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Role of the Nurse Practitioner

             History and Educational requirements of the Family Nurse Practitioner.
             The Nurse Practitioner came into existence in 1965 at the University of Colorado when Nurse Loretta Ford and Physician Henry Silver developed the role of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in response to a shortage of Family Medicine doctors in inner-city and rural communities. (Brush and Capezuti, 1996) The first Pediatric Nurse Practitioners were trained at the Graduate level and worked in collaboration with Physicians. .
             During the 1970’s and 80’s the role of the Nurse Practitioner expanded to include many specialties including Midwifery, Women’s Health, Geriatrics, Psychiatry, Acute Care and Family Practice.
             The role of the Family Nurse Practitioner was developed with the goal of providing health care services to individuals, families and communities in underserved areas. Family Nurse Practitioners are trained at the Graduate level and certified by a National Organization, usually the American Nurses Association. Practitioners are specially trained to diagnose, and manage common, chronic and acute health care conditions. The Family Nurse Practitioner can be found in many different practice settings, either working in collaboration with Physicians or alone. They function as clinicians, leaders, researchers, teachers, Managers and policymakers. The role itself is evolving to meet the constant changes of the Health care system. .
             II. Conceptualization of the role.
             For nurses to make their contribution, it is essential that they practice nursing in an organized manner (Alligood & Tomey, 2002, p.g. 208) therefore I have chosen Kings Conceptual System and Theory of Goal Attainment as the primary framework for the role of the Family Nurse Practitioner. King (1968) stated, “Concepts offer a way of thinking about nursing: a way of observing behavior and a way of collecting specific information essential for decision making based on knowledge available to meet some the needs of individuals at a particular point in time.