If you're a registered nurse considering furthering your career, you may want to consider enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing which leads to a Nurse Practitioner degree. These Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are enjoying a robust employment outlook and are increasingly being recognized as valued clinicians in healthcare. Due, in part, to a shortage of physicians, APRNs are gaining increased responsibilities and job growth in specialty areas such as pediatrics, midwifery, anesthesia, mental health and adult gerontology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a much faster than average 36% job growth for Nurse Practitioners across the healthcare spectrum, with more than 211,000 APRNs needed by 2026.
More states are changing their regulations to accommodate APRNs and allowing them to provide more services, once considered the domain of physicians. The National Center for Workforce Analysis (NCHWA) reported an estimated 20,000 primary care physician shortfall by 2025. Employment of AG-PCNPs not only provides quality patient care, which is as effective; but, is cost effective for employers as well. States with the highest employment rates for Nurse Practitioner specialties are: More states are changing their regulations to accommodate APRNs and allowing them to provide more services, once considered the domain of physicians. The National Center for Workforce Analysis (NCHWA) reported an estimated 20,000 primary care physician shortfall by 2025. Employment of AG-PCNPs not only provides quality patient care, which is as effective; but, is cost effective for employers as well. States with the highest employment Florida, Ohio, Texas, New York and California; with the highest concentration for the occupation in: Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Massachusetts.
Adult Gerontology Specialties
Adult Gerontology has often been incorrectly described as the care of the older patient; but, as Nurse Practitioners are becoming more specific in their education and training, that definition has changed (although practitioners may limit their practice to any age group above 13 years of age). Broadly speaking, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners care for and treat patients from age 13 through geriatrics. Family Nurse Practitioners, on the other hand, typically care for patients from infancy through geriatrics.
There are two specialty areas in Adult Gerontology: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-PCNP) and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-ACNP). Each specialty has excellent job prospects.
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP)
As a result of the primary care physician shortage, the AG-PCNP will find ample employment employment opportunities in physician offices, outpatient clinics, long term care facilities, home healthcare, hospitals and assisted living facilities.
Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
Nurses with an AG-ACNP certification care for patients during short periods of more critical and complex health needs. Working in hospitals, intensive care units, trauma units, emergency departments or sub-acute units. Some find employment in long term care facilities with dedicated wings for acute patient care.
Best Medical Degrees has published a ranking of online Best Online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Degrees and Best Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A.G.N.P.) Programs which are fully accredited and may be completed in 2-3 years.