Adult/Gerontology - Primary Care

The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) specialty educates students in the primary care of the entire adult age spectrum from adolescents to geriatrics.  Particular attention is provided in the domain of maintaining wellness through prevention and management of illness across a variety of health care settings. 

Through collaboration with the Connecticut Older Adult Collaboration for Health (COACH) program, the framework of the 4M’s; mentation (cognition and mood), medication (appropriate medication use), mobility (mobility inside and outside the home and fall prevention) and matters most (patient health care goals and preferences) is utilized to educate students in the creation and maintenance of age-friendly health systems.  The population of focus for the AGPCNP includes adolescents, adults, and older adults (pediatrics is not included in the population focus). The AGPCNP curriculum is intended to prepare students to apply for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The Academic Experience

YSN is consistently ranked in the top ten of MSN programs in the United States and attracts students from all over the country. This creates a diverse pool of students with varied experiences that allow a richness of experience in our classroom discussions.  Our AGPCNP curriculum prepares graduates to provide primary health care in age-friendly health systems through a multitude of clinical environments, including but not limited to community-health, general internal medicine/primary care practices, and specialty-based clinical environments.

YSN is a tight-knit academic community with many faculty and clinical preceptors being YSN alumni.  The cohesiveness of each specialty year cohort combined with the interest of the faculty in providing optimal learning environments creates a supportive and engaging atmosphere conducive for many different types of learners.   Simulation and other innovative teaching methods such as team-based learning is utilized to engage the learner in active learning.  Faculty have open-door relationships with the students and are committed to being available to support and engage each student as needed. Alumni remain engaged after graduation and provide continual support and mentorship for our current students. Students within the track are integral in supporting one another and this leads to a positive environment with everyone committed to the success of each other.

The AGPCNP curriculum is at the forefront of advanced practice nursing education in training our students in the area of geriatrics.  The concept of providing age-friendly health systems as the general US population is rapidly aging is embedded in our curriculum through our faculty and with consultation with top geriatricians and geriatric nurse practitioners within the state. This enables us to provide the latest evidence-based care recommendations to our students so that they can engage with older adults in optimizing their health.  

To prepare students for clinical experiences, students partake in intensive clinical skills labs and simulated clinical experiences in the state-of-the-art simulation lab. Students are able to practice physical assessment, procedural skills, critical thinking, and diagnostic reasoning on both standardized patients and task-trainers.  Simulation allows students to engage in clinical scenarios in a safe environment with immediate feedback from experienced faculty. Engagement with simulation is a priority of the AGPCNP program with the simulation offerings for students being expanded each year.  

Specