The Role of the Family Nurse Practitioner
Historically, there have been many instances in American history where legislation and medicine allowed Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) to serve in expanded roles or definitions (Delgado, 2014). This was especially true in areas that were poor or underserved (Delgado, 2014). It is also possible to look back in history and see a direct relationship with times of increased demand for care, (i.e. war, economic depression), and the increased roles allowed and assumed by APN’s. Today, like many other periods throughout our history, there is an increase need for care related to similar events of the past (i.e. war, economic depression); but also related to the increase in access to care as provided by the Affordable Care Act, as well as the growth in our older population, which is a direct result of living longer and better access to care (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015). Unfortunately, the customary allowance of role expansion for APNs to address this ever growing need has been slow to come or restrictive at best (Schiff, 2012 & Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010).
Description of the Family Nurse Practitioner Role
The program of the APN-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) offered through South University is designed to prepare FNP’s within both healthcare and professional standards in order to treat patients and their families across the lifespan (South University, 2015). These educational goals are consistent with the FNP practice standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN), which states that APRNs should first obtain a master’s degree or higher, achieve the necessary certification to practice, as well as, maintaining continued competence (AACN, 2006). These educational goals are also consistent with the APRN Consensus Model which defines APRNs role to include, the FNP, is to filled by a graduate level