Can Acute Care NPs work in Outpatient Specialty Clinics?

  1. Hello All,

    I'm an RN who is in an Acute Care NP program. I had to take a year off(!) due to lack of preceptors. At the time, acute care seemed the way to go, but now I am having doubts because of how crazy acute care has been for me as an RN. Perhaps it is different as an NP? Anywhoo, I'm just wondering if I can Acute NPs work in specialty clinics like a cardiology clinic or pulmonology clinic? I am fully aware ACNPs cannot do primary care.

    For the Acute Care NPs out there, how do you compare the stress/workload of being an NP in the hospital versus an acute care RN? Do you have more job satisfaction? I didn't do primary care because I was not interested in children or women's health (no offense). I certainly wouldn't mind being in the hospital. Floor nursing is grueling but I am worried that the responsibility of being an acute care NP would be worse than the stress of floor nursing.

    Can any Acute Care NPs give any guidance? Thanks in advance!
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    About CardiacRNLA, BSN

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 109; Likes: 205

    6 Comments

  3. by   lwsoccjs
    Quote from wannabenycnurse2011
    Hello All,

    I'm an RN who is in an Acute Care NP program. I had to take a year off(!) due to lack of preceptors. At the time, acute care seemed the way to go, but now I am having doubts because of how crazy acute care has been for me as an RN. Perhaps it is different as an NP? Anywhoo, I'm just wondering if I can Acute NPs work in specialty clinics like a cardiology clinic or pulmonology clinic? I am fully aware ACNPs cannot do primary care.

    For the Acute Care NPs out there, how do you compare the stress/workload of being an NP in the hospital versus an acute care RN? Do you have more job satisfaction? I didn't do primary care because I was not interested in children or women's health (no offense). I certainly wouldn't mind being in the hospital. Floor nursing is grueling but I am worried that the responsibility of being an acute care NP would be worse than the stress of floor nursing.

    Can any Acute Care NPs give any guidance? Thanks in advance!
    I am not an ACNP, actually last semester of primary care np, but I'll chime in. I can not answer specifically about the stress's of the job etc, but can answer about the original question. Yes, ACNP can and are more than qualified to work outpatient specialty clinics. They should actually be the more preferred in outpatient cardiac clinics, outpatient surgery centers, outpatient GI, etc, because they can get training regarding drips, ACLS, cardiac emergencies, etc that primary does not. Only side issue I see come up is regarding taking care of ped's because the nursing community still hasn't made a Acute Care NP through the ages. I consider this less of a concern in many specialty's esp, something like cardiac that your main clientele will be 50+. Best of luck.
  4. by   CardiacRNLA
    Thank you so much for your informative reply!
  5. by   Neuro Guy NP
    Yes, ACNP can work in specialty clinic. Pediatrics will not be an issue because pediatrics will go to their own specialists, i.e pediatric cardiology, etc. A general cardiologist would never touch a peds patient so this need not be a concern of yours.
  6. by   gM_2010
    I'm an ACNP and practice in a specialty cardiology ambulatory setting. I like it because I do both episodic and chronic disease management. I am extremely busy and probably see about as many patients daily as I did on inpatient rounds.
  7. by   EmpoweredNP
    I work in Bone Marrow Transplant outpatient and we probably admit about 5-10 patients a week from clinic or home or direct them to go to an ER so the acute triaging/assessment skills is an absolute must. Acute issues occur in all settings and to have that acute background is fantastic. So yes, I think they can. Now in terms of the state board of nursing and the legality part of it is maybe individualized and you would need to confirm that with your state board of nursing.
  8. by   Dodongo
    You can. Any specialty clinic where you see ages 13 and up is fair game.

    For what it's worth, I don't see the difference between an ACNP working primary care (not seeing children) and an FNP working in the ICU/hospital.

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