The Difference You Can Make

Play an even greater role in better health for patients and their communities

Promote healthy living. Monitor the well-being of whole families. Educate communities about common health problems. These are just some of the profound effects you can have on others as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

While they are found in hospitals, private practice, and other facilities in a wide range of communities, FNPs are especially needed—and valued—in rural and urban communities where traditional family physicians and clinics are increasingly hard to come by. At Samuel Merritt University, we believe that family nurse practitioners have the potential to make improving public health a reality for everyone.

What You Can Do

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, you can:

Promote Healthy Living – A 2008 study of nurse practitioner activity found that 81% of visits to NPs included counseling on health issues, compared to 61% of physician visits. i In a 2004 study, researchers found that patients leaving hospitals who saw a nurse practitioner were significantly more likely to receive advice about diet, exercise, reducing tobacco use, safe sex, and other healthy habits than those who did not. ii As an FNP, you have the opportunity to offer patients the information they need to take charge of their health.

Help Low-Income Patients – Family nurse practitioners work with many patients who are otherwise shut out of the healthcare system, including older and low-income patients. 84.9% of FNPs work with Medicare patients, and 83.9% work with Medicaid patients. iii In addition, 97.2% of nurse practitioners have the ability to prescribe medications, which makes them invaluable to patients who cannot visit a physician. iv

Address Healthcare Disparities – Samuel Merritt University believes in building a culturally diverse nursing workforce. We’ve seen first-hand that having more nurses from a broad range of cultural and economic backgrounds improves patient treatment. That’s because nurses from traditionally-underserved populations, such as immigrant families or low-income families, can often build meaningful connections with patients who share common traits. These nursing professionals can also act as patient advocates for better treatment when making referrals or as policymakers.

Increase Access to Healthcare – While they are often based in hospitals or the practice of a supervising physician, family nurse practitioners increasingly set up shop in places that are not traditional healthcare providers. These can include clinics within retail outlets, screening programs, community health organizations, or private FNP practices. Within the hospital environment, data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (1997-2000) found that nurse practitioners play a key role in patient care in rural areas. v

Have a Direct Impact on Family Health – In a 2009 study, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners found that more than 48% of NPs worked with families as their primary care focus. vi These practitioners are able to take a holistic perspective of the patient, looking beyond acute conditions to see how the family environment can be used to improve health for the patient and everyone around him.

Make an Even Bigger Difference

Build on your nursing experience and do more for patients as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Contact Samuel Merritt University today to learn how you can earn your Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner degree with us.