Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

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Overview

The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty was established in 1974. The specialty maintains broad interprofessional support and is currently ranked eighth in the nation byU.S.News & World Report. Students are prepared at the doctoral level as advanced practice nurses in care of adults across the aging continuum, with expertise in the diagnosis and management of common acute illnesses, disease prevention, and management of stable chronic illnesses across the lifespan.

The curriculum emphasizes coursework, case study analysis, and clinical experiences. Students work with faculty members, nurse practitioners, and physician preceptors in a variety of primary care clinical practicum sites including college health services, health maintenance organizations, community clinics, long-term care, assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, occupational health settings, and private practices throughout the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

Graduates of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty are employed in a variety of clinical settings and independent practices and are eligible for certification as Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 

Sample Plans of Study

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (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
Total: 10 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 830: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 831: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NRSG 780: Population Health and Promotion 3 Credits
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
NDNP 720: Geriatric Syndromes Assessment and Management 2 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
NDNP 832: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits
NDNP 833: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 13 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)
NURS 810: Evidence-Based Health Policy 3 Credits
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
NDNP 834: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits
NDNP 835: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 14 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
NDNP 836: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 837: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 7 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
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 838: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Immersion: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 839: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (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 
Total: 6 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 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
Total: 4 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 830: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits
NDNP 831: 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 
NDNP 720: Geriatric Syndromes Assessment and Management 2 Credits 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NDNP 832: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits 
NDNP 833: 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 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
NDNP 834: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits 
NDNP 835: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 3
NDNP 836: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 837: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 838: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Immersion: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
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: 10 Credits
Spring Year 4
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 839: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (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 
Total: 6 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
Total: 7 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)
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 6 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 830: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 831: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Summer Year 3
NDNP 720: Geriatric Syndromes Assessment and Management 2 Credits
Total: 2 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 832: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits
NDNP 833: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 7 Credits
Spring Year 4
NDNP 834: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits
NDNP 835: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 4
NDNP 836: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 837: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Fall Year 5
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 838: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Immersion: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 5 Credits
Spring Year 5
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 839: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
Total: 6 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Faculty

Specialty Directors:

Margaret Hammersla, MS, RN, CRNP, assistant professor, co-specialty director
Email: hammersla@son.umaryland.edu

Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, professor, co-specialty director, and Sonia Ziporkin Gershowitz Endowed Chair in Gerontology
Email: resnick@son.umaryland.edu

Faculty Members:

Rosemarie Brager, PhD, RN, CRNP, assistant professor
Elizabeth Galik, PhD, RN, CRNP, associate professor
Veronica Gutchell, DNP, RN, CNS, CRNP, assistant professor
Shannon Idzik, DNP, RN, CRNP, assistant professor and director, DNP program
Jane Kapustin, PhD, RN, CRNP, BC-ADM, FAANP, professor and assistant dean, Master's and DNP programs
Laura Koo, MS, RN, CRNP, assistant professor
Fran Valle, DNP, RN, CRNP, assistant professor
Brenda Windemuth, DNP, RN, CRNP, assistant professor

FAQs

Click here for 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?

It is preferred that applicants have at least two years of post-BSN nursing clinical experience. Applicants will benefit from having recent clinical experience that requires a high level of patient assessment and critical thinking. For example, experiences working on general medical surgical units, urgent/emergency departments, primary care practices, student health settings, ambulatory and outpatient clinics, or long term care settings.

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 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 should not complete their 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.

Students will be exposed to clinical experiences across the adult aging continuum and in a variety of clinical settings.

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

Graduates of the AGNP program are working in a variety of settings including primary care practices, specialty practices, long term care settings (assisted living or nursing home), senior housing sites, as members of clinically focused research teams, and in college and employee health clinics, among other settings.

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. Retaking courses with weak grades is suggested, but does not guarantee admission. 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. You may take these courses at a university of your preference. 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 requiring a high level of patient assessment and critical thinking 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 can I get additional information?

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