The competencies of Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNP or ACNP) are centered on assessment and advanced care for critically ill patients. Unlike the role of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), which is focused on primary care, ACNPs diagnose and treat acute, critical, and chronic medical conditions across the entire adult age spectrum. These advanced practice nurses also educate patients, families, and caregivers about strategies to manage acute mental and physical disorders. They often work collaboratively within teams of health care providers. The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) designation means that they also serve as knowledge resources regarding clinical and care issues for acute health services. system change to improve patient health outcomes through evidence-based practice.
As advanced practice nurses with specialized training, Acute Care Nurse Practitioners receive a higher average salary than registered nurses do. This is also the case for other specialties such as Family Nurse Practitioner. According to salary data from PayScale.com as of September 2012, salaries for ACNPs average between $69,448 and $109,581. In contrast, RNs receive an average salary of $54,846. Many ACNPs also receive annual bonuses that can range up to $5,152, depending on job performance and years of experience.
The salary package for the majority of Acute Care Nurse Practitioners includes health care coverage, with 80 percent receiving medical benefits, 70 percent receiving dental benefits and 54 percent receiving vision benefits. Most ACNPs are also provided with three to four weeks of paid vacation. Additional job benefits may include profit sharing, education reimbursement, life insurance, disability insurance, and matching 401k savings plan contributions.
Individual salaries and benefits for AGACNP-CNS professionals vary based on certification, areas of specialization, education, and training, as well as employer and geographic location. Salary ranges for some of these categories are provided below.
AGACNP-CNS Salary by Certification
Advance practice nurses who have graduated from accredited Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs are eligible to apply for certification. The two main certifying bodies for ACNPs are the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). These salary ranges from PayScale.com show that passing the certification exam hosted by either of these organizations can have a positive influence on ACNP salary:
- ANCC Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP): $70,463 – $106,469
- AACN Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN): $85,000 — $102,913
AGACNP-CNS Salary by Years of Experience
As with most skill and knowledge-based professions, ACNP salaries increase according to years of experience for nurses who perform well on the job. About 55 percent of ACNPs have less than four years experience. As put in more time on the job and gain experience, they can expect their salary to move to the higher range of salaries for the profession. The average nursing salaries listed below show the expected growth for ACNPs based on years of experience:
- Less than one year: $67,447 — $91,916
- One to four years: $70,073 — $96,349
- Five to nine years: $67,407 — $101,164
- Ten to 19 year: $74,497 — $113,457
- Twenty plus years: $67,000 — $114,000
AGACNP-CNS Salary Sample by State
Salaries for acute care nurse practitioners family vary depending on geographic location. The highest salaries are often paid in areas that have the greatest need. Here is a sample of ACNP salaries by state:
- Arizona: $80,952 — $94,500
- Indiana: $70,589 — $96,317
- Alabama: $69,851 — $101,736
- Georgia: $69,500 — $90,000
- Virginia: $68,308 — $92,884
- Ohio: $64,500 — $100,250
- Texas: $51,064 — $122,339