Family Nurse Practitioner Role and Setting


Family nurse practitioner has gained massive popularity in the United States over the past few decades. It is one of the oldest nursing practices and has increasingly become very popular. Family nurse practitioner’s role is classified as clinical. One of the most popular family nurse practices is that of rehabilitation nursing. The clinical nursing practice is common in doctor’s office, clinics, private homes, prison, or any rehabilitation centers where people are struggling to fight against a given practice or behavioral pattern. According to Ferrell and Coyle (2010), rehab nurses play a very critical role in helping drug addicts or people addicted to other practices considered abnormal to lead a normal life. In this study, the researcher will review articles that focus on this specialty of family nurse practitioner with the aim of enhancing knowledge about their roles and settings where they commonly work.

Critical Analysis of the Role

According to Torres and Morris (2011), a family nurse practitioner can work in various fields of healthcare. However, many people prefer specializing in a given area as a way of enhancing efficiency in their service delivery. Rehab nursing is one of the most common specialties of family nurse practitioner. These nurses can work in hospitals, schools, prison, or rehabilitation centers. In most of the cases, their role is always considered clinical practice because they help patients who have psychological problems. However, this does not mean that they cannot work in non-clinical roles such as being executives at various institutions or working as professors. In order to understand this nursing concept, it is necessary to look at some of the specific roles played by rehab nurses.

One of the most important roles of rehab nursing is giving care to the clients in different mental states. There are cases where some patients need close nursing care because of their psychological conditions. For instance, a patient who is struggling to stop drug abuse may suffer from withdrawal effects. Sometimes this may come with a lot of pain as the body systems get used to a new setting where drug is not an option. A nurse should be present to offer these patients medical and psychological support. They should assure them that their painful condition is only short-lived and that their body will normalize after a short while (Arnold, 2013). Such nurses are also needed to implement care plan, such as administering drugs and engaging the patients in physical exercises to motivate their healing process.

Rehab nurses are collaborators who work together with various stakeholders to ensure that their patients recover within the shortest period possible. As a collaborator, a nurse will need to coordinate with the patients, their families, the doctors in charge, and any other authority to ensure that the patient has everything needed for the rehabilitation process. This will include a good environment that will enhance the healing process and the moral and financial support needed from friends and family members. The nurse is also expected to develop cost-effective mechanisms of managing the condition of their patients.

According to Clipsham (2013), rehab nurses acts as clients’ advocates. They are expected to listen to the clients and their family members in order to come up with ways of addressing their problem based on their expectations. For instance, one may consider having the treatment at home instead of going to a rehabilitation center. The nurse should assess the reasons given by the patient and if they are valid, then he or she should propose a program that can work well from home. Within the community, rehab nurses should advocate for policies that will support the clients. They should create awareness by informing the public that they have a role in helping the patients achieve full recovery instead of shunning them. A drug addict may only need the support and acceptance of people around him to stop the habit. These nurses should also intervene on behalf of their patients to ensure that they receive timely medication and any other support from other stakeholders (Fulton, Lyon, & Goudreau, 2014).

Rehab nurses are teachers in the society. Different patients in rehabilitation centers may have unique medical problems that contribute to their condition. For instance, a patient may have developed problems associated with major depression. Such patients may need thorough education about their condition and how they should manage it to avoid future relapse into the same problem. Educating them ensures that they remain empowered. After release from the rehabilitation centers, the care giving role is handed over to the patient and family members. The nurse must educate the patient, friends, and family members on how they should proceed with the role of offering care to the patient till the time of full recovery. The nurse is always expected to educate the society on how to avoid the disabilities. The public awareness campaigns can be conducted within many forums where the target population can be accessed.

Rehab nurses are consultants. They can be consulted by patients and their family members under various settings. A parent who is concerned of the practices of his son can visit a rehab nurse to seek information on how to handle the child. The nurse can provide the client with information on what to do and how to monitor the child to ensure that his behavior becomes normal. Sometimes he may recommend that the child should visit the clinic for a thorough check-up to identify the possible cause of erratic behavior. Jester (2014) also emphasizes that rehab nurses are researchers. They are always interacting with patients and other stakeholders when offering their services. They are in the best position to understand the changing trends in this field and measures that should be taken to improve the practice. Therefore, they need to maintain regular researches that will inform this practice. They should collaborate with other professionals to find new technologies that can be used when handling the patients to improve the overall outcome of their services.


Advanced practice rehabilitation nurse is one of the most common family nurse practitioner roles today. These nurses work with clients who have various disabilities and are trying to overcome them. They mostly work in hospitals, prisons, schools, or rehabilitation centers. They help the patients to develop mental strength that is needed to manage their situation. They work in collaboration with other stakeholders such as friends and family members of the patient and the administrators at the centers to ensure that patients have the best environment to achieve full recovery. They also engage in regular research to enhance their practice.


Arnold, H. (2013). The Affordable Care Act and International Recruitment and Migration of Nursing Professionals. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 20(2), 1373-1391

Clipsham, P. (2013). Comparing policies on conscientious refusals: A feminist perspective. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6(1), 159-165.

Ferrell, B., & Coyle, N. (2010). Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fulton, S., Lyon, B., & Goudreau, K. A. (2014). Foundations of clinical nurse specialist practice. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Jester, R. (2014). Advancing practice in rehabilitation nursing. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Torres, L., & Morris, S. (2011). Factors associated with the use of primary care services: the role of practice nurses. The European Journal of Health Economics 12(4), 373-381.

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