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In recent years, the need for intensive care has largely grown, with natural disasters like the tsunami, terrorist attacks and cases of chronic diseases on the rise. Many victims of these occurrences are always left in a devastating condition. A condition in which they can not do most of the essential survival tasks like take meals and medication by themselves. This where an acute care nursing practitioner comes in. As the elderly also get older, they lose control on what things they can do by themselves. As the condition worsens, these patients rich an acute point. This is a highly volatile state where these patients need specialized care provided by this practitioners to survive.


What’s an Acute Care Nursing Practitioner?


In simple words, this is a medical practitioner who has been trained to provide specialized patient care. This nursing practitioner is a nurse who has intensive skills and experience in taking care of patients who need intensive care. They provide acute care to patients suffering from acute life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, and respiratory complications. An acute care nursing practitioner extends his services to patients suffering from severe physical injuries that are life threatening. These patients include accident victims and burn victims.

Generally, these medical practitioners can be referred to as life support caregivers. Most of the patients that the nurses in this field handle are in a very critical point. The only chance of survival for this patients is the care they are given by this nurses. This is because the conditions of this patients are so severe that a normal or regular nurse can not handle. These nursing practitioners became the conscious and the able-bodied part of the patient. They are to detect any changes in the patients’ body health and act on them accordingly. These specialized nurses are responsible for identifying and acting the patients needs in cases where the patient is unable to do so. They are also responsible for observing and recording their patients’ progress.

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Job Description


The job description of these nursing practitioners taking care of patients with acute conditions always differ. This difference is created by the type of patients the nurse is expected to handle. Despite this, there are several dominant terms in the job description of this acute care nurses. This terms include:

  • The nurse is responsible for the general assessment, coordination and implementation of any care given to the patient. This includes both patient intervention and complex care to be provided to the patient.
  • The acute care nurse is responsible for the creation and sustaining of a comfortable, compassionate and supporting environment for the patients. This environment should be therapeutic to favor the wellness of an acute patient.
  • The nurse should work in collaboration with the patient, their family, and other medical practitioners to hasten the well-being of the patient.
  • The nurse is responsible for prescribing and administering prescriptions to the patient. This also involves interpreting medical tests to the patient informatively.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs

If you want to be an acute care nursing practitioner, then the future is very bright for you. There are several learning programs that you can pursue in this line of career to rich your highest level. The highest educational level that you can reach in this career is acquiring the highly admirable Doctorate degree. This is followed closely by a Masters degree, whereby a nursing practitioner majors in a particular field of this career.

Before pursuing your Master’s degree, you will need to have worked in the field for at least some few years. On top of this, you must be holding a Bachelors degree in acute care nursing. The educational programs offered in this career line are aimed at equipping these nurses with the following abilities:

  • Diagnostic reasoning
  • Clinical decision-making

The programs offered in this career field include:

  • Physical health assessment
  • Nursing research
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing theory
  • Acute ill adults management
  • Pathophysiology
  • Advanced practice nursing leadership

Online Acute Care Practitioner Programs

Depending on the learning institution you take, most of the acute care nursing programs are offered online. There are numerous advantages of taking your acute care program through online learning. These include:

  • Taking your acute care learning program will save you a lot of money. This is because you will do away with the overhead charges that come along with physical learning. These include charges like for housing.
  • By taking an online learning program, you will be able to start your acute care nursing practitioner career faster. This is because online learning programs take a shorter time to complete the course. Therefore, it will save you a lot of time.
  • Online learning programs come along with a lot of flexibility and freedom. You can easily pursue and acute nursing learning program as you work without any inconveniences.
  • You can start your studies online as soon as you wish. This is because there is less technicality involved with you joining the school. Neither GMAT nor GRE statistics are required.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification


All acute care nurses are registered at their state’s Nursing Board. This registration also certifies these nurses as acute care specialists. These nurses have issued an RN license that they will use to operate before they advance their studies after some years. All acute care nursing learning programs graduates are certified nationally as CCNSs also known as acute care nurse specialists. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses is the national body responsible for this certification. You have to pass through this certification before you are deemed qualified to attend to patients. The life of patients is always at stake and this certification helps in ensuring standard practices that are adhered to at all times.

An acute care nursing practitioner is only eligible for national certification after they complete their post graduate studies. The American Nurses Credentialing Center ( ANCC ) also certifies acute nurses. Apart from a post graduate degree, an acute nurse must have:

  • An active RN license from the United States or its foreign equivalent.
  • Not less than 500 hours of proved supervised faculty work in the acute care sector.

