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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate

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Post-Professional Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

This non-degree certificate is designed for nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists with a previous Master of Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice who are seeking to expand their roles via nurse practitioner certification in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. The total credits required are 24.


The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Post-Professional Certificate is designed for graduate prepared Nurse Practitioners (NP) or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) who are seeking to expand their roles via nurse practitioner certification in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. The curriculum prepares nurse practitioners to function as generalist, principal providers of care for adults and older adults with acute, critical and complex chronic health problems across the continuum of acute care services.

AG-ACNP students may choose a clinical emphasis in cardiopulmonary, critical care, oncology, trauma and emergency preparedness or directed study.  The directed study allows students to design clinical experiences around a particular area of interest (i.e. internal medicine, general surgery). The curriculum consists of NP and AG-ACNP specialty courses and clinical practice hours.

Graduates of the AG-ACNP Post-Professional Certificate are eligible to sit for a national nurse practitioner certification examination in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care offered by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Association of Critical Care Nurses.  Successful passing of the national certification examination entitles the graduate to apply for certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care by the State Board of Nurse Examiners of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by the Board of Nursing in the student’s state of employment..

Curriculum Format

  • Course work may be completed  in 3 terms (or can be extended out to 5 terms of study)
  • 540 clinical hours**
  • Online or onsite
  • Students are required to attend a 3-day onsite laboratory intensive, usually scheduled in the Summer term, 2nd term of study (availability of the lab intensive is pending current COVID travel restrictions). Each student will be responsible for transportation costs and for room and board costs during the lab intensive.
  • Students will need to arrange for clinical placements and appropriate physician or nurse practitioner preceptors, as directed by their academic advisor.
  • An Affiliation Agreement between the University and the clinical site is required before clinical hours can begin. This often takes some time to finalize, so applicants are highly encouraged to apply early and begin this process as soon as accepted into the program so that there will be no delay in beginning clinical rotations.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the AG-ACNP Post-Professional Certificate are prepared to accomplish the following:

  • Assume responsibility for promoting, maintaining and restoring health to acutely ill, critically ill and complex chronically ill adults and older adults
  • Identify health risks, promote wellness, and diagnose and manage acute and chronic illness
  • Participate in multi-disciplinary research and provide leadership in mobilizing health services

Admission Criteria

  • Valid registered nurse license in state where clinical experiences are performed
  • Minimum of one year nursing experience recommended
  • BSN required
  • Previous MS, MSN or DNP as a NP or CNS [from accredited program: ACEN, NLN, ACICS, or CCNE]
  • GPA ≥ 3.0 in the MS, MSN or DNP degree
  • Pre-admission interview
  • Complete online application
  • International applicants: see and
  • Spring Term Admission Only

Courses with a “D” can be delivered synchronously via distance technology. Such courses are open only to qualified on-site, in-state students as per Policy 438

Curriculum (subject to change)


Successful completion of the AG-ACNP Specialty Comprehensive Exam is required.

* Dependent on the individual’s previous role, population of patients and years of experience as a nurse practitioner in an acute or critical care setting with adult/gerontology patients, up to 300 clinical hours may be completed through the option of credit by course examination.  

The total credits required will vary based on evaluation of the student’s previous coursework. Applicants must have completed courses in their prior MSN or DNP nurse practitioner program that meet the core course requirements to sit for the AG-ACNP certification examination (Advanced Pathophysiology across the Lifespan, Advanced Pharmacology across the Lifespan, Advanced Health Assessment across the Lifespan, and Health Promotion). Additional coursework may be required and/or credit may be given for previous coursework that meets the core curriculum requirements.

Total Credits: 24

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