Adult/Gerontology-Acute Care

The Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) specialty prepares graduates for the advanced nursing practice role of providing care to assess and manage the needs of complex acutely and critically ill patients across the full continuum of adult acute care services.

The Academic Experience

Coursework & Clinical Practicums

The core body of AG Acute Care knowledge provided - in the classroom, simulation lab, procedural workshops, and clinical practicums - is derived from the full spectrum of high-acuity patient care needs, current standards, and evidence-based research. Incorporation of interprofessional and collaborative practice is emphasized to support acutely and critically ill patients and their families. All AGACNP faculty are Board Certified Acute Care NPs actively practicing in acute and critical care settings, and bring real world experiences to their teaching.

In the first year of study, the focus is on history taking, physical assessment, differential diagnosis, diagnostic testing, pathophysiology, advanced core and specialty pharmacology, and management of acutely and critically ill patients. Courses in assessing the acutely ill individual, diagnostic reasoning, research, and statistics are also featured. Clinical conferences focus on the diagnosis and management of problems seen in acutely ill patients, as well as acute care pharmacology. Students without critical care experience also have a critical care immersion clinical to gain experience with caring for patients with high-technology therapies and complex conditions.  First year students complete a minimum of 136 clinical hours.

During the final year of study, emphasis is placed on the differential diagnosis and management of complex problems seen in the acutely and critically ill patient population. Courses also include content in health promotion, acute, critical, and complex co-morbid disease management, and the role of the nurse practitioner. High-fidelity simulation labs are held, along with procedural workshops, to help students integrate and practice knowledge and skills into their clinical practicums. Clinical placement sites expose the student to a variety of acute care settings with adult and gerontology patient populations and include 720 hours of practice. Clinical conferences focus on the diagnosis and management of complex acute care problems.

AGACNP students can elect to receive additional education and training in concentrations. Current concentrations available are Research, Diabetes, Oncology, and Gender and Sexuality Health Justice.

Specifics of the Program

Students may elect full-time or part-time plans of study. A Post-Master’s Certification program of study is available to nurse practitioners who have completed a master’s degree in another specialty. The plan of study is based on the assessment of a gap analysis from the previous nursing specialty degree and courses completed.

Adult/Gerontology-Acute Care - Plans of Study PDF

The Clinical Experience

Clinical practicums allow students to practice care of acute, critically, and complex chronically ill patients across a variety of settings including specialty critical care units, inpatient settings, specialty clinics and emergency departments. Clinical practice experiences occur at a variety of acute care hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

All AGACNP students complete a minimum of 856 total clinical hours with experienced preceptors. Additionally, students without critical care nursing experience have a critical care immersion clinical spent at the bedside, with an expert critical care nurse, to expose them to caring for patients with high-technology life supporting therapies.

The AGACNP Preceptor Liaison and Clinical Support Unit staff, in conjunction with the faculty, arrange all clinical experiences to best meet the needs of each student.


The Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty curriculum prepares students to be eligible for the certification examination of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AGACNP-BC) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (ACNPC-AG).


The master’s degree program in nursing at Yale School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Testimonials from Students and Preceptors

“Yale’s acute care program is rigorous, demanding, and completely worth it. Being taught by real clinicians who are leaders in their field and passionate, not only about science and medicine, but about patient centered care prepared me extremely well to practice in a high acuity ICU- even as a new graduate APRN in a pandemic!”  Valeria St. Laurent, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC, YSN Class of 2020

“I love working with the Acute Care Nurse Practitioners at HOCC. I truly believe that the team we have thrives on teaching the next generation of ICU providers.  Students help drive our commitment to teaching.  We thrive on that energy.” Rekha Singh, MD, FACS. Surgical Critical Care Intensivist & Chief of Surgery at Hospital of Central Connecticut

AG Acute Care courses “provided an opportunity for us to truly commit to bringing together all of our didactic, critical thinking skills and go into our clinicals ready to be a part of a team of providers. The hours required at first seemed overwhelming, but they are truly necessary in respect to gaining confidence and time to see multiple cases that help with the cementing of the information learned throughout this program.” Anonymous student

“I’m thankful for learning from our Acute Care faculty, they bring forth years of experience and ways to learn and process information as a new NP.” Anonymous student

Faculty “is always helpful in providing information in class in such a way that is organized and able to challenge one to think about why they are choosing an answer, or how to get to an answer to a question asked.” Anonymous student

“Each minute spent whether on zoom or in SIM was never in vain and our time was always spent well, learning material, real life stories and case studies. It was always a pleasure.” Anonymous student

Who should Apply?

Applicants should have a strong interest and motivation to provide acute, complex chronic and critical care to adult and gerontologic patients in interdisciplinary and collaborative settings. This specialty’s curriculum is designed to support accelerated nursing students and RNs, with or without acute and/or critical care work experience.


Can I work as an RN while I am in the AGACNP Specialty?

Students may elect to work as an RN part-time or per diem throughout the program.

AGACNP Faculty