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A Quick Guide To Becoming An Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)

Returning to school for a Master of Science in Nursing degree can open doors to new and exciting career opportunities in nursing. One of the many advanced practice nursing careers available to RNs is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP). Becoming an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner offers a rewarding career that combines the skills of a Registered Nurse with an enhanced clinical practice.


What is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner?

An Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) specializes in treating patients from adolescence through adulthood. AGNPs are classified as Advanced-Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), giving them additional treatment privileges and certifications Registered Nurses do not have. Like any other Nurse Practitioner, they work alongside Registered Nurses, physicians, and specialists to diagnose and treat patients through targeted treatment, diagnostic assessments, and preventative care measures.


What Do AGNPs Do?

AGNPs typically work in one of two disciplines, acute or primary care.  AGNPs can earn additional certifications in a specialty care field to work with specific patient populations. Depending on their specialty and discipline, an AGNP could work with a patient at multiple points throughout their lifespan or to address a specific medical condition or treatment plan. Regardless of their specialization, the core responsibility of an AGNP is to care for their patients. Here are some ways AGNPs care for patients:

  • Take patient’s vitals and perform medical testing on patients as needed.
  • Perform health assessments to determine a patient’s overall and specific health needs.
  • Order and perform diagnostic testing on their patients (i.e., x-ray, MRI, or CT Scan)
  • Create and implement short and long-term care plans for their patients.
  • Track patient health over time to better address patient health needs.


Becoming an AGNP

The road to becoming an AGNP requires both a bachelor’s and master’s level education. In addition, certifications as an AGACNP, AGCNS, or AGPCNP are needed. A traditional education path includes completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, securing certification as a Registered Nurse by passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing in the AGNP specialization.


Steps to Becoming an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

    1. Complete an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
    2. Receive licensure as a Registered Nurse by passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
    3. Gain experience working as a Registered Nurse
      1. Work in different specialties, care units, and with varying populations of patients to see what you like and don’t like – gaining experience along the way.
    4. Research different types of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners and understand their role.
      1. Different certifications and education paths will prepare you for different career fields – make sure to understand the role of each certificate, what it will offer you, and what you can do with it before enrolling in any graduate program.
    5. Enroll in an accredited Master of Science in Nursing program suited to your needs.
      1. The University of Providence’s AGNP program prepares Registered Nurses to pass certification and perform Primary Care responsibilities in as little as 24 months. Graduates will go on to serve as Primary Care Nurse Practitioners.
    6. Earn Certification through a credentialed Nurse Practitioner certifying board.
      1. Certification Board for Adult-Gerontology and Acute Care


Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Providence

Students pursuing their Master of Science in nursing from the University of Providence’s Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program learn critical skills AGNPs use in primary care. Graduates of our program will be prepared to sit for certification and licensure as a Licensed Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner – among the top field choices for those considering a career as a Nurse Practitioner. Learn more about our program on our Masters of Science in Nursing AGNP program page.