Are you thinking about becoming an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner after you obtain your registered nurse degree? This is an excellent career field and offers many opportunities for growth. In this article, I want to share with you about what an ACNP does on the job, salary, educational requirements, and the likes & dislikes of the profession.
What is an ACNP?
An acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse who has earned the credentials of a nurse practitioner that has graduated from a nurse practitioner program with a concentration in acute care. These advanced practice nurses generally hold a MSN or DNP degree. There are two focuses that a student who wants to enter an accredited ACNP program can obtain:
- Pediatric: concentration on working with children
- Adult-Gerontology: concentration on working with the adult & geriatric population
Video on Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Overview
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Where do Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Work?
They work in fast-paced settings where patients are critically ill and require very complex care. These patients are very unstable and require special treatment plans and high technological care. They work in many settings such as hospitals and acute care settings (ER, ICU, urgent care etc).
What Type of Tasks does an Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Perform?
- Write orders for treatment of patients
- Prescribe treatment therapy/medications under a medical doctor supervision
- Analyze test results and recommend treatment care based on these results
- Perform physical assessments and counsel patients & their families
Education requirements for an ACNP:
First, a candidate must already be a practicing registered nurse. Then they must obtain a graduate or doctorate degree in nursing through an accredited nurse practitioner program with a concentration in Pediatric or Adult-Gerontology from an acute care nurse practitioner program. Then they must pass a state board exam (ACNP) which will earn them the credentials and the ability to practice as an acute care nurse practitioner.
Salary of a Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?
According to BLS.gov the average nurse practitioner salary is $47.11/hour and $97,990/year, however, this is not broken down by each nurse practitioner specialty. However, according to Payscale.com, acute care nurse practitioners make a median income of $91,188 with ACNPs earning the highest in New York.
In addition, surgery, cardiology, ICU, and acute care settings are listed as the highest paying.
- High paced great for adrenaline junkies
- Dealing with intense emergency situations where you can make a difference
- Love the acute care environment…the technology, other health disciplines working together as a team
- Stressful…at risk for burn out due to the constant stress and sad situations
- Wears on your when you start to age and want to settle for something slower paced like teaching or management
- A lot of responsibility and liability