Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The ACNP practices in areas where patient care requires complicated monitoring, high-intensity interventions, or uninterrupted observation in high-acuity care. 

Program Information

Adult Geron ACNPThe Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner can legally diagnose and treat medical conditions. In addition, some AG ACNPs provide direct patient management from admission to discharge in collaboration with the physician and other members of the health care team. AG ACNPs also may continue to follow the patient into the outpatient setting to ensure successful transition after discharge and complete resolution of transition needs. The structure of the role depends upon the collaborative agreement with physicians and other members of the health care team.  Students entering the Dual Role track must have at least two years of direct patient care experience in EMERGENCY, ICU, or MED-SURG . Specialty areas such as the Cath lab, GI, lab, OR, etc., are not considered Acute Care management.

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care FAQ

Support Courses

Students applying for a new certification must complete Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Life Span if the student has not yet taken them.

Clinical Experience

BSN to DNP students and MSN to DNP students adding a certification in a new specialty area must have two years of nursing experience in the area of Adult-Gerontological Acute Care prior to starting the clinical portion of their program.

Clinical Orientation

All students in the Adult-Geron Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty are required to attend a mandatory three-day clinical orientation on campus during that fall term. Various clinical skills workshops will be held during the orientation.

Students enrolled in AHN 568 and AHN 571 will attend one of the three clinical orientations and clinical skills intensives. Students have the opportunity to request their preferred group on a first come, first serve basis through the simulation department after the request is sent out during the spring term.

Please note these dates are for Simulation Intensives only. The coordinator for each specialty track will provide full orientation dates:

  • Dec 5‐6, 2019
  • Dec 9‐10 , 2019
  • Dec 11‐12, 2019

Each event will take place at USA College of Nursing. You will receive more information as the date approaches via your JAG e-mail. Please make plans to attend.

Clinical Affiliations

Specialty tracks within the College of Nursing’s graduate program require a practice component. Although faculty assists students in locating appropriate practice/clinical sites, it is the student’s responsibility to secure a site and preceptor if indicated. Students who are unsuccessful in being accepted by an agency in their home community may have to travel to another area to complete practice requirements. Please review the list of Clinical Affiliations on the College of Nursing Web Site. If there is not a clinical site listed near you or you are interested in a site not listed, negotiations should be initiated as soon as you begin the program through the Track Coordinator for your specialty.

DNP Residency

The program does not require a thesis or dissertation; however, students are required to complete an evidence-based scholarly project that results in a quality improvement change and has a substantial effect on health care and patient outcomes. Residency requirements for the scholarly project can be completed in the student’s home region with an approved mentor.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

Graduates who complete the Adult-Gerontology ACNP program meet educational eligibility for national certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).


BSN-DNP students complete all support, MSN core, MSN specialty, DNP Core, DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency courses for a total of 69 credit hours.  Both MSN and DNP degrees must be completed within seven years. The MSN portion must be completed within the first five years of the program.

MSN-DNP students Adding a New Specialty must complete the support courses if they have not previously completed the courses in their MSN program.  They must complete the Dual Role specialty courses and support courses, if need, to complete the Post Graduate Certificate. The MSN Core, DNP core, and DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency courses are required for completion of the DNP degree.  This program is a total of 60 credit hours or 69 credit hours if support courses are needed. The Post-Graduate Certificate must be completed within two calendar years. The student has seven years to complete both the Post Graduate Certificate and DNP degree for this program.

MSN-DNP for Advanced Practice Roles must only complete the MSN core, DNP core, and DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency courses to complete the DNP degree. This is a total of 36 credit hours.  The student has a total of five years to complete the degree requirements.

Support Courses

NU 518 - Advanced Nursing Assessment 3 credits

NU 545 - Physio-pathological Basis of Advanced Nursing 3 credits

NU 578 - Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses 3 credits

MSN Core Courses

NU 607 - Scientific Underpinnings of Advanced Nursing Practice 3 credits

NU 608 - Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Health Care 3 credits

NU 610 - Healthcare Policy and Finance 3 credits

NU 613 - Organizational & Systems Leadership 3 credits

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP Specialty Courses

AHN 568 - Introduction to Adult-Geron Acute Care NP 3 credits

AHN 571 - Health Promotion/Disease Prevention & Issues for Adult-Geron Acute Care NP 2 credits

AHN 572 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP I 3 credits

AHN 573 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Practicum I - 180 Clinical Hours 3 credits

AHN 574 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP II 3 credits

AHN 575 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Practicum II - 180 Clinical Hours 3 credits

AHN 576 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Practicum III - 240 Clinical Hours 4 credits

AHN 577 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP III 3 credits

DNP Core Courses

NU 611 - Translating Evidence Into Practice Systems 3 credits

NU 612 - Clinical Prevention and Population Health 3 credits

NU 615 - Quality Improvement and Outcomes Assessment 3 credits

NU 616 - Data Management & Decision Making in Complex Health Care Systems 3 credits

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency

NU 600 - DNP Project Planning & Development 3 credits

AHN 617 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Residency I (180 specialty clinical hours) 3 credits

AHN 618 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Residency II (180 specialty clinical hours) 3 credits

AHN 619 - Adult-Geron Acute Care NP Residency III (180 specialty clinical hours) 3 credits


Please feel free to contact Dr. Charlene Myers for more information about this specialty: