Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Doctoral - DNP - Adult Gerontology Acute
(above) Congratulations to the 2018 graduating class! Read about their doctoral projects.

U.S.News and World Report - Best Grad Schools - Nurse Practitioner Adult/Gerontology Acute 2019Ranked No. 3 in the Nation. A blended, practice-focused doctorate.

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): Trauma/Critical Care/Emergency Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a blended ACNP/CNS practice-focused doctorate.

Danielle LeVeck, BSN, RN, was named the 2018 Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Award for Nursing recipient

Student Danielle LeVeck, BSN, RN (pictured, center) received the 2018 Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research (GGEAR) Award for Nursing. LeVeck is deeply committed to a career in caring for older adults in the acute care setting and has worked on three federally funded research grants as a graduate research assistant while at UMSON. 

GGEAR is an interprofessional program that has been funded by the State of Maryland since 1987 for the purpose of enhancing health professional training in the field of geriatrics and gerontology.

The program prepares registered nurses to provide evidenced-based care to acutely and critically ill patients and their families in the critical care, trauma, and emergency department settings and across the continuum of acute care services.

  • ACNPs are direct care providers who diagnose and manage acute and chronic health problems.
  • CNSs provide direct care and care coordination for patients and their families, provide expert consultation and implementation of multidisciplinary evidence-based practices at the unit and organizational level.

The specialty incorporates coursework, laboratory, and clinical experiences in a variety of acute care settings. 

Doctoral-prepared graduates are eligible to take both the:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification examination
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification examination

These exams are offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.‌

American Nurses Credentialing CenterThis program has met the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s certification eligibility educational requirements. When you complete this program, you’ll be prepared to sit for ANCC’s certification examination, provided you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

Choose one of four paths to your DNP.

Our Doctor of Nurse Practice program has an option that fits your goals and experience, whether you 1) have your BSN, 2) have your master's in nursing or a related field, 3) are already a nurse practitioner, 4) are looking to change your specialty. Focus your energy and resources on only those courses that you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about our DNP pathways.

More Information

Plans of Study

Plans of Study for Fall 2016 and Beyond:

Plans of Study Prior to Fall 2016:


Three-Year Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits 
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits 
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
Total: 11 Credits
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NDNP 820: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 821: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 

NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits 
NPHY 620: Pathological Alterations in the Critically Ill 2 Credits 
Total: 8 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits 
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 822: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits 
NDNP 823: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 12 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits 
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 810: DNP Project Identification 1 Credit 
NDNP 824: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits 
NDNP 825: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 11 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits 
NDNP 826: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits 
NDNP 827: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar

2 Credits (90 Hours)

NDNP 811: DNP Project Development

1 Credit

Total: 8 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits 
NDNP 812: DNP Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 828: Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems - Clinical 4 Credits (180 Hours) 
NDNP 891: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems 3 Credits 
Total: 11 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 813: DNP Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits 
NDNP 829: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 80 CREDITS (56 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours])

Four-Year Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
Total: 7 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
Total: 6 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits 
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NDNP 820: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits
NDNP 821: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 7 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NPHY 620: Pathological Alterations in the Critically Ill 2 Credits 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NDNP 822: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits 
NDNP 823: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 810: DNP Project Identification 1 Credit
NDNP 824: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits 
NDNP 825: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 3
NDNP 826: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 827: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 811: DNP Project Development 1 Credit
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 812: DNP Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 891: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 828: Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems - Clinical 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 8 Credits
Spring Year 4
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
NDNP 813: DNP Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 829: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 80 CREDITS (56 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours])

Five-Year Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits 
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
Total: 7 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits 
Total: 6 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
Total: 3 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
Total: 3 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits 
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits 
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 820: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 821: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Summer Year 3
NPHY 620: Pathological Alterations in the Critically Ill 2 Credits
Total: 2 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 822: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits
NDNP 823: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 7 Credits
Spring Year 4
NDNP 824: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits
NDNP 825: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
NDNP 810: DNP Project Identification 1 Credit
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 4
NDNP 826: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 827: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 811: DNP Project Development 1 Credit
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 5
NDNP 812: DNP Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 891: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 828: Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems - Clinical 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 8 Credits
Spring Year 5
NDNP 813: DNP Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 829: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
Total: 6 Credits
TOTAL 80 CREDITS (56 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours])

Course Listing for the Post-Doctoral Certificate

Doctoral-prepared nurses who want to add or change their area of specialty only need to take the courses necessary for certification in that specialty. Your personalized plan of study will be determined at the time of admission.

Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4

NDNP 830: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning

2

NDNP 831: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical

2 (90 hours)
NPHY 620: Pathological Alterations in the Critically Ill 2

NDNP 822: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic

4

NDNP 823: Diagnosis and Management 2: Clinical Practicum/Seminar

3 (135 hours)

NDNP 824: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions

4
NDNP 825: Diagnosis and Management 3: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 (135 hours)

NDNP 826: Diagnosis and Management 4: Multiple Complex Clinical Syndromes

2
NDNP 827: Diagnosis and Management 4: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 (90 hours)

NDNP 828: Diagnosis and Management 5: Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinical Practicum/Seminar

4 (180 hours)

NDNP 891: Clinical Nurse Specialist Role in Trauma/Critical Care/ED

3

NDNP 829: Diagnosis and Management 6: Clinical Practicum/Seminar

5 (225 hours)

Total Credits:

46

Total Clinical Hours:

990

If the student has already taken some of the required courses, the option of lowering the number of credits is possible upon review by the program director.

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your graduate education.

Type of AidAward
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $1,500-$3,000 per semester
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition, fees, and books
(for those who will have completed 12 credit hours of graduate study by the start of the semester for which the Conway Scholarship is awarded and who have at least half of their credit hours remaining)
Graduate Assistantships stipend, tuition remission, in-state status, and paid student health insurance

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships


All students receiving funds through the University, including financial aid, merit awards, grants, and scholarships, must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • UMSON Federal Code: 002104
  • FAFSA Deadline for Maryland Residents (state awards and scholarships): Feb. 28
  • FAFSA Deadline: March 1

The University of Maryland, Baltimore Student Financial Assistance and Education Office is available to guide you through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.


Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 | nrsscholarships@umaryland.edu

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 | aidtalk@umaryland.edu

 

DNP Admission Deadlines and Requirements

In this section:


Deadlines:

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty accepts applicants for the summer session only
All other specialties and the Post-Master's DNP option accept students for fall admission.

For best consideration, applicants are encouraged to have all required application materials submitted by the deadlines listed below.

  • Completed applications received after the priority deadline date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • After the admissions committee file review, applicants may be invited to an on-campus interview.
  • Applicants not selected for an interview will not be advanced to the next stage of applicant review. 

Summer (Nurse Anesthesia specialty ONLY)

Application Opens April 1
Deadline We are no longer accepting applications or documentation summer 2019.
Application Review Sept. through Oct.
Interviews mid-Oct. through mid-Nov.
Admissions Decisions Announced late Nov. through early Dec.

Fall (all other DNP specialties*, Post-Master's DNP, and Post-Doctoral Certificate applicants)


Qualifications:

  • bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing from:
    • an ACEN- (formally known as NLNAC) or CCNE-accredited college or university
      or
    • an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution
  • an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0

Application Materials:

Materials/Qualification

Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now.

On the application drop down list:

  • post-baccalaureate DNP with specialty pathway applicants should select NURS – DNP – POST BSN
  • post-master's DNP with specialty applicants should select NURS – DNP with Specialties
  • post-master's DNP (without specialty) applicants should select NURS – DNP
  • post-doctoral certificate applicants should select NURS - Postdoc Certificate

Learn more about our DNP pathways.

Two recommendations. Recommendations must come from sources knowledgeable about your work performance and experience. Only the first two recommendations received will be considered.

Complete this form to generate a request to a recommender you identify. For all Spring 2019 and later applicants, a form and letter will be required.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar.

Submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

Essay. You may submit the essay portion with your online application. We recommend that you compose the essay portion using word processing software and copy and paste it into the text box in the online application.

Applicants are expected to submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following:

  • Nurse Anesthesia specialty applicants: Describe why you want to receive a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree with a Nurse Anesthesia specialty, what motivated you to seek Nurse Anesthesia as a specialty, and what your plans are following your education.
  • All other applicants: How will earning this degree (or post-doctoral certificate) impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?
Submit these materials via our Supplemental Documents Form.

(Alternatively, we accept submissions via email.)

 

 

Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

A copy of your active, unrestricted State of Maryland or compact state RN license. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Verification of Nursing Practicum Hours Form (required for post-master's option applicants only).

Complete the form and submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Registration and Clinical Placements
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 104
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579


An interview with selected applicants will be arranged after the applications are received and reviewed.


Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, due to the amount of online courses.


If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Post-Doctoral Certificate Admission Deadlines and Requirements

Post-Doctoral Certificates are available for the following specialty areas:

Learn more about our DNP Pathways.


In this section:


Deadlines:

Fall Admission

  • Priority Deadline: Nov. 1*
  • Deadline: June 1

Spring Admission:

  • Priority Deadline: Oct. 1*
  • Deadline: Nov. 15

*For best consideration, applicants are encouraged to have all required application materials submitted by the priority deadline.


Qualifications:

  • a DNP or PhD degree

Application Materials:

Materials/Qualification

Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now.

On the application drop down list select NURS - Postdoc Certificate.

Two recommendations. Recommendations must come from sources knowledgeable about your work performance and experience. Only the first two recommendations received will be considered.

Complete this form to generate a request to a recommender you identify. For all Spring 2019 and later applicants, a form and letter will be required.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar.

Submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

Essay. You may submit the essay portion with your online application. We recommend that you compose the essay portion using word processing software and copy and paste it into the text box in the online application.

Applicants are expected to submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following:

  • How will earning this degree (or post-doctoral certificate) impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?
Submit these materials via our Supplemental Documents Form.

