One of the sub-specialities of nurse practitioners is Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs). They provide adults with mid-level care in various hospital-based departments. What makes them unique is that they utilize a whole-person approach for treating patients and their families who are having to cope with the strains and stresses associated with hospitalization as well as severe and sudden illnesses.
Although ACNPs work with patients who are acutely ill and have complex medical problems, they are able to connect all of the dots between various existing clinical services to treat different problems that a patient might be suffering from. The connection helps to provide patients as well as their families with continuity of care, meaning that ACNPs acts as the glue binding the different clinical services together for a patient – creating well-coordinated and seamless care.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are one of the members on the healthcare team that provide patients with skilled care in most clinical areas. Some examples might include services like radiology, transplantation, pulmonary medicine, plastic surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, nephrology, gastroenterology, diabetes and cardiology.
Unlike other types of Adult NPs who might practice in hospitals or community settings, the focus of an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner’s training and education is in hospitals, where today’s patients have very complex healthcare needs that involve multiple medical conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, along with acute problems that cause hospitalization to occur.
Other areas of expertise for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are managing and assessing patients who are acutely ill within various clinical settings that range from radiology to neurology and anesthesia services.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are able to legally treat and diagnose the conditions and diseases of patients. Some ACNPS are also able to direct patient care starting when they are admitted into the hospital until they are discharged. Acute Care Nurse Practitioners work closely with physicians and other healthcare team members in other to help improve patient care in a number of different ways. ACNPs might also track the outpatient settings of their patients in order to ensure their transitions from one setting over to another one is successful. The precise structure of this role may vary and will strongly depend on the specific agreement that is held between an ACNP, physicians and other healthcare team members.
There are some ACNPs who remain in one clinical area over the course of their entire career. Others might move around to work in different areas. Remaining in one clinical area has the benefit of developing greater depth of skill and knowledge, which increases over time.
Individuals who decide to switch over to a different clinical area have the opportunity to develop broader clinical skills and knowledge by pursuing further education and nurse practitioner training in and NP program like those found at FCC in Jacksonville, FL. Those of these career approaches can be useful, and help to demonstrate that ACNPs have a lot of career flexibility available to them. This inherent flexibility provided by the role of Acute Care Nurse Practitioners creates plenty of job mobility, and in general that means more options are available. Due to the variety of roles that ACNPs can choose from, they have a career that is able to change right along with them.
ACNPS might also manage all sizes of research projects or conduct clinical research. A broad range of various skills are needed in those important roles, ranging from patient education to physical and history taking, scientific writing and data analysis.