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Your Guide to Becoming an AGNP: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner


Returning to school for a Master of Science in Nursing can open the doors to new and exciting opportunities in nursing. One of the many advanced practice nursing careers is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. AGNPs (Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner) offers a rewarding career that combines the skills of a registered nurse with a personalized approach.


What is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner?

An Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) specializes in treating patients ranging from adolescents to geriatrics. 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 acute and chronic illnesses in patients through targeted treatment, medication, and critical care.


What Do AGNPs Do?

AGNPs typically work in one of two specialties, acute or primary care. There are three types of certifications an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner can get – each focusing on a different level of care.


  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)


Depending on which specialty they’re in, an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner could work with a patient throughout their lifespan, for a specified duration, like a hospital stay, or at the end of their lifespan with a specific focus on geriatric care. 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 basic medical testing on patients
  • Prescribe medications for their patients
  • Order and perform diagnostic testing on their patients (i.e., x-ray, MRI, or CT scan)
  • Create and implement care plans for their patients
  • Track patient health over time, adjusting treatment when needed


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. Traditionally, AGNPs receive their certificate as a registered nurse, their Bachelor of Science in nursing, and their Master of Science in nursing before completing their AGNP certification exam.

Students pursuing their Master of Science in nursing from the University of Providence’s Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program learn critical skills AGNPs use across their daily practice. By completing the concentration, students are prepared to take the certification exam and apply their skills and technique across acute and primary care settings.


Do you think you have what it takes to be an AGNP?

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