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Best Online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs for 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

If you are considering a career as an acute care nurse practitioner but are not sure if you can afford to attend classes on-campus, considering an online acute care nurse practitioner program may be something that can help you obtain your goal without taking away from your other obligations and responsibilities. There are many options for online learning. In this article, we will discuss the goal of acute care nurse practitioner programs, share the best online acute care nurse practitioner programs for 2021, and give you some information about different options for certification.


What is the Goal of an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Program?


The goal of online acute care nurse practitioner programs is to prepare graduate-level nurses to provide care and support for patients who are acutely ill. In these programs, students learn to apply new and upcoming health information technologies to current research and data and to use that knowledge in the day-to-day care of patients with acute illness or disease. There are basically two types of online Acute care NP programs currently available.

Online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Programs: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care online NP programs are specifically designed to equip nurses with the knowledge and ability to care for patients who are both acutely and chronically ill and focuses on those patients who are adults to older age or geriatric patients.

Online Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (AC-PNP) Programs: Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing necessary healthcare services to patients from newborns up to early adulthood. Acute care PNP online programs educate and equip nurse practitioners with the skills needed to focus on the care of clients with acute, critical, complex, and chronic illnesses as well as acute injuries or disabilities.


How Many Schools Are Currently Offering Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Online Programs?


In the United States, there are currently one hundred ten adult-geriatric acute care nurse practitioner online programs. Twenty-six of those programs offer classes exclusively online, while eighty-four offer fifty-one to ninety-nine percent of their programs online. There are thirty-five online acute care pediatric nurse practitioner programs. Five offer one hundred percent online classes, and the other thirty offer hybrid classes of both online and on-campus options.

AG-ACNP AC-PNP
Programs Offering 100% Online Education 26 5
Programs Offering 51% to 99% Online Education 84 30
Total 110 35
(Source: aanp.org)


How Long are Online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs?


Online acute care nurse practitioner programs vary in length, depending on what level of education you have prior to program entry and the program pathway you choose to pursue. While a BSN to MSN program or MSN to DNP program may take from twelve months to four years to complete, a BSN to DNP program can take from three to seven years. Factors that may contribute to the amount of time it takes you to finish a program include whether you enroll part-time or full-time, if you need to take a semester off, or if you need to repeat a course.

For example, the University of Iowa offers a post-BSN to DNP Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program with a combination of online and on-campus coursework. This program typically takes three-four years to complete.

The online MSN-AGACNP program offered by Maryville University can be completed in around 32 months.

Pathway Length
BSN to MSN 15 to 48 Months
BSN to DNP 36 to 84 Months
MSN to DNP 12 to 48 Months


How Much Do Online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost?


The cost of online acute care nurse practitioner programs vary. Whether you are attending a school within your home state or paying out-of-state tuition, the number of college credits you have that are transferable and whether you need to repeat a course or courses can all contribute to the overall cost of your program. Online ACNP programs can cost anywhere from $17,660 to over $254,000.

For example, Rush University offers both Adult/Gerontology and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs online. A BSN to DNP program costs around $34,000 for Iowa residents and $53,000 for out-of-state students. The BSN to DNP program offered at the school costs in-state students approximately $82,000 and non-residents just over $153,000.

Pathway Tuition Cost
BSN to MSN $18,810 - $185,280
BSN to DNP $26,490 - $254,260
MSN to DNP $17,660 - $169,510


Coursework Requirements for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Online Programs


Online acute care nurse practitioner programs not only include courses that all advanced practice nurse programs cover. They also include classes that are specific to the patient population you plan to care for, such as pediatrics or adult/gerontology, as well as advanced courses related to each. The following examples and charts will provide you with a more in-depth look at the coursework required for online acute care NP programs.

BSN to MSN: While coursework for BSN to MSN acute care nurse practitioner online programs is similar from school to school, each school reserves the right to include additional requirements for completion of their individual programs.

For example, Drexel University's BSN to MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program online requires students to complete core, support, and clinical courses that total fifty-seven credits. The coursework at Drexel includes biostatistics and research methods, advanced pharmacology and advanced pathophysiology, and clinical courses in adult-gerontology care in acute, critical care, and medical/surgical settings.

At the University of South Carolina, students are required to complete forty-six credits over the course of eight semesters. Some coursework includes theoretical and conceptual foundations of nursing, Application of Basic Statistics for Nursing Practice, Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses, and Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult, and Gerontological Patients throughout the Lifespan.

