Adult Care NP and CNS Programs in the U.S.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) have been providing care for patients since the 1960s, when a physician shortage created a demand for more providers, especially in rural areas. Back then federal funds were made available to train NPs. NPs training and education is more extensive than the training for registered nurses but less extensive than physician training, so they’re considered mid-level providers. On this page you’ll find information about what Adult NPs do and education information. When you’re ready to look at programs, you can click on the any of the links in the featured schools listed below. You can also use the “Find Schools Near You” box to find additional programs that might interest you.
Adult NPs (ANPs) provide mid-level care to adults in any setting from home care in communities to hospitals and military units. What makes ANPs extraordinary is that wherever they’re working they promote a holistic approach to health, stressing the overall physical and mental health and wellness of their patients and patients’ families, rather than just treating patients’ problems and sending them on their way.
In addition to working as “physician extenders,” ANPs are skilled educators, teaching patients how to care for themselves to prevent and cope with all sorts of diseases and conditions.
Adult NPs Have a Wide Scope of Practice
ANPs provide both preventive and acute care for patients, working either independently or as members of a larger healthcare team. An example of a preventive role that ANPs fill is in a mobile clinic – for people who have limited access to healthcare services. In these wellness clinics-on-wheels, ANPs bring essential services to the people who most need it at a relatively low cost to patients. In these settings, it’s extremely valuable if an aspiring adult NP is fluent in a second language such as Spanish.
Acute care jobs for ANPs are more abundant than ones in preventive settings. Clinics of every type, including dermatology, plastic surgery, hypertension, diabetes, weight loss, sleep disorders, mental health services, geriatrics, and more hire ANPs to evaluate and treat patients.
Some ANPs also work in hospitals, even though the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role is specifically designed for these jobs. An ANP who has relevant acute care experience may well land a job in a hospital. In short, the ANP’s core skill-set, after graduating from an NP program, provides a strong foundation for a wide array of clinical roles in both urban and rural areas.
Career Mobility in the Adult NP Role
Some people choose to stick with one clinical area for an entire career, while others move around and work in different areas. This kind of flexibility creates job mobility, which means more career choices.
ANPs may also conduct clinical research or manage research projects. In these roles a broad range of skills, from clinical care to data monitoring and scientific writing may be put to use.
Spotlight on Penn Nursing’s Adult NP Program
Excellent programs exist across the nation, but the top ranked nursing school for an ANP degree for the last 20 years, according to US News & World Report, has been the University of Pennsylvania. With a world-class medical center and stellar faculty of clinicians and researchers, Penn Nursing sets a high bar for ANP programs. The faculty members work closely with each ANP master’s student to tailor clinical experiences to that student’s specific needs.