Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

If you want to become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and work with patients who have undergone surgery or have a chronic illness, then here are the details about the job that you must know.

$81,649 - $1,19,518
AVG    Annual    SALARY
$6,804 – $9,959
AVG    Monthly    SALARY
$39.65 - $68.53
AVG    Hourly    SALARY

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Salary And Job Description

Many specialties and fields are in the medical profession. People looking for a bright career in the field of medicine can opt for any field as per their interest. With the growing need in the variety of settings, many students are coming forward to make a career in these specialties. Acute care nurse practitioner is also a growing specialty and thus there is a need to know the duties of acute care nurse practitioner.

Acute care refers to the health care services that are given for the short term. These kinds of services are given at the time of medical emergencies. The registered nurse can serve as the acute care nurses. An ACNP is a person who provides nursing care that is advanced that is needed by the severely ill patients. It is the fastest growing profession in nursing field that is full of variety and responsibilities.

What Does An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Do?

They diagnose or treat the critical medical conditions of the patients by working in collaboration with the doctors and other physicians or members of health care. The acute health condition is different from the chronic conditions thus the care required for such patients are also different. Hospital discharges the patients as soon as they observe the stable and healthy condition of patients. But they discharge patients suffering from the serious cause such as heart attack or head injury after they recover completely and during the process of treatment they are served acute care services.

Some of the other acute care conditions are respiratory diseases, syndrome, shock or heart diseases. The acute care nurse practitioner takes care of the patients before and after the operation. As their duty, they provide invasive diagnostic, therapeutic and other advanced treatment.

To perform all such critical tasks, they have an extensive amount of knowledge and education. They are also specially trained in the work. They possess the ability to treat patients, their injuries, and illness. They may perform special screening exams, X rays, special medications, rehabilitation program and else. They are very well trained thus if they want they can even open the clinics or primary health care.

Acute care nurse practitioner offers the following duties and services to the patients:

  • In some critical situations, they may have to diagnose or treat the patients
  • Their job is to review the medical history of patients, and thus they ensure that patient is receiving proper care and treatment and they are recovering well from those medications.
  • In few situations, they may have to take x rays
  • They may also perform screenings
  • Research and advanced their knowledge to provide the latest treatment and facility to their patients
  • Perform physical exams and prescribe therapies to those who need rehabilitation along with other medical treatments

To perform all the above duties, they use these key components:

  • Encouraging disease prevention, health promotion, counseling, health education
  • Performing, ordering and interpreting lab studies
  • Develop psychomotor skills
  • Coordinate transitions

Educational Requirements For ACNP Nurse

A person having specialty certification is recognized as acute care nurse practitioners by the state board of nursing. They start their career after obtaining RN license. But apart from license what they need is the experience of few years.

A basic degree or diploma is necessary to serve as ACNP. After that, a person can get the master degree in science with acute care as a field of specialty. Many people purse basic MSN and then apply for the courses that offer the certificate in acute care. Some even purse doctorate degree that is the highest level of degree. Few options like BSN to MSN, BSN to DNP bridge programs are also there to become an ACNP.

Graduate level programs that include clinical exposure, curricula are also available. These courses teach the basic principles of critical care nursing. These programs are good for those who wish to become a licensed nurse specialist or CCNSs. The curriculum and programs include subjects such as:

  • Nursing research
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing theory
  • Physical health assessment
  • Leadership in advanced nursing
  • Pathophysiology

National Certification

After completion of a graduate/postgraduate program that is focused on nursing in this field, candidates become eligible to get the certification of national levels. These certifications are required in some states to procure the license as an ACNP.

ANCC, American nurse credentialing center which is a subsidiary of ANA (American nurses association) offer certification in ACNP. It is called an acute care nurse practitioner certification or ACNP-BC. Applicant must have:

  1. An active license of a registered nurse in the territory of US or equivalent
  2. Hold a doctorate or master degree in acute care nurse program accredited by either CCNE or NLNAC. CCNE is the commission on collegiate nursing education, and NLNAC is the national league for a nursing accrediting commission.
  3. The proof or working for at least 500 clinical hours under the supervision of experts.

Any candidate having the above things is eligible to apply for certification. After 90 days, a test will be held, on qualifying applicant will get the national certification. This certificate is valid for five years that need re-certification after this period. Re-certification is valid for those who are practicing and taking the clinical education.

