Unmet Need for Residency Programs for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

Jul 7, 2014, 9:00 AM

A growing demand for acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) has created significant opportunity in this field, as well as a significant need for postgraduate residency programs, according to an article in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

Faced with issues such as the mandated reduction of work hours for residents, hospitals are turning to ACNPs to boost patient safety and satisfaction, writes Catherine Harris, PhD, MBA, CRNP, director of the ACNP program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Yet ACNP education emphasizes care across the life span instead of focusing on specialties—such as trauma, critical care, and cardiology—that hospital patients count on.

Postgraduate residency programs in specialty areas are “a very popular idea among NP graduates looking for additional mentorship and specialty training,” Harris writes, “but also they are a relatively inexpensive way to recruit and retain new hires.”

The article points out that only around 25 such programs, each with just one or two spots available per year, exist in the United States.

Read “Bridging the Gap Between Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Education and Practice: The Need for Postgraduate Residency Programs” in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.