How to Become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Overview
Roles and Responsibilities
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Salary
Acute Care Nurse Certification
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Resources
An acute care nurse cares for patients with sudden or severe illnesses or injuries. These advanced practice registered nurses treat patients who develop new acute conditions or have exacerbated chronic conditions.
An acute care NP’s scope of practice includes caring for patients with complex diseases, acute illnesses, or exacerbated chronic conditions. Many ACNPs focus on specialty areas, such as critical care, trauma or emergency care, cardio-pulmonary care, neurosurgery or oncology.
Acute care nurse practitioners typically work in inpatient hospital settings, where they care for patients who are acutely ill. Other work settings include hospital emergency rooms, intensive care units (ICUs), trauma units and specialty clinics.
The AANPCB offers a certification for primary care NPs, as well as an exam for Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP), a credential for family nurse practitioners (FNPs) specializing in emergency care. The ANCC offers a number of nurse practitioner certifications, including an examination for the credential Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC) for ACNPs who specialize in treating acutely ill adults.
Acute care nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients with sudden or severe illnesses, or chronic diseases with new acute complications, whereas primary care nurse practitioners help patients maintain their health and treat chronic conditions throughout patients’ lives.