Online Education – The Key to Becoming an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

A career as an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner can be fulfilling. These specialized nurses work with acutely ill adults in various settings, including hospitals and specialty clinics.

To become an AGACNP, you will need a nursing bachelor’s degree and then a master’s or doctorate focusing on this specialty. Online education can make this process easier and more flexible.

Access to Expert Guests

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners (AGACNP) are advanced practice registered nurses who assess, diagnose, and treat acutely ill and clinically complex adults. This role typically takes place in hospital settings.

RNs can earn a master’s degree and prepare for the AGACNP certification exam by enrolling in acute care nurse practitioner online programs. These programs provide access to expert guests who share their experiences and expertise.

AGACNP program at Arkansas State University provides learners access to guest speakers who discuss how they manage the needs of the acutely ill and complex adults they treat in various settings. It also offers specialty seminars and hands-on experience opportunities. These programs help students develop the skills they need to take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations. These leadership skills can help improve patient outcomes and quality metrics.


The elderly population is growing exponentially, which has prompted the healthcare system to hire more nurse practitioners who specialize in gerontological care. This type of specialist provides acute care to older patients who experience health complications such as a stroke, heart attack or severe fall.

A gerontological nurse practitioner can work in many different types of healthcare facilities. In a hospital, they might be assigned to emergency departments, medical/surgical or trauma units, post-anesthesia care units, and intensive/critical care units.

They might also be referred to specialty clinics or long-term care facilities. They usually work three 12-hour shifts a week, including weekends and holidays. However, the work schedule may vary based on the type of facility. Intensive care units may require longer shifts. Gerontological nurses might also need to stay on call.


Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners work in several healthcare settings, from hospitals to private group practices and home health agencies. AGNPs are responsible for assessing and diagnosing patients and determining treatment plans. Many of the patients they treat are older adults suffering from several different ailments and injuries, including fractures, car accidents, and illnesses related to aging.

Students who choose to enroll in a BSN-DNP program with the adult gerontology acute care track will be able to complete their clinical hours and gain onsite experience in high-acuity acute care settings. This is a critical program component; students may need to travel periodically for these experiences. This can help you better understand the needs of this patient population, making you an even more effective nurse practitioner.


During their clinical hours, students in AGACNP programs are assigned to a preceptor who will teach them how to assess and treat patients. This allows them to gain hands-on experience in real-world situations and prepares them for their future career.

One of the main pros of becoming an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner is that you can work for a specific population- adults- in the acute care setting. You can also choose to focus on specialty clinics and long-term care facilities.

Another benefit is that the timeframe to earn an AGNP degree is much shorter than the traditional four years of a bachelor’s degree. Some nurses obtain an associate’s degree and work as an RN to complete an RN-to-MSN bridge program, which can even shorten the timeline.

Time Management

The process of becoming an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner takes time. After earning a bachelor’s degree, passing nursing school, and becoming a registered nurse, the next step is enrolling in an MSN or Doctor of Nursing Practice program. These programs involve advanced medical science, nursing coursework, and clinics where you observe experienced NPs and assist them in examining, diagnosing, and treating patients.

A key component of the curriculum is intensive critical care rotations, which can vary depending on the hospital. These rotations can be in the emergency department, specialized clinics, or ICUs. Choosing the BSN-DNP Adult-Gerontology Acute Care track typically translates to a four-year full-time study plan. This is because many NPs opt to gain a few years of experience as an RN before enrolling in a graduate nursing program.