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Becoming An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs) provide patient care and specialized treatment and diagnostics for people who’ve suffered from an acute illness or injury. These ACNPs can work in various different settings, from hospitals and urgent care centers to emergency rooms, critical care, trauma care, and interventional or procedural care. ACPNs can also work in community-based environments such as long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers. 

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, America is in a serious physician shortage. With up to 105,000 physicians being short by the end of next week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting the job market for nurse practitioners to grow by twenty-six% by 2028. Coupled with good compensation, a career as an ACNP is more enticing now than ever. 

But what exactly do ACNPs do? What qualifications are employers looking for and what can you expect on a day-to-day basis in this immensely demanding but equally rewarding job?

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Duties

ACNPs are primarily in charge of handling patients who suffer from acute illnesses or acute injuries. Providing extensive care and assigning the appropriate treatment and medicine that will provide the best possible results for each patient. 

While on the job, ACNPs will work alongside other healthcare professionals such as physicians and registered nurses. Apart from diagnosing and treating acute medical conditions, ACNPs must also possess high levels of communication, which is a key component s to understanding patients’ needs as well as being able to communicate with family members about treatments. 

In this fast-paced  and ever-changing environment, ACNPs must have great organizational skills, attention to detail, and be able to work under pressure as scenarios can change in an instant. Being a team player and working well with others is an essential quality that will come in handy as most of the time ACNPs are responsible for  leading the team in the recovery of patients. 

Apart from evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients, ACNPs can also expect to perform these daily duties:

  • Operating medical machines and monitors
  • Prescribing medications
  • Stabilizing patients during critical care
  • Performing procedures such as intubation and sedation
  • Monitoring and tracking patient progress
  • Educating patient and patient families regarding procedures and treatment options
  • Collaborating with physicians to ensure all needs are met


People who are interested in a career as an ACNP can follow this path:

  • Earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing
  • Obtain a license as a Registered Nurse
  • Pursue specializations in an Acute Care setting
  • Enter into an accredited Master of Science Program in Nursing with a specialty in Acute Care
  • Obtain specific certifications such as: 
    • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification for Adult-Gerontology
    • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification
  • Obtain Nurse Practitioner State Licensure

Get Started With South Coast Post Acute

At South Coast Post Acute, our expert staff provides exceptional care to each and every one of our patients, providing an outstanding rehabilitation experience. We are committed to offering a high level of care to ensure every patient recovers to their full potential. For emerging post-acute care practitioners, you won’t find a more dedicated facility to begin your career. Contact us today and learn why we’re the rehabilitation center of choice in Southern California.

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