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New Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program at Graceland University


Administration and Staff, Faculty, Press Release

December 22, 2016

Female nursing student in lab practicing on a patient simulation mannequin
The Adult Gerontology and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner concentration is offered entirely online.

The Adult Gerontology and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner concentration is offered entirely online.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Dec. 15 – The Master of Science in Nursing degree with an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (MSN-AGACNP) concentration was recently introduced by the Graceland University School of Nursing.

Implementation of the MSN-AGACNP specialty track is a logical step in expanding career opportunities for nurses interested in serving in the acute care specialty areas. Nurse practitioners (NPs) remain in high demand, and their field of specialization continues to expand to include specialty practices, emergency settings and acute care settings. The AGACNP concentration prepares NPs to work in these expanding acute care roles, including cardiology, neurology, critical care, intensive care and emergency care settings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 30-50 percent growth over the next decade for NP employment.

NPs hired in acute and chronic care settings to serve as hospitalists and primary care providers find a different skillset is required to tend to their clients. A degree with an acute care concentration for the growing population of older adults is better suited to meeting this need. Graceland further implements the strategic plan of responding to a constantly changing environment through innovation, valuing community, wholeness and lifelong learning, where students develop their potential for meaningful and productive lives. The current strategic plan prioritizes outreach to new populations of learners at the course, undergraduate and graduate levels; an effort consistent with the demand of 21st century students and businesses for personalized and easily accessible learning opportunities.

AGACNP program graduates may seek employment in outpatient clinics, hospital-based (acute care), chronic care, and/or rehabilitation settings. Job market preview for NPs and PAs from the Advance Healthcare Network states that “employers will soon come to value the adult-gerontology graduates more than family NPs.” For a country with an aging population, the adult-gerontology specialization has greater longevity and broad appeal for employers, and the greatest growth in NP jobs are in adult health.

Graceland offers the AGACNP concentration entirely online within a 16-week trimester schedule and consists of a minimum of 47 semester hours of coursework for the MSN and 33 semester hours for the post-graduate certificate. The program includes one three-day, on-campus focus session for demonstration of clinical competencies and 540 advanced clinical practicum hours in the student’s home community under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor to support development in the advanced practice nurse role.

The AGACNP concentration fulfills an increasing local, regional and national need for advanced practice nurses to provide care for a rapidly growing aging population in the acute care setting. Consistent with currently approved programs, the AGACNP concentration is designed to be in full compliance with professional standards and essentials for advanced practice nursing education as put forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

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