The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at Grand Canyon University has been providing exceptional education in the healthcare field for over 30 years. Ruth Skinner, MSN, ACNP-BC, is the lead faculty member for the acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) program at GCU. She has experience as an acute care nurse practitioner and extensive knowledge of the practice, making her a valuable member of the college.
- Tell us about yourself. How did you come to GCU?
I am an acute care nurse practitioner. After I became a nurse, I knew that I wanted to do more. The beauty of nursing is that the possibilities are endless. I obtained my MSN with an emphasis in education.
- What inspired you to go into your field?
When I was in high school, my older sister was a radiology technician in the hospital. As soon as I turned 18, I began working in the hospital. It was at that time I knew that the hospital would always be home. Nurses and doctors knew I was planning on going to college after I graduated, so they would always show me interesting cases or involve me in the patient plan of care.
- Tell us about the acute care nurse practitioner program at GCU.
The acute care nurse practitioner program at GCU is an online program to prepare students to become nurse practitioners in the acute and sub-acute setting.
The ACNP program contains all the requirements required to take the national certification exam, including pathophysiology, pharmacology and physical assessment. The students are expected to complete 550 clinical hours. The students begin to cement their knowledge and put it all together in their clinical rotation.
- What is your favorite aspect of this program?
I love the skills lab. Acute care nurse practitioners can perform many skills in the hospital. Time in the skills lab occurs at the beginning of the students’ first clinical rotation. This is the first time that many students realize the magnitude of their abilities as an acute care nurse practitioner. It is also the first time the students finally can visualize themselves as nurse practitioners.
I also enjoy the skills lab because the acute care nurse practitioner program is all online. This is the first opportunity students have to speak with their instructors and the other students that they have bonded with for the last year.
- What is the best piece of advice you have for nurses who want to earn an ANCP degree?
If you have thought about it, you need to dive in. There is never a perfect time; you will always be blessed with challenges in your life. I recommend starting as soon as possible because in a couple years you will wish that you were almost done with the program, not just starting.
- What would you want prospective students to know about this program?
Your faculty is here to help you succeed. I know it sounds cheesy, but I care about every one of my students. I want them to pass their certification exam the first time.
Grand Canyon University helps students find their purpose and reach their full potential. To learn about an education at GCU, request more information today!