Acute care nurse practitioner has many divisions for the students building career in this area. A pediatric nurse practitioner in acute care also gets the certification that is offered by pediatric nursing certification board. These certificates assure that the person has necessary abilities to deal with the children having complex acute conditions. To get this certification should have requirements mentioned above.

Necessary Skills That an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner must have:

1. Ability to Adjust– an acute care nurse practitioner may have to work during odd hours. A person who cannot adjust in different working hours cannot work well in this field. It can be 12 hours or 16 working job. Thus, adjustable nature or skill is highly demanded to make a good career. Hence, one should be ready to work long hours.

2. A Team Player– they are the member of big healthcare professionals. They must be able to work in a team and can coordinate with the other members of a team. Accurate communication skills, active listening, accurate responding and paying attention are some of the necessary skills that a person must possess. They should know how to manage themselves in stressful conditions.

3. Attentive- a person working as an acute care nurse practitioner must pay more attention while working. Their mind should not distract during the working, and they should work with full focus. Any minor mistake can prove fatal for the patients as it is the question of their life. They should be attentive to every detail and understand everything related to the report and records.

4. High Tolerance– taking care of the person who is already in critical condition needs extreme patience and high tolerance. The patient suffering from such major condition will not be able to respond well, and hence these nurses will have to analyze their condition well. Negative feelings and moods are natural in patients. Thus nurses have to deal with their particular behavior. They have to learn how to stop themselves from showing their personal feelings. As a professional, their main goal must be to help in fast recovery from the pain.

With these skills and qualification, anyone can excel in this field and become the best acute care nurse practitioner. Since their job is too critical and important, thus they are also paid well. They can get paid for their hourly work or as per the duration of a week. Their hourly wages will decide their annual income. Various settings, hospitals, and other institutions employ acute care nurse practitioner to serve the utmost care to the patients suffering from serious illness.

How Much They Make?

The BLS states that the average salary for acute care nurse practitioner ranges from $81,346 – $1,18,896 per year that means for a single hour they are paid $39.61-$68.08. The figure for their overtime work is $20.95-$95.90. The salary bar has risen a bit, and it reached to $98K annually in the United States. Cash earnings for these practitioners are bonus money that is $296-$14,681 and as a part of profit sharing, they earn $979-$7,047. It is the top pay scale for acute care nurse practitioner.  By individual performance the bar is different, and it ranges from $83k to $125k.

Their salary is not fixed, and it varies as per the different factors. Some of these are location, experience, qualification and their performance.

  • Location of the workplace, for example, a person working in California will get the annual mean wage more than those working in Alaska. Thus, a person must decide the place of working.
  • Experience also plays a major role in determining wages. A person with less experience or fresher will earn less than those with working from long as an acute care nurse practitioner.
  • Qualifications are again a determining factor. A person having BSN degree will get fewer wages than that with MSN degree.

Thus, a person must consider these factors to earn more like an acute care nurse practitioner. However, anyone willing to get high earning by location should know which states pay high to their employees as ACNP. The given table has the salary range based on bonus money, profit sharing and the total pay, however, they also earn an hourly basis but the wages are less.

ACNP Salary Description
Payment Amount
Salary $81,346 – $1,18,896
Bonus $296 – $14,681
Profit Sharing $979 – $7,047
Total Pay $81,998 – $1,25,183

Highest ACNP Salary Paying States:

  1. Alaska
  2. Hawaii
  3. Oregon
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Jersey
  6. California

Most of the nurse practitioner in these locations are satisfied with their job. As per a survey, it is observed that most of them are the women who work in this profession. These practitioners also get some added benefits such as dental coverage, bonuses, profit sharing, insurance, etc.

According to a national survey, the salary of nurse practitioner differs from work setting and patient population. Another survey says that those working as full time get the total pay of $81,998-$1,25,183. The overtime wages for them is $20.95-$95.90.

Career Outlook

In the United States, due to the healthcare crisis, the demand for these practitioners is on rising. Many patients are underinsured or are likely to take to the emergency rooms. Thus, the need of such practitioners is more who can offer good services. According to the BLS of US, the expected increase in the employment of this acute care nurse practitioner will rise to 34% in the year 2022.

Thus, there is a great scope in this field of nursing. Anyone who dreams of working as an acute care nurse can make their bright career in the future is bright for them. The state requirements and certification are the important part of getting good salary and employment in this field. Thus, the focus of candidates must be to acquire good knowledge and experience in the relevant are.

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