Starting out ahead of the pack with continuing education courses is always a great decision for your career, but with so many medical fields to choose from, it can be overwhelming.
At NP PA Recruiters, we want to help nurse practitioners advance in their careers in a more streamlined fashion, and one of the ways they can do this is by getting their Acute Care Certification.
What is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?
An ACNP is a registered nurse who specializes in treating extreme illness, or the injured, suffered by patients. You will see them mostly working in hospitals in urgent care.
Some responsibilities an ACNP should master include:
- Order medications and treatments
- Help patients recover from chronic conditions as well as sudden illness or injuries
- Stabilizing patients in critical care
- Performing certain procedures like:
- Lumbar puncture
- Chest tube insertion
- Incision and drainage
- Placing a splint
- Caring for open wounds
- Monitoring patients and tracking their progress
- Referring to specialists
- Discharging patients
There are also many medical fields that ACNP’s can excel in such as:
- Intensive Care Units (ICU)
- Acute care facilities
- Surgery centers
- Urgent care
How Does an Acute Care Certificate Benefit an NP?
There’s no question that an NP Acute Care Certificate would improve the quality of your career.
However, many hospitals in the United States require an acute care certification for NP’s. State legislation is enforcing this rule throughout the country, meaning hospitals in many other states are expected to require an AC certification.
If the hospital you work at doesn’t require you to get an acute care certification, there are still a couple of big reasons why you should:
- More employment opportunities– As stated above, many states are requiring an AC certification for employment. If you change job locations and start a job in a hospital that does in fact require a certificate, you will undoubtedly be expected to enroll in school and acquire it. Getting your certification now can save you the time and money that you will spend later.
- An increase in income– Having an AC certificate can increase your chances of getting a higher annual income. Qualified NP’s could be offered $3,000 to $10,000 more than those candidates without it.
As an added benefit when applying for a new job, an AC certification may also give you a leg up over someone that doesn’t have their certification.
Where To Get Certified
Nurse practitioners interested in getting certified have a few methods they can use to gain their certification despite whatever schedule or financial situation they are in. You can enroll in a private university, local college, or complete an online course.
- Private University– This option can be quite beneficial, especially if this particular university has a highly respected program. This could look spectacular on your resume and get you noticed by some of the top teaching hospitals.
- Local College/Online Program– This option is something great for NPs that may have a tight schedule or finances.
You may want to look into the many available online programs across the country to decide which one best suits you. Keep in mind that choosing to complete your certification online would make it your responsibility to find a location to complete your clinicals, which can be difficult.
How long does the certification process take?
The amount of time it takes to receive an acute care certification depends on the school you choose to attend and their specific requirements. Programs may take anywhere from 20 to 45 credits and between 1 to 3 years to complete.
Once You Earn Your AC Certification, NP PA Recruiters Can Find You The Perfect Job to Start Your New Chapter
Our nurse practitioner recruiters are ready to help you get more information on how to get started on your acute care career.
If you’re ready to search for the perfect job to advance the career you love, contact NP PA Recruiters today at (956) 772-1400 or (214) 351-3880.