Online MSN

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and the post-graduate APRN certificate program at Duquesne University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Provide acute care and education to adults across the lifespan.

As a nurse, you are dedicated to your patients’ well-being, ensuring they receive the care they deserve when they need it most. Now you’re ready to expand your knowledge and provide advanced acute care to patients who have chronic illnesses ranging from young adults to the elderly.

Choose Duquesne University’s online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) MSN program and focus on delivering acute, chronic and preventive health care services to adult populations. As a specially prepared nurse practitioner, you’ll manage complex chronic illnesses in individuals across the adult continuum.

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Have you already earned your MSN in a different area of focus but would like to expand your scope of practice as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP?

Duquesne University is proud to offer a Post-Master’s Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care.

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Learn from nurse faculty who are leaders in advanced practice nursing

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Collaborate with 12-15 students in your cohort

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Receive personalized support from a team of advisors – enrollment through graduation 

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Benefit from available tuition discounts

Why earn your ACNPC-AG degree online?

Earning your graduate degree as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner who specializes in acute care allows you to have a deeper understanding of chronic and complex health issues and enables you to diagnose and develop treatment plans that will help patients manage their illness on a daily basis.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the nurse practitioner profession to grow by 26% from 2018-2028, much faster than the national average. In addition, the baby boomer population makes up about 78 million Americans, 60% of whom have already been diagnosed with at least one chronic illness.* These factors mean now is the time to pursue your Master of Science in Nursing in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care.

As an gerontological nurse practitioner, you will collaborate with other health care professionals and caregivers to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. This means you will assist your patients, their families and other health care professionals to identify the best level of care.

*National Center for Biotechnology Information

With our 100% online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care MSN you can:

  • Prepare for certification. As a graduate, you will be eligible to take the ACNPC-AG certification examination.
  • Complete coursework online. Only three campus visits are required.
  • Learn from faculty mentors. You’ll have the name, number and email of a campus‑based faculty member to help guide your study.
  • Leverage a flexible learning environment. Work when and where it is most convenient for you.

Why choose Duquesne’s Acute Care nursing program?

Our online BSN to AGACNP graduate program is designed to allow you to work and pursue your nursing education simultaneously. The curriculum was developed in accordance with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), meaning it aims to ensure that you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities to practice as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

Study acute care with us, and you can learn to:

  • Understand the full spectrum of adult care and focus on the unique developmental life stages that impact patient care.
  • Assess patients for complex acute, critical and chronic conditions through comprehensive physical, mental and cognitive assessments.
  • Determine the impact that a chronic and/or critical acute illness will have on a patient’s daily life, in relation to overall quality of life, mobility and functional activity levels, cognition and decision-making abilities, safety, and sleep and nutrition patterns.
  • Manage the status of a chronically ill patient and their complex acute health concerns by interpreting diagnostic tests and creating and implementing treatment plans.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care MSN Courses

42 Credit Hours | 12 Courses

We’ve designed our online adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program coursework to enhance your nursing experience and knowledge. This will allow you to provide exceptional care to individuals of different ages across the adult continuum.

Our gerontological MSN curriculum will introduce you to the management, treatment and observation of care for patients ranging from young adults to the elderly, with acute and complex chronic illnesses.

Admissions to the AGACNP MSN Program

Admission Requirements

To qualify for our online MSN program, you must:

  • Hold a BSN from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Hold a current, unencumbered RN license
  • Have at least one year of full-time work experience as an RN prior to registration in the clinical or specialty courses
  • Have completed an undergraduate-level statistics course with a “C” or higher
  • Have 1-2 years of acute care experience, preferably in an ICU setting

The faculty admissions committee may look more closely at nursing and science grades when making admissions decisions.

Admission Process

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional goal statement
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Two electronically submitted references (one academic and one professional in a supervisory role)
    • The supervisor reference letters must come from a direct supervisor who is responsible for your performance evaluation
    • If you have been out of school more than five years, please speak with your Enrollment Advisor for advice
  • An interview may be required

What’s The Difference Between Acute Care and Primary Care Nurse Practitioners?

According to the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), the primary difference between nurse practitioners who specialize in acute care versus those who specialize in primary care is that primary care nurse practitioners (PCNPs) are responsible for providing continuous care to patients, while acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) are responsible for providing restorative care.

There is a long-term relationship between the patient and the PCNP; a patient would see a PCNP for annual health visits. If the patient has a chronic condition or complex illness, the primary care NP may refer the patient to an acute care nurse practitioner or other acute care health provider.

The main focus of an ACNP is to provide care for specific, recurring chronic conditions and complex critical illnesses. A patient would visit an ACNP to receive an official diagnosis of their condition. The acute care NP would then determine a treatment plan and work with the patient and the primary care provider to manage the treatment plan and any follow-up care.