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Walden graduates more nurses with advanced degrees than any other university.¹

Walden’s online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) Post-Master’s Certificate program can help you take the next step in your career. Take only the courses you need to become an NP—or to add a new specialty to your current nurse practitioner license.

A post-master’s adult-gerontology acute care NP certificate program academically prepares nurses to manage complex acutely ill patients ages 13 and older. Walden’s streamlined program allows you to earn your post-master’s NP certificate in just 38 quarter credits or less.

The post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate program is accredited by CCNE for the 10-year maximum term. CCNE accreditation is an external validation of the quality and strength of our nursing program, achieved through Walden’s dedicated faculty, exemplary support services, skilled preceptors, and commitment to the nursing profession.

Upon graduation from our post-graduate nursing certificate online program, you’ll be academically prepared to sit for the national certification exam for adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

Train to Save Lives

Get the clinical training to oversee care for patients with unstable chronic conditions, sudden illness, and traumatic injury.

Build Collaboration Skills

Explore how to collaborate effectively with patients, families, and interprofessional healthcare teams to improve care delivery.

Learn From Active AGACNPs

Our courses are developed by practicing AGACNPs, who focus on designing a curriculum that covers the skills you need to excel.

Engage in High-Impact Learning

Cutting-edge learning technologies, interactive simulations, realistic case studies, and robust media bring course topics to life.

Take Advantage of Transfer-of-Credit Opportunities

Do you already have your MSN—or are you already an NP? You may be eligible to transfer credit from your previous coursework to reduce the number of courses you will need to complete the AGACNP post-master’s certificate. Contact an Enrollment Specialist to learn more.

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.


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Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 38 quarter credits
  • Core courses (3 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (35 cr. includes the required 640 practicum hours*)

Start dates are offered each quarter so you can begin your program when it is convenient for you. Enrollment in this nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program is currently open to new students.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286


Courses

Course Code Title Credits

Core Courses

NURS 6002/6003
Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing

In this course students are introduced to Walden University and online learning. Students explore strategies for the successful participation in an online curriculum. Students also will receive a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments introduce students to resources that support success, development of graduate-level writing skills and use of APA Style, academic integrity, and the creation of a professional development plan based on each student’s chosen specialization.

3 cr.

Specialization Courses

NURS 6501
Advanced Pathophysiology

Advanced practice nurses must be equipped with an in-depth understanding of pathophysiological disease processes across the lifespan. In this course, students focus on understanding the bio-physiological processes, the deviations from these processes, and an in-depth examination of the scientific concepts related to the biology of disease processes. Advanced practice nursing students build on their knowledge of normal organ systems functioning to help organ systems return to optimal homeostasis. Through knowledge of pathophysiological disease processes, students synthesize the information needed to develop appropriate treatment plans for patients across the life span. Students explore a variety of topics regarding organ system diseases.

Prerequisites

MSN NP Specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

  • NURS 5050 or NURS 6050
  • NURS 5051 or NURS 6051
  • NURS 5052 or NURS 6052
  • NURS 6053

Post-Master's Certificates in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • NURS 6002N or NURS 6003N

(5 cr.)
NURS 6521
Advanced Pharmacology

A solid foundation in the concepts and principles of drug therapy across the lifespan is essential to the work of advanced practice nurses. This course applies the advanced principles of pharmacology, including pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, by analysis of common drug classes prescribed by advanced practice nurses across the life span. Factors influencing successful therapy, such as effectiveness, safety, acceptability, cost, genetic/environmental influences, complementary regimens, and patient behaviors are considered. Through this course, students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of selected acute and chronic diseases across the life span through pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic agents. Advanced practice nursing students will have a more in-depth understanding of drug legislation and regulation for prescribing drugs.

Prerequisites

MSN NP Specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

  • NURS 5050 or NURS 6050
  • NURS 5051 or NURS 6051
  • NURS 5052 or NURS 6052
  • NURS 6053

Post-Master's Certificates in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • NURS 6002N or NURS 6003N

(5 cr.)
NURS 6512
Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

The physical and emotional well-being of patients and families can be complex and multifaceted. Advanced practice nurses need to have the knowledge and ability to provide safe, competent, and comprehensive physical health assessments. Students in this course focus on concepts and skills to assess patients across the lifespan. They learn to use diagnostic reasoning, advanced communication, and physical assessment skills to identify changes in health patterns. Students also will explore preventative health through risk evaluation of healthy individuals as a central theme of clinical practice in addition to the assessment of patients with acute and chronic health problems. The advanced skills of suturing, reading 12 Lead EKGs, and interpreting X-rays will be covered. Course assignments emphasize risk assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and evidence-based assessment across the lifespan.

Prerequisites

MSN NP Specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

  • NURS 5050 or NURS 6050
  • NURS 5051 or NURS 6051
  • NURS 5052 or NURS 6052
  • NURS 6053

Post-Master's Certificates in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • NURS 6002N or NURS 6003N

(5 cr.)
NRNP 6566
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings I

This course is the first of four clinical courses in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care curriculum. Students will explore and integrate concepts of pathophysiology, pharmacology, assessment, and collaborative management of adolescents, adults, and older adults who are acutely/critically ill or experiencing an exacerbation of a chronic health problem. The clinical focus is on the role of the acute care nurse practitioner working with an interdisciplinary team across settings to facilitate the patient's return to optimal health. Topics include cardiac, pulmonary, and renal issues as well as common diagnostic test and procedures.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521

(3 cr.)
PRAC 6566
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings I Practicum

This is the first of four practicum courses in the Adult-Gerontology curriculum. Students will apply their knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment to the diagnosis and management of adolescents, adults, and older adults with acute/critical illness. The focus of this course is on advanced nursing practice in the acute care environment.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521

Note: This course requires a minimum of 160 practicum hours.