(Alternatively, we accept submissions via email.)

 

 

Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

A copy of your active, unrestricted State of Maryland or compact state RN license. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.


An interview with selected applicants will be arranged after the applications are received and reviewed.


Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.


If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Faculty

Interim Specialty Director:

Ameera Chakravarthy, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, clinical instructor

Faculty Members:

Maranda Jackson-Parkin PhD, RN, CCRN, CRNP-BC, assistant professor
Alicia Williams, DNP, RN, MBA, ACNP-BC, CCNS, assistant professor

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below relate directly to the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP specialty. You may also want to refer to our general FAQs regarding the DNP.


How long does it take to complete the specialty?

Students can choose from several options for completing their studies. Click the Sample Plans of Study tab to view each of the different options.

What type of nursing experience should applicants have?

Current acute, critical care, and emergency clinical experience with active engagement in unit level quality improvement initiatives in the hospital is highly recommended, along with completion of national certification in the specialty area e.g., Critical Care Registered Nurse or Certified Emergency Nurse. Completion of Advanced Cardiac Life Support will be required for all students prior to starting the first clinical diagnosis and management course. All students must maintain active RN licensure, CPR certification, HIPAA certification, and proof of current immunizations. Active membership in a specialty organization, e.g., American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Emergency Nurses Association, or Society of Trauma Nurses, is also highly advantageous. An applicant’s involvement in professional activities and organizations is evidence of leadership capabilities and interests.

This program is designed to prepare students for practice as an Adult-Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) or as an Adult-Gerontologic Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACCNS-AG) with specialized expertise in the areas of acute care, trauma, critical care, or emergency nursing.

Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application?

Many variables are taken into consideration when reviewing a student’s application for admission. A strong foundation in courses such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment is one key to success. Writing and grammar skills are also critically important for graduate-level education. Taking a writing course, particularly a technical writing course, may be of assistance. In addition, an applicant’s involvement in professional and organizational activities, as well as other scholarly activities, is evidence of leadership capabilities and interests. Current clinical experience is ideal and completion of certification in your specialty area is strongly recommended. We highly recommend that you spend several hours shadowing an advanced practice nurse in the specialty you wish to pursue.

How much hands-on clinical time will need to be completed?

The minimum number of practicum hours required for the DNP degree is 1,000 hours. For University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) graduates to be eligible for their respective board certification exams, they must complete the DNP degree. Refer to the plans of study for the number of clinical hours required each semester.

Do students have to find their own preceptor or clinical site? Can they do their clinical rotations where they work?

Students are not required to find their own preceptor or clinical site. The UMSON faculty is committed to assigning students to clinical sites that are appropriate for course and program objectives. We are fortunate to have contacts with many nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist alumni and other providers who serve as preceptors. UMSON has clinical contracts with agencies in a variety of settings across the state of Maryland and in Washington, D.C. Students with a particular clinical site/preceptor of interest may forward the contact information to the course faculty member so the faculty member can determine whether the site is appropriate to meet the course objectives. Faculty members must approve any student-suggested site. Students have completed rotations at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and other local hospitals in settings such as acute care, critical care units, and emergency departments, and with hospitalist services and specialty teams such as acute stroke, transplant, and plastic reconstructive services.

Typically, students are not assigned to clinical rotations in the specific environments where they are employed due to a potential conflict of interest. Final approval of clinical site placement is at the faculty member’s discretion.

Where can graduates work? What is the job market like for graduates of this specialty?

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists work in a variety of capacities within a hospital setting. Similar to clinical rotations, students find positions in both major medical centers and local community hospitals. Positions may vary and include service or unit-based practice. The demand for advanced practice nurses from our program in the acute care setting continues to rise.

How many days per week are students in class and in the clinical practicum?

Full-time students will be in either class or clinical practicum about four or five days per week, depending on the semester. Part-time students, while taking clinical courses, will be in either class or clinical practicum approximately three to four days per week. Refer to the plans of study to view the number of didactic and clinical hours required during each semester. This specialty strongly supports student-centered learning and many of the courses are Web-enhanced. The aim of the specialty is to provide students with the materials and guidance needed for self-directed, autonomous learning. Course content will be available through the online site Blackboard. Students are responsible for keeping up with online coursework.

How can I get additional information?

For more information regarding admission to this specialty, please contact the UMSON Admissions Office at: 410-706-0501, option #2 or admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu.

Upcoming Admissions Events See More
4Oct
2:30 PM | online DNP Online Chat
18Oct
5:00 PM | University of Maryland School of Nursing Gain the skills and experience you need to become an effective leader and outstanding practitioner in a University of Maryland School of Nursing master's or doctoral program.
6Nov
2:00 PM | online DNP Online Chat
13Nov
5:00 PM | online DNP Online Chat
"... I have developed the skills and abilities that I need to successfully foster an environment of inquiry, actively engage in interdisciplinary care, and improve patient outcomes in the acute care setting." Susanne Lara, student