The number of certified acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) in 2010 is estimated to be 8000. The American Nurses Credentialing Center estimates that approximately 1000 ACNP candidates are certified each year.1,2  These data suggest that the ACNP position continues to demonstrate increased growth since its inception in 1995. The development of the ACNP role must be studied, so we can understand its current and future impact. The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation and the AACN Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice emphasize that ACNPs can diagnose, treat, and manage patients with complex acute, critical, and chronic illnesses in care settings including hospitals, subacute and ambulatory care, and clinic and home care.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Nurse Practitioner sample survey conducted from 2009 to 2010 had 13 562 nurse practitioner (NP) respondents, including...

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