Acute Care Vs Primary Care
Acute care nurse practitioners are responsible for the urgent care of individuals that have suffered a severe illness or injury. Although these may be short-term, acute care nurse practitioners play a large role in the future health of their patients, depending on their level of knowledge and skill at the time of treatment. On the other hand, primary care nurse practitioners provide everyday health and wellness services to their patients.
Primary care nurse practitioners are more likely to be involved with preventative measures as well as general health care than acute care nurse practitioners. Our team has analyzed the difference in these two subclasses of nursing practice in an effort to help our prospects better understand the benefits of each in comparison to each other.
- Requires a minimum of a Masters degree in Nursing in Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients that have suffered acute illness or injury
- Handles a clientele of patient from the moment they are admitted until they are discharged
- Typically works in inpatient hospitals, clinics, E.R.s, intensive care, or specialty clinic
- Requires a minimum Masters degree in Nursing Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Conducts initial health assessments for patients of all ages
- Helps patients with management of injuries or chronic illness
- Typically works in private practice, ambulatory health centers, clinics, or home care
Six Day In The Life Of A Family Nurse Practitioner
Because the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner is very similar to that of a primary care physician, their days closely resemble that of a typical family doctor.
- They will generally begin their day reviewing their patient schedule, making time for emergent situations.
- They generally see three or more patients an hour, reviewing charts beforehand and, upon meeting with patients, diagnosing conditions, conducting well-patient exams, prescribing medications and making referrals to specialists where appropriate.
- Most will try to spend a portion of each appointment having a one-on-one conversation with their patients so that they can establish a strong rapport. This is important, as many FNPs provide care to their patients through much of their lives.
Family Nurse Practitioner Overview
While ACNPs work in hospital environments, family nurse practitioners are primarily in outpatient settings, such as community health clinics, health departments, private practices, or urgent care centers. FNPs offer primary care to patients from infancy through adulthood. While they may treat patients with acute conditions, they specialize in caring for patients in stable and non-life-threatening conditions.
FNPs generally keep traditional working hours. Their duties include diagnosing patients, performing health checkups, treating ongoing conditions, giving immunizations, testing for illnesses, and educating patients and their families. They often collaborate with physicians and may refer patients to specialists, mental health counselors, and social service professionals.
What’s The Difference Between Fnp
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
An acute care nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed an accredited graduate-level educational program that prepares them as a nurse practitioner. This program includes supervised clinical practice to acquire advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities. This education and training qualifies them to independently: perform comprehensive health assessments order and interpret the full spectrum of diagnostic tests and procedures use a differential diagnosis to reach a medical diagnosis and order, provide, and evaluate the outcomes of interventions. The purpose of the ACNP is to provide advanced nursing care across the continuum of health care services to meet the specialized physiologic and psychological needs of patients with acute, critical, and/or complex chronic health conditions. This care is continuous and comprehensive and may be provided in any setting where the patient may be found. The ACNP is a licensed independent practitioner and may autonomously provide care. Whenever appropriate, the ACNP considers formal consultation and/or collaboration involving patients, caregivers, nurses, physicians, and other members of the interprofessional team.
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Two What Do Family Nurse Practitioners Do
Being a Family Nurse Practitioner is all about delivering family-focused care. That means that they’ll care for patients ranging from infants to the elderly and every age in between.
The healthcare services that an FNP provides are multifaceted and always patient-facing. In addition to treating illness and injuries, it also offers the opportunity to teach people about healthy lifestyle habits and disease prevention.
FNPs are frequently the primary care provider for families, which means that they will not only diagnose conditions, but also treat them.
FNPs perform physical exams, order diagnostic tests and procedures, diagnose and treat illness, prescribe needed medications, and teach their patients how to develop healthy lifestyles to promote health and prevent disease.
As an FNP your duties may include:
- Assessment and diagnosis of health conditions
- Conducting routine physicals
- Developing and carrying out treatment plans for acute and chronic illnesses
- Providing primary health care with an emphasis on preventative care
- Prescribing medications and other therapies
- Ordering and interpreting lab and other diagnostic tests
- Assisting in minor surgeries
- Making appropriate referrals when needed
FNPs must be able to work independently as well as able to collaborate with others on the healthcare team. Having strong communication skills and an empathetic nature are also helpful characteristics.
How To Become An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Vs Family Nurse Practitioner
Both ACNPs and FNPs must have advanced education and training. Specifically, they must hold a postgraduate degree, as well as national certification and state licensure. While licensing requirements vary among states, national requirements include a registered nurse license, an assessment, supervised clinical hours, and continuing education after certification.
