No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.**

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Enhance your earning and advancement potential while making a difference for seriously ill patients with the Adult / Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialization.

In this specialization, you can gain the knowledge and clinical skills to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care to individuals 13 years or older with complex acute and chronic medical conditions. Coursework focuses on building your core competencies as a nurse practitioner while preparing you to work at an advanced level of practice within hospital emergency departments, intensive care units, trauma centers, specialty medicine areas, and other high-acuity environments.

The Adult / Gerontology Acute Care specialization allows for more personalized attention and support throughout the program and practicum. Walden practicum coordinators are available to assist you in meeting your practicum requirements and you can view this FAQ document for answers to some of the most common questions.

In Walden’s MSN program, you can:

  • Collaborate with nurses from around the country in an interactive online environment.
  • Learn from expert teaching faculty—100% of whom hold doctoral degrees.
  • Gain the opportunity to translate knowledge into practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a professional healthcare setting.
  • Acquire the knowledge needed to act as a change agent and apply your enhanced expertise within the healthcare environment. 
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this specialization, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Pursue new career opportunities, advance as a nursing professional, and gain recognition for your credentials and experience.
  • Treat acutely or chronically ill adolescents (13+), young adults, adults, and older adults from initial assessment and diagnosis to developing a treatment and care plan.
  • Apply research and evidence-based practice to support quality improvement initiatives.
  • Serve as a mentor to students and nursing staff as well as an advocate for continuing medical education.
  • Take an active role in helping your organization increase efficiency, shorten patient stays, and improve the quality of patient care.
  • Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social change.
  • Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in a global society.
  • Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
  • Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
  • Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice.
  • Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse populations.

Career Impact

As healthcare organizations face a rise in critically ill patients combined with pressure to contain costs, the demand for nurse practitioners in acute-care settings is greater than ever before. Walden’s MSN with an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialization can prepare you to pursue career opportunities in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, community-based clinics, and skilled nursing facilities. The types of areas you can work in within these settings include:

  • Emergency departments
  • Intensive care units
  • Trauma centers
  • Tertiary care
  • Coronary care
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • General surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Specialty medicine areas (e.g., oncology, radiology, neurology)

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Find detailed information for this program if you hold a BSN or hold a RN, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

*The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

**Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data. 

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