Around the world, healthcare settings are typified by many categories of nursing professionals that receive specialized education and training to improve the health outcomes of patients. However, it is critical to note that various nursing professionals work in conjunction with other practitioners in the settings to address health issues from a holistic perspective. This paper aims at discussing the similarities and contrasts between an Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) and the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP). The differences and similarities are offered vis-à-vis educational preparation, practice environment, scope of practice, patient populations, certifications, and licensure.
Gerontological advanced practice nursing is aimed at providing care for the elderly population. Nurses in this category provide counseling, health screening, comprehensive care, and crisis intervention to the senior population (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015). They play a role of important advocate when it comes to directing efficient utilization of resources together with making referrals, which promote continuity to care, directed to the needs of the elderly (Gavin, 2014). Gerontological advanced practice nursing offer essential educational services to the elderly, their families, and other healthcare and nursing professionals taking part in their care. They turn out to be innovators in the field of gerontological nursing. On the other hand, the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP) provides direct patient management in complex and acute care settings (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2015). The program prepares registered nurses who have the acute-care experience that is necessary when it comes to providing direct patient management in complex and acute care setting (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2015). Graduates of this course are empowered to alleviate family and patient suffering, integrate evidence-based practice, and facilitate ethical decision-making ((American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015; Blackwell & Neff, 2015).
The program is flexible enough to enable the learners having other practice goals, such as transplant, oncology, and internal medicine to explore the necessary areas within the hospitalized patient setting. AG ACNP learners are required to be holders of the Advanced Cardiovascular, Life Support (ACLS) certification before entering the program. After graduation, learners will be required to sit for the Adult Gerontological ACNP examination for board certification (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015). Credentialing of this practice is provided by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The patient population for Adult Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) are young adults, fairly elderly who have complex acute or/and chronic health condition (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2015). ACNP graduates practice in both community and clinics that are hospital-based, in a long-term care setting, in sub-acute or skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient’s homes. The ACNP graduates work by collaborating with other members of the health care team (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2015).
Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) is the independent management of adult and adolescent health care. It focuses on health promotion, primary health care management, disease education, and risk reduction. “Practitioners here provide complete physical examination, health histories, diagnose and treat many common chronic and acute problems; interpret laboratory diagnostic procedures and results; manage and prescribe medications and other therapies; offer health teaching and supportive counseling focusing on prevention of illness together with health maintenance; and refer clients to other health professionals as needed” (Gavin, 2014, p. 342). Students undertaking the program have to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner board certification examination that is a competency based examination aimed at providing a reliable and valid assessment of the entry-level clinical skills and knowledge to nurse practitioners. This certification is in line with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Certification, Examination, Accreditation, and Licensing. One is awarded credential of Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (AGPCNP-BC) after completion of the eligibility requirement. The patient population of focus when it comes to Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) is made up of the young and senior patients. The graduates of Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) practice their work in long-term care settings, skilled nursing facilities, homes of patients, in the community, and in hospital-based primary care clinics (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015).
In conclusion, both Adult Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) and an Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) are very important in the community. They are aimed at improving the quality of health care for both young and the senior populations. They try to promote and sustain health in the community.