News From American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)


AACN has published a new edition of “AACN Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice” to reflect the specialty’s evolving role and an ever-changing critical care landscape.

First issued in 2006 and previously updated in 2012, the new edition describes and measures the expected level of practice and professional performance for acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs). The 2017 edition, which came from collaboration from a work group of ACNP subject matter experts convened by AACN collaborated to update the content to reflect current practice incorporates advances in scientific knowledge, clinical practice, technology and other changes in the dynamic healthcare environment. It addresses the full scope of practice for ACNPs, including those whose education and training prepare them to care for children with acute and critical illnesses. It also aligns with the “Consensus Model for APRN Regulation” — also called the LACE Model — developed to create national congruence for licensure, accreditation, certification, and education of advanced practice nurses.

“The role of acute care nurse practitioners continues to expand as more hospitals and healthcare organizations discover the value of having ACNPs on staff,” said Linda Bell, AACN clinical practice specialist and editor of the publication. “Patients who used to be hospitalized are now cared for throughout the healthcare system. As a result, the services or care provided by ACNPs and other advanced practice providers are not defined or limited by setting but rather by patient care needs.”

These standards are a valuable resource for acute care pediatric nurse practitioners (CPNP-AC), adult ACNPs (ACNPC-AG or ACNP-BC) and those developing educational programs for advanced nursing practice, job descriptions and credentialing, among other uses.

New edition of ACNP Scope and Standard is available from American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (

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