Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post Masters)

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post Masters)

nurses checking on patient

Our post-master’s certification program prepares you to be an 
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certified by AACN or ANCC.

Credit Hours: 25   |    Program Length: 12 months

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Why get a graduate certificate in adult-gerontology acute care?

If you are a certified nurse practitioner or a master’s-prepared nurse with significant acute or critical care experience who enjoys complex patient management in a fast-paced environment, the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner role may be the right fit for you. Respected members of the rounding team, the need for acute care nurse practitioners continues to grow with changing national demographics and recognition in the field for their contributions to improving patient care.

Why choose UNH’s AGACNP training program?

Designed for the master’s-prepared registered nurse or nurse practitioner, our post-master’s certification program prepares you to be an adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner with the AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses) or ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center). Geared for the hospital and sub-acute settings, our program focuses on building skills in diagnostic reasoning and management of the acutely ill patient using evidence-based practice. You will learn to stabilize acute and critically ill patients, formulate diagnoses and evidenced-based treatment plans, prescribe therapeutics, assess outcomes, prevent readmission, and create safe discharge plans. Our faculty has extensive experience in the field and they coordinate with the Student Success Coach Team to support you from application through graduation. The UNH Nursing Department is ranked by the 2020 Nursing School Almanac as #10 of the 60 best nursing schools in New England. UNH is a top tier research school, accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education.


  • Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
  • Cardiology & cardio-thoracic surgery
  • Critical care & trauma
  • Healthcare research
  • Hospital administrator
  • Hospitalist medicine
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Specialty clinics
  • Sub-acute & long-term care facilities
  • Transplant medicine & surgery

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word from  Clarissa michalak, Program Director

As the nursing industry sees increasing demands for specialty certifications, our AGACNP students are well positioned to navigate the next level of their careers. In less than a year, graduates are prepared to sit for the AGACNP certification exam, giving them the highest-level credentials in their practice. As Program Director, I personalize the learning experience to strike a balance between a content-rich program and an open-minded approach that acknowledges faculty and students as colleagues in a professional exchange.

Licensing Requirements

Applicants who intend to pursue licensure after completing UNH's online Post Master's Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Certificate should become familiar with their state's licensure requirements. Students should contact their State Board of Nursing to confirm whether this program meets online program requirements for licensure in their state. Learn more




University of New Hampshire has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Learn more

Curriculum & Requirements

The purpose of this post-master’s certificate program is to the prepare the advanced practice nurse (APRN) to perform as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) and increase access to acute care medical and surgical services within the region. With backgrounds as either nurse practitioners or master’s prepared nurses with significant acute or critical care clinical experience, graduates can apply newly learned knowledge and skills within the acute care setting, including and not limited to hospitals and ambulatory care centers. Training will help increase the qualified workforce within the New England region to meet acute and critical medical needs, particularly in rural areas where recruitment and retention has been a significant challenge.

This program is designed for the APRN with a master’s degree within nursing. While those already holding a nurse practitioner certification, APRNs with a master’s degree and significant clinical experience in an acute or critical care setting will also be considered. The aim of this program is to prepare APRNs at an advanced level to successfully diagnose and manage medical-surgical patients who are acutely or critically ill through prescribing of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, coordination of consultations and care, and continued management of chronic illnesses, comorbidities, and end of life needs.

Courses will focus on the adult-gerontological population with an emphasis on integration of prior coursework, such as pathophysiology and physical assessment, to build skills in diagnostic reasoning and subsequent management of the acutely ill patient using evidenced based practice. In addition, coursework will also include interdisciplinary work with case management and social work to improve comprehension and future utilization in transitions in care.