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What Is The Working Environment And Work Responsibilities
Since the work of an acute care nurse practitioner is based around immediate care, the work environment can present itself as fast-paced and demanding. Acute care nurse practitioners may find that the ability to manage multiple things at once while working alongside a staff of doctors and other nurses is critical to success in this field. Critical care units and emergency rooms consist of large amounts of medical technology and are often filled with the voices of medical personnel working tirelessly to help a large number of patients.
While the environment can be stressful, most find that the work itself provides benefits that greatly outweigh the pressure that surrounds the environment, so it is a great fit for professionals that have a strong desire to be a potential lifesaver for those with critical illness and injuries.
During a typical work day, acute care nurse practitioners may see multiple patients with a wide variety of health issues. From the moment that a patient is admitted, the ANCP examines the patient, orders diagnostic studies, prescribe necessary medications, and administers direct treatment.
While some patients may recover quickly and be discharged, some patients that require further hospitalization will sometimes be managed by their original ANCP until they are well enough to be discharged. It is not uncommon for ANCPs to follow up with their discharged patients if further referral is needed for additional care.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Roles And Responsibilities
Acute care nurse practitioners have an important position in the medical field. They work with patients who may be suffering from severe illnesses or who may be in critical condition. Nurses considering a career in acute care nursing need a clear understanding of the responsibilities, work environment, education requirements, and job outlook for acute care nursing positions.
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Earn Your Msn From Bradley
A Master of Science in Nursing is absolutely essential to become a nurse practitioner, whether its an FNP vs. ACNP or another specialization. If you have ambitions for improving patient care, expanding your clinical expertise and gaining autonomy, consider earning your MSN at Bradley. Prospective students can choose from either a BSN-MSN or RN-MSN program that is offered 100% online and allows students to choose their own site supervisors for clinical hours. Contact an enrollment officer today for more information.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Vs Family Nurse Practitioner: Whats The Difference
As aging and growing populations across the U.S. increase health care needs, qualified professionals are being called upon to help. The great need for more health care professionals, such as highly trained nurse practitioners , is undeniable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% increase in the employment of nurse practitioners between 2016 and 2026. To put that statistic in perspective, the average anticipated career growth for all jobs is just 7%. As more NP positions become available, it is important to know the differences between NP specializations, which may impact ones career opportunities and earning potential.
Family nurse practitioner and acute care nurse practitioner are two positions within the nurse practitioner designation. NPs may choose to specialize in one of six categories of patient populations, two of which are family and acute care. FNPs and ACNPs must earn an advanced nursing degree, usually a Master of Science in Nursing , and pass a certification exam before they can begin practicing as nurse practitioners.
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Building A Legacy Of Excellence
The Family Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares graduates to function as a family nurse practitioner for infants, pediatrics, adolescents, adult, child bearing women, and older adult populations at the highest level of nursing practice. Our program places an emphasis on family centered health promotion, translation of evidence based knowledge in support of quality outcomes, guidance and counseling of individuals, and providing care for the vulnerable and underserved. In addition this program will prepare graduates to lead and shape the future of health care through an appreciation of health policy, organizational and systems leadership, and economics and finance.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification & Subspecialties
After you complete your online acute care NP program, its vital that you become certified as an acute care nurse practitioner. This shows your potential employers that you have the clinical skills, academic knowledge, and quick recall required to succeed as an acute care nurse practitioner. Certification information is as follows:
|A current, unencumbered RN license and completion of a graduate-level adult gerontology acute care nursing program||A current, unencumbered RN license and completion of a graduate-level nursing program|
Choose a career as an acute care nurse practitioner and you can practice in one of several subspecialties. The nurse that wants to further their education to become an ACNP needs to make sure that a specific school or program offers their chosen subspecialty as part of the curriculum, either through elective nursing courses or via the clinical portion of the program. Keep in mind that entering a subspecialty is completely optional.
There are several subspecialties available to the acute care nurse practitioner, such as:
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How To Become An Ag
Acute care nurse practitioners must hold an unencumbered RN license and earn an advanced degree from a nationally or regionally accredited school to practice. AG-ACNP nursing programs want to see applicants who possess experience working with adult-gerontology patients in acute care settings. Programs may require a minimum of 2 years or ICU experience or postanesthesia care unit experience in order to be admitted.
Instead, NPs must specialize in adult-gerontology and focus on acute care. Graduates must pass the exam offered by the ANCC or the AANP. AG-ACNPs must renew their license every five years, which requires continuing education requirements. Students should also research state-specific requirements for licensure and renewal.
Typical Acute Care Fnp Curriculum
The credit hour requirement for this online degree program ranges from 60-62 overall. Some universities offering this program state that the online program can be completed in 2-3 years at a full-time rate, which can be longer depending on a student’s needs. In addition to the educational requirement, this degree also requires learners to take part in clinical visits and residencies in order to graduate.
