Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Share This OHSU Content

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program prepares students to manage adults, including the frail elderly, with complex chronic, acute and critical conditions The skills gained will allow graduates to provide a spectrum of care ranging from disease prevention to acute and critical care management, including stabilizing the patient’s condition, preventing complications, restoring maximum health and/or providing palliative and end of life care.

The OHSU curriculum is based on the national competencies of the American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates from the AGACNP program are eligible for national certification as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) and for licensure as an AGACNP in the state of Oregon by the Oregon State Board of Nursing.


The AGACNP program is available statewide in Oregon and beyond. OHSU uses distance friendly, technology- enhanced methods to bring the program to all areas of the state. Classroom courses are delivered using a combination of “intensives” and technology specifically designed for distance education. Clinical rotations may require time away from the local community, depending on the availability of appropriate preceptors in the local community.


The AGACNP has become an integral part of the healthcare workforce.The need for advanced practice nurses with an education focused on the management of complex chronic, acute and critical conditions has increased.   AGACNPS work in a variety of roles and specialties where advanced practice nurses see patients with acute illness/injury.  Examples of these practice areas include:

  • Cardiology
  • Oncology/Hematology
  • Critical Care teams (Surgical, Cardiac, Medical, Trauma, Burn)
  • Surgical specialties (cardiothoracic, general, vascular, emergency/trauma, neurosurgery)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Hospitalist Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pulmonology
  • Neurology
  • Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Perioperative Medicine
  • Infectious Disease
  • Radiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics
  • Gastroenterology/Hepatology
  • Organ Transplant

Acuity in hospitals has been rising rapidly, due to the increase in complex chronic disease, an aging population and an increase in available healthcare technology. The aging population is projected to increase by more than 70 percent between 2010 and 2030 coinciding with a projected shortage of hospital-based healthcare providers.  Hospitals continue to increase their focus on acute/critical care, with recent advances in cardiac monitoring, respiratory assistance and intense treatment, as growing part of the average patient's care. More and more frequently, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are meeting the needs for providers specialized in this high-acuity care.  


AGACNP students will complete courses in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of adults and older adults. Students will be provided a strong background in pharmacology, diagnostic reasoning, and decision making skills. Additional course work will emphasize geriatric syndromes, health promotion in vulnerable adult and older adult populations, and the development of the AGACNP role.

Students may opt to enroll apply to in the Masters of Nursing (MN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Post Master Certificate Option (PMCO) programs. The AGACNP MN track is a two year, full time program which includes a combination of advanced practice core, AGACNP specialty courses and MN core courses. The MN degree prepares a student for entry into practice as an AGACNP. The AGACNP DNP program is a full time three year track which includes a combination of advanced practice core, AG ACNP specialty courses and DNP core courses. The DNP degree prepares students for entry into practice as an AG ACNP along with advanced clinical, scholarship and leadership roles. Either option offers a practice focused curriculum that will support the career trajectory for those pursuing clinical practice and leadership. Persons with a previous advanced practice degree can enroll in the PMCO track.

Supervised clinical experiences (MN 640, DNP 1000, PMCO 560 hours) will focus on the differing needs of complex chronic and high acuity patients across the entire adult age spectrum. Students will study alongside world-class faculty with expertise in acute care. Students will be paired with faculty in a variety of settings as they develop skills in acute care management, inter and intra-professional collaboration, leadership, quality improvement, evidence-based research, and health policy. Faculty advisers will assist with finding the clinical setting that best meets each student’s learning interests and needs. Clinical sites may include a variety of acute care and critical care settings including Emergency Departments, Acute Inpatient, and Intensive Care Units.



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