The roles of family nurse practitioner have changed over time just like the responsibilities of other health care providers such as physicians. In fact, the increased availability of prospects within the specialty medicine is the major factor that causes the changing trends. In other words, private practice among the health professionals are now becoming common, which is causing shortage in the skilled workforce responsible for the provision of primary health care particularly the physicians (Iglehart, 2013).
Currently, the scale of responsibilities, activities and the capability of working autonomously differs across countries. One of the major roles of the family nurse practitioner is the provision of primary care. In fact, many patients are currently depending wholly on family nurse practitioners for their health care basic needs, particularly due to the increasing complexities in health care provision coupled with lack of primary care physicians (Iglehart, 2013).
In the primary care provider role, family nurse practitioners remain critical in aiding patients to deal with severe and persistent poor health. According to (Iglehart, 2013), family nurse practitioners are now taking the roles of family physicians in the provision of medical services. The roles are ranging from conducting physical tests and procedures to diagnosis. The family nurse practitioners have the responsibility of treating patients throughout their lifespan. In the primary care role, family nurse practitioners normally provide their patients with information concerning the illnesses as well as measures that can lead to the improvement of the conditions.
Iglehart 2013 asserted that the roles of family nurse practitioner are greatly flexible since they offer care to the patients across their lifespan. The flexibility and autonomy of the practice have attracted the majority of other health professionals into the family nurse practitioner. The main difference between the family nurse practitioner and other health providers is the collaborative approach they give to their family-centered medical care provision. Given the fact that the family is the patient, the values, cultural norms and personal needs are given greater consideration. The collaboration is not only focused on the family, but also with other health practitioners in order to improve the general wellbeing of the patients (Britt, 2012).
Britt 2012 argued that the role of family nurse practitioner goes beyond the provision of primary care. The family nurse practitioner has the responsibility of promoting and maintaining wellbeing of the patients (Britt, 2012). Besides, the family nurse practitioners have the role of detecting and preventing infections among the families and individuals.
The detection and prevention is achieved through the provision of supportive interventions, counseling as well as raising awareness on would be infections and prescribing alternative cures based on the test results. Besides the roles played in the primary care, family nurse practitioner has the responsibility of diagnostic tests and prescription of cures to any infection of their patients throughout their lives (Britt, 2012).
Further, the family nurse practitioner has the responsibility of acknowledging and recognizing the inadequacies in the extent of the provision of services as well as the scope of practice. As such, they work together with other health care providers to deliver quality medical care to their patients. Essentially, the practice, roles and responsibilities of family nurse practitioner are primarily founded on the epidemiological approach to the health problems facing families (Britt, 2012).