Online Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) Programs

An adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a graduate degree and or post-master’s certificate to provide acute and primary care to patients from adolescence through adulthood. Many online AGNP degree and certificate programs are available at the master’s and doctoral levels, offering unique benefits and advantages to working nurses. AGNPs promote their patients’ quality of life, independence, and well-being throughout the aging process.

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners (AGNPs) are similar to family nurse practitioners (FNPs) who provide comprehensive patient care and focus on promoting health, managing illness, and addressing health-related needs. While FNPs typically provide primary care treatment for patients and families across the lifespan, AGNPs specialize in providing primary or acute care for patients 13 years of age and older, especially those older than 65. 

The demand for APRNs is increasing rapidly, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which projects a 46 percent increase in openings nationally for nurse practitioners between 2021 and 2031. This increased demand translates to greater financial opportunities for AGNPs. In June 2023, reported a median annual salary of $104,117 for specialists in this area of nursing. With job security and competitive wages on the rise and innovative advancements being made to improve patient care, careers AGNPs are becoming increasingly attractive and rewarding options for nurses looking to take their vocation to the next level.

AGNP programs provide education and training about providing comprehensive care for the aging population, including clinical experience in settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, and private practices. To apply for AGNP nursing programs, applicants must possess a valid RN license and prior education, such as a BSN, MSN, or DNP degree from an accredited academic institution. Additionally, having one year of clinical experience is often required when applying for AGNP programs. Prospective AGNPs can choose on-campus, online, or hybrid AGNP program options.

Read more about accredited online AGNP programs, admission requirements, and featured online AGNP programs.

Featured Online Adult-Gerontology NP Programs

Wilkes University
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
Wilkes University
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP (RN to MS option)
University of Texas - Arlington
MSN - Adult-Gerontology NP (Acute or Primary Care)
University of Texas - Arlington
Post-MSN Certificate - Adult-Gero NP (Acute or Primary Care)
Walden University
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
Walden University
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
Rockhurst University
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

What is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner?

An adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specializing in providing care for patients aged 13 and older. The AGNP is trained to diagnose and treat many acute and chronic conditions and provide preventive health services. 

AGNPs often specialize in acute or primary care; some have both certifications. Acute care focuses on treating a sudden illness or injury to return the patient to their baseline state of health. Primary care promotes long-term health and prevents disease through ongoing assessment, screening, education, and treatment.

Types of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs

AGNP programs are an ideal fit for registered nurses looking to specialize in adult-gerontology and further their careers. These graduate-level AGNP certificate and degree programs come in three varieties: a master of science in nursing (MSN), a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), and a post-master’s certificate.

MSN Programs

A master of science in nursing (MSN) is a graduate-level degree program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of BSN-prepared registered nurses (RNs) who want to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in gerontological nursing practice. These programs provide a solid foundation of coursework that prepares APRNs for clinical practice, population-based health initiatives, and leadership roles within healthcare organizations. Completing an MSN curriculum also prepares students for nurse practitioner certification examinations.

DNP Programs

A doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) is a terminal degree that prepares registered nurses (RNs) and APRNs for leadership, given the constantly changing demands of a complex U.S. healthcare system. As a result, students with DNP degrees are ahead of the professional curve. 

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), steps are currently being taken to transition to the DNP degree as the standard for entry-level APRNs (as of June 2023, the entry-level APRN degree is an MSN). 

Post-Master’s Certificate Programs

Post-master’s certificate programs in nursing are specialized educational programs. Their curriculum can be included in an MSN or DNP curriculum or pursued separately after earning an MSN or DNP degree. Post-master’s certificate programs include many specialties, such as pediatrics, women’s health, and more. AGNP post-master’s certificate programs are designed to enhance the skill set and knowledge of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in adult-gerontological nursing.

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program & School Accreditation

Accreditation is evaluating and assessing educational institutions or programs’ quality, process, and standards. 

Accreditation comes in two forms: institutional and programmatic. 

Programmatic accreditation assures an educational program meets quality standards, ensuring a comprehensive curriculum and rigorous education. The nursing school accreditation process is handled externally by reputable accrediting organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). 

Both agencies provide accreditation for baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral-level nursing programs and associate’s, bachelor’s, and doctoral degrees. Ultimately, successfully completing an accredited program is necessary to be eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) required for nurses to work legally in any state. Consequently, all advanced practice nurses must complete a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited AGNP program to practice nursing professionally.

Institutional accreditation assesses an institution as a whole rather than individual programs, evaluating educational offerings, official documentation, and student outcomes. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is affiliated with the US Department of Education. In addition, CHEA recognizes seven regional accrediting organizations that define accreditation best practices and set high educational standards for their particular accreditation regions. 

Lastly, state authorization status, or NC-SARA status, should be thoroughly examined when researching online programs. The state government board’s regulations must be adhered to for individuals wanting to obtain specific professional licenses, such as nursing. Prospective students should ensure that their state of residence is accepted and that the program meets the licensing requirements for practicing nursing in a particular state. Prospective students can find this information on any program’s website or contact the school directly.

