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Post-Masters Certificate

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Post-Masters Certificate

Program Description

The Post-Master Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) certificate program prepares individuals who are already licensed advanced practice nurses with the skills and competencies needed to provide patient-centered care to adults across the lifespan who are physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, or highly vulnerable to complications, and require frequent monitoring and intervention. Didactic and clinical practicums prepare the student to provide a full-spectrum of care ranging from disease prevention to acute and critical care management and palliative care, with consideration to the developmental, life-stage needs of adults across the age spectrum. This 20 credit, one year program prepares advanced practice nurses, who are certified in another specialty, to take the AG-ACNP certification exam.

Course work is conducted primarily online with intensive on-campus sessions twice per year for competency training and testing and advisement. Clinical experiences are scheduled in proximity to the student’s’ residence. Students wear their UTHSC picture identification while on-campus and at clinical sites. Student placement in clinical sites is verified by preceptors, and faculty conduct clinical site visits or videoconferencing sessions with the student and preceptors.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the AG-ACNP certificate program, the student will be able to:

  1. Synthesize nursing and other scientific knowledge, with contemporary clinical knowledge, for the assessment and management of health and illness states of adult-gerontology patients.
  2. Demonstrate advanced levels of nursing practice including health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, treatment, and referrals for the acute, critical, and chronically ill or injured patient. 
  3. Engage in advocacy, modeling and teaching to advance health outcomes of complex acute, critical, or chronically ill patients.
  4. Develop collaborative professional relationships.
  5. Provides leadership for the delivery of clinical services within an integrated system of health care.
  6. Analyzes practice outcomes to foster quality healthcare practices and improve patient outcomes.
  7. Integrate professional values and ethical decision-making in advanced nursing practice.
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Program Documents

Apply Early!

Please don't wait until the night before a program deadline to submit your application. You should apply before the earliest deadline of the program(s) that you are applying to. This will allow the necessary time to verify and process your application.

Please refer to the residency requirements for Certificate program taken from our admissions page: Graduate certificate applicants with APN license should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 901-448-6139 or joverton@uthsc.edu for questions on state authorization. RNFA applicants without APN licensure (those currently CNOR eligible and enrolled in an RN to BSN program) must reside in the tri-state area (TN, MS, AR) during their enrollment. Clinical must be completed in TN, MS, or AR. Students accepted into certificate programs are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program is once per year. Applications are due January 15th for admission into the fall class. All application materials (for example, application, application fee, recommendations, essay, official transcripts, copy of active advanced practice nurse licensure) must be submitted by the deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Applications are submitted through NursingCAS, a centralized, online application system. Please be sure to review the supplemental application checklist provided with your NursingCAS application.

These are the major areas considered in admissions decisions. Acceptances will be offered based on all the criteria listed below with no single criterion having more importance than another.

  • College academic preparation and achievement
  • Professional recommendations
  • Personal statement included in the NursingCAS application

Application Guidelines

Part 1: The Application Process
Admission is once per year. Applications are due January 15th for admission into the fall class. All application materials (for example, application, application fee, recommendations, essay, official transcripts, copy of active advanced practice nurse licensure) must be submitted by the deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Students dismissed from another nursing program are ineligible to apply to the UTHSC College of Nursing. Applications are submitted through NursingCAS, a centralized, online application system. Please be sure to review the supplemental application checklist provided with your NursingCAS application.
Part 2: Prerequisites/Degree Requirements

Admissions requirements include:

  1. Master of Science degree in nursing with nurse practitioner concentration;
    Completion of three separate courses in Advanced Pathology/Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, and Advanced Pharmacology;

  2. An unencumbered license as an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner);

  3. Certification in an advanced practice nursing specialty other than AG-ACNP;

  4. Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher in master's program or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant's most recently completed degree program;

  5. Three recommendations supporting the applicant's ability to function in the AG-ACNP role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership); 

  6. For individuals educated outside of the United States, evidence of proficiency in English is required through submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Minimum proficiency scores: 550 on TOEFL paper version, 213 on TOEFL computer version, and 80 on TOEFL Web-based version are required.

  7. Prior to beginning the program, students must meet the following requirements: (1) Completion of required immunizations; (2) Successful criminal background check and drug screening prior to matriculation; (3) Evidence of current cardiopulmonary certification (BCLS) and advanced cardiac life support certification (ACLS); (4) Evidence of health and professional liability insurance; and (5) Student confirmation of their ability to meet the technical and performance standards of the AG-ACNP certificate program. Admission to the AG-ACNP Certificate Program is competitive. Only applicants who meet minimum academic requirements will be considered for admission; however applicants who meet minimal requirements are not guaranteed admission.

Academic Preparation and Achievement Admission Criteria

Applicants must document evidence of having earned a master of science in nursing or higher degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. Only applicants with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 based on all collegiate work or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant's most recently completed degree program will be considered for admission. The GPA calculation for the most recently completed degree will be based only on those grades earned at the degree- granting institution. Applicants may submit additional documents to demonstrate professional scholarship and leadership abilities that could make them more competitive.

