8 Essential Traits You Must Have As A Family Nurse Practitioner For A Progressive Career

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) have many responsibilities, but the most important is serving patients. Before you can provide quality care to your patients, you need the right skills and mindset.

These qualities are vital to having a successful career in this field, but they also make you a better person overall. Below are eight essential traits necessary for a successful family nurse practitioner:

Proper Education

If you are looking to become a family nurse practitioner, you must take the proper education and training. Most people will say that having a college degree is enough.

But, having a high school diploma and some college experience can help transition from being an LPN (licensed practical nurse) to an RN (registered nurse). It would also make your resume more appealing to employers because they know you have already been in the healthcare profession for some time.

There are many options available when it comes down to finding the right college or university. However, considering an online FNP program would be a better choice if cost is an issue. These can be affordable but have the same resources and study material as traditional schools.

It is also most preferred because some students feel better when learning independently instead of being in class with other students to get better results. In addition, they want to focus well on progress by not getting distracted at their own pace while handling a job if they are working at the same time.

Patient Focus

A family nurse practitioner must deeply understand the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and expectations. Being an excellent communicator is a must. You must listen and give clear instructions to help your patients understand their care plan.

This trait is essential when you may have difficult discussions with patients or their families regarding end-of-life issues or other sensitive topics.

You will also need to communicate clearly with other healthcare providers. It makes everyone understand the problems and how they can work together for the patient’s best interest.

Counseling Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by May 2021, the employment estimate of Nurse Practitioners was 234,690, with the percentile annual medium wage of $120,680.

Therefore, it is a thriving field of practice where you’ll be responsible for providing care to patients of all ages in need. That means it’s essential that you have counseling skills.

You must be able to listen to and understand patients’ needs and assess their psychological and social needs. You must also be able to evaluate their physical needs.

It is crucial because family nurse practitioners often work in rural locations with limited access to healthcare professionals who can meet these more complex health concerns. Counseling will help ensure your patients receive the best care possible, or at least as much care available in that area.

Specialist Care

Specialist care is vital because it allows the family nurse practitioner to diagnose and treat various medical problems. It helps patients who are often stuck with one doctor or specialist, and they can see you for all their medical needs.

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Specialty care is critical to the patient’s health, as it will allow them to see multiple specialists and get treatment to manage chronic diseases.

Specialist care is also essential for families as they may not know what problems their loved ones are having. It comes when they bring them in for an evaluation by a qualified nurse practitioner. They can then recommend appropriate action and further diagnosis if necessary.

Specialist care is also crucial for communities. Without it, there would be no way for healthcare providers, including nurses, to work outside clinics and hospitals. These could be related to those employed by school systems or non-profit organizations like churches.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s crucial to being a family nurse practitioner (FNP) because it helps you communicate effectively with your patients.

It builds trust and establishes rapport. It would help if you had it when talking to them about sensitive topics like their health issues or personal lives.

If you’ve ever had an empathetic conversation with someone who seemed to understand what you were going through, then you know how powerful this quality can be. However, if you haven’t experienced that feeling yet, empathy is essential in FNP work.


According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, by April 2022, the NPs who are licensed for practice rose to an increased rate of 9% compared to the last year. It is a promising field; therefore, adaptability is vital for anyone in healthcare.

As you progress through your career and gain more experience, you will find that you will be required to work in many different situations and environments. As such, you must be able to adjust your personality and behavior so that they fit into whatever setting or situation you find yourself in.

It also applies when it comes time for new technology or equipment. If the hospital suddenly upgrades its Electronic Medical record (EMR) system to Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Therefore, it is crucial for the FNP on staff to understand how their role and responsibilities have changed. For example, keeping track of immunizations when each patient visits rather than having them log into an app on their phone or tablet device.

Thus, adapting accordingly with minimal disruption across departments or clinics within the hospital is crucial.

Good Interpersonal Skills

You should know that having good interpersonal skills is an essential trait to have, especially if you are a family nurse practitioner.

Working as part of a team is also necessary as this can significantly help your career in the long run.

Some of the ways that you can demonstrate these skills include:

  • Listening to your patients.

  • Asking open-ended questions when talking with them.

  • Showing empathy and compassion towards them.

  • Being a good listener and taking time out to listen carefully to what they have to say for themselves.

Decision-Making Ability

Decision-making is a critical skill for any nurse practitioner. It is the ability to make decisions and the ability to make the right decision based on the information you collected during your assessment.

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For example, what would you do if you were caring for a patient with diabetes who comes in with elevated blood sugar levels? Or How will you decide which interventions to perform?

These questions can only be answered based on experience, knowledge base, critical thinking skills, and judgment. The best way to develop this skill is by having mentors who guide the way.

Questions like “How would I handle this situation?” or “What would you do in this particular case?” helps build confidence. It also brings wisdom around making appropriate choices while treating patients under various conditions.

These Are The Characteristic Traits Needed To Be A Competent FNP

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the profession of a nurse practitioner tops the list of the best health care jobs in 2022, which is commendable. In addition to that, being an FNP can be pretty challenging, but there are many rewards.

Moreover, when working with patients and families daily, FNPs must keep up-to-date with new developments in their field by attending conferences and workshops and reading academic journals.

Also, it helps develop your personality and contribute to the families and community with these skills. Therefore, if you want an exciting job that allows you to help others while doing something rewarding for yourself, consider becoming an FNP.

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