarding the public from being exploited by the nursing practitioners. Family nurse practitioners should be familiar with all prerequisites of their state nurse practice act to avoid situations that could amount to complaints from patients or legal redress (Roles of State Boards of Nursing, 2012). Apart from the range of practice that nurse practitioners should adhere to, the Nurse Practice Act also incorporates the minimum level of educational that family nurse practitioners should have to be permitted a license.

Family nurse practitioners have numerous roles to play in ensuring the health of their clients whose lives depend on their advices. The nurse practitioners should adhere to the Nurse Practice Act, which incorporates guidelines to the practice. The Act also indicates the minimum level of educational that family nurse practitioners should have to be permitted a license. Nurse practice acts safeguard patients from being harmed by incompetent family nurse practitioners, in addition to provide disciplinary procedures in case of any complaints.


Hensley, R., & Williams, A. (2010). Clinical coach for nurse practitioners. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Pillitteri, A. (2010). Maternal & child health nursing: Care of the childbearing & childrearing family. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Roles of State Boards of Nursing: Licensure, Regulation and Complaint Investigation (March 2012). American Nurses Association, Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved on 17 June 2014 from