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Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?

If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy working with patients between late adolescence through the end of life, you may be fit for a career as an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AG ACNP). With the opportunity to work in various settings, AG ACNPs enjoy a broader scope of practice and greater autonomy.

You can complete an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program while working full time, helping to streamline your pathway to certification.

What Job Responsibilities Do AG ACNPs Have?

Adult gerontology acute care NPs primarily work with patients experiencing complex symptoms and conditions, such as those related to an emergent illness, an exacerbation of a chronic disease, or terminal and end of life care. In general, their scope of practice revolves around quickly assessing and stabilizing the patient. AG ACNPs also provide preventive care and pain management.

Job responsibilities can include:

  • Assessing the patient’s status
  • Ordering diagnostic testing
  • Interpreting test results
  • Developing a treatment plan
  • Providing patient education
  • Prescribing medications
  • Participating in research and quality improvement

Where Do AG ACNPs Work?

AG ACNPs may work in several different healthcare settings, such as:

  • intensive care units
  • trauma and critical care units
  • emergency departments
  • nursing homes
  • rehabilitation facilities
  • hospice
  • specialized clinics
  • private practice

What Skills Do Adult Gerontology Acute Care NPs Need?

Although adult gerontology acute care NPs practice with more independence, they still function as part of a larger team, so communication and collaboration skills are vital for success. AG ACNPs often coordinate with other healthcare providers and work closely with nurses, ancillary staff and supervising physicians, meaning they need strong interpersonal skills.

Additional characteristics and skills that contribute to success in this role include:

  • time management and organization
  • decision-making and critical thinking
  • focusing in a fast-paced, possibly high stress, environment
  • dealing with face-to-face patient contact and interactions

AG ACNP professionals also require advanced knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, research principles, health assessments and diagnostic reasoning.

What Are the Educational Requirements for an AG ACNP?

Due to the enhanced scope of practice and specific board certification requirements, a nurse interested in becoming an AG ACNP must complete a graduate-level advanced practice education program focusing on adult gerontology care. The MSN in Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP program must be offered through a nationally accredited nursing school, and the curriculum must include relevant, didactic coursework and supervised clinical rotations.

To be eligible for enrollment in an MSN – Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program, prospective students must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), have an active and unencumbered RN license and prove two years of recent clinical nursing experience working with adult gerontology patients in an acute care setting.

Since many nurses are likely working full time or managing families and childcare, an accredited online program like the one at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is a convenient option. Students can complete the program in as few as 31 months, and graduates are eligible to pursue board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

Specialized Care

Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioners provide specialized care for a wide range of patients who are experiencing short-term and chronic illnesses. Due to the advanced scope of practice, nurses interested in this career require additional graduate-level education. An online MSN in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program offers a convenient format to streamline the pathway to certification and achieve your goals faster.   

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program.


American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: ACNPC-AG (Adult-Gero.)

American Association of Nurse Practitioners: Are You Considering a Career as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?

American Nurses Credentialing Center: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care and Primary Care NP Competencies

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