During 1997, there were approximately 2.4 million registered nurses in the United States of America and there were about 161,700 who were advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, or clinical nurse specialists. Majority of the advanced practiced nurses possess master’s degree and several are nationally certified.

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Moreover, the advanced practice nurses render a great help in the hospitals and the hospitals cannot function properly without the advanced practice nurses because majority of the anesthesia is conducted by the CRNAs while the Nurse Practitioner and clinical nurse specialists are very vital in giving quality patient care in acute care functions. The nurse practitioner role was created to meet the needs of the patients and has improved more to show and explain their value in acute care. For several years, researches have substantiated the benefits of having nurse practitioners in the acute and critical care conditions.

Furthermore, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner has an exceptional combination of years of acute care nursing proficiency and understanding together with advanced education. Acute Care Nursing Practitioners are taking the place of the house officers without losing the quality of patient care and with superior patient care in several acute and critical conditions (see Woods, Anne. “Nurse Practitioners: A growing role in acute care”. 1999).

III. Discussions

A. Scope of Practice for the ACNP

a.1 State

The primary care nurse practitioner role in the basic health care group and condition has been acknowledged for several years. Every province in Canada had the leading care nurse practitioner which functions in different under-serviced zones. The registered nurse frequently looked for supplementary academic learning. And there are some nurse practitioner specialty streams that have joined in the United States and of Canada. The functions outside of the primary care nurse practitioner role have been classified and recognized as specialty nurse practitioners.

The specialty nurse practitioner programs in Canada do not have the same time span of history compared to the United States of America. Presently, universities in Canada have distinguished and acknowledged the need to arrange programs in order

Page 2 The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Essay

to teach Canadian registered nurses into the specialty roles. Even though the legal code which governs the practice of nurse practitioners differs from one province to another, there is an identified need among the nursing regulatory bodies that legal code should incorporate the licensure of specialty nurse practitioners and primary care nurse practitioners (see Chow, Sharon. “The Growing Trend of Nurse Roles”. Dec. 2003/Jan. 2004).

a.2 Institutional

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role has developed, altered and extended since it was started. The acute care nurse practitioners influenced patient management in the acute care continuum in spite of the condition in which they practice. In addition, the acute nurse care practitioners participate in private practices, outpatient surgery centers, emergency departments, acute care clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals. These ACNPs also explain an elaborate diagnostic and laboratory teats like electrocardiograms, ultrasound, x-rays, cultures and sensitivities, and stress tests (see Paul, Logan. “The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner as Hospitalist”, 1999).

a.3 Nurse Practitioner-Patient Relationship

            a.4.1 Uses ethical standards in caring for complex acute, serious and chronic patients (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

            a.4.2 Communes efficiently with the patient and the patient’s family living through complex acute, serious and chronic illness (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

            a.4.3 Enabling and assisting  the patient and the patient’s family in their decision making which regard to complex  acute, serious and chronic illness therapy  decisions, end of life care and organ donation (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

            a.4.4 Puts on standards of crisis management in helping out the patient and the patient’s family living through complex, serious and chronic illness (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

            a.4.5 Serves as an advocate of the patient for those patient that are not able to do for themselves because pf acute, serious and developmental level (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

 B. Competencies of the ACNP Role

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner’s function is to render advanced nursing assistance across the scope of health care services to meet up the patients’ specialized physiologic and psychological needs (patients that have complex acute, chronic and critical health conditions). The assistance provided is constant and complete. The people in acute care practice comprise critically and acutely sick patients who undergo episodic sickness, exacerbation of chronic illness and terminal illness.

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner practices in any locations in which the requirements of the patient’s care contain high-intensity nursing intervention, constant nursing awareness having the span of high-acuity care and therapies and complex monitoring. However, majority of the practice of Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in acute treatment and hospital based locations involves emergency care; the continuum of acute care services extends the geographic locations of home, urgent care, ambulatory care, sub-acute care, emergency care and intensive care locations and rehabilitative care. Moreover, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner uses intrusive interventions and processes in order to promote physiologic stability. It also operates an extensive variety of procedures and skills and the ACNP’s skill set is frequently reliant on the specific patient population and specialty-based area of practice.

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner focuses on the restorative care. The ACNP has short-range of objectives which incorporate patient stabilization, promotion of physical and psychological being and lessen complications and its long-term objective is to restore best health potential while assessing risk factors in attaining the said outcome (see “Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)”).

a.1 Advance Practice Nurse and NP Competencies

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse that is knowledgeable, well-informed and authorized to perform independently and cooperatively in an advanced and expanded clinical role. The nurse practitioner role involves evaluation and management of clients who utilizes nursing knowledge and skills. Moreover, the NP role is also based in the nursing profession’s knowledge, concepts and philosophies, values and gives advanced and adaptable health care delivery which harmonizes different health care providers.

The nurse practitioner’s scope of practice is defined through the context where the nurse practitioner is sanctioned to practice his/her profession. The nurse practitioner practice has been generated with three generic standards which set and determined its boundaries in practicing the profession (see “National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner”. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council). These three standards are:

*Standard 1

It is a dynamic practice which integrates application of high-level skills and knowledge in extended practice through stable, erratic and complex conditions (see “National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner”. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council).

*Standard 2

Standard 2 pertains to professional efficacy in which practice is organized and systematized in a nursing model and improved through independence, responsibility and liability (see “National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner”. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council).

*Standard 3

It denotes to a clinical leadership that persuades and advances clinical policy, care and cooperation by every level of health service (see “National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner”. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council).

a.2 ACNP Specialty Competencies

The acute care nurse practitioner is academically set up to give advanced nursing care to patients who have complex acute, chronic and serious health conditions which include the delivery of acute care services. A number of academic programs may set up acute care nurse practitioners to render services to a particular patient population such as adult and child and age-specific competencies may be required. Furthermore, the acute care nurse practitioner competencies augment the core competencies for every nurse practitioner.

As mentioned earlier, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner’s function is to render nursing care across the range of health care services to meet up the patient’s physiologic and psychologic needs (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004). Acute care nurse practitioner competencies Washington, DC: National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties).

C. Profile of the ACNP Role

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner evaluates the complex acute, serious and chronic illness of the patient for critical and emergent states which utilize technologically and physiologically derived documents to assess the physiologic unsteadiness and possible serious conditions (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

C.1 Professional Role

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner has professional role to perform and they need to:

Ø  takes part informal and formal education given to different health care professionals to advocate positive results in the course of complex, serious and chronic illness (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  incorporates research to provide evidence-based practice for the patient who has complex acute, serious and chronic illness (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  contributes to research which provides positive results in the course of complex acute, serious and chronic illness (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  takes part in professional associations which influence the health of severe, serious and chronically-ill patient and advocate the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner’s role (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  explains the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role to different health care providers as well as to the public (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  incorporates the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role into processes, decision making to perform in the health care group (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

Ø  incorporates knowledge of stress management standards when an Acute Care NP encountered with complex acute or any traumatic conditions (see National Panel for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, (2004).

D. ACNP Role Implementation

d.1 Educational preparation of the ACNP

Before an individual becomes an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, he/she must be a graduate of BS Nursing and a registered nurse. And prior to that, he/she must undergo several masters’ level to give him/her the authorization to practice his/her profession. In the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School, it provides Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Course. The chart below shows the university’s major courses (see “Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)”. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, School of Nursing. 2006).

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