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What are the Qualifications of an Acute Care Nurse?

Higher Education Articles May 1, 2013

If you qualify to be an acute-care nurse, you can look forward to a prosperous career. You will be responsible for taking care of patients in a variety of settings, and taking care of patients who truly need your help; namely, those living with chronic diseases or going through surgery.

There is an excellent deal of career opportunities for acute care nurses, in the way of oncology, cardiology, respiratory health and intensive care. Additionally, there is a need for nurses educated in pediatric care, neonatal care, gerontology care, and emergency room (ER) treatment. Not only can you work in a hospital, but you can also work in home health care.

You might call this type of nursing the “front lines” of all patient care, and you will be joining nearly half a million other professionals who work in this field. As with any nursing job, the duties are not standard delivery of tasks, but involve educating others, managing rooms, floors and programs, conducting research and working with patients on a daily basis.

Education Requirements

Acute-care nursing students train to become recognized, registered nurses. You can start this career by pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The subjects should involve the basics of medicinal treatment as well as psychology. You will be learning about human anatomy, the standard practices of nurses, the science of medicine, effective communication, chemistry and nutrition. Some nurses advance far in their training and can even develop skills in microbiology and pharmacology.

In order to pass the course and earn their degree, nursing students are required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This exam, administered by Pearson VUE and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, helps determine if a nursing student truly understands the course, and how to meet the state requirement. Of course, this depends on the state you are located in; as each state writes its own requirements that are part of the Board of Nursing. Where you live and where you plan to work are extremely important.

You can also become certified in acute or critical care and make good use of training time by pursuing even higher education. Look up the American Association of Critical Care Nurses AACN for more assistance. Becoming an Acute-Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) will allow you to make crucial decisions on a daily basis, and furthering your education with a master’s degree will help you advance in your profession.

The AACN expects all applicants to offer quality nursing care, practice professional standards in dealing with doctors and patients, prove themselves with education and in interpersonal relationships, and to maintain high ethical standards. In addition, learning the economic operation of a hospital or clinic and understanding the resources available is another key aspect of the job.

Last but not least, success in leadership is required to make this career path work. Acute-Care Nurses can make upwards of $70,000 per year, though this can depend on location and any specialties he or she brings to the table. There are also plenty of benefits in the way of relocation bonuses, paid education, and so forth.

It is a long journey, which is a given. However, at the end of your career path, it will be truly rewarding and the work is always worthwhile.

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1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
  • Professors with real-world experience and student centered approach
  • Flexible, fully online degree programs responding to the market needs
  • All courses are offered six times a year with clear path to completion and reduced time-to-degree
  • No additional costs for textbooks or other fees
  • Personal support from application to graduation leading to high retention and graduation rates
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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