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Upon completion of a formal educational program (excerpted):
• Elicit a comprehensive health history and perform a physical exam.
• Prioritize and initiate pertinent diagnostic tests.
• Analyze data to determine nursing and medical diagnoses.
• Develop a prioritized comprehensive problem list.
• Collect patient data on an ongoing basis, prioritized according to the patient’s immediate conditions and needs.
• Identify expected patient outcomes in collaboration with patient, family, and other professionals.
• Develop a plan of care that prescribes interventions to attain expected outcomes.
• Prescribe and implement the interventions in the multidisciplinary plan of care.
• Evaluate the patient’s progress toward attainment of expected outcomes.
• Systematically evaluate the quality and effectiveness of care.
• Facilitate the use of organizational resources in caring for the patient through the analysis and modification of system enhancements and barriers.
• Evaluate clinical practice in relation to professional and ethical standards, relevant laws, statutes, and regulations.
• Acquire and maintain current knowledge in advanced practice.
• Contribute to the professional development of peers, colleagues, and others.
• Make decisions on behalf of the patient in an ethical manner.
• Critically evaluate and modify existing (clinical) practices based on current research findings.
• Participate in research activities.
• Consider factors related to safety, effectiveness, and cost in planning and delivering patient care.
• Develop and implement strategies that have a positive effect on the political and regulatory processes related to the health care systems and the acute nurse practitioner’s role.
Program of study (excerpted):
• A master’s degree in nursing and completion of a graduate-level program for preparation of acute-care NPs required.
• An valid RN license in the United States or its territories.
• The acute-care NP program should be a minimum of nine months or one academic year of full-time study or its equivalent, as defined by the sponsoring institution.
• Approximately one-third of the program should be devoted to classroom or didactic experiences and the remaining two-thirds to clinical or preceptorship experiences.
• Didactic content should include a review and application of theories from anatomy and physiology, nursing and medical services, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and social sciences.
• Decision-making and clinical management process for acutely or critically ill adults that include health assessment data gathering techniques; management of acute and chronic health problems; management of instability and comorbidity; systematic evaluation of potential and actual outcomes; consultation and collaboration; and health promotion and risk-factor modification.
• Supervised clinical and preceptorship experiences that include skills development in diagnostic reasoning, decision-making, consultation, collaboration, appropriate use of technology, research process, and management of acute and critically care systems.