Why Elms for your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree?

  • Specialize as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.
  • Complete a practice-focused scholarly quality improvement project to help transform healthcare.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills to pass the ANCC or AANP board certification exams upon completing the program.
  • Class of 2020: James Andrades: DNP, APRN, AGACNP-BC.

DNP in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum prepares a registered nurse in the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner role. The AGACNP specializes in the care of patients in acute settings such as medical/surgical units, emergency departments, intensive care units, skilled nursing facilities, and in ambulatory specialty clinics managing diverse patients with complex acute and chronic health conditions across the entire adult age spectrum.

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) strongly recommends obtaining a DNP degree as a pathway for preparation and entry into the nurse practitioner role by 2025.

The competencies of the AGACNP are centered on assessment and advanced care for critically ill patients to diagnose and treat chronic, acute, and critical medical conditions. The AGACNP curriculum is designed with in-depth content about pathophysiology and management of complex patient problems with various illnesses intended to help both the patient and family achieve the highest degree of wellness possible.

The AGACNP is educated through practice experiences and nurse competency skills to find employment working in acute care settings such as trauma, emergency care, critical care, surgical services, rehabilitation units, and specialty settings.

Jaines Andrades BSN ’14, DNP ’20, APRN, AGACNP-PC

Scholarly Project

The Elms AGACNP program culminates in a practice-focused quality improvement project completed over the course of several semesters. This DNP scholarly project must demonstrate a student’s ability to synthesize scientific evidence and develop new systems or population health approaches for improved outcomes in practice settings.


Upon program completion, students are prepared to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification examination as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.


Click to view course requirements for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) DNP.

Foundational Core – 10 Credits (BS-DNP only)

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Technology: Methods and Tools for Graduate Study1
Translating and Integrating Evidence into Practice3
Nursing Knowledge and Practice3
Health Care Policy and Advocacy3

Clinical Core: Advanced Practice – 15 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Advanced Diagnostic Analysis, Health and Physical Assessment with 30 hours of supervised lab practicum practice hours4
Advanced Pathophysiology4
Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics4
Clinical Decision Making and Diagnostic Reasoning for the Advanced Practice Nurse3

DNP Theory Core – 30 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Organizational Systems and Quality Improvement3
Research Methods and Translation for Advanced Practice3
Financial Management in Health Care Delivery3
Population Health and Epidemiology3
Leadership and Collaboration in Health Care Organizations3
DNP Immersion I: Role Development of the APRN Nurse Practitioner3
DNP Immersion II: Scholarly Project – Project Idea2
DNP Immersion III: Scholarly Project – Project Development2
DNP Immersion IV: Scholarly Project – Project Implementation2
DNP Capstone: Scholarly Project – Project Evaluation3

Advanced Practice Specialty: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nure Practitioner (AGACNP) – 25 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Adult-Gerontology Health Care I and Practicum5
Adult-Gerontology Health Care II and Practicum5
Adult-Gerontology Health Care III and Practicum4
Adult-Gerontology Health Care IV and NP Practicum4
Clinical Procedures in Critical Emergency Care2
Ethics for Advanced Practice3
Transition into Practice and Certification Seminar2