September 22, 2019

AGACNP - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Jobs

AGACNP - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Jobs

What Does An Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Do?

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners (AGACNPs) are healthcare professionals with a specialization in acute care. These critical-care experts have also chosen a geriatric subspecialty. They handle complex patient circumstances, including assessing an immediate health situation, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and developing a treatment plan to stabilize a patient or maximize overall senior health. In some states, they are authorized to write prescriptions.

What Are The Job Roles For An AGACNP?

  • Operating life support systems
  • Serving as a patient advocate
  • Providing necessary intensive therapy and intervention
  • Performing assessments of potentially critical conditions

With gerontological patients, other important responsibilities include managing pain and assessing the need for preventive care.

Job Characteristics

  • Shifts are fast-paced
  • Work is multifaceted
  • Responsibilities are structured
  • Jobs include considerable patient contact
  • Work requires a high degree of independence

What Education & Certification Is Needed For An AGACNP?

An AGACNP career begins with achieving registered nurse (RN) status. This requires completing a hospital nursing program or nursing training that awards a two-year or a four-year degree. A graduate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to be eligible for employment as an RN.

To become an AGACNP, a nurse must become an advanced practice nurse. This initially requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), then a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become a nurse practitioner. Some AGACNPs complete doctorates. Nurses with the appropriate work experience can take certification exams offered by two nursing organizations.

Among the universities offering MSNs with an AGACNP program are:

Some programs such as that offered by Vanderbilt University provide the opportunity for even further specialization, with clinical practice options such as cardiology, pulmonology, oncology, and endocrinology.

What Are The Degree Requirements For An AGACNP?

The minimum education required to be an AGACNP is a master’s degree in nursing. Some colleges and universities permit completing at least some coursework online.

What Certification is Needed To Be An AGACNP?

According to , all types of acute care nurse practitioners must be certified by their State Board of Nursing or earn a national certification. The two organizations that award an AGACNP certification are the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AGACNP-BC) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation (ACNPC-AG®).

What Are the CEU Requirements As An AGACNP?

Registered nurses must meet continuing education requirements of the state in which they work. Maintaining certification also requires completing continuing education units. See the Continuing Nurse Education guide for further details.

Because nursing practice involves such rapid technical, clinical, and legislative changes, many employers at least partially subsidize off-site or online continuing education. Many also provide onsite regulatory, clinical, and ethical training for their nurses. Some professional organizations offer members continuing education courses. Among them are the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners .

Where Can I Work As An AGACNP?

AGACNPs most often work in these settings:

  • Intensive care units (MICUs, SICUs)
  • Trauma units
  • Subacute (step down) care units
  • Emergency rooms
  • Highly specialized clinics
  • Cardiac care units
  • Schools of nursing
  • Private practice

Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript,, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.

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