What does a family nurse practitioner (FNP) do?

FNPs provide care across the lifespan and work in a variety of settings

Did you know family nurse practitioners can treat patients from the time they’re born through their elderly years?

That wide range drew Jeff Trees, DNP, FNP-BC, CNP, coordinator of family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs for the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing, to the specialty. In this video, he discusses the FNP role, along with some of the benefits of UC’s program.

FNPs provide primary care for patients across the lifespan.

Trees: I chose to become an FNP because I wanted to provide primary care, management of illness and disease to patients across the lifespan, including to infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

As advanced-practitioners, FNPs have more autonomy, accountability and responsibility than RNs.

Trees: Becoming an advanced-practice nurse allows you more autonomy, accountability and responsibility in taking care of your patients. You will assess, diagnose, evaluate, order the labs, interpret the labs, prescribe medications and refer your patients to specialty providers, when needed. You will be able to educate your patients on disease prevention and provide health counseling to guide patients into making better health and lifestyle choices.

FNPs work in a variety of settings.

Trees: Due to our ability to work with a broad patient population in terms of age, gender and life stage, FNPs provide care in outpatient settings and may work in private practices, schools, community health centers, clinics, retail clinics, health departments or other ambulatory care facilities. In addition, FNPs may choose to specialize and work in outpatient or community-based settings focused on dermatology, orthopedics, pulmonary, oncology or other care.

UC’s FNP program offers flexible scheduling options to meet your needs.

Our FNP programs at UC can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis online, on-campus or as a mixture of both. Typically, students choose the six-semester schema; however, schemas may be individualized and adjusted to what works for you. They can be longer or even shorter. Again, you choose what works for you.

UC's FNP program requires a range of clinical experiences to fully prepare you.

After completing your didactic courses, you will start your practicum courses – completing a total of 672 clinical hours – where you work side-by-side with a nurse practitioner, midwife, or physician, learning to hone and fully develop those skills you learned in your classes, but with a real patient. These practicum experiences, coupled with the education we provide you, really prepares you for your certification exam and to take care of patients as you proceed in your career.

Learn More:

Learn more about our FNP programs:


Have a question? Our admissions counselors are here to help. Email nursingbearcats@uc.edu or call 513-558-3600.