Why choose a Family Nurse Practitioner?

May 2, 2024

By Mary Richards, FNP, Oak Orchard Health at Warsaw

When it comes to your health, you have choices. Choices as to who will be your primary care provider. At which location? With what specialty? And what support services, if any?
More often you will see Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) as one of those options and they are a great choice, especially at Oak Orchard Health.

What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?

An FNP is a nurse practitioner who specializes in family medicine, treating people of all ages. They have a master’s degree in nursing which consists of 6+ years of education from starting as an RN to completing an FNP program. I chose to focus on family medicine because I wanted to have long-lasting relationships with my patients. I worked as a Registered Nurse for many years before returning to complete a Master’s degree. FNPs must have board certification to practice.

I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) for 25 years and work at Oak Orchard’s Warsaw location. Nurse practitioners are at all our health centers. Before becoming an FNP, I was an RN at a local hospital in the intensive care unit where I had a good connection with patients. I often found that patients had a lot of trust in nurses and developed good relationships. Many times patients were hospitalized for illnesses that could be prevented. These situations motivated me to do more for patients and family medicine was the answer.

Family nurse practitioners fit right in with our community health center.

FNPs can care for your entire family – from newborns to seniors. That fits right in with our core values at Oak Orchard Health – we care for everyone. Our focus is on people of all ages, no matter what their insurance status is. And we have medical providers that could work anywhere but choose a community health center.

Treating the whole family has many benefits. Understanding family dynamics can often be helpful when caring for people across the lifespans. For instance, if parents are having a hard time, then it stands to reason that their children may too. Understanding those connections helps me treat everyone. It’s a holistic approach to medicine. I enjoy caring for the pediatric patients of parents I cared for in childhood.

A team approach to care at Oak Orchard Health

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I am part of a team with MDs, RNs, LPNs, MAs, Care Managers, therapists, and front-end staff to name a few. We are focused on achieving the best patient care goals whether it’s preventive measures or providing solutions for various diseases. Our care managers and therapists are here for a mental health crisis. We have a telehealth service with specialists within and outside our area. You do not have to leave our health center or your home to engage with these enhanced services. We strive to make it easier for patients to access healthcare.

And my team helps make it easier for me to provide the best care to our patients. I count on every member of my team to help deliver high-quality, individualized care for our patients. Our team approach also helps us develop medical solutions that fit our patient’s needs. Working in rural areas, we understand that there are barriers to care such as transportation, food insecurity, housing issues, and health insurance. At Oak Orchard Health, we have that covered. The team here can make those barriers less of a hurdle.

Caring for people across the lifespan

Family Nurse Practitioners care for all ages. Given their nursing backgrounds, they often already have experience listening to and educating patients. A big plus! Being sensitive, responding to their needs, and educating them to help them stay healthy. Customizing programs that fit their lifestyle is key with my patients.

Looking for a primary care provider?

If you need a primary care provider, call Oak Orchard Health and see which provider is right for you. Visit our website to find out more. www.OakOrchardHealth.org and give us a call at (585) 589-5613.

























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