201 Careers in NursingIn this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

BASIC DESCRIPTION

Adult nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who specialize in providing primary care to adults in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care settings, physicians’ offices, community-based clinics, and health care agencies. The adult nurse practitioner functions as a primary care provider and focuses on maintaining health and wellness in acute and chronic illnesses. Some of the characteristics of the work are:

  • Teaching patients to manage chronic conditions
  • Assessing the patient’s health history and status
  • Ordering diagnostic tests
  • Performing therapeutic procedures
  • Prescribing medications

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Master of Science in Nursing is required with advanced practice certification as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Certification as Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, another advanced practice role, is available from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Graduate programs are generally 2 years in length.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

  • Health assessment skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in interdisciplinary teams
  • Knowledge of acute and chronic diseases
  • Health promotion knowledge and skills
  • Knowledge of primary care provider role
  • Must possess extensive experience and expertise in assessing and managing patients in primary care settings

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS