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What are the Traits Needed to Succeed as a Family Nurse Practitioner?

Author: Gitashree Chakma
by Gitashree Chakma
Posted: May 05, 2018
family nurse

Family Nurse Practitioners have been working in the field for approximately 40 years now. Due to a shortage of medical doctors, they are starting to perform many tasks that were reserved to doctors in the past. The field is more relevant than ever and is growing every year with high demand. However, while you may be considering this field, you'll want to make sure that you have the traits required for the job. Here are some of the traits and attributes needed to succeed as an FNP.


Just like many other careers in the medical field, the average family nurse practitionerwill often work long shifts and see patients constantly. As an FNP, you won't have much downtime and there's usually an abundance of work. Working at a high rate throughout a shift can be a challenge, so being able to handle pressure is a must.

These professionals must also possess a good deal of mental endurance in order to have a thriving career. Family nurse practitioners also have to think quickly and assess situations rapidly to make the best decisions for their patients. Medical emergencies are common so quick thinking is essential.

Excellent Communicator

Since many people don't understand technical terms when it comes to medicine, it's important to be able to communicate well with people who may not be as literate or may not have a good grasp of English.

Good communication skills not only help with patients, but when communicating with members of the family as well. You’ll have to be able to explain procedures and risks to close ones realistically, but with tact. Family nurses who can reassure patients and families while being able to explain complex procedures usually thrive in this field.

Patient Attitudes

When it comes to dealing with both patients and other medical staff, having patience is an essential trait. Many times, patients don't understand medical treatments or diseases, which can be frustrating. They may also not want to follow recommendations or try to leave against medical advice. The family nurse practitioner has to address these concerns and ensure that patients, the family, and the staff are on the same lines. If you tend to be impatient, then this might not be the best field for you.


At the heart of almost any job in the medical field, you’ll find the need for compassion. To be successful as an FNP, you must provide exceptional care to your patients. If you don't have feelings of empathy towards your patients, then it will be difficult to put your heart into your work. Family nurse practitioners have a variety of roles in the medical field but diagnosing patients with certain diseases and conditions is one of the major tasks. The people that you treat will want to know that you care about their health problems and needs.

In addition to administering treatment, nurse practitioners also have to encourage their patients in a variety of ways. You'll have to encourage your patients when they undergo various tests and procedures, to be compliant with medications or lifestyles, and to continue pursuing good health throughout the years. This can be difficult for some patients as they may not be motivated to make the best choices for their long-term health. Although not everyone can do this well, many nurse practitioners find that integrating encouragement into their daily practices is part of what makes this field fulfilling.


Nurse practitioners often function as the primary health provider for their patients. In this role, they are responsible for managing their patients' health and providing diagnosis and treatments. If you aren't confident in your assessments, then your patients won't trust your judgment and may seek out other healthcare providers instead. This doesn't mean that you don't seek out second opinions. However, you will need to act decisively and put weight on the information you provide to your patients. Working independently on a day-to-day basis is essential for anyone in this role.


Nurse practitioners have to review a person's medical history, diagnose, and treat a variety of conditions and diseases. Since many of the conditions they manage can be complex, you'll have to be detail-oriented in order to make it in this field.

Since many people will not always exhibit textbook symptoms of a disease or condition, it's essential to be able to critically assess your patient's condition to provide effective treatment. Family nurse practitioners also have to review the results of tests and determine the severity of a condition. This all means that it's essential to be able to pay attention to details, even ones that seem insignificant, if you want to enjoy a long career as an FNP.

Although not everyone has the skills needed to be a family nurse practitioner, you may find that all these traits already apply to you. If you already have or can develop some of the traits here, then working as a family nurse practitioner may just be the ideal career choice for you.

About the Author

Gitashree Chakma 383 Hillcrest Avenue Cambridge, MA 02141 Employer relations representative K's Merchandise

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Author: Gitashree Chakma

Gitashree Chakma

Member since: May 05, 2018
Published articles: 1

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