Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Imagine an individual is taken to a hospital emergency room for an issue with their well being, such as a myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. When the affected person arrives within the emergency room they will see a quantity of types of healthcare providers working as a group. Team members would come with the final nurses and doctors, anesthesiologists, and EMTs. There is a specialty typically forgotten, but a useful part of the group, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP).

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Acute care nurse practitioners are extremely skilled and educated healthcare providers which are capable of diagnose and treat acute, or sudden and severe, illnesses.

They have the same duties as docs, but have different approaches on the way to greatest care for the affected person. This career requires skills which might be wanted to be a successful nurse of any specialty, including independence, flexibility, and humility. These professionals can work in a number of settings, together with emergency rooms, working rooms, and critical care models. Due to their flexibility in work settings, they will work with a variety of patients, from pediatric to trauma.

Nurse Practitioners have been around for many years, however they weren’t educated to supply acute care until the Nineties. There is now a specific specialty in nursing that permits them to have the abilities wanted to offer acute care. This is as a outcome of demand for higher-quality care that these nurse practitioners can present. The requirements to turn into an acute care nurse practitioner embrace additional schooling after incomes a Bachelor diploma in Nursing, certification, and expertise in acute care by way of scientific hours.

They usually acquire a Master’s diploma in Nursing by way of an accredited faculty. Certification is granted through the state of a nursing company, such as the American Nurses Association.

The specialty of acute care nurse practitioner is a noble and exciting position in healthcare. It provides glorious look after patients with acute sicknesses whereas expanding the skills of the nurse. This paper will discuss the role, schooling, abilities and other issues that may affect the career of an acute care nurse practitioner.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Roles and Responsibilities

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are healthcare professionals that may diagnose, treat and care for patients with acute and persistent circumstances (“Career Profile” 2018). Acute circumstances are illnesses are those that are efficient for less than six months and are handled shortly. These conditions embrace a damaged leg, appendicitis and customary chilly. Chronic circumstances are these which are long term and wouldn’t have a definitive cure. Examples of persistent circumstances include rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes (Berman, Kozier, Erb, 2016).

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners have the flexibility to work in lots of forms of healthcare amenities. Facilities with these professionals include intensive care models, hospitals, and nursing properties. They often work and collaborate with all types of healthcare professionals, together with physicians, registered nurses, and doctor assistants. With this broad variety of workplaces these professionals will care for so much of kinds of patients, from infants and pregnant women to geriatrics and mental well being sufferers. In fact, there are subspecialties primarily based on populations or illness varieties. Populations they are in a position to specialize in embrace pediatrics, geriatrics, and neonatology. They can also concentrate on certain illnesses or physique methods, including cardiology, emergency care, or neurology (“What Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Do”).

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are able to work as a licensed primary or specialty care provider. They are superior practice registered nurses, which suggests they can have more responsibilities than a registered nurse would have. Responsibilities which may be part of this includes performing bodily examinations, ordering and deciphering diagnostic exams, and prescribing medicines and treatments (“Career Profile” 2018).

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Compared to Other Health Care Professions

In many ways, Acute Care Nurse Practitioners have the same duties as physicians or doctor assistants. In truth, the one distinction between nurse practitioners and physician assistants are the fashions they observe to provide care and the coaching they have acquired (“Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant”). Nurse practitioners are trained consistent with the nursing mannequin, which offers holistic care to a patient. Holistic care is described as wanting on the patient as a whole and never merely the illness they have. This contains considering the patient’s emotional, cognitive, and bodily state (Berman, Kozier, Erb, 2016). Physician assistants observe the medical model to supply care. This mannequin focuses extra on the disease the affected person has and how to remedy it as effectively as potential (“Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant” 2018).

Acute care nurse practitioners are also in a position to have their very own follow, whereas physician assistants often work underneath the supervision of a doctor with a medical degree. Acute care nurse practitioners may also work in collaboration with a doctor if they do not have or are unable to have their own follow. The amount an acute care nurse practitioner is ready to do within the United States is very reliable on the state’s regulations. Some states allow nurse practitioners full freedom they usually can have their very own practice, others are very restrictive on the procedures or remedies they are able to do. This causes relocation for nurse practitioners of any kind to be troublesome. To ensure full understanding of skills analysis the state’s laws and restrictiveness (Morten 1999).

