Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Adult Gerontology)


Starting summer 2019 Advanced Practice Nursing Programs will transition to offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree EXCLUSIVELY.  Learn More about the DNP

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program prepares students to manage adults, including the frail elderly, who have acute, critical and complex chronic conditions.

The skills gained from the program will allow graduates to provide a spectrum of care ranging from disease prevention to acute and critical care management. This also includes stabilizing critically ill patients, preventing complications, restoring maximum health, providing palliation and end-of-life care.

About the program

The AGACNP educational program is designed as a face to face immersion program at the Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) academic medical center. Throughout the didactic program, students accumulate supervised clinical hours on many of OHSU's clinical interprofessional teams.

Experiences may include rotations in general surgery, trauma surgery, trauma ICU, neuro ICU, cardiothoracic ICU, urology, cardiology, electrophysiology, bone marrow transplant and others. Students rotate through these various clinical teams to gain experience managing a wide range complex chronic, acute and critically ill patients. During clinical rotations, students are expected to participate as an active team member. In addition, students are included in many interprofessional educational opportunities with resident physicians, pharmacists, and other students.

AGACNP students will complete courses in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of adults and older adults. Students receive a strong background in pharmacology, diagnostic reasoning and decision-making skills. Some courses are available online, but all clinical related courses for the program are completed in a face to face format. Additional coursework will emphasize interprofessional education, geriatric syndromes, health promotion in vulnerable adults and the development of the AGACNP role. 

Degrees granted

The program provides two tracks. Both options offer a practice-focused curriculum that will support an entry into a career trajectory for those pursuing expert clinical practice and leadership.

  • The post-master's track is only available to students with previous experience as an advanced practice nurse who are returning to school to obtain eligibility for AGACNP certification. Programs of study are determined by "gap analysis" and individualized to each student. The "gap analysis" is based on the OHSU AGACNP MN program of study.

  • The doctorate track is a full-time, three-year program, which includes a combination of advanced practice core, AGACNP specialty courses and DNP core courses. It prepares students for entry into practice as an AGACNP along with advanced clinical, scholarship and leadership roles. The program emphasizes continued clinical sub-specialization, along with application of quality improvement and outcomes management principles to the acute care patient population.


Graduates from the AGACNP program are eligible for national certification as an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP).

Student Learning Outcomes For This Program

The general competencies that must be met for the master of nursing for the AGACNP, FNP, HSOL, MNE, NA, NMW, PNP and PMHNP programs are:

  1. Apply advanced knowledge in the science of a specialty area of advanced nursing practice.
  2. Use emerging information and health technologies to access current research and health care data to improve patient care.
  3. Make sound, culturally appropriate and ethically grounded clinical judgments based on critical analysis of the best available evidence.
  4. Demonstrate the leadership skills that are essential for influencing policy and organizational systems for improving patient outcomes.

At the completion of the OHSU School of Nursing AGACNP  Program, the graduate will demonstrate not only general Advanced Nursing  Practice competencies, but also the following AGACNP competencies:

  1. Demonstrate safe care of adults,  including the frail elderly with regard to issues of health promotion as well  as unstable chronic,  complex acute and critical  conditions.
  2. Provide individualized, culturally  sensitive management using quality improvement  strategies where applicable.
  3. Use effective communication skills and technologies  to provide collaborative care.
  4. Integrate professional leadership skills in the delivery  of care.
  5. Synthesize and translate relevant,  current scientific knowledge  and evidence-based research findings into practice.
  6. Employ  advocacy strategies to influence health  care policy.

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For program specifics, Student Learning Outcomes and detailed school information, check out the School of Nursing Catalog/Student Handbook.