The Family Nurse Practitioner: a dynamic role in health care

November 03, 2023

Primary Care
FNP with patient and daughter

The family nurse practitioner: a dynamic role in health care

As compassionate and knowledgeable providers, family nurse practitioners (FNP) care for people of all ages. With the skills to manage health and well-being expectations in primary care, pediatric, specialty and emergency room settings, they are key health care team members.

FNPs often start as bedside nurses. Their diverse experiences provide invaluable insights into the thorough and timely patient-centered care. “Family nurse practitioners offer a solution for increasing access to quality health care for everyone in the community,” says Kristine Dutton, a family nurse practitioner (FNP) with Riverside Mathews Medical Center.

FNP: highly educated and trained


Family nurse practitioners come from many different backgrounds, with many enter the nursing profession as Registered Nurses or with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. When looking to grow in their careers, they further their education and training, earning a Master of Science in nursing and receiving certification as a nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board. They must also maintain an active nursing license to practice. 

“The average nurse practitioner has at least nine years of clinical experience. Their depth of knowledge is a huge advantage to both the patient and care team,” says Ms. Dutton.

FNP: caring for you across all specialties


From the emergency room to primary care and specialty areas like dermatology and urology, all health care settings benefit from FNPs. They are trained to provide a variety of care and are able to care for all ages and stages of life. They can see you for:


• Preventive care, annual physicals and well-checks

• Viral and bacterial infections

• Muscle, joint and bone injuries

• Pregnancy and lactation

• Gastrointestinal conditions

• Chronic condition management


FNPs hold many of the same responsibilities as physicians, including providing direct patient care, writing prescriptions, making referrals to specialty providers and admitting patients to the hospital.


“Family nurse practitioners have a dynamic and valued role in health care. They can work independently or support a physician or group of physicians in managing patient care,” says Ms. Dutton.


FNP: here for your care needs


The family nurse practitioner is a critical staple in modern health care. If you are looking for high-quality, compassionate care, schedule an appointment with Kristine Dutton, a family nurse practitioner who can deliver. Riverside Health System understands the value of FNPs and how they improve your access care; use our Find a Doctor search tool to find qualified nurse practitioners in every specialty service today!



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