Those with a passion for caring for adult patients in an advanced practice setting can consider a career as an adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP). These nurses can work more autonomously to prescribe medication and devise treatment plans for their patients in both acute and primary care environments. Luckily, there are a wide variety of quality adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs with both acute and primary care subspecialties for interested parties to choose from.

Choosing an AGNP Program

Students should consider the following factors when trying to choose an appropriate AGNP program:

Accreditation

Good adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs will be accredited by national accrediting organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Local and regional accrediting bodies may also endorse programs.

Program Cost

Adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs typically list tuition costs by credit hour. Standard tuition rates fall in the $600 to $1,000 or more per credit hour range, depending on location and degree-level chosen. Doctoral programs generally require more credits, thus making them more expensive than master's programs.

Program Length

MSN-level adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs typically require around 45 credit hours or units, with part-time and full-time study options available. DNP-level programs require close to 92 credit hours, with many of these coming from clinical practicum hours. Both master's and doctoral programs require a certain amount of hands-on clinical training hours in addition to classroom courses.

Internship/Externship Opportunities

Many schools have relationships with local hospitals and medical centers in which students can complete their hands-on training. Students can inquire with prospective schools to see what kind of internship/externship opportunities are available to them.

Online/Campus Options

At the request of increasingly time-strapped students, many programs now offer both online and campus-based acute care nurse practitioner programs. Some schools even offer a "hybrid" program, allowing students to take many courses online but also offering classroom-based lectures and labs. All students, whether online or classroom-based, will be required to complete clinical hours at a hospital or other medical facility.

AGNP Degree Levels Offered

Adult gerontology nurse practitioner students have two educational choices to choose from: the Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Each pathway has rewarding outcomes, but nurses must think about their ultimate goals and choose the one that makes sense for them.

MSN Programs

There are a number of adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs that provide the option to specialize in acute or primary care. Regardless of the subspecialty, students enrolled in the program can expect to take courses such as Advanced Nursing Practice Role, Pharmacology in Advanced Nursing Practice, Gerontology, and more. Atlanta's Emory University is an example of a school that offers an MSN Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program.

RN to MSN Programs

RN to MSN programs are designed for registered nurses with an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), allowing them to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees simultaneously. Some programs are meant for nurses who already hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, but offer an accelerated track for completing both the BSN and MSN curriculum.

DNP Programs

For those wanting to hold the highest positions as adult gerontology nurse practitioners, DNP programs take the curriculum beyond the MSN-level program. Graduates of the doctoral degree program will be prepared to evaluate, diagnose, and manage acute and chronic illnesses and conditions. Courses taken include Diagnostic Health Assessment, Management of Adults, and Common Adolescent Health Problems. The University of Washington is a good example of a school that offers an accredited Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner DNP program.

RN to DNP Programs

For RNs who hold a BSN degree and wish to earn their Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree, specialized BSN to DNP programs offer nurses an accelerated path that includes a curriculum from a master's program in nursing as well as a doctorate program. Several schools, such as the University of Pittsburgh, offer BSN to DNP programs that allow students to specialize in primary care for adults across the lifespan from teens to aging adults. These programs prepare nurses to assist with the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic illnesses, promote wellness, and take on roles as advanced practice nurse leaders.

See our list of adult gerontology post master’s NP graduate certificate programs.

Online AGNP Programs

With today's hectic lifestyles, online learning has begun to grow at a rapid pace. Online adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs allow students who didn't think they could swing a graduate-level program the chance to earn an advanced nursing degree.

Advantages of an Online Program

Most students credit the convenience and flexibility of online programs as the reason they chose that pathway. With online learning, students take courses in their own homes, and generally on their own time schedule. Online programs also have the advantage of reducing commuting costs, as students don't have to deal with gas, parking, and other transportation expenses.

Program Accreditation

Just like classroom-based adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs, online programs should be fully accredited. ACEN and CCNE accreditation is the gold standard for this type of program.

Costs and Length

Online adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs have the same credit requirements as campus-based programs do, but online programs tend to be more flexible about full-time or part-time attendance. Because of this, many students are able to tailor the length of online programs to suit their needs. Cost is also similar to campus programs; for example, tuition for Spring Arbor University's online MSN adult gerontology nurse practitioner program costs approximately $712 per credit hour. Online students, however, have significantly reduced transportation costs.

