You’ve been a nurse for a few years now and you love it. The constant energy, the daily surprises, and the pride you get from caring for others; it’s what you’ve always wanted to do. But have you ever wanted to do more?
As a nurse practitioner (NP), you’ll begin a career trajectory toward greater responsibilities, higher pay, and plenty of new, rewarding opportunities. You can also take a more focused approach to your career — something that ties directly into your interests. One such option is as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) where you will provide timely care to adults in an acute care setting. With this title, you could have the opportunity to choose from a variety of locations, patient types, and specializations.
If you’re an experienced nurse who is ready for a new challenge, here are four reasons to consider pursuing an AG-ACNP degree.
It’s a Degree in Demand
It’s estimated that 10,000 Americans turn 65 years old every day and that this trend will continue into the next decade. With such a rapidly aging population, more people will be requiring assistance from highly trained AG-ACNPs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for new nurse practitioners will grow 52% in the ensuing decade with the aging population being one of the driving factors. And if you decide to earn your MSN and become an NP you’ll have the chance to increase your earning potential — NPs earned on average $111,680 per year according to May 2020 data.
It’s Full of Diverse Opportunities
Where do you want to work? Whom do you want to work with?
It’s not always a choice healthcare professionals have, but as an acute care NP, you can work in a variety of places and on behalf of all types of patients.
Think about the environment where your skills and experience could be most well-suited. You could work in:
- Emergency Rooms (ER)
- Hospital –( i.e. Medical Surgical Unit, Telemetry, Progressive Care Units, etc)
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- Long-term care facilities
- Specialty Services (i.e. Neurology, Cardiology, Oncology, Infectious Disease, etc).
- Urgent Care
- Administrative, teaching and research roles beyond a clinical setting
With NPs in such high-demand, an AG-ACNP degree could be the ticket toward selecting your career path.
It’s Not Your Normal 9-to-5
As an AG-ACNP, the only certain thing is that every day’s experience will be different. Depending on where you are located, you could face high stress, emergencies and/or be delivering care to patients dealing with chronic conditions or illnesses like hypertension, heart failure and diabetes. You may be in a hospital setting with many other members of a healthcare team or be in a smaller facility where you are working as a team of one.
You’ll also find yourself:
- Gathering patient histories
- Performing physical examinations and screenings
- Diagnosing and managing patients with acute, critical or complex illnesses/injuries
- Prescribing medications and advanced therapeutic intervention
- Ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies
- Performing therapeutic procedures (i.e. Intercostal chest tube insertion)
- Providing health promotion, education, and counseling
- Collaborating with other medical professionals as a team
If you can keep a cool head and face pressure when called upon, this career may be the perfect fit for you. Successful AG-ACNPs work under tight time constraints can communicate quickly and effectively with patients and colleagues alike and must adapt to being both a member of a team and as an experienced, hands-on leader as needed.
It’s Unique and Specialized
Nurse practitioners like AG-ACNPs are highly sought after — more than 1.06 billion visits are made to NPs each year.
As you develop your career path, you could begin to specialize in areas of high interest to you. These specializations can include but are not limited to:
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Pulmonary Critical Care
- Emergency Medicine
- Palliative Medicine
For the healthcare worker who wants to keep carving a path into something more focused, acute care is a great springboard into any of a dozen unique specialties.
Advance Your Nursing Career at Herzing University
Are you ready to become an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner? If so, then Herzing University is full of AGACNP program options to help you reach the next level and obtain the career you’ve always wanted.
Some viable next steps include:
- MSN-AGACNP (learn more about this career path from Herzing’s own Dr. Laura Ligget)
- RN to MSN-AGACNP
- Post Master's Certificate in AGACNP
In addition to receiving your advanced nursing degree, you must also add a national certification to your resume. It’s another way of showing you have the skills to do the job and are knowledgeable of current best practices and emerging trends within your field. It can also provide you with plenty of new connections to continue building a network of colleagues that you can lean on for advice and support.
You can achieve your dream career. It just takes time, dedication, and the will to do it. We can help you get there. Contact us today to learn more about our wide variety of nursing programs and for help locating the one that’s right for you.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.