shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Family Nurse Practitioner

Page address:

Nurse Practitioners are registered professional nurses who have completed a graduate education program in nursing. They are certified through a professional nursing organization to practice as a Nurse Practitioner. Nurse Practitioners collaborate, consult, and refer patients to physicians when a patient's situation warrants more advanced diagnosis and treatment.

The 53 credit masters and 30 credit post-nursing master's curricula at Minnesota State University, Mankato is designed to prepare the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) for national certification and practice. FNPs approach patients and their families in an individualized and holistic manner to:

  • Take health histories and perform physical exams
  • Assess, treat and evaluate common illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and minor injuries
  • Prescribe and manage medications for acute and stabilized chronic conditions;
  • Promote positive health behaviors through education and counseling;
  • Provide prenatal care, family planning services, and the management of normal pregnancies;
  • Provide health screening and disease prevention services such as blood pressure screening, nutrition counseling, immunizations and cancer screening; and
  • Identify health needs that may require referral for more specialized care.*

In addition to providing direct patient care, many FNPs promote quality health care for individuals and their families through education, research and legislative activities. FNPs provide care in such settings as clinics, hospitals, retirement communities, schools, the workplace, health maintenance organizations, public health departments and client homes. Enhancing access to health care is a major goal of the FNP program at Minnesota State Mankato. Many graduates are providing primary care in rural communities, thus increasing access to health care in those communities.

The graduate student who selects the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program will be prepared to perform an expanded role in the delivery of primary health care. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Curriculum Guidelines and Program Standards for Nurse Practitioner Education (1995) sets forth six domains which the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Masters Education for Advanced Practice Nursing (1996) identifies as generic for advanced practice nursing. These domains are: Nurse-Client Relationship, Teaching-Coaching Function, Professional Role, Managing and Negotiating Health Care Delivery System, Monitoring and Ensuring Quality of Health Care Practice, and Management of Client Health/Illness Status. The graduate student preparing for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner acquires knowledge, competencies, and skills in these domain areas throughout the four main areas of the curriculum: Nursing Science Component Courses, Advanced Practice Component Courses, and Supportive Fields Courses.

The FNP student completes comprehensive assessments of the health status of families; manages common acute and chronic health problems; provides counseling and teaching in areas of health promotion and disease prevention; and collaborates with other health professionals. Clinical internships under the supervision of qualified nurse practitioner and physician preceptors focus on primary health care in a variety of setting with emphasis on the health care needs of individuals, families, and populations across the continuum of life. Preceptors for FNP students in these three clinical experiences include practicing FNPs and physicians in a variety of specialties, primarily in family practice. For more information on the FNP role, you may also choose to access the website of the American Association of Nurse Practitioner.

*Source: *"Nurse Practitioners: Education, Experience, Choice Contributing to Healthy Communities" brochure created by the Collaborative Rural Nurse Practitioner Project through funding from the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.