Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Career
What Do You Do in This Career?
Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs) are trained and educated to provide an extensive range of preventive as well as acute health care to patients of any age. From recording patient medical histories to performing physical exams to diagnosing and treating a number of chronic problems, ACNPs provide a full range of care. ACNPs also read and interpret lab results and X-rays, prescribe medication, and offer counseling to patients on how to maintain their health. ACNPs are authorized to practice nationwide; however, each state has its own licensing requirements.
While registered nurses (RNs) can work in acute care, becoming a nurse practitioner specializing in this field is the next step for career advancement. Critical care nursing means that RNs must be comfortable with a variety of medical technology. Some of this equipment includes: hemodynamic and cardiac monitoring systems, mechanical ventilator therapy, intra-aortic balloon pumps, and other life support devices. Most importantly, as first responders, they must be very accurate and very fast in assessing injuries and health conditions, as well as planning the next step in appropriate patient care.
Salary and Career Information
- Salary: Averages range between $80,000 and $98,075 per year for ACNPs.
- ACNP Requirements: To practice as an ACNP you must be a licensed RN, complete a master’s or doctorate degree with a specialization in acute care, and pass the National Board certification.
- Work Environment: ACNPs can work in employee health centers, colleges and universities, student health facilities, school clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and any other health care facility where patients can be treated.
What Kind of Coursework Can You Expect in This Program?
Coursework in most MSN Acute Care Programs includes advanced physiology and pathophysiology, comprehensive adult health assessment, assessment of the critically ill, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, cardiopulmonary, trauma, end of life care, diagnosis and management of complex acute care problems, and dealing with families in crisis.
Programs take 1-2 years to complete after which students must have 1750 hours of treating critical or acutely ill patients and then take the critical care examination. Postmaster’s certificate programs can be taken afterwards to specialize in areas such as pediatric acute care.
Earn an Online Nurse Practitioner Degree
Online nurse practitioner programs have grown in popularity in recent years as more accredited schools have begun offering online alternatives to these degrees. Combining flexibility with the lack of campus visitation required these programs are ideal for working professionals. By clicking on links below, you can request information from each school about its tuition, classes, and programs.
||Georgetown University — Stationed out of Washington DC, Georgetown University is a cultural and social hub and is one of the oldest schools in the nation. The school has two online nursing programs available, an MSN in Family Nursing and an MSN in Midwifery and Women's Health. Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Read more about Georgetown University.|
||University of Cincinnati — The University of Cincinnati is an Ohio-based school with more than 42,000 students and over 300 programs. Many of these programs have online options available like MSN in Clinical Nursing and MSN in Nurse Midwifery, which are great for students who need the flexibility to study around work and family. UC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Read more about University of Cincinnati.|
||South University — South University began operations over 100 years ago in Savannah, Georgia and now has 12 campuses and an online division, including an MSN for Nurse Practitioners program. The program can be completed in less than two years and there is an RN to MSN bridge option available for you if you do not have a bachelor degree. South is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Read more about South University.|
||Capella University — Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Capella University is an online school with over 37000 current students across the nation. Its online programs like MSN in Nurse Educator (Bridge option also available) have one-to-one tutoring, accelerated study, and low student to teacher ratios. Capella holds several accreditations, including The Higher Learning Commission and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Read more about Capella University.|
||Walden University — Walden University is private institution headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Boasting almost 50,000 students enrolled, Walden is one of the largest online schools conferring mostly master’s or doctorate degrees, like the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Walden is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Read more about Walden University.|
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