Required Courses
NURS 850Foundations in Acute Care3
NURS 851Foundations in Acute Care Clinical Practicum2
NURS 852Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner I3
NURS 853Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner I Clinical Practicum2
NURS 854Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner II3
NURS 855Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner II Clinical Practicum2
NURS 856Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner III3
NURS 857Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner III Clinical Practicum2
NURS 858Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner IV3
NURS 859Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner IV Clinical Practicum2
Total Credits25


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: May 1, extended to June 15 for fall 2022
  • Spring: October 1
  • Summer: N/A

Application fee: $25

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Distance Education Licensing Requirements

NC-SARA does not cover professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensure or certification. If the online program that you are considering is designed to lead to professional licensure or certification in your state, please read the professional licensure page at the UNH Online website for more information.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of Recommendation: 2 Required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.


Current resume limited to no more than one page.

Department Requirements

The admission criteria for the PM-AGACNP program includes transcript evidence for advanced pathophysiology throughout the lifespan, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment in order to meet the requirements for ANCC certification testing. Candidates without three separate courses in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may be required to complete the missing course work before being endorsed for ANCC certification testing. 

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. If your desired program is not on the form, departments prefer a full application be submitted. Preapplication requests will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

Tuition & Fees:

Tuition for 2021-22 Academic Year:
•    $785 per credit for New Hampshire (NH) residents
•    $865 per credit for non-New Hampshire (NH) residents

Course Fees*:

  • $100 Typhon fee (paid directly to Typhon)

*Subject to change

Program Total Number of Credits: 25

Technology Fee per Semester:
•    1-4 credits $26.00
•    5-8 credits $52.50
•    9-16 credits $105.00


Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans is the form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students. To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The UNH priority deadline is March 1. This is the date by which the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor, however, if your application is received after March 1 you will still be considered for the Federal Direct Loan, which is not subject to the priority deadline.

The basic eligibility requirements to be considered for Financial Aid include:

  • Attend classes at least half-time (5 or more credits per semester).
  • Enrollment in a degree program.
  • Documentation of United States citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress.


UNH Online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care courses are taught by full-time faculty with excellent practical and pedagogical experience.

Meet our Faculty

Graduate Certificate Foundations in Acute Care Clinical Practicum requirements
A graduate certificate candidate must complete 25 credit hours with 500 precepted clinical hours.

AGACNP Requirements for Program and Course Descriptions 

Course Title 

NURS 850 Foundations in Acute Care
NURS 851 Foundation in Acute Care Clinical Practicum
NURS 853 AGACNP I Clinical Practicum
NURS 855 AGACNP II Clinical Practicum
NURS 857 AGACNP III Clinical Practicum
NURS 859 AGACNP IV Clinical Practicum


Our program has five 8-week e-terms per academic calendar year. Taking fewer courses per term will extend the completion timeframe.

Sample Schedule

The ACNP provides comprehensive advanced nursing care across the continuum of health care services to meet the individualized needs of patients with acute, critical, and/or complex chronic health conditions or injury. The practice of the ACNP is not defined by the setting but rather is determined by the acuity of patient needs. The ACNP practices in any setting in which patient care requirements include complex monitoring and therapies, high-intensity nursing intervention, or continuous nursing vigilance within the range of high-acuity care. While ACNPs may traditionally practice in acute care and hospital-based settings, including subacute care, emergency care and intensive care, the continuum of acute care services for their patient population spans the geographic settings of home, ambulatory care, urgent care, and rehabilitative care. - AACN Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice 2017

Clinical 1
clinical 2
Clinical 3


Faculty & Student Spotlights

  • A Love of Learning
    “I could go to school forever, there are so many things I want to know,” declares Clarissa Michalak, Clinical Assistant Professor with the Nursing Department at UNH. Clarissa’s lifelong passion for learning is evidenced by an impressive list of academic accomplishments. In 2007, she earned a...
    A Love of Learning
    “I could go to school forever, there are so many things I want to know,” declares Clarissa Michalak, Clinical Assistant Professor with the Nursing Department at UNH. Clarissa’s lifelong passion for learning is evidenced by an impressive list of academic accomplishments. In 2007, she earned a...