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner FAQs

The answer is that it depends - on the facility and department as well as the title (nurse or NP). For nurses, some departments only hire those with acute care experience, and often set a time frame for experience, such as “six months of acute care experience in the last five years required.” However, some employers offer cross-training programs for nurses. Cross-training programs are set up similar to new grad programs, although they may be shorter in duration. Off-site as well as on-the-job training is common, depending on the department.

Nurse practitioners looking to gain acute care experience may have a longer path, depending on their background and certification. In most states, specialty certification is required for licensure as a nurse practitioner. NP graduates can become certified in family medicine, women’s health, acute care, etc. Those looking for a career change may be required to complete another NP program in their new area of interest. For example, a nurse practitioner who holds certification in family medicine is trained in caring for patients of all age groups, but with a preventive care approach. An FNP looking to work in acute care may need to complete an NP program to become certified as an acute care NP.

Acute care nurse practitioners can work in a variety of inpatient settings. They can choose to work in ICU, ERs, Trauma, and can specialize in hospitalist or intensivist acute care. The question of whether ICU experience is necessary has variable answers.

In short, the answer is that it depends.  Specifically, it depends on the school, NP program, and desired end goal for the NP student. Some schools require 1-3 years "acute care experience." This pretty much means any area of acute care - med/surg, telemetry, orthopedic, peri-operative care, etc. ICU means critical care as well as acute care. Depending on the desired specialty, NPs must be able to care for patients in any acute care setting- whether it’s med/surg or ICU (for example, if working as a hospitalist).

Nurses who know they want to advance their career and become acute care NPs are advised to find positions in critical care settings to get a jump on NP program admissions. As well as gain essential skills in both critical and acute care. However, prospective NP students should research schools to determine the specific admission requirements.

Each family and its dynamics are different, as familial structures are different. Some families are close-knit while others may have estrangement. In this case, hostility, strife, and disagreement can interfere with the care of a patient. Nurse practitioners must utilize the nursing process to identify the individual needs of families and address the concerns they may have. They must:

  • Assess - It’s important to listen objectively and validate concerns. When meeting with the patient and family, NPs can assess the family’s knowledge base, willingness to learn, and even the stage of the grieving process.
  • Educate - It’s also important to educate the patient and family, whether it is regarding the disease process, treatment, or prognosis. Every attempt should be made to involve the family in developing a plan of care as feelings of loss of control are common, especially in end-of-life care. Ultimately, NPs must uphold the patient’s health care wishes, even if they differ from what the family wants.
  • Implement treatment - NPs must implement treatment plans that align with the patient’s wishes - whether it is to stop all treatment or to employ every treatment possible. Bringing in assistance from counselors or social workers also may be necessary.
  • Evaluate - Gerontology nurse practitioners should continuously evaluate not just the patient’s response to the treatment plan, but the family dynamics as well to identify any additional needs.

What Are the Admissions and Certification Requirements?

Admissions requirements for most adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs include:

  • BSN or MSN from an accredited university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Written expression of goals
  • Current resume/CV
  • Must submit evidence of current RN license
  • Professional letters of recommendation

Certification as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner is through examination via the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Eligibility requirements for these exams include:

  • Current, active RN license
  • Master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree in the field

List of Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Programs

There are many AGNP programs available, including the following schools.

Jump to Your State Listings

Alabama

301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
(256) 824-1000

Arizona

411 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(480) 965-7788

1305 N. Martin | PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-6154

Arkansas

2 East Center Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(800) 952-1165

201 Donaghey Ave.
Conway, AR 72035
(501) 450-5000

California

901 E. Alosta Ave.
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 969-3434

1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-4111

11262 Campus St.
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-4923

10 Chester Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 477-2500

5998 Alcal? Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4600

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

25 North College
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-1253

120 North State Street
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 736-2300

Florida

MSN Programs
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
(305) 899-3379

