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Penn Nursing > Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program (AGACNP)

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program

What makes Penn Nursing's Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program the top-ranked choice? Our clinical practicum is aligned to students' individual career goals and their clinical experiences – available in the nation's most renowned academic health centers, research institutions, and community hospitals – include general surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, neurosurgery, oncology, trauma and many other specialty areas. We provide our students with a large network of highly skilled clinical preceptors and offer rigorous training in the use of technologies such as immersive simulation to practice and apply newly acquired skills.

Our legacy of excellence

The AGACNP program evolved from one of the first in the United States to prepare acute care nurse practitioners for the management of patients with specialized health care needs. Students develop expertise in physical assessment, complex clinical decision making, diagnostic and interventional procedures, prescriptive knowledge, and patient care management across the continuum of acute care services, from critical care to discharge and facilitation of the patient's transition to the community.

The program is a traditional in class model (not online) and offers a broad preparation in the management of acutely and critically ill patients with additional opportunities to concentrate on populations of special interest. With a strong emphasis on research and evidence-based practice, students follow a curriculum that includes theoretical content and guided clinical experiences that emphasize holistic patient care and a collaborative, inter-professional team approach. For their practicum experiences, students are paired with acute care nurse practitioners, physicians, or collaborative teams.

Program options

Students can choose from a variety of clinical concentrations including: Oncology, Trauma, General Surgery, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Transplant, Nephrology, and many others. Sites are chosen based on availability of experiences and student preferences, and faculty guidance for optimum preparation is provided. Students may select minors from a variety of clinically related areas such as Oncology, Palliative Care, Forensic Science, Global Health, and more. Master's prepared students (MSN) may apply for the AGACNP program's Post-Master's Certificate. Many nurse practitioners (NPs) working with acutely ill patients are primary care prepared and seek to become certified in acute care. In response to this, Penn Nursing has created a streamlined post-master's AGANCP program for NPs who work with acutely ill patients every day – and have been for a minimum of one year. Students interested in preparing for both the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) and Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) roles may enroll in our dual AGACNP/AGCNS program.

National certification eligibility

Graduates are prepared to sit for national certification from the American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Upon successful completion of the exam candidates are eligible to become certified or licensed to practice.



"The education I received at Penn has undoubtedly shaped my future for the better. I gained the key skills and knowledge to become an important member of the health care team."
Komal Patel, MSN, 2011