Acute Care vs. Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners can choose between various specialties such as family and acute care.

What are acute care nurse practitioners?

These nurses have been trained to provide patients with medical care that would have otherwise been provided by doctors in an acute care setting. These can be hospital emergency departments, intensive care units and trauma clinics. Conversely, family nurse practitioners perform the functions of a general practitioner. This person watches over patient care for critical and recurring conditions and provides health promotion and education for patients.

Acute care and family nurse practitioners must finish at least a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing. It is a possibility that some employers may require nurses to complete a doctor of nursing practice program. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers certification exams both for acute care and family nurse practitioners.

Details about Family Nurse Practitioners

The family nurse practitioner program (48-hour credits) brings together proficiency in primary care with community evaluation, intervention, and management acumen in community health nursing. It underscores health promotion, disease prevention, and the management of common grave and persistent disorders. Students should take 720 hours of supervised clinical training with nurse practitioners and primary care doctors. These are customized according to the individual student’s program objectives and career goals.

Graduates are qualified for the American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Academy for Nurse Practitioner certification examinations for family nurse practitioners. The program also conforms to curriculum guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty. Applicants must be graduates of National League for Nursing or CCNE-accredited BSN degree.

You should have at least two years of full-time clinical experience as registered nurse within the last five years prior to the application deadline. Family nurse practitioners work in clinics and non-acute environments, take care of patients with non-critical conditions, and assist those with habitual illness such as diabetes.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs

The acute care core curriculum prepares nurses for advanced practice in acute care environments. This is done through a course that deals with the care of extremely sick patients and their families. It incorporates subjects in advanced health assessment, clinical decision-making and diagnosis, advanced pharmacology, and management of seriously ill adults. Specialty seminars are taught by practiced clinicians.  Tutorials and clinical experiences stress the physiological and psychosocial effects of serious disorders on patients and their loved ones. Graduates are trained for the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification testing given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Acute care nurse practitioners attend to patients with complicated diseases and are responsible for conducting examinations, ordering and decoding analytic tests, and understanding responses of patients to therapy.

The tri-semester, 41-hour program may be taken full-time or part-time. Students enrolled in this program must concentrate on acute care clinical areas of interest to them. Involvement in research projects with prominent nursing faculty is definitely an advantage. More than 600 hours of supervised clinical practice with physician and nurse practitioner specialize tutors are mandated for degree completion. Students graduating from this program have opportunities to work in acute and critical care specialty settings. Graduates can also seek positions in research administration, academics and quality assurance.