Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

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acute care nurse practitioner
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Let's learn about the many opportunities in acute nursing care. What you'll do: Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) provide follow-up care to patients suffering from mild but severe illness, usually in the emergency department, ambulatory care clinic or other short-term stay facility. ACNPs diagnose and treat acute medical conditions, in collaboration with doctors and other health care team members. The ACNP profession is one of the nursing career options that is faster, and full of responsibility and variety.

Your degree should practice: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Certification: Must be certified by your State Board of Nurses or obtain national certification from agents such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Average annual salary: $ 102,670 *

Career Overview

Acute care nurse practitioners may work in emergency rooms, operating rooms, walking clinics, doctor offices, critical care units or community-based environments. ACNP treats patients suffering from acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome or shock.

They also treat pre and postoperative patients, and can perform advanced and invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Acute care nurse practitioners can be case managers and team leaders.

Education of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

  • ACNP is a nursing practitioner (NP) specializing in acute nursing care.
  • The acute care nurse practitioner must first complete a 2 or 4 year degree in care and be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). Most gain experience as acute RN care before returning to school for an advanced degree and becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN).

To become an acute care nurse practitioner, you also need to meet these requirements:
  • You will need to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree that includes a special ACNP course. School nurses usually offer this degree as a 2-year program with approximately 40 credit hours of courses, plus hundreds of hours of clinical studies.
  • If you already have a master's degree in nursing, you may be able to prepare for ACNP certification with a 1-year graduate program.
  • After completing the training at your nursing school, you must get certified by your State Board of Nurses or receive national certification from agents such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Career Prospects

The current health care crisis in the US has resulted in a special need for acute care specialists, despite a decrease in the number of facilities that provide such treatment. That's because more patients are uninsured or under-insured. Unable to pay for preventive or ongoing medical treatment, these patients tend to switch to emergency rooms and other acute care settings. Therefore ACNP is in great demand in this setting, especially since they can provide primary care at a lower cost than doctors.

Source: American Academy Nurse Practitioner; Acutecarenursepractitioner dot com; U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau 2016-17 Handbook of Work; Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner.

* Salary information listed is based on the national average, unless it is recorded. Actual salaries can vary greatly based on specialization in the field, location, years of experience and many other factors. Projected national long-term employment growth may not reflect economic conditions or local and / or short-term employment, and does not guarantee actual job growth.
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Certification for Nurse Practitioners - Getting national certification is required by many states and employers for nursing practitioners and other advanced nursing practitioners. Credentialing is available at ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) and the AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). Candidates are required to pass a certification exam in a specialized field to get certified. Typically, this area of specialization is equivalent to graduate degree programs who have completed their education.