Adult Health Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) are defined almost as much by what they don’t do as by what they do. They don’t specialize in an area such as pediatrics or gerontology, and they don’t specifically treat men’s or women’s health issues. They are essentially the primary care providers for adolescents through middle aged adults. They diagnose and treat health problems and teach the preventive care that adults commonly need. Anything outside of this scope would be generally be referred to a specialist.
Typical days include consulting with patients, performing physical examinations, and being the first person consulted about irregular moles, women’s health issues, menopausal treatments, colds and flu, and providing adult immunizations. They provide the same basic care that your family doctor would.
Degree Options and Career Information
Courses in most adult health nurse practitioner programs typically include diagnostic reasoning, a theoretical foundation in nursing practices, management of acute and chronic health problems and gerontological nursing. The economics of health and insurance policies, as well as other professional issues are also covered, in addition to pharmacotherapeutics, disease prevention strategies and testing, and clinical decision making as a primary care nurse practitioner. This program covers a broad spectrum of health care methodologies.
- ANP Requirements: To become an ANP, you must be a certified registered nurse (RN) to apply for the program, hold at least a master’s degree, and pass the National Board certification.
- Work Environment: ANPs work in a variety of settings including community health centers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), hospitals, clinics, nursing schools, schools and colleges, doctors’ offices, public health departments, walk-in clinics, and a number of other settings.