For a more in-depth look at the courses required for both Adult-Gerontology and Pediatric online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner BSN to MSN programs, refer to the charts below.

Following is the complete list of courses for the BSN to MSN Adult-Gerontology ACNP program offered by Duke University:

Nurse as Scholar: Science Development, Study Design & Statistics Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents and Adult Patients
Nurse as Scholar: Evidence-based Practice Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents, Adult and Older Adult Patients I: Clinical
Population Health in a Global Society Advanced Practice Nursing Care in Older Adult Patients
Professional Transitions: Advanced Nursing Practice Advanced Practice Nursing in Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology Patients
Advanced Pathology/Physiology Across the Lifespan: A Conceptual Approach Advanced Practice Nursing in Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology Patients: Clinical
Physical Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning in Advanced Practice Nursing Advanced Practice Nursing in Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology Patients Synthesis
Clinical Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing
(Source: Duke University))

Following is the complete list of courses for the BSN to MSN Pediatric Acute Care Nurse ACNP program offered by Duke University.

Nurse as Scholar: Science Development, Study Design, and Statistics Clinical Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice
Nurse as Scholar: Evidence-based Practice Advanced Practice Nursing: Pediatric Primary Care Essentials
Population Health in a Global Society Advanced Practice Nursing: Pediatric Primary Care Essentials: Clinical
Professional Transitions: Advanced Nursing Practice Advanced Practice Nursing in Acute Care Pediatric Patients
Advanced Pathology/Physiology Across the Lifespan: A Conceptual Approach Advanced Practice Nursing in Acute Care Pediatric Patients: Clinical
Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning in APN Advanced Practice Nursing in Pediatric Acute Care Patients Synthesis (includes Advanced Practice Skills workshop)
(Source: (Duke University))

MSN to DNP: MSN to DNP acute care NP online programs are often referred to as a post-master's DNP program. These programs admit registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who have already achieved a Master of Science in Nursing degree and prepare them to practice at the doctoral level.

Some of the coursework included in AG-ACNP and AC-PNP MSN to DNP programs are included in the charts below.

Following is the complete list of courses for the MSN to DNP Adult-Gerontology ACNP program offered by the University of Iowa.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Doctor of Nursing Practice Project
Advanced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures for Acute Care Evaluating Evidence for Practice
Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum Graduate Pharmacology Specialty
Advanced Practice Role: Introduction Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy
Advanced Practice Role: Integration Quality and Safety
Clinical Data Management and Evaluation
(Source: (University of Iowa))

Following is the complete list of courses for the MSN to DNP Pediatric Acute Care Nurse ACNP program offered by the University of Iowa.

Advanced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures for Acute Care Doctor of Nursing Practice Project
Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum Evaluating Evidence for Practice
Advanced Practice Role: Introduction Graduate Pharmacology Specialty
Advanced Practice Role: Integration Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy
Clinical Data Management and Evaluation Pediatric Acute Care
(Source: (University of Iowa))


Clinical Training


The clinical component of online acute care MSN-NP programs or online acute care DNP-NP programs may vary, depending on the school's specific criteria for graduation. The clinical hours requirements typically depend on the degree level you are pursuing. Generally, nurse practitioner programs require students to participate in a minimum of one thousand supervised clinical hours as part of the program. Some colleges allow students to apply up to five hundred BSN clinical hours toward a graduate-level degree. Nurse practitioner students who are specializing in acute care are often required to have an additional 600 supervised clinical hours. It is important to verify clinical training requirements with the college of your choice, as each college may have different minimum requirements.

For example, Students attending Drexel University's Pediatric NP-AC program will participate in a minimum of five hundred clinical hours, including working in areas that provide care for the following population.

• Management of the Technology Dependent and Medically Fragile Child in the Community
• Management of Acute and Chronically Ill Infants, Children, and Adolescents
• Acute Pediatric Care in Primary Settings

Grand Canyon University offers an AG-ACNP MSN program that requires students to complete six hundred seventy-five supervised clinical practice hours. Students must also attend two on-campus programs designed to give students hands-on lab experiences.


Admission Requirements for Online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs


All on-campus and online acute care nurse practitioner programs require prospective students to have a minimum associate degree in nursing. While some schools offer an ADN to MSN program, most online acute care nurse practitioner programs are offered as BSN to MSN or MSN to DNP programs.