Acute Care Nursing Practitioner — Types, Jobs, and Remuneration


Acute care nursing practitioner operates in a very extensive medical care field. Nurses in this field are divided into a number of categories depending on the patients they serve. Here are they:

  1. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Just as the name suggests, nurses in this field of acute care are specialized in taking care of ill adults. In adult-gerontology acute care, the nursing care is meant to help mainly adults who are suffering from acute conditions associated with aging. An acute care nursing practitioner in this field is trained on the various ways they can handle the adult patients. This training also incorporates the various ways through which they can work together with their adult patients to promote their wellness and ensure family satisfaction.

     2. Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

This is a nursing practitioner who has been trained to give acute care to children with acute conditions. The nurses in this field are trained to deal with acute health conditions on infants, children, and young adults. Patient observation and management are the keys to this field of acute care because the patients are still at a volatile stage. Furthermore, mostly children and infants can’t express how they are feeling after medication. Thus, it’s up to the pediatric acute care nurse to draw conclusions on the progress of the patients through observation.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Areas of Specialization

These acute care nurses work from different settings. There are those that take care of the adult patients from medical centers. There are also those acute care nurses that provide home care or in-house care to their patients. An adult-gerontology acute care nursing practitioner is specialized in the following areas:

  • Cardiology: this covers taking care of patients with heart-related complications. This includes hypertension, heart attack and heart failure.
  • Cardiothoracic surgery: that’s pre- and post-surgery care.
  • Kidney complications: that’s kidney failure patients especially those in an acute stage.
  • Respiratory disorders: this includes all types of respiratory complications at an early stage.
  • Critical care.
  • Post transplant care for organs like heart, liver, kidneys and bone marrow transplant.


Adult-gerontology acute care nurses are among the most qualified nursing practitioners in the medical industry. Furthermore, these nurses are extremely expandable, that is they can work in most departments that require top-notch skills. These include the emergency wing, women’s health wing among other areas. Over the years, the adult acute care nurses have also managed to help lots of elderly persons extend their lifespan by giving them the best nursing care.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice


The American Association of Critical Care Nurses is the body that regulates the practices of acute care nurses. In the recent years technology advancements have greatly changed the provision of acute nursing care. These changes have to a greater extent made acute nursing easier. With the dynamic technological changes in the medical field, the scope of practice has greatly expanded. The scope of practice can simply be defined as the freedom and limitations an acute care license gives a nurse in this field.

The practice of an acute care nurse is dedicated towards the well-being of the patient and their fulfillment alongside their family members. The acute nursing scope of practice goes as far as accommodating usage of advanced practices in order to meet the patients medical needs. Acute care nurses are obliged to maintain high levels of competence in order to preserve the life of their patients. In their scope of practice, acute care nurses are allowed to come up with effective solutions that will help their patients get better. With the technological advancements in the medical field, acute care nurses can now offer more complex care to acute patients. As caregivers, an acute care nursing practitioner is the custodian, family, and guardian to their patients.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Jobs


As a qualified acute care nurse, finding a well-paying job for yourself won’t be difficult. This is the case since the improvement of medical care has increased the life expectancy level. This comes along with a great need for acute care among the adults. Environmental pollution and other health related complications have led to an increased number of children born with health complications. Hereby, pediatric acute care nurses are needed to take care of this children and help them make through childhood.

As an acute care nursing practitioner, you are versatile. This means that you can fit into most of the departments around the hospital. You may work in the medical settings in account of your skills and experience:

  • Emergency care
  • Intensive care units
  • Long-term care centers
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Operating theatres
  • Specialty laboratories
  • Acute care wards

As an acute care nurse, you can also specialize in your best areas. This will help you get into other career fields like cardiology, neurology, trauma, surgery and oncology. An acute care nurse career is one of the most promising choices. You will get a chance to specialize in any of the named fields as you further your studies. Also, the more you further your education, the more marketable you become.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary


Acute care nursing is one of the best-paying jobs in the medical field. With very few qualified nurses in this field, the labor price for acute nurses is very high. You can afford to live a very comfortable life with this salary without having any difficulties with you saving. $105,200 is the full-time average base salary for average acute care nurse. Those acute care nurses working in more demanding areas like the emergency care units have an even more lucrative salary. This emergency unit acute care nurses earn a full-time average base salary of $115,070. A pediatric acute care nursing practitioner receives a full-time average base salary of $82,183. On the other hand, a gerontology acute nurse receives a full-time average base salary of $94, 023. A surgery acute care nurse receives a full-time average base salary of $91,485. Being an acute care nurse should be among your top most career choices as it has a promise for a good future for you.


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