Spotlight on the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist

Advanced practice nurses who are certified as Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners/Clinical Nurse Specialists (AG-ACNP/CNS) have earned a master’s in nursing with a concentration that allows them to manage patient care in acute settings. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, acute care nurse practitioners are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of acute disease conditions. Nurse practitioners who are certified as Clinical Nurse Specialists are also qualified to assume staff leadership positions and play an important role in improving critical care systems.

As adult gerontology specialists, AG-ACNP/CNS nurses focus on patients who range in age from adolescence to end of life. They are employed in health care settings where acute and critical care is delivered, including hospital intensive care and trauma units, as well as post-operative, cardiology, and oncology departments. They also practice in outpatient surgery centers, private practices, retirement homes, clinics, hospices, and other medical facilities that provide care for critically ill patients.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses reports that more than 500,000 nurses in the United States care for critically ill patients in hospital settings, representing nearly 40 percent of all nurses who work in hospitals. From this large group, only nurses who have completed an acute care nurse practitioner program and earned a master’s degree are qualified for ACNP and CNS certification. In addition to managing the care of acute and critically ill patients, ACNPs are qualified to write prescriptions, schedule diagnostic tests, and assess patient responses to drugs and other treatments.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the demand for registered nurses is expect to increase by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. During the same period, the American Medical Association reports that the current shortage of critical care physicians is expected to grow. Because advanced practice acute care nurses are able to perform many of the duties typically performed by physicians, including ordering diagnostic tests and writing prescriptions, they are expected to be in especially high demand.

The AG-ACNP/CNS program at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) prepares licensed registered nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees to earn a master’s in nursing degree and become advanced practice nurses in critical care related settings. The Nursing@Georgetown program, which is delivered online, empowers graduates with the academic knowledge and clinical skills needed to become leaders in the delivery of acute and critical health care.

Nursing@Georgetown’s master’s in nursing with an AG-ACNP/CNS concentration can be completed in 18 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study. The online learning environment allows students to participate in live seminars and to access coursework via the Internet at their convenience. Students also complete clinical experiences near their homes, at sites arranged by Georgetown University faculty. The AG-ACNP/CNS program embodies Georgetown’s tradition of nursing excellence in holistic care that addresses the body, mind, and spirit of each patient.

We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-4692.