You are a registered nurse (RN) eager to take your career to the next level by becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). But you are unsure if a career as an FNP is the right fit for you. Being an FNP is a challenging job that needs you to have or develop certain traits to perform well. Hence, in this article, we will discuss the most essential characteristics you must possess to become a good Family Nurse Practitioner.
- Effective communication:
When you become an FNP, one of the most essential skills that you need to have is effective communication. This is because an FNP treats a full range of patients ranging from infants to the aged and everyone in between. Hence you must be able to effectively communicate and manage people from all age groups.
You must also effectively communicate with your staff, co-workers, and upper management to provide appropriate care to the patient. Poor communication from your side as an FNP can create challenging situations and put patients at risk.
So while preparing to become an FNP, you must learn proper communication.
- Emotional stability
Hospitals can be pretty negative environments to work in. As an FNP, you will frequently have to deal with distressing situations. Occasionally, the patients will not get the outcome you hoped for. During those times, you must have the mental stability to accept unavoidable suffering and death without allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment.
Though you already deal with all this as a registered nurse, when you become an FNP, you will have additional stress and responsibility for the patient's well-being. Making emotional stability a more challenging job.
But having said that, there will also be heartwarming moments that will make the job worth every effort. Hence as an FNP, you will have to learn to manage yourself during tragic situations and draw strength from good outcomes.
- Active Listening:
When you become an FNP, along with being able to speak effectively, you must also have active listening skills. You will be able to develop a better treatment plan if you listen actively to the patient's needs and personal history. Additionally, being an active listener with your colleagues will help you resolve conflicts, strengthen the team, build trust and get more in-depth information about a case.
Having compassion is an important quality that all nurses and nurse practitioners must possess. RNs and NP are one of the most trusted medical professionals because of their kindness and ability to understand patients' needs.
Working in healthcare every day, you meet people who are sick, suffering, or dying. During treatment, you must make them feel you understand their emotions and will do everything you can to support and heal them.
It is improbable that you became a nurse without already being compassionate about other people. But still, if you find it hard to find compassion at times or are going through compassion burnout, you can try to imagine yourself or someone close to you as the patient. This will help you treat them with more sympathy.
- Critical Thinking:
Being able to think critically is a vital skill you must have as a nurse, and the same is true when you become a Nurse Practitioner. Still, the level at which you will have to think critically will be increased as an FNP. This is because you will be in charge of the treatment plan for a patient. Thus, thinking everything through will help create a safe and effective treatment strategy.
- Time Management:
As a nurse practitioner, in addition to treating illness, you have a lot of other responsibilities like managing your team, educating your patients, etc. To manage all this, you must be excellent with time management.
When you are good at managing your time, you will make the most of each minute you spend in your job. Hence, managing your time will not only be helpful to you but also will be highly beneficial for respecting the patient's time and resources.
- Physical Endurance
Depending on the environment in which you work, you may be walking for miles in each shift. So when you are preparing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, you must also start preparing your body to be on your feet for long stretches of time. Keeping high energy will be vital for performing your job correctly. You cannot afford to feel exhausted I n providing the best care to your patients.
- Leadership skills:
When becoming an FNP, you must also prepare to become a good leader. Being a leader is not just about instructing people what to do and watching from the sidelines. Due to your advanced degree, you will be in charge of certain people who will come to you in times of doubt. Therefore, you should always be ready to support them through good communication, confidence, and integrity.
Healthcare can be a depressing environment, but you need to be optimistic for your patients. If you constantly point out the negatives about the patient's health and life, they may get discouraged from seeking treatment from you.
Nevertheless, there is a thin line between optimism and dishonesty. If your patients have a terrible prognosis, giving them false hope will not be fair. It is not optimistic to tell a terminally ill or injured patient they will recover fully. But on the other hand, it is optimistic to promise your patient that you will do everything you can to treat and make them comfortable during their illness.
Now, if you think you have the qualities mentioned above, you will be a good fit as a Family Nurse Practitioner. And even if you lack some of these qualities, there is nothing to be afraid of. With enough time and effort, all these qualities are learnable. The main thing you need to become an FNP is determination. After that, everything else can be acquired.
But before being able to practice as an FNP, you will need to get certified by either the AANP or AANC exam, both of which can be pretty challenging. But to make your journey easier and get your certification on your first attempt, you should check out our FNP review course. The course is designed to make your FNP certification journey as easy and stress-free as possible.