Typical Admissions Requirements for Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Degrees

Aspiring adult-gerontology nurse practitioners (AGNPs) have a rigorous educational journey to become certified. First, a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or post-master’s certificate program must be completed, which may include clinical hour requirements and the standard prerequisite courses. Then, after all academic requirements have been fulfilled, future NPs must pass a national certification exam. 

Program-specific admissions requirements vary, but here’s a list of standard requirements for adult-gerontology programs for MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate programs:

  • One to two years of RN experience
  • An accredited BSN (for MSN or DNP admissions)
  • An accredited MSN or DNP degree (for post-master’s certificate admissions)
  • Application 
  • Current APRN license (for DNP admissions)
  • Current unrestricted RN license (for MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate admissions)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Interview 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers

Supervised Hour Requirements for Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Degrees 

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) students must gain clinical experience in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, community mental health centers, and private practices. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) sets the minimum clinical hour requirement at 500 clinical hours for nurse practitioners. MSN programs typically include 500 clinical hours, and DNP programs typically require 1,000 clinical hours. 

For example, the University of Cincinnati‘s MSN program requires 504 clinical hours. By comparison, the University of Maryland‘s DNP program requires 1,000 clinical hours. 

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) requires a minimum of 500 hours for the adult-gerontology acute care certification exam. Thus, AGNP students should ensure they meet all clinical hour requirements in their educational program before applying for national certification exams.

Featured Online Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Degrees

With online AGNP programs, professionals can gain a graduate-level education without sacrificing current employment or relocating for long periods. Online AGNP programs are explicitly designed for BSN and MSN nursing degree holders with some related work experience. Here are 12 nursing schools that offer online AGNP programs at the MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate levels. 

MSN Programs

Walden University

Walden University offers online education to students who want an inspiring and enriching learning experience. Their online master of science in nursing (MSN) program specializing in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) prepares nurses to manage patient care for adolescents ages 13 and older and adults. The 58-quarter credit program features 640 practicum hours of hands-on experience, academically preparing its graduates for the national AGPCNP certification exam. 

Through this online MSN program, aspiring professionals looking to make a lasting impact in their community can develop the skills and confidence needed to deliver quality primary care. For those seeking a degree that focuses on acute care, Walden also offers an AGNP acute care online MSN degree.

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $750 per credit 

South University

South University’s online MSN program in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner offers valuable nursing skills and knowledge for health promotion and disease prevention. Guided by experienced faculty, students develop their leadership, clinical judgment, critical thinking, and communication abilities as adult-gerontological nurse practitioners. 

Through this online program, students build expertise in preventing, diagnosing, and treating common health problems through evidence-based practice while improving their skills in caring for at-risk populations. As a result, graduates from this program have the tools they need to thrive in the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner field.

  • Location: Savannah, GA
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $600 per credit 

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University offers a rigorous online master of science in nursing (MSN) adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program. Students can choose from primary care or acute care tracks based on their career aspirations. The program allows learners to acquire the skill set they need to potentially practice as nurse practitioners working with adults and the elderly in primary or acute care settings. 

The online MSN curriculum requires 48 credits, and students must complete either 600 hours of practicum (for primary care) or 675 hours (for acute care). Upon completing the online MSN program, graduates can take the adult-gerontology acute care or primary care certification exams through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certification Board; those in the acute care track may also pursue certification exams through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

  • Location: South Orange, NJ
  • Duration: Three to four years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1,383 per credit 

University of Cincinnati

The online MSN program in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners offered through the University of Cincinnati is designed to meet the criteria necessary for certification exams. Participants are trained to provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment services to adult and elderly patients, which includes performing an annual checkup, monitoring health status, and making recommendations for lifestyle adjustments such as diet, exercise, etc. 

Beyond technical skills and medical knowledge, participants will also learn how to build meaningful relationships with their senior patients to ensure that high-quality patient care and trust is built with patients.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $36,264 per semester 

DNP Programs

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University offers an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in adult-gerontology, equipping nurse practitioners with the knowledge needed to personalize care for their adult patients. The program requires 78 credits and 784 clinical and 224 practicum hours so that students can hone their diagnostic, decision-making, and leadership skills. 

On top of online courses and course immersions, students benefit from access to resources at one of the most respected medical institutions in the country. As a result, professionals graduating from Johns Hopkins’ DNP program develop the ability to manage acute and chronic primary health problems efficiently, offer guidance on health promotion and disease prevention, provide evidence-based practice focusing on improved patient outcomes, and find innovative ways to drive transformation across healthcare systems.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Three to four years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1,901 per credit

Rush University

Rush University offers an online DNP program in adult-gerontology designed to equip its graduates with the knowledge necessary to work as primary care nurse practitioners for individuals of all age groups. Particular emphasis is placed on health promotion, disease prevention, and the diagnosis and management of both acute and chronic conditions. 