*Applicant transcripts will be evaluated on an individual basis regarding completion date of the 3 P’s (Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Health Assessment). The applicant may be required to repeat one or more of these courses in order to meet admissions criteria.

Part 3: Official Transcript

Official transcripts from every college/university you have attended will be needed to complete your on-line application through NursingCAS. In addition, you will need to request that a copy of your transcript also be sent to NursingCAS for verification.

Transcripts from any non-U.S. institution must be sent to and verified by a NACES accredited agency, for example, the World Education Services (WES).

Part 4: Recommendation Forms & Statement

Professional recommendations allow further insight into the values and motivation of the applicants. Three recommendations from academic and work related professionals are required to support the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the program and perform in the role.

Applicants are required to provide NursingCAS with the names and addresses of three (3) references who can address their ability to successfully complete the program: two (2) academic and one (1) professional (employer).

Part 5: Essay, Recommendations, and other Important Criteria

Applicants must complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the AG-ACNP Certificate Program. Background checks and drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study.

  • Successful background check must be completed prior to enrollment. Individuals are required to disclose any misdemeanor or felony conviction. Applicants are advised that extensive background checks (including fingerprinting) is conducted as part of the nursing licensing application process. 
  • Applicants must complete a drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the AG-ACNP Certificate program. Drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study.
    In addition to academic qualifications, applicants are assessed through

(1) an essay (via NursingCAS)

(2) professional recommendations ; and

(3) interviews. 

Essay - Submit an essay about how you expect earning the AG-ACNP Certificate will affect future practice.

Recommendation Forms - Submit three recommendation forms to include one (1) professional and two (2) academic references (preferably nursing) that address your potential as an AG-ACNP APRN including clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and leadership.

Interview – Applicants meeting admission criteria and selected for further admission consideration must participate in an interview for the purpose of evaluating communication and decision-making skills, educational goals and current leadership, scholarship, practice roles and activities. 

Part 6: Minimum Performance Standards for AG-ACNP Certificate Applicants
In addition the technical and performance standards expected of all students in educational programs in the College of Nursing, students in the AG-ACNP program are also expected to possess the mental, auditory, visual, sensory, strength, manual dexterity, and communication skills to: 1. Perform a systematic and complete history and physical examination on a client. 2. Communicate significant examination findings to other professionals and client/family. 3. Appropriately assess and record subjective and objective findings. 4. Maintain effective relationships and interact appropriately with other professionals and clients/families, demonstrating skills of leadership collaborations and decisiveness. 5. Accurately analyze alterations in functional patterns. 6. Demonstrate advanced use of the nursing process: assess, develop, implement, educate and counsel clients, prescribe appropriate therapy, demonstrate self-care skills and evaluate appropriate plans of action for diagnosed problems. 1. Maintain flexibility and emotional stability in response to novel, unique situations and stress. 2. Anticipate common, acute, and life-threatening problems encountered in critically ill patients. 3. Identify ethical issues in critical care practice and participate in ethical decision making using a systematic approach. 4. Demonstrate/role model the appropriate integration of evidence into practice. If a student cannot fulfill these Technical and Performance Standards, with or without accommodations, at any time in the program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued progression in the AG-ACNP Certificate program. Reasonable accommodations will be provided, when appropriate, to help student meet these Technical and Professional Standards. Any student wishing accommodations must contact the university's Office of Student Academic Support Services at 901-448-5056 (email: SASS@uthsc.edu).
Part 7: Certifications
  • Current RN license
  • Current APRN certification
  • Current Basic Life Support (CPR Certification) prior to UTHSC enrollment and maintained throughout UTHSC enrollment
Part 8: Personal Computer & Tablet Required; Essential Computer Skills
  • Must own a web-connected laptop capable of running modern software and streaming media including web-conferencing applications such as ZOOM.
  • Computer/web-based literacy skills expected.
Part 9: Native Tongue not English (TOEFL scores required)
  • Evidence of English proficiency is mandatory part of application process
  • Official minimum TOEFL Score earned within two (2) years prior to application to College of Nursing
  • Three versions of TOEFL: Paper-based Test (minimum score 550), Computer-based (minimum score 213), and Internet/web-based (minimum score 80).
  • If Not a U.S. Citizen:
    • Applicant must provide photocopy of immigration documentation showing “legal immigration status” (e.g., “Green Card”).
    • Copy of Immigration Status Doc. 
Part 10: Fees

NursingCAS fees are $65. After acceptance, students are required to submit a $75 Application Processing Fee and a $200 Guaranteed Enrollment Deposit (GED). The GED, a non-refundable fee due within 30 days of acceptance, is held in escrow and applied to the student’s first term of study.

Applicants must complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the BSN Program. The fee is $162 for accepted BSN students. Background checks and drug screens must be repeated during the student’s program of study.

 

 

Last Published: Aug 17, 2018