Even although acute care nurse practitioners, physicians, and doctor assistants have related roles, many believe that nurse practitioners can not present the same degree of care as doctor assistants and physicians. However, Haut and Madden state that acute care nurse practitioners provide care that indicates “shorter stays, greater satisfaction amongst patients, increased work efficiency, and higher quality outcomes” (Haut, Madden 2015).

Studies have been carried out to determine if nurse practitioners do provide equal, if not superior care as physicians or physicians assistants. One research was done by Horrocks, Anderson, and Salisbury in 2002. They held random trials on patients to discover out the standard and satisfaction with care by each physicians and nurse practitioners. They additionally compared the health status’ of the patients of each professionals. It was found that patients were extra glad with their care by nurse practitioners than by their physicians. The high quality of care given by nurse practitioners was also gave the impression to be superior to physicians. In the examine nurse practitioners recognized bodily abnormalities more usually, communicated higher and made extra complete data. They had been additionally in a place to provide extra recommendation to the patient to promoting health and wellness. The well being status’ of the sufferers of nurse practitioners have been additionally much like the physicians’ patients (Horrocks, Anderson, Salisbury 2002). As this study suggests nurse practitioners are in a position to provide equal and, in some ways, superior affected person care than physicians assistants.

Education and Certification

Education to become an acute care nurse practitioner was restricted till just lately. Nurse practitioners, which have been first launched in the 1960’s, have been educated mainly for main care. This meant that there have been no programs devoted to acute care education, even though main care nurse practitioners were capable of work in acute care settings. Nurse practitioners that needed to learn the necessary expertise for acute care needed to learn by observing physicians, studying on their very own and probably be mentored by physicians (Morton 1999). In reality, the primary nationwide acute care nurse practitioner certification exam was not provided till December 1995 (Kleinpell 1999). There at the moment are a number of acute care applications obtainable all round the United States, including online applications.

To become an acute care nurse practitioner one should first earn a degree in nursing from a two to four-year program and be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). They then acquire expertise in the acute care setting, usually two to a few years, and return to high school to realize a complicated degree. A Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) or larger schooling, such as a doctorate, in nursing is required. The Master’s applications are given via a two-year program. About 40 credit score hours of classes is required to realize this diploma, together with lots of of hours of clinical experience (“What Acute Care…” 2018).

This Master’s diploma have to be a program specific to acute care nurse practitioners (“Your Guide to Certification” 2001). The next step is to turn out to be certified by the State Board of Nursing or through a sure company, such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. When certified the new acute care nurse practitioner is in a position to follow based mostly on the guidelines set by the state they’re working in (“What Acute Care…” 2018).

Skills of Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

The skills required to be a successful acute care nurse practitioner may be summarized by Susan Yeager, MS, RN, CCRN, ACNP when giving an interview for the Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Yeager described that the skills wanted to be an acute care nurse practitioner construct from the foundation of skills required for a registered nurse (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner” 2010). Skills required of a nurse include flexibility, communication and humility, together with many others such as independence, integrity and compassion (Berman, Kozier, Erb, 2016).

Flexibility or adaptability is a ability wanted because often occasions an issue or change will come up and you will want to have the flexibility to adapt to that change. For instance, a affected person may are available with a damaged leg and you start treating the leg, but then they suddenly begin vomiting. The nurse practitioner must adapt their care plan to the instant need of the affected person, which is to cease the vomiting. Nurse practitioners even have schedules that often change and include evening or weekend shifts, even shifts on the holidays.

Communication is a vital skill wanted for any well being care professional, but an acute care nurse practitioner must be an skilled. An acute care nurse practitioner will typically be the chief of a well being care group subsequently good communication is required for lots of reasons. Some of these examples embody determining if a remedy is working, figuring out what the patient is complaining of corresponding to ache, and knowing what medicines have been given. Another cause an acute care nurse practitioner needs good communication is as a result of they’ve to speak with the patient about their condition and the therapies they may obtain. For communication to be effective, the acute care nurse practitioner must also take heed to the patient. These professionals will listen to things such because the patient’s considerations, signs that they are experiencing, and what actions would make the patient’s care better.

Humility, more specifically cognitive humility, is a crucial talent for any healthcare professional to have. Cognitive humility is the flexibility to acknowledge that you have no idea everything. It is necessary as a outcome of you might be approached with a problem that you’ll not have a solution for. It would be higher to admit that you don’t understand the state of affairs, quite than faux you realize what is going on and presumably put the affected person in great danger. This would provide yourself with a chance to convey in a more knowledgeable skilled to provide the patient the most effective care attainable.