(2 cr.)
NRNP 6540
Advanced Practice Care of Older Adults

In this course, students focus on the complex healthcare and management needs of older adults by advanced nurse practitioners in acute and primary care  settings. Students learn to plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic regimens of older adults through the application of knowledge in multiple settings. Additionally, students examine content related to end-of-life care and caregiver issues to gain the knowledge and sensibilities needed to implement positive change for the quality of life available to this vulnerable population.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521

(3 cr.)
PRAC 6540
Advanced Practice Care of Older Adults Practicum

This is one of four practicum courses in the Adult-Gerontology curriculum. Students will apply their knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment to the diagnosis and management of those conditions more common in older adults. The focus of this course is on advanced nursing practice relevant to the acute and primary care environments.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521

Note: This course requires a minimum of 160 practicum hours.

(2 cr.)
NRNP 6550
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings II

This course is the second of four clinical courses in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care curriculum. Students will plan, implement, and evaluate care for acutely/critically ill patients or patients experiencing an exacerbation of a chronic health problem. The clinical focus is on the role of the acute care nurse practitioner working with an interdisciplinary team across settings to facilitate the patient's return to optimal health. Students will apply appropriate diagnostic procedures and relevant laboratory tests in developing appropriate treatment plans to address patient health needs in the acute care setting.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521
  • NUNP 6540
  • NUNP 6566

(3 cr.)
PRAC 6550
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings II Practicum

This is the second of four practicum courses in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care curriculum. Students will apply their knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment to the diagnosis and management of adolescents, adults, and older adults with acute/critical illness. The focus of this course is on the development of advanced practice clinical skills under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor in an acute care practice setting.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521
  • NUNP 6540
  • NUNP 6566

Note: This course requires a minimum of 160 practicum hours.

(2 cr.)
NRNP 6560
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Settings III

Students in this course will advance their clinical competence in the care of patients in acute care settings. Students will build confidence as they begin the transition from student to advanced practice nurse. Classroom activities and case studies will enable students to explore resources and support systems available to acutely ill adolescents, adults, and older adults. The  application of knowledge in the management of patients and the collaboration between the advanced practice nurse and the patient, family, and multi-disciplinary healthcare team are emphasized.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521
  • NUNP 6540
  • NUNP 6566
  • NUNP 6550

(3 cr.)
PRAC 6560
Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Settings III Practicum

This is the final of four practicum courses in the Adult-Gerontology curriculum. Students will apply their knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment to the diagnosis and management of adolescents, adults, and older adults with acute/critical illness. The focus of this course is on advanced nursing practice in the acute care environment.

Prerequisites

  • NURS 6501
  • NURS 6512
  • NURS 6521
  • NUNP 6540
  • NUNP 6566
  • NUNP 6550

Note: This course requires a minimum of 160 practicum hours.

(2 cr.)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

*Students who have already completed a nurse practitioner program may be eligible for transfer of credit for this course.

**Walden MSN alumni are eligible for transfer of credit for this course.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 38 quarter credit hours $715 per quarter hour $27,170
Technology Fee Per quarter $160 $960

Clinical Course Fee

Per course below

(PRAC 6566, PRAC 6540, PRAC 6550, PRAC 6560)

 $150 $600
       $28,730‡*

*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships, or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 15 transfer credits for non-alumni. Walden alumni may be eligible to transfer more credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0109.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,500 to $2,000. Students may also incur additional costs related to practicum, including but not limited to costs of travel to their practicum site, practicum onboarding fees, per quarter practicum fees, and liability insurance costs.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for this certificate program, you must have a current, active RN license, a Master of Science in Nursing or equivalent from an accredited school, and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. Depending on program specialization, additional requirements may apply. More information for international applicants.

Learn to Deliver Advanced Critical Care

In this online post-master’s acute care NP certificate program, you’ll examine how to plan, implement, and evaluate care for patients at risk for urgent and emergent conditions. This includes performing diagnostic and therapeutic interventions during rapid physiologic deterioration or life-threatening instability. You’ll also gain skills in promoting health and disease prevention by assessing risks and providing wellness education to acute, critical, and complex chronically ill patients.

This certificate program’s content is consistent with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) standards for AGACNP education.

Walden field experience 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.

Meet Your Academic Team

  • Judi Kuric

    Judi Kuric

    Program Director

    Dr. Kuric has more than 35 years of experience in nursing and advanced-practice nursing and more than 25 years of experience in nursing education. She is board certified as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and emergency nurse practitioner.

  • Tara Harris

    Academic Coordinator

    Dr. Harris is a family nurse practitioner with more than 20 years of experience. She has served as both didactic and clinical faculty at Walden, teaching advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, and other courses across the nurse practitioner curriculum.

  • Jennifer Stone

    Jennifer Stone

    Academic Coordinator

    Dr. Stone is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with more than 16 years of experience in clinical practice. She has presented at numerous conferences, including the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and South Florida Council of Advanced Practice Nurses.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this post-master’s adult-gerontology acute care NP certificate program, you will be academically prepared to:

  • 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 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 Outlook

As the American population ages and strains the healthcare system, demand for nurse practitioners in acute-care settings is greater than ever before. Earning your acute care nurse practitioner certificate online is the first step in preparing to meet the need for high-quality, life-saving patient care.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for nurse practitioners are expected to grow by 52% through 2029.2 The average median pay for a nurse practitioner is $109,820 per year; however, the salary range typically falls between $81,410 and $152,160.3 Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

An AGACNP post-master’s certificate can academically prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Emergency departments and trauma centers
  • Intensive care units
  • Trauma centers
  • Tertiary care, coronary care, and palliative care
  • Specialty care centers
  • Hospital surgical units, including general, cardiovascular, and neurosurgery

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

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