4 Tips for Your First Year as an FNP

Chamberlain clinical nursing

Being a new Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) can feel like an overwhelming and exciting responsibility. As an advanced practice registered nurse you focus on comprehensive healthcare for families and family members across all ages, body systems and diseases. You’ll be delivering a range of acute, chronic and preventive healthcare services. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, you’re responsible for performing routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and can offer personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

As fulfilling and rewarding as the nursing profession can be, it can also be demanding both mentally and physically. Here are some tips for making the most out of your first year as an FNP!

1. Establish a mentor

Find someone on-site that you respect and who is available to support you in the workplace. Having someone more experienced to show you the ropes and to discuss cases with you will help you feel comfortable with your new environment and responsibilities. Learning is a lifelong journey!

2. Listen

Listen to your patients, and really listen. Your patients and their families are closest to their symptoms and situations, and can provide incredible insights. When something doesn’t seem “right” to them, use it as an opportunity to really investigate causes, diagnoses and remedies available.

3. Order diagnostic testing

Your first years in practice, you may find yourself ordering more diagnostic testing than you think you should need. It’s ok. Use these results as a great resource to really hone in and tailor your future practice. If you think it is in the best interest of your patient, order it.

4. Engage in reflective practice

Spend some time each day reflecting on yourself and about the decisions you made. Celebrate the triumphs, think through any obstacles and research how you can approach alternative options for patient care. Remember that cases aren’t always textbook and sometimes the right answer for the patient isn’t what is in the textbook. Acknowledge that you are human and that you are still learning. Healthcare is full of ups and downs, so be kind to yourself.

Interested in learning how you can contribute to impacting patient care and education? Explore the exciting opportunities available through Chamberlain’s Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner specialty track. Request more information here.

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