BSN to MSN Admission Requirements Example: Students entering both the BSN to MSN Adult/Gerontology and Pediatric ACNP online programs at the University of South Alabama must meet the following criteria

• Hold a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in the state where you reside
• Possess a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing
• Provide a professional resume' or curriculum vitae
• Provide three letters of reference, one of which should be from someone with a master's level degree

MSN to DNP Admission Requirements Example: Applicants for admission to the University of Iowa's MSN to DNP Adult/Gerontology online Acute Care NP program must meet the following requirements.

• Possess a baccalaureate or advanced nursing degree
• Graduate from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing program
• Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate classes taken
• Complete prerequisite statistics course with a minimum grade of B


Top Characteristics of Successful Online Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Students


While it is true that anyone can apply for and may be accepted into college, being accepted doesn't mean that everyone is successful. To be successful in any of the online acute care nurse practitioner programs, there are some characteristics that you should have.

1. Be a self-starter. One of the perks of attending an online acute care nurse practitioner school is that you may have a little more flexibility when it comes to scheduling your work. On the flip side, you must be willing to take the initiative to study, even when you may not feel like it.

2. Find your voice! An instructor in a virtual class may not be able to recognize when you are confused about the information he/she is presenting. If you have difficulty understanding something or need clarification about any classwork or material you have been presented with, speak up. Remember, this is your education, your future, your career. Don't doubt yourself or be afraid to get the answers you need.

3. Develop strong decision-making and critical thinking skills. If you are already enrolled or are considering enrolling in a nurse practitioner program, as a registered nurse, you already understand the importance of being able to make quick decisions and use critical thinking. These are skills that you should purposefully try to sharpen and improve as you pursue your online ACNP degree. This is important because as an acute care nurse practitioner, you will be faced with having to make quick decisions that could have a significant impact on your patient's overall health and well-being.

4. Use the time to your advantage. Just because you are enrolled in an online acute care NP program, that doesn't mean that you should take your flexible schedule for granted. Instead, learn to use your time to your advantage and create a balance between personal time and study time so that you don't feel rushed when it comes to preparing for tests or assignments.



FOLLOWING ARE THE 10 BEST ONLINE ACUTE CARE NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS FOR 2021


1. Rush University - Chicago, IL

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP (Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) & Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (NP)) and MSN to DNP (Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) & Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (NP))


2. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP (Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care) and MSN to DNP (Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care)


3. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) - Chicago, IL

Programs Offered: MSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care)


4. Duke University School of Nursing - Durham, NC

Programs Offered: MSN (Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care), BSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care) and MSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care)


5. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

Programs Offered: MSN (Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP)), MSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP)) and BSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP))


6. Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions - Philadelphia, PA

Programs Offered: MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, & Pediatric Primary/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Dual)


7. University of South Carolina - Columbia, SC

Programs Offered: MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) and BSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP))


8. Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Programs Offered: MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) and BSN to DNP (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner)


9. Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ

Programs Offered: MSN


10. Maryville University - St. Louis, MO

Programs Offered: MSN and DNP

View Ranking Methodology



How to Become Certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?


Becoming an acute care nurse practitioner is a journey of learning and growing. The steps to becoming certified as an ACNP include the following.

1. Earn a BSN degree
2. Take and pass the NCLEX-RN to become a licensed registered nurse
3. Apply for admission to an accredited MSN or DNP program that offers specialization in acute care
4. Earn your degree as an MSN or DNP
5. Obtain certification

What Certification Options are Available: Acute Care NPs who wish to provide care to adult clients may pursue the acute care nurse practitioner certification for adult/gerontology (ACNPC-AG). This certification can be obtained through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
Certification as an AC-PNP can be obtained through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

Certifying Body Certification
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Adult-Gerontology (ACNPC-AG)
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC)

Eligibility Requirements: To become certified as an AG-ACNP or an AC-PNP, applicants must meet the following criteria.

