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Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Adult)

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses to provide advanced practice in acute care settings through a program of study focused on the care of acutely ill patients and their families. The program integrates content in advanced health assessment, clinical decision-making and diagnosis, advanced pharmacology, and management of acutely ill adults with specialty seminars taught by expert clinicians. Seminars and clinical experiences emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of acute illness on the patient and family. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The sudden onset of acute illness raises a host of ethical challenges for both the patient/family and the nurse practitioner, including questions about care plans and decision-making. Consider that acute illness sometimes invalidates the patient’s decision-making capacity, and yet the vast majority of patients have neither designated a surrogate decision maker nor indicated his/her wishes in advance of the onset of the illness. Additionally, acute illness may cause significant social and economic hardships for patients, and practitioners must consider the ethical implications of the expectations they have for families of patients with acute illness. Participating in robust ethical training will enable advance practice nurses to be prepared to address the challenges posed by impaired decision-making (e.g. will understand appropriate proxy decision-making procedures), as well as consider in context the patient’s social, economic, and psychological issues when helping a family through a loved one’s illness.

Visit the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program website