Send to

Choose Destination
J Prof Nurs. 2013 Nov-Dec;29(6):350-8. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2012.10.011.

Exploring the transition from registered nurse to family nurse practitioner.

Author information

Assistant Professor and Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago, IL. Electronic address:


There is limited information available regarding the transition from registered nurse (RN) to family nurse practitioner (FNP). Several authors described this transition as taking place in 4 stages, and others described it as a 2-phase process. However, there is a lack of consensus about the definition of these stages and phases and at what point they occur for nurses who are making the transition from an RN to an FNP. From what is known, this multistage/2-phase transition is accompanied by feelings of anxiety, stress, role confusion, and emotional turmoil. As a nurse faculty member, the author theorized that nurse faculty might be in a position to provide support for graduate students making this transition in role. However, there was little information available about the transition phases, stages, and needs of students during graduate school. The search for a framework to explore transition yielded transition theory, which is described and applied to FNP transition in this article. Transition theory may be useful for examining more fully the phases and stages of RN-to-FNP transition. In this time of increased need for qualified primary care providers, it is essential that graduates of FNP programs transition into practice following graduation.


FNP transition; Graduate nurse education; Transition theory

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center