Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are registered nurses who have earned a Master of Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and received licensing to practice at a more advanced level. As stated on an information page from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, FNPs are mid-level providers responsible for many of the same duties ascribed to physicians, including diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, prescribing medication, ordering tests and offering comprehensive health advice.
Individuals who are eager to begin a career as an FNP upon graduation from a MSN or DNP-FNP program, such as Bradley University’s online programs, may be wondering what exactly hiring managers look for in qualified candidates when making a decision. Below are some of the most important qualities that the very best FNPs will have to set themselves apart from the crowd and land their first job:
1. A professional approach
In an interview for an article published by the American Nurses Association, an account executive from a health care resources company, Shawnee Major, explained that no matter the level of employment, hiring managers are looking for professionalism at all times. Nursing professionals may assume that if they have the right training and qualifications, they should be able to secure a job relatively quickly. Major noted, however, that hiring managers in the medical field still value a professional approach from job applicants. This strategy involves dressing in business formal wear for interviews, tailoring resumes and cover letters to specific roles and demonstrating a desire to progress professionally.
2. An interest in preventative health
FNPs emphasize preventative health and adopt a holistic approach to the care they provide, journalist Lisa Esposito wrote in an article for U.S. News & World Report. They typically allocate more time to spend with patients to discuss issues related to maintaining good general health. Esposito interviewed an FNP from Maryland, Sandra Nettina, who elaborated on this crucial point. She stated that she spends time with patients assessing their overall level of health and recommending changes or improvements in terms of dietary revisions and smoking cessation. Given the emphasis on holistic health care, hiring managers likely will look for candidates who have increased knowledge of and experience in providing preventative health measures to patients and a desire to spend more time interacting with patients in a one-on-one situation.
According to an article published by UnitedHealth Group, a major employer of FNPs, hiring managers at the organization look for candidates who are decisive and confident in terms of the decisions they make. Proficient FNPs will not spend time second guessing any decisions they make — they will act in the best interest of patients at all times, ensuring the best possible outcomes.
4. Effective communication skills
As quantified in a fact sheet from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a majority of the U.S. population possess poor health literacy skills, with just 12 percent reported to have proficient ability in this area. Health literacy, in its most basic sense, is defined as a patient’s ability to understand general health issues and how best to prevent disease and manage health problems when they occur. Consequently, health professionals, especially nurses and FNPs, often are tasked with ensuring that patients are able to understand health-related information, as well as instructions for personal care. For example, if a patient is diagnosed with diabetes and is uncertain about what that means in terms of long-term health impacts and adhering to a daily medication regimen, it is likely that an FNP or other nursing professional will have to relay the information to the individual.
That reason is why hiring managers look for FNPs with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, according to the Mayo Clinic. Studies have indicated that among populations of patients with low health literacy, fewer patients are able to access the care they need. Through effective communication and interpersonal skills, FNPs can work to ensure that more patients understand basic health care and treatment issues, improving outcomes in the process.
5. Compassion and kindness
As with any health care role, some of the most successful professionals demonstrate empathy and compassion for patients, an article published by Scrubs Magazine explained. FNPs who are empathetic, patient and understanding likely will build a greater level of trust with patients, improving communication and outcomes as a consequence.
6. Information technology proficiency
According to a report from The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, a vast majority of U.S. hospitals — some 96 percent — now have at least a basic form of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Health care records are now primarily managed digitally, and consequently, hiring managers will prioritize candidates who are proficient in utilizing platforms such as EHRs, an article from the American Nurses Association noted.
7. Familiarity with another language
The U.S. is now home to 40 million Spanish-speaking individuals, The Guardian reported, using statistics from Instituto Cervante. Only Mexico boasts a higher population of Spanish speakers. Consequently, FNPs who are bilingual, especially those who can speak Spanish, are highly appealing to hiring managers, an information article from the American Nurses Association detailed.
Consider Bradley University
If you are interested in pursuing a career as an FNP, an effective first step on your professional journey is to apply to Bradley University’s online MSN-FNP or DNP-FNP program. To learn more, click here.