This clinical requirement is typically integrated into the regularly schedule class work, but can vary by university. Coursework is conducted through an online interface, but students are responsible to set up clinical visits and residencies through local channels. The classes required in this major address the general nursing requirements as well as those catered to acute care nursing.
- Advanced Technologies for Acute Care
Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Graduates of the MSN Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty are prepared for advanced nursing practice across the continuum of care settings with populations of infants, children and adolescents. As advanced acute care specialists, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic complex health problems.
To best accommodate the needs of the nursing workforce, the curriculum is offered via a part-time program of study delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives, where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. The curriculum consists of 45 credit hours of course work, with 35 credit hours of didactic coursework and 10 credit hours of clinical practica under the supervision of pediatric acute care advanced practice providers, that is completed in six or seven successive semesters depending on semester of entry.
Where Do Family Nurse Practitioners Work
A family nurse practitioner can be employed in a variety of healthcare settings and clinics, as they provide many advanced medical services across the lifespan. They are extremely valuable since they are able to perform many of the tasks that physicians usually handle. In fact, in many rural areas where there aren’t enough doctors to serve the community, FNPs fill the role of primary care provider. FNPs sometimes go on to careers as hospital administrators due to their advanced medical knowledge and clinical experience.
FNPs are commonly employed in the following settings:
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What Is An Fnp
A family nurse practitioner, or FNP, is an RN with additional education and training in primary care settings to treat patients across the lifespan. They may earn an MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice .
While FNPs are healthcare providers for patients of any age in the primary care setting, nurse practitioners can specialize in specific populations, such as adult-gerontology, pediatrics, women, neonatal, and psychiatric/mental health. Within gerontology and pediatrics, nurse practitioners may train, become certified and then practice in acute or primary care settings, whereas a family nurse practitioner has the opportunity to practice in various clinical settings, said Carte.
Nurses with the FNP specialty work similarly in scope as a family practice physician who treats patients of all ages. They address all manner of health concerns, administer physicals and deliver patient education to help patients achieve health and wellness. While a family nurse practitioner does treat illness and disease, their focus is often on helping their patients get and stay healthy.
One of the many benefits of being a family nurse practitioner is the flexibility to work in such broad clinical settings. FNPs are the jack of all trades of nurse practitioners, according to Dixon. They can work in pediatric offices, nursing homes, or home health care. They can really do a lot, she said. Dixon specializes in acute care as a hospitalist nurse practitioner.
What Is An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
An acute care nurse practitioner is an advanced-practice registered nurse who specializes in the care of acutely ill or injured patients. They work primarily in hospitals and urgent care centers. They diagnose medical problems and order treatments and medications to help patients recover from sudden illness/injury or exacerbated chronic conditions.
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Salary And Career Growth
According to PayScale, ACNPs earn a median annual salary of approximately $101,000. Nurses in this role have the opportunity to increase their salary earnings with more experience and additional certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , there continues to be a demand for nurse practitioners in all specialized positions. The BLS projects the employment of NPs, which includes ACNPs and FNPs, to grow 26 percent by 2028.
Womens Health Care Nurse Practitioner
Students enrolled in the MSN Womens Health Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty are prepared for advanced nursing practice to deliver primary health care with specialized knowledge of womens health. As advanced primary care specialists, Womens Health Care Nurse Practitioners diagnose and manage commonly occurring episodic and chronic health problems while promoting health and wellness.
To best accommodate the needs of the nursing workforce, the curriculum is offered via a part-time program of study delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives, where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. The curriculum consists of 45 credit hours of course work, with 35 credit hours of didactic coursework and 10 credit hours of clinical practica under the supervision of women’s health advanced practice providers, that is completed in six successive semesters.
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How Do Acute Care And Primary Care Nurse Practitioners Differ
Similarities in the scope of practice of Acute Care and Primary Care Nurse Practitioners exist however, the major differences lie in the population for whom they provide care. Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are educated, certified, and licensed to provide care to patients who are experiencing chronic complex illness, critical illness, are physiologically unstable or technologically dependent. Often the care provided by Acute Care Nurse Practitioners is episodic in nature and limited to an exacerbation of a chronic disease or an acute traumatic event. The Primary Care Nurse Practitioner is one who is educated, certified and licensed to provide comprehensive, chronic, continuous care characterized by a long-term relationship with the patient. Primary Care Nurse Practitioners screen, diagnose, and treat common acute and chronic medical diseases and conditions. They are more involved in health promotion, screening, and education about primary prevention than Acute Care Nurse Practitioners. Each nurse practitioner is recognized as an expert in their respective specialty and works collaboratively to provide evidence based care and to optimize patient outcomes.