What does an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner do?

Associate Professor Kathleen Ballman explains the role and some of the benefits of UC's programs

Kathleen Ballman, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, CEN, associate professor and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program coordinator for the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing, has worked in an emergency department for more than three decades, caring for adults with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

In this video, Ballman discusses the role of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and some of the benefits of UC’s graduate programs in this advanced-practice specialty.

Ready to learn more about our adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner programs? Join us for a virtual information session.

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners care for critically injured or chronically ill patients 13 or older.

Ballman: The acute care nurse practitioner takes care of a wide range of patients, including critically injured, critically ill, unstable and/or chronic patients.

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners work mainly in hospitals or outpatient clinics.

Ballman: You can work as a hospitalist or in an outpatient clinic; you can specialize in endocrine, diabetology, nephrology, neurology or neurocritical care, depending on what you are interested in. Acute care nurse practitioners most frequently work in different hospital units, such as the emergency department or in intensive care with surgical patients, but it is important to know that they are not limited to working in hospitals.

UC offers an MSN, post-MSN certificate and DNP in the adult-gerontology acute care specialty.

Ballman: At UC, we offer bachelor’s-prepared and general Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)-prepared nurses the choice of an MSN or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. We also offer a post-MSN certificate for nurses who want to add adult-gerontology acute care to their specialization.

UC offers unique laboratory experiences, including a cadaver lab.

Ballman: Although all core nurse practitioner courses can be taken online, the acute care specialty courses require our students to come to campus once a week for two semesters.

The specialty courses prepare students to care for critically injured or very sick patients, with classes that combine didactic and lab experiences. Our labs span from taking care of the basic airway to doing intubations or chest tubes and needle cricks. We also have labs on suturing and performing ultrasounds and lumbar punctures.

Because of our close relationship with University of Cincinnati Medical Center, we also offer a cadaver lab to our students—one of the highlights of our program.

The combination of our didactic classes with labs and precepted experiences prepare students to be outstanding adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners. Programs that are completely online cannot prepare future adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners to provide safe, quality care as thoroughly as we do at UC.