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Family Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice in Florida

If you’re looking to expand your clinical capabilities and become an even greater health resource in your community, consider becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP). As an FNP, you can serve as a primary care provider (PCP) and make the decisions that impact patient wellness.

Family nurse practitioners also have the ability to help change the face of healthcare. The FNP degree prepares graduates for leadership and policy advocacy. You’ll be able to apply patient technology while being accountable for your own growth and development.

According to the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Board of Nursing, family nurse practitioners can practice independently if they have a signed protocol with a physician.

Written Physician Protocol

According to the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Board of Nursing, FNPs in Florida can practice independently if they have a signed agreement with a physician. They can even have their own practices. A physician does not necessarily need to be present at the time of service.

This written protocol contains a clear outline of duties the NP is allowed to perform. The level of physician supervision is also specifically identified in the protocol. Different levels of supervision may be required for different actions on the part of the APRN. For example, diagnosis may require no supervision, while certain procedures will require the physician to be onsite or may be prohibited altogether.

Florida Board of Nursing notes that the nurse practitioner knows which conditions they can begin and administer entirely, and which require physician review. Management expectations are clear for the NP’s work. The written agreement may be reviewed by either party annually.

Patient Diagnosis and Treatment

Family nurse practitioners in Florida who have a relationship with a supervising physician can serve as primary care providers. No referral is needed from another source for your patients to receive treatment from you. Both acute and chronic conditions can be treated by the PCP, as explained by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Treatment and coordination of further care fall under PCP duties.

Family nurse practitioners receive advanced clinical training and education in order to provide a wider range of care to patients than registered nurses. Duties can include diagnosing patients, ordering and interpreting tests, and prescribing medications. The range of patient care options available to the FNP allows for a wider variety of working environments.

Prescriptive Ability

In Florida, prescriptive ability is defined by the relationship with the supervising physician. Individual agreements will dictate the family nurse practitioner’s prescriptive scope in that practice. This includes initiation, alteration and cessation of prescription drugs.

Per Florida Statute 464.012, an NP can prescribe medications including controlled substance Schedules II-IV. These schedules classify drugs from most to least prone to abuse. The written physician protocol determines which prescriptions will require direct physician prescription in that specific environment.

As a family nurse practitioner, your impact on communities increases with your expanded skill set and responsibilities. With a written physician protocol, primary care provider capabilities and prescriptive ability, you can boost the health and wellness of Florida residents. 

Learn more about St. Thomas University’s Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner online program.


Scope of Practice Policy: Nurse Practitioners Overview

Scope of Practice Policy: Florida

Florida Board of Nursing: Updated Standards for Protocols: Physicians and ARNPs

American Academy of Family Physicians: Primary Care

Online Sunshine: Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature: The 2019 Florida Statutes

Florida Department of Health: Nurse Practice Act – Rules of the Board of Nursing

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