This occupation works in tense and demanding situations, so that they experience many challenges inside the workplace. Some of those include fixed unplanned interruptions, heightened level of stress with an acute sickness, and gathering information from a distressed affected person (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner” 2010). Unplanned interruptions inside the health care setting is a standard thing to see, but an acute care nurse practitioner have to be versatile and ready once they occur. Nurse practitioners will usually be in the center of a process or necessary dialog with a household and their pager might be going off with a affected person in want of their help (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner” 2010).

When someone has an acute sickness it is usually painful and intense, which may improve the stress of the affected person and their family. This is often a problem as a end result of the acute care nurse practitioner should talk to them the severity and problem of sickness. An example of this would be having to tell a patient that they will have to have a risky surgery. This is would cause stress and confusion for the patient and their household (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner” 2010). Another instance could be performing an evaluation on an acutely ill affected person. When a affected person is admitted in the hospital a health care professional must do an evaluation on them. In an acute care setting this is often a challenge because the affected person is usually in distress and ache. They will not be excited about answering sure questions. The acute care nurse practitioner must then use their abilities to relieve some of the patient’s ache and try to get as a lot info as possible.


The salary of an acute care nurse practitioner can range depending on the facility and area they work in. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median revenue for superior practice nurses, together with acute care nurse practitioners, is $100,910 per 12 months (“Career Profile” 2018).

Their wage can be influenced by these professionals specialty. The 2011 National Salary Report revealed a number of salaries of acute care nurse practitioners based mostly on populations and work settings they selected. Those who work in emergency settings earn the most with a wage of $103,722. Acute care nurse practitioners that concentrate on pediatrics earn $82,one hundred and one per yr. Those who specialize in gerontology earn $94,485 per yr (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)” 2018).

From Their Point of View

Acute care nurse practitioners have been surveyed discussing their viewpoint of their career choice. In 1999 Ruth Kleinpell sent surveys to those who had just lately taken the acute care nurse practitioner exam. Kleinpell carried out this study to search out out the position growth and employment patterns of newly licensed acute care nurse practitioners. The outcomes indicated that these professionals had been in a place to interpret diagnostic exams, examine and clean wounds, initiate discharge planning, amongst many other skills. Almost all of the study members said that they had been either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their career. They also mentioned that they have been either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with collaborations with physicians and other health care professionals (Kleinpell 1999).

Need and Outlook for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners in acute care settings have become a valuable a part of the healthcare facilities. The want for acute care nurse practitioners has increased in previous years due to the accessible high-quality care that is needed. With the growing aged inhabitants, as a end result of aging “baby boomer” generation, this level of care is needed much more in the near future. This population is also primarily based in rural or non-urban areas, so there will be extra want in these areas (Berman, Kozier, Erb, 2016).

As acknowledged before, acute care nurse practitioners are in a position to present equal and even larger quality of care compared to physicians and physician assistants. Susan Yeager even stated that “the variety of alternatives in unique settings develop. I can envision this resulting in an environment the place nurse practitioners can seek the guidance of nurse practitioners” (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioner 2010). Yeager goes on to foretell that nurse practitioners will become experts in medical procedures and proceed in offering glorious care (“Acute Care Nurse Practitioners” 2010). The role of the acute care nurse practitioner is one that is rising need and in worth. It can be expanding in duties. With their flexibility and willingness to learn the future of acute care nurse practitioners is thrilling and unlimited.


Acute care nurse practitioners are priceless members of a health care team that present glorious care to the patients. The occupation of acute care nurse practitioner is one that’s challenging and offers nice reward. They are a useful member of a healthcare staff and so they provide excellent care. They are capable of work in a selection of well being care settings and provide care to all types of populations. Acute care nurse practitioners are capable of present the identical stage of care as other professionals with medical levels, including physicians and doctor assistants. Patients have even mentioned that the care they acquired from nurse practitioners exceeds that of physician assistants.

The education of acute care nurse practitioners has tremendously expanded inside the last 20 years. There are actually programs obtainable throughout the United States that provide wonderful preparation for their profession within the medical area. Certification by way of a test permits the new acute care nurse practitioner to apply. However, they should research state rules to totally perceive what they can do.

The acute care nurse practitioner is a occupation that requires many abilities that will help the individual to deal with different situations. These embrace adaptability, cognitive humility and good communication. With these abilities mastered and glorious training the necessity and efficiency of an acute care nurse practitioner might be first-rate.


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