777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-6261

Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-7703

401 W. Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 253-3333

12201 Research Parkway, Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32826
(407) 823-2744

P.O. Box 248153
Coral Gables, FL 33124
(305) 284-3666

Georgia

1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-9767

1520 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-7980

33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000

1501 Mercer University Drive
Macon, GA 31207
(180) 063-7237 x8

School of Health & Natural Sciences
100 University Parkway
Macon, GA 31206
(478) 471-2700

Hawaii

1 Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, HI 96813
(180) 854-4020 x0

2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall
Honolulu, HI 96822
(202) 887-6791

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

600 Barnhill Drive, NU 122
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-2806

Le Mans Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4000

1400 East Hanna Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 788-3368

8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600

Iowa

3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, IA 51104
(800) 662-3303

1 University Place
Lamoni, IA 50140
(641) 784-5000

Kansas

1246 West Campus Road Room 153A
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-6414

Kentucky

400 East Main St.
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 597-6000

555 South Floyd Street Suite 3019
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 852-5825

Louisiana

700 University Ave.
Monroe, LA 71209
(318) 342-1640

Maine

Department of Nursing
278 Whites Bridge Road
Standish, ME 04084
(207) 893-7957

PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104
(180) 080-0487 x6

Maryland

Massachusetts

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-4250

291 Springfield Street
Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761

Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000

651 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-2703

113 Wilder Street- Suite 200
Lowell, MA 01854
(978) 934-4525

Michigan

900 Oakwood St
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 487-1849

College of Nursing
220 Trowbridge Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 355-1855

433 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370-4253

4001 W. McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221
(313) 993-1828

Minnesota

1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(800) 447-5444

308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-9600

859 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904
(507) 285-7100

Mississippi

Missouri

DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-5000

Nebraska

DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
(402) 280-2700

42nd and Emile
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 559-4000

Nevada

New Jersey

One Felician Way
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 559-6000

400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 571-3400

College of Education and Human Service
2083 Lawrenceville Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(800) 257-9026

2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 761-6000

College of Nursing
400 South Orange Ave.
South Orange, NJ 07079
(973) 761-9000

101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205
(609) 652-1776

Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
300 Pompton Rd
Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 720-2000

New Mexico

2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

Graduate Certificate Programs
One South Ave, P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530
(800) 233-5744

Graduate Certificate Programs
4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY 13902
(607) 777-2000

695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065
(212) 772-4000

MSN Programs
141 Central Avenue
Keuka Park, NY 14478
(315) 279-5000

330 Powell Ave.
Newburgh, NY 12550
(845) 561-0800

433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300

245 Clinton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 940-5300

School of Nursing
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333

North Carolina

Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
East Fifth Street
Greenville, NC 27858
(252) 328-6131

9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
(704) 687-8622

North Dakota

430 Oxford St Stop 9025
Grand Forks, ND 58202
(701) 777-4174

Ohio

2600 Cleveland Avenue Northwest
Canton, OH 44709
(800) 521-1146

127 S Davis Ave
Columbus, OH 43222
(614) 234-5800

School of Nursing
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111

2550 Lander Rd
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
(440) 449-4200

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45431
(937) 775-3333

1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555
(330) 941-3000

Oklahoma

2501 N Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 208-5000

800 S Tucker Dr
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2000

Oregon

3147 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239
(503) 494-8311

Pennsylvania

Division of Nursing
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 18034
(610) 282-1100 x2838

School of Nursing and Health Sciences
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141
(215) 951-1000

Department of Nursing
1200 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 861-1660

Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
One Neumann Drive
Aston, PA 01901
(610) 459-0905

School of Nursing
6001 University Blvd
Moon Township, PA 15108
(800) 762-0097

College of Nursing
111 S 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 503-8890

418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281

443 Country Club Rd
York, PA 17403
(717) 846-7788

Rhode Island

600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 456-8000

South Carolina

508 Edwards, Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-7622

1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412

Tennessee

615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 425-4416

1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545

Texas

2800 S University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76129
(817) 257-7000

3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730

Utah

Vermont

Graduate Certificate Programs
The University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
(802) 656-3131

Virginia

4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 993-1000

5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Graduate Certificate Programs
E Main St
Radford, VA 24141
(540) 831-5000

225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141

Washington

901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 296-6000

Washington, DC

School of Nursing
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20064
(202) 319-5000

3700 O St NW
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-0100

Wisconsin

12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Graduate Certificate Programs
2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-1122

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