Are you ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Do you want to focus on providing care to adults and elderly patients? Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) school programs can help you help you do both. As an AG-ACNP, you will assess, diagnose, monitor, treat and coordinate care of adults with urgent and complex health issues, as well as critically-ill adults with life-threatening physiological conditions. And thanks to online education programs, you can study and train to become an AG-ACNP without putting your life on hold to go back to school.
On this page you’ll find information about schools offering Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs offered through colleges and universities across the United States. We’ve also provided some general information below to help you evaluate different online DNP programs.
To learn more about an online AG-ACNP program—including program details, student eligibility and admission requirements—click on a school’s name below. Even after you find a degree program and request more information, be sure to bookmark our resource center and check back often for articles, interviews, infographics, videos and other great resources designed for career-driven nurses like you.
With so many online programs to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? There are lots of factors you can consider when evaluating different online AG-ACNP programs, including accreditation, cost and rankings. Other important factors include:
Program length/time to complete
Credit hours vary by program. Additionally, some online Doctor of Nursing programs may only be offered full time or part time. The number of clinical hours required to graduate may also impact the time it takes to complete an online DNP program.
Keep these questions in mind regarding program length and completion time when evaluating online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs:
- Is the program available full time, part time, or both?
- As a full-time student, how many credits am I allowed to take?
- As a part-time student, is there a limit on how long I have to complete the program?
- Can I complete the courses out of sequence, or is there an academic calendar to follow?
- Is there a clinical component?
As a practice-focused degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice requires students to complete a number of clinical hours under the supervision of a clinical preceptor. These residencies are considered a key component of the DNP as they provide students an opportunity to integrate the knowledge they’ve acquired in real-world settings and learn additional skills under the supervision of nursing leaders.
A few important questions to ask when evaluating an online DNP program includes:
- How many clinical hours are required to graduate?
- Does the program offer placement assistance?
- Where can you complete your residency?
Online DNP programs may also include one or more on-campus immersion events. These events are intended to provide students the opportunity to network with their teachers and fellow students, as well as develop hands-on skills through instructor-led exercises and labs.
- Does the program require on-campus immersions? How many?
- How long are the immersions?
- What will I do/learn during the immersion?
- Are accommodations provided?
DNP admission requirements may vary by program. Post-BSN DNP programs, for example, are for licensed RNs who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, while post-MSN DNP programs are intended for master’s-prepared nurses. Other admission requirements/criteria may include:
- Current RN license
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Resume or CV
- Interview (telephone, online, or in-person)
Do you need a master’s degree to become an acute care nurse practitioner?
In order to sit for one of the acute care nurse practitioner certification exams, you must complete an accredited graduate-level advanced practice education program. Any accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program will satisfy this requirement, and the AG-ACNP specialization will give you the specific skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your role as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
What are the other requirements to become an AG-ACNP?
In addition to a master’s degree or higher, candidates must also have a current, unencumbered RN or APRN license to sit for one of the AG-ACNP certification exams. Other requirements may vary depending on the certification board administering the exam. For example, eligibility criteria for the AG-ACNP exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) includes successful completion of graduate-level courses in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology.
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