How to Evaluate Accredited AGACNP Online Programs

The best online AGACNP programs offer a flexible learning format that helps students juggle personal and professional commitments. They also feature rigorous academic standards, including the required clinical hours.

Nurse practitioners

Online MSN AGACNP programs help RNs manage acute and critical care patients. This includes those with complex and chronic health issues.


Achieve a career in the rapidly expanding field of advanced practice nursing. Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioners (AGACNP) work in various clinical settings, including emergency rooms, hospitals, hospice and home health agencies, and private physicians’ offices.

Graduates of accredited AGACNP online programs are eligible to sit for national certification exams offered by the American Nurse Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. In addition, many state boards of nursing require NPs to be board-certified in their specialty area.

Online AGACNP programs at Arkansas University provide a flexible learning option for working registered nurses who want to avoid putting their careers on hold or uprooting their families to an on-campus program. These programs typically include front-loaded didactic coursework with a focus on clinical experience and often include the use of state-of-the-art simulation centers. They also offer flexible clinical placements, allowing students to fulfill their required clinical hours at convenient locations.

Admissions Requirements

Generally, online AGACNP programs require that students have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a registered nurse (RN) license. The program also requires a certain number of clinical hours.

Typically, these are completed under the guidance of a preceptor who is a medical professional who oversees the student’s performance and gives feedback on assignments. The preceptor may work in the same healthcare setting as the student or in a different one.

Some AGACNP programs offer a post-master’s to DNP AGACNP option. This allows master ‘s-prepared nurses to earn their APRN certification while adding the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialization to their existing skill set. Other AGACNP programs are designed for RNs who wish to complete their postgraduate education without a new baccalaureate degree. These programs are often called RN to MSN AGACNP or BSN to MSN AGACNP. These programs can take between 24 and 36 months to complete. They are front-loaded with didactic coursework and followed by supervised clinical experiences.


Online AGACNP programs include coursework in patient assessment, critical thinking, and inter-professional collaboration. Coursework also teaches you to communicate effectively with patients and their families. This is essential in caring for adults and older geriatric patients with acute health conditions and managing their complex chronic health issues.

RN to MSN AGACNP Programs accept students with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma in nursing from an accredited school of nursing. These programs typically require 100 to 120 credits and take 24 to 36 months.

Online Bachelor’s to MSN AGACNP Programs allow RNs who earned an undergraduate degree in a field other than nursing to pursue a master’s degree in the same amount of time it takes BSN-prepared nurses to earn their MSN. These programs may also require baccalaureate-level bridge courses.


Many online AGACNP programs offer all or a portion of their didactic instruction through a university’s chosen learning management system. Depending on the school, this may include live-streaming lectures or on-demand video recordings of course content that students can access at their convenience. These are referred to as synchronous and asynchronous classes, respectively.

Most schools require students to attend a face-to-face admissions interview. Make sure you are well-prepared for this by researching the school and the ACNP program to which you are applying so that you can provide compelling reasons why you are the best candidate for admission.

Lucy Mitchell
Lucy Mitchell
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