Differences between a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Discuss the differences between a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and their scope of practice. Why is this important to know as you move from being a nurse into your new role as an NP? Please include sources and references to support your discussion.

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The scope of practice of nurse practitioners is determined by the education and training they receive before joining the profession. More so, the scope of practice of nurse practitioners depends on the roles they play in meeting the needs of patients and not the specifics of the setting. According to Kennedy-Malone, Martin-Plank, and Duffy (2018), nurses who practice outside their primary scope of practice are not only at risk of legal ramifications but also risk damaging the reputation of the profession. Subsequently, different nursing practitioners have varying roles, depending on their scope of practice. 

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An acute care Nurse practitioner (NP) deals with patients who are suffering from chronic conditions such as heart attack, respiratory distress syndrome, among others which are based in emergency rooms and intensive care unit, among others. (Coombs, 2015). On the other hand, primary care nurse practitioners are registered nurses trained to work with patients who require routine medical care or suffer from chronic conditions which do not need immediate medical attention (Poghosyan, Norful, Liu, & Friedberg, 2018).

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Thus, they are NPs who are trained and licensed to provide comprehensive and continuous care, which involves long-term relationships with the patient (Poghosyan et al., 2018). Primary care nurse practitioners are mainly based in practice clinics, nursing home or skilled nursing facility, jail health, and rural health, public health clinics, and underserved communities, among others (Poghosyan et al., 2018). Persons moving from being nurses to nursing practitioners should know the scope of practice of various nursing professions to ensure they have understanding on what is required of them while taking care of patients.

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The scope of practice of nurse practitioners is determined by their educational background as well as the roles they play in health care settings. Notably, various nursing practitioners play essential but varying roles in ensuring the well-being of patients. Therefore, those in the nursing profession must know their scope of practice and what is expected of each individual in the profession.

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