An Acute and Continuing Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) is a nurse who is prepared in a master’s or doctoral program to practice in an advanced nursing role in a variety of acute or critical care settings. ACNPs are clinical experts who provide care to acutely or critically ill patients, many of whom may have chronic health problems. ACNPs provide continuous and comprehensive care to patients who are acutely or critically ill. At times ACNPs may function independently, but most often they function collaboratively with patients, their families, and other members of the health care team. The goals of the ACNP are to stabilize the patient, minimize complications, provide physical and psychological care, restore maximal health, and evaluate health risk factors. To achieve these goals ACNPs provide direct patient care management; admit and discharge patients from the hospital; perform histories and physicals; analyze clinical data; order and/or perform necessary diagnostic tests or procedures; develop, implement, and evaluate the therapeutic regimen; teach and provide support for patients and their families; minimize fragmentation by providing coordination of care; manage transition of the patient to step-down units or to out-patient settings; and serve as patient advocates. ACNPs work ONLY with adults and must be board certified to do so, typically ages greater than 17, depending on your certifying agency.
The ACNP is one of the newest NP professions and some areas of the USA do not seem to understand the practice of an ACNP and thus will pick an FNP. ANCC is a huge credentialing agency for NPs of all professions and is more common.
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) provides comprehensive primary health care services to individuals from infancy through adulthood. FNPs are prepared to provide care to individuals with acute illnesses such as bronchitis or headache and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Preventive health services, patient education, disease management, illness prevention and other kinds of care provide within the context of family and community. And Family Nurse Practitioners are among those who, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), contribute significantly to providing health care to underserved populations residing in both urban and rural settings.
Statistically, ACNP have the highest salary as an NP in the profession of Nursing. The only profession in nursing that statistically makes more is the CRNA.
It’s mandated that ALL NP’s must be educated at an Doctoral level after 2015.