Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post Masters)

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post Masters)
Adult Gerontology Acute care medical team in a hospital area

The demand for practical knowledge and skills in the clinical setting provided by acute care nurse practitioners is growing rapidly. Our students graduate with the skills to effectively and competently stabilize acutely-ill patients, formulate diagnoses and create evidence-based treatment plans. Our online post-master’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification will prepare you to sit for either the AACN or ANCC certification exam.

  Credit Hours: 25   |     Program Length: 12 months  |    Tuition Cost

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Learn more about our online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN


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.


Designed for the master’s-prepared registered nurse or nurse practitioner, UNH’S 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, the 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.


  • Cardiology and cardio-thoracic surgery
  • Critical care and trauma
  • Healthcare research
  • Hospital administrator
  • Hospitalist medicine
  • Surgery
  • Transplant medicine
  • Specialty clinics
  • Acute and sub-acute care facilities

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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. 

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

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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 their 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 to meet acute and critical medical needs, including 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, 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.

A customized plan of study will be created for admitted students and is based upon prior course work. Additional foundational coursework may be required to meet AACN or ANCC certification requirements.

Certificate Requirements

Clinical Hours: 500*

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

Clinical hours are completed through the following required courses: NURS 851, NURS 853, NURS 855, NURS 857, NURS 859.

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

  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring: October 15
  • 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 or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. 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 from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

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

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:

The University of New Hampshire’s online graduate tuition and fees information is available on the UNH Business Services Website. Program costs and technology fees are subject to change.

Course Fees: Specific courses may have additional course fees. Visit the course schedule for more information. 


Financial Aid:

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are a form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students. To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


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

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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 

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

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

Clinical Requirements

All students will be required to complete:

  1. 2 on-campus visits ( 2 days per visit)
  2. 500 precepted clinical hours

Preceptors may be:

  1. NP (AGACNPC, ACNPC-AG preferred)
  2. PA
  3. MD, DO
  4. Must provide care exclusively to adult-gerontology patients

Clinical areas: Sub-acute and acute care

  1. Rehabilitative center with the medically complex patient
  2. Acute (hospital setting)
    1. Medicine 
    2. Surgery 
    3. Intensive care
    4. Subspecialties as appropriate 

UNH Nursing Department

will assist in clinical placement and will work with institutions as well as promote a smoother process. However, it is also requested that students draw on personal resources as nurses to find a clinical preceptor or site. 

The purpose of this handbook is to bring together important information and to tell you about other sources of information that are either essential or helpful. It is intended to complement, not replace, the rules and regulations as set forth in the University of New Hampshire Graduate Catalog


College of Health & Human Services

Our Nursing Department embraces scholarship, innovation, integrity and sustainability. We offer the leadership education you need to transform today’s healthcare delivery.
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Faculty & Student Spotlights

  • Veronica Gore
    Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP Certificate, '22G
    Inner Peace - Her first brush with urgent care took place when Veronica Gore was a 911 operator in Chicago. The caller needed immediate help for a baby at risk from drowning so, until the ambulance arrived, Gore stayed on the phone to explain how to perform CPR…
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  • Mary Murphy Hayes
    Lifetime Learning
    "In the acute care setting, emergencies call for immediate action. A nurse practitioner must use their knowledge to rapidly assess a situation and make decisions that could be life changing." Mary Murphy Hayes has always been drawn to medicine,…
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  • Amanda Roberts
    Rising to the Challenge
    "I like to feel a bit “on edge” when my shift begins, in other words, ready to test myself, and push myself to improve every day. Nothing gives greater satisfaction than expanding my knowledge boundaries." For Amanda Bruno Roberts, the road to nursing…
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  • Clarissa Michalak
    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…
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