The DNP curriculum allows students to gain expertise in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership – critical areas of focus for advanced nursing practice in today’s complex healthcare environment. 

With a full array of online programs tailored to meet each student’s needs, Rush University provides a comprehensive education that can lead graduates toward becoming excellent primary care providers at the nurse practitioner level.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Duration: Three to 3.5 years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1286 per credit hour (residents)

Baylor University

Baylor University offers an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program dedicated to the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) track. Through this focused curriculum and online platform, students are provided with the opportunity to develop exemplary leadership skills, gain knowledge in advanced patient-centric care methods, build an understanding of information systems and technology needed for transformative health outcomes, and develop the skills relevant in evaluating healthcare needs in diverse and vulnerable populations. 

The DNP-AGACNP track is focused on guiding those across the entirety of adulthood, from young adults through cases of complex chronic illness or injury. Baylor’s online AGACNP program gives rise to expert care practitioners and ensures that those most vulnerable are given a voice. 

  • Location: Waco, TX
  • Duration: 1.5 to 3.5 years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1,100-$1,150 per credit 

University of Maryland

The online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in adult-gerontology primary care at the University of Maryland School of Nursing offers students an engaging and comprehensive learning experience. The blended online and face-to-face courses equip graduates to diagnose and manage common acute illnesses, disease prevention strategies, and stable chronic illnesses across the lifespan. 

Furthermore, as part of their clinical practicum experiences, students gain valuable knowledge in primary care sites. Upon completing all DNP program requirements and clinical competence evaluations, graduates are eligible for certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Three to four years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $856 per credit (residents); $1,519 per credit (non-residents)

Post-Master’s Certificate Programs

Drexel University

Drexel University offers an online post-master’s certificate for nurse practitioners in adult-gerontology primary care. This program will equip its students with the skills to diagnose and treat young adults and aging patients effectively. 

The part-time program is ranked #41 among 2020’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report, offering courses in four ten-week quarters: advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, pain management, and primary care. Requirements for admission include having an MSN or DNP degree accredited by an authorized organization with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a current unrestricted RN license.

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1,069 per credit 

Herzing University

Herzing University offers an online post-master’s certificate in adult-gerontology primary care. This program requires 33 credit hours and 540 clinical hours, with up to 12 credits to be transferred from an accredited institution. 

This fully online program features a curriculum that prepares students well for certifications such as the AANP’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) certification and ANCC’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC). In addition, military personnel and their spouses get a tuition discount when they enroll at Herzing University, plus admissions are on a rolling basis.

  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Duration: 20 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $695 per credit 

Regis University

Regis University offers an online post-master’s certificate in adult-gerontology for MSN-prepared nurse practitioners (NPs) and registered nurses (RNs). The program duration varies depending on a candidate’s prior degree; NPs can finish the online post-master’s certificate in as few as 12 months, while MSN-prepared RNs can complete the program in 20 months. This program provides acute care and primary care tracks. 

Upon finishing the online post-master’s certificate, individuals can take exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Applicants must have already gained an MSN degree from an accredited nursing program and hold an active RN license to apply for this program.

  • Location: Weston, MA
  • Duration: 12 to 20 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $1,025 per credit

Rider University

Rider University offers an online post-master’s certificate in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) to equip nurses with the skills and knowledge they need to provide primary care to the adult population. In addition, this online certificate offers a unique opportunity to broaden one’s practice within this specialty while taking courses online designed to provide a comprehensive and flexible learning experience. 

Applicants to this program must have a master’s degree in nursing, and applications are accepted for three different semesters; fall, spring, and summer. With the help of this online post-master’s certificate from Rider University, nurses can further advance their careers in adult gerontology and improve patient outcomes along the way.

  • Location: Lawrenceville, NJ
  • Duration: Five semesters
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  
  • Tuition: $830 per credit 

Jobs for Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Graduates

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) program graduates are prepared to work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory clinics, and primary care practices. Besides working as an AGNP in acute or primary care, some typical job roles for AGNP graduates include the following. 

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) work with patients from infancy to old age. However, since AGNP programs prepare nurses to work with patients aged 13 and above, aspiring FNPs can enroll in an FNP post-master’s certificate program to focus on caring for patients from infancy to adolescence and become board-certified FNPs. 

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP)

Gerontological nurse practitioners (GNPs) specialize in providing patients aged 65 and older with comprehensive medical care. Everyday duties include conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, writing prescriptions, coordinating care plans with other healthcare professionals, and providing patient education and counseling on disease prevention and healthy lifestyle choices.

Primary Care Provider (PCP)

Primary care providers (PCPs) practice independently or as part of a team in outpatient clinics or community health centers. They provide comprehensive preventive and primary care services to individuals from adolescence through adulthood.

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Rachel Drummond, MEd


At, Rachel Drummond has applied her extensive experience in education and mindfulness to elucidate the importance of self-care for nursing students since 2022. Through her writings, she underscores the role of mental and physical well-being in fostering resilient and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.