• Possess an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
• Hold a master's, post-graduate certificate, or doctoral degree that was earned from an AG ACNP or AC-PNP program
• Complete at least 500 clinical hours that are faculty-supervised that include adult-gerontology ACNP or Pediatric-ACNP roles and population studies
• Successfully complete graduate-level courses including advanced health assessment, advanced physiology and pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology
• Complete courses in health promotion and maintenance, disease management, and differential diagnosis

Fees: The cost of certification exams for acute care nurse practitioner certification include:
• The fee for AGACNP-BC through the ANCC is $295 for American Nurses Association members and $395 for non-members.
• American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) members can take AGACNP certification exams for $260 while non-members pay $370.
• Pediatric Nursing Certification Board: Initial certification exam $300. Retesting costs $245

Renewal: Renewal of each of the certifications listed above is required every five years. Renewal fees are as follows.
• ANCC renewal is $375 for non-members, $275 for American Nurses Association members, and $295 for American Association of Nurse Practitioner members, and $320 for members of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA).
• The renewal fees for Adult/Gerontology ACNPs are $250 for AACN members and $340 for non-members.
• PNCB renewal fees are $275 for ANA members and $375 for non-members.


Scope of Practice for an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in Your State


The overall Scope of Practice for NPs is defined by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Each state has the right to designate the depth of practice that a nurse practitioner can independently exercise. Along with the state's legislative laws, states determine whether an NP can have full practice authority, reduce practice authority, or restricted practice authority.

The chart below shows the practice of authority of acute care nurse practitioners in each state

Full Practice States Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming
Reduced Practice States Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
Restricted Practice States California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
(Source: aanp.org)


Career Opportunities


Both adult/gerontology and pediatric acute care nurse practitioners post completion of their education from accredited online acute care nurse practitioner programs can find employment in areas that specialize in the patient population for which they wish to focus. Depending on the type of setting you want to work in, there are several career opportunities for acute care nurse practitioners. A few examples of options include the following.

Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

1. Urgent Care ACPNP
2. Emergency Room ACPNP
3. Cardiac Acute Care Pediatric NP
4. PNP-Acute Care for Inpatient Critical Patients

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

1. AG ACNP Faculty and Program Director (Current opening at Rutgers University)
2. Advanced Practice Adult/Gerontology ACNP
3. Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing (Current job opening at the University of Mississippi Medical Center)
4. AG ACNP Surgical Assistant


Earning Potential


Both pediatric and adult/gerontology acute care NPs have the potential to earn a significant salary. According to ziprecruiter.com, the hourly difference between the two specialties is close to $11, with AG-ACNP making a little over $56 hourly and ACPNPs making just under $46 an hour. These rates are the equivalent of $117,066 annually for an Adult/Gerontology ACNP and $95,548 for a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. One thing to consider when negotiating your salary is whether you are willing to work split shifts, nights, or weekends as some employers offer higher salary incentives for employees who willingly take these assignments.

Type AGACNP ACPNP
Per Hour $56.28 $45.94
Per Month $9,760 $7,960
Per Year $117,066 $95,548
((Source: ziprecruiter.com))


The Top Paying States


If you are not opposed to moving, you may be interested in considering one of the top-paying states to live and work in as an acute care nurse practitioner. A few things that seem to have the most significant impact on the salary states offer is the cost of living in that area. It's easy to see that where the cost of living is higher, salaries are often more competitive. Additionally, when the number of practitioners who are certified may not be as far up to par with the population in an area, potential employers may offer higher salaries to attract qualified caregivers.

Currently, according to ziprecruiter.com, New York offers the highest salary for both AG-ACNP and AC-PNPs. Massachusetts, Washington, and New Hampshire offer salaries within just a few thousand dollars of New York. Even the tenth ranking state as far as compensation is concerned, Vermont, still offers a considerable wage of $116,245 for Adult/Gerontology ACNPs and $94,878 for Pediatric ACNPs.

Rank State AGACNP ACPNP
Per Hour Per Year Per Hour Per Year
1 New York $61.73 $128,406 $50.39 $104,803
2 Massachusetts $61.15 $127,192 $49.91 $103,812
3 Washington $60.72 $126,305 $49.56 $103,088
4 New Hampshire $59.51 $123,788 $48.57 $101,034
5 Hawaii $58.73 $122,159 $47.93 $99,704
6 Maryland $56.67 $117,876 $46.25 $96,209
7 Connecticut $56.65 $117,839 $46.24 $96,179
8 Rhode Island $56.19 $116,881 $45.86 $95,396
9 Alaska $56.12 $116,730 $45.80 $95,273
10 Vermont $55.89 $116,245 $45.61 $94,878
Source: ziprecruiter.com


Job Market for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for acute care nurse practitioners could increase up to thirty-four percent by the year 2022. This could be attributed to a few things including the number of individuals who are uninsured or under-insured. Also, because of healthcare issues that tend to be on the rise, such as increased numbers of infectious diseases and the existence of new conditions, such as COVID-10, the need for acute care seems to be on the rise.


Organizations & Associations


While joining an association or organization is not a requirement to be certified as an ACNP, many nurse practitioners find that they are helpful. Nursing organizations offer members the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and to learn from those who have been in practice for more extended periods of time. A few common organizations and associations that may be of interest to acute care nurse practitioners include the following.

American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN): The AAPACN advocates for the advancement of quality healthcare for residents and healthcare providers that provide care to those in long-term care and post-acute care settings.

Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA): The GAPNA, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, represents nurse practitioners who care for older adults. Its goal is to advocate for quality care of geriatric patients, provide continuing education for AG-ACNPs, educate the public regarding issues associated with age, and to promote the professional development of adult/gerontological nurse practitioners.

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP): The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners is made up of clinicians, national child healthcare experts, and researchers, as well as authors. The organization has over 8,000 members.

Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP): Members of the AFPNP include nursing educators and other healthcare professionals who focus on teaching family, school, and pediatric nurse practitioner programs. The organization's members work together to address educational issues associated with pediatric nurse practitioner programs and acute pediatric nurse practitioner programs.

NAPNAP Partners: The NAPNAP Partners association is comprised of pediatric nurse practitioners, pediatricians, nurses, other healthcare professionals who provide care to children related to health and wellness. It is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the mental and physical health of pediatric patients. One of the organization's most significant accomplishments and most important missions is to help develop and coordinate efforts that unite private citizens and healthcare providers to help end the labor of youth and children and to end sex trafficking.

NAPNAP Foundation: The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Foundation was designed to offer encouragement and support for the improvement and quality of life for children and their families. The Foundation provides funds that are intended to attract individuals who wish to seek education as advanced practice pediatric practitioners. It supports research, clinical projects and other initiatives related to the care of the pediatric patient population.


Bottomline


If becoming an acute care nurse practitioner is your goal, but you are unsure if you have the time or resources to attend school on-campus, enrolling in any accredited online acute care nurse practitioner programs could be a great option. Both Adult/Gerontology and Pediatric Acute Care NP programs give students the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to care for a specific patient population with the choice of many care settings.


Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert


What is the Difference Between an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner?


Primary care nurse practitioners work with patients who require routine medical care or those who deal with chronic or on-going medical conditions. The patients that primary care NPs care for do not require immediate medical attention or emergency services. Acute care nurse practitioners work with clients who are experiencing acute (severe or sudden onset) illness and health conditions. ACNPs may provide initial care and help get a patient stabilized so they can be transferred to an area of care where they can be monitored by a primary care provider.

What is the Difference Between an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?


An Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner provides care to adults and elderly patients who require immediate medical attention for illnesses that have a sudden or acute onset. An Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner provides the same type of care but specializes in the care of infants, children, and adolescents.

Is there any way to decrease the amount of time it takes to complete online acute care nurse practitioner programs?


The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, the level of education you have prior to enrolling in any acute care nurse practitioner program online is the first thing to consider regarding the length of time it may take you to complete the program. Additionally, some colleges offer students the opportunity to get credit by examination or work experience credits. While this is not always guaranteed with every college, it is certainly worth asking an admissions advisor. Remember, though, it's not always about the speed with which you finish. It's better to take your time, learn as much as you can, and finish strong so you can be an effective, well-qualified healthcare provider.

Once I become an acute care nurse practitioner, do I have to keep a current RN license?


To practice in the capacity of a nurse practitioner of any specialty, you must keep your license to practice as a registered nurse active, and it must remain unencumbered.

What are the total number of clinical hours required for DNP online acute care nurse practitioner programs?


Typically, students enrolled in ACNP-MSN to DNP programs must complete at least five hundred hours of supervised clinical practice hours. This is with the assumption that the student completed at least five hundred clinical hours in an MSN program prior to enrollment in the DNP program.

In Which areas do students pursuing online acute care-pediatric nurse practitioner programs complete their clinical practicum sessions?


Typically, students enrolled in an online acute care-pediatric nurse practitioner program must participate in clinical practicum rotations through various service areas that provide exposure to a wide range of pediatric populations. Some of the clinical study areas students must participate in include:

• Infectious diseases
• Oncology
• Endocrinology
• Cardiovascular surgery
• Emergency care
• Neurology
• Pediatric surgery


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.