The Family Nurse Practitioner’s Role and Trends

The role of a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is of particular importance in primary health care. According to Nurse Journal Staff (2021), a significant rise in nurse practitioner jobs can be observed over the recent years. This trend means that FNPs are becoming an increasingly essential part of the health care team and are expected to fulfill a wide range of functions. Furthermore, advanced-practice registered nurses contribute to the development of the nursing practice by merging medicine and nursing due to their expanded skills and knowledge, as well as broad experience. In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the shortage of healthcare staff highlights the importance of transitioning the FNP’s role (Nurse Journal Staff, 2021). Hence, the current trends in health care and the growing demand for professionals in this field indicate that there is a need for change in the primary care system due to the expanding role of Family Nurse Practitioners.

One of the current trends related to the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner is a shortage of primary care professionals in the United States. As reported by Torrens et al. (2020), “primary care is facing a crisis in healthcare provision … that must be addressed with creative solutions, including new models of care” (p. 1). In this regard, advanced-practice registered nurses already have additional responsibilities and provide medical care for adults and children facilitated by policies that support the autonomy and authority of FNPs (Nurse Journal Staff, 2021). Nurses become valued more as key members of the health care team delivering patient-centered care. At the same time, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to implementing supportive practices nationwide in order to meet the growing demand.

The health care system is facing new challenges, and the demand for primary care staff is predicted to increase. Nurses are expected to be flexible and competent in various areas to promote patient safety and well-being in rapidly changing conditions. In addition to demonstrating expertise in clinical practice, FNPs must enhance management and leadership skills and contribute to research to enable improvements in the primary care system. According to the study findings by Torrens et al. (2020), there is a number of facilitators and barriers to advance the Advanced Nurse Practitioner role in the primary care settings for better patient outcomes. As per Torrens et al. (2020), an FNP can enable positive change by “working autonomously, using professional judgement, working collaboratively across professions and agencies in addition to monitoring risk and evaluating outcomes” (p. 2). Team consensus is another essential part of the implementation of the advanced practice registered nurse. It is worth noting that organizational processes, such as developing protocols and policy guidelines, can have both positive and negative implications for the enhancement of the FNP practice.

To summarize, the current trends with regard to the Family Nurse Practitioner role suggest that there is a need for further transformation of the FNP key functions and contribution to primary care. Growing demand for health care services, personnel shortage, and the aging population are the major factors that can shape the role of advanced practice registered nurses and bring them to the forefront of medical care. As a result, it is essential for Family Nurse Practitioners to develop leadership skills and promote the change and the transformation of their role for better health care quality and patient outcomes.


Nurse Journal Staff. (2021). 7 future job trends for nurse practitioners. Nurse Journal.

Torrens, C., Campbell, P., Hoskins, G., Strachan, H., Wells, M., Cunningham, M., Bottone, H., Polson, R., & Maxwell, M. (2020). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the advanced nurse practitioner role in primary care settings: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Studies104, 1-21.

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