Top 5 Skills Every Family Nurse Practitioner Needs to Have for a Thriving Career

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse who has pursued a master’s in the science of nursing and has taken specific steps to practice as a more experienced nurse. FNPs have a broader knowledge of medical terminology and procedures in patient care and are allowed to diagnose, prescribe medications, and treat certain conditions. These are just the business skills that an FNP needs to perform their job, but these are not the only ones that are needed for a successful career.

Apart from caring for patients at a much deeper level than registered nurses (RNs), FNPs have to possess specific emotional and soft skills needed to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. These are the top five skills that every FNP needs to learn and adapt to maintain a thriving career in the future.

Communication and Emotional Intelligence

Not only are FNPs responsible for a patient’s health, but they will also deal with them emotionally for a longer period than nurses do in a generalized hospital setting. This requires that the FNP has great communication skills that are effective both in written and oral formats. FNPs are responsible for communication between other physicians, the patient, and sometimes even their family members who are assisting with their treatment. Communication is a daily part of being an FNP, and all prospective nurses will need to learn different forms of dialogue, how to read body language, and how to speak to a patient in a way that makes them feel more secure and comfortable.

There is a deep emotional connection that FNPs generate when they are caring for patients, and adopting effective communication techniques is one of the most vital non-technical skills to learn in the nursing field. Efficient and direct communication is a sign of a high emotional quotient (EQ) and is not only a valued skill for an FNP but a necessity.

Critical Thinking and Evaluation

Decision-making is part of FNP’s daily responsibilities. They will need to make drastic choices timeously by evaluating the patient’s health continuously. Not only are they responsible for monitoring vital health signs, but FNPs also need to evaluate a patient’s emotional and mental state before, during, and after treatment. This assessment allows the FNP to make informative decisions and it’s a critical skill needed by all professionals in this field of medicine. 

Critical thinking is related to being impartial to the situation so that the FNP can provide the best professional care. Although it means that an emotional relationship is formed with the patient, the FNP also needs to be subjective enough to make critical decisions without an emotional attachment. This can be difficult for many nurses who become emotionally connected to a patient, but impartiality is required to make medical decisions that improve the patient’s healthcare overall.

Leadership and Management

As the industry grows and the need for registered nurses increase, so does the need for leaders to manage the next generation of nurses. FNPs learn specific skills geared to take on leadership roles and to improve the system of healthcare by advocating for patients. As an FNP, the profession allows individuals to become adept in internal hospital procedures as well as clinical processes with inpatient care. This broad perspective gives a unique insight into how policy and legislative requirements need to change to improve the healthcare industry.

For any nurses who are interested in advancing their career by adopting these vital skills, learning how to become a family nurse practitioner is step one. FNPs often report a greater sense of work satisfaction because with these skills they are placed in the optimal position to help patients better and transform the way that modern nursing is implemented. 

Optimistic Outlook

FNPs don’t deal with patients that they don’t know well for very long. Once they take on a case, they will become that patient’s main contact in their medical treatment. The position itself requires an individual who can remain optimistic in favor of the patient when they are physical and mentally exhausted. By displaying a positive outlook on the situation, FNPs can put their patient’s minds at ease and rest assured that their practitioner truly cares for them and wants them to get better. 

The ideal FNP candidate will be one that always has the same sunny disposition and optimistic outlook on life each time they meet with a patient. In essence, FNPs need to have strong people skills and be able to advocate for their patients with positive solutions.

Jack of All Trades

The profession for FNPs can be highly lucrative because the job requires more than just clinical patient care. FNPs need to have a vast array of skills and attributes when working with patients through an interpersonal communication structure. This means that active listening and empathy are just a few traits that FNPs need to possess to thrive in their career. 

Another essential quality is patience under immense stress. If the patient is experiencing emotional or physical trauma, the FNP must know how to handle those situations and calm the patient down. FNPs are quick thinkers who must be prepared for the eventuality of any scenario they may be exposed to. Every patient will be different and no two cases are exactly alike, and learning various non-technical skills will situate any FNP in the perfect position to care for patients physically and mentally.

Medical practitioners are driven by their desire to care for sick people and to make a concerted difference in the world of patient care. FNPs don’t pursue the career just because it opens the doors for greater opportunities and financial incentives, but because the profession calls for someone who actively wants to improve the lives of others. By earning a master’s degree in nursing, FNPs can place themselves in the frontline for essential medical care that includes not only vital medical knowledge but the personal skills needed to care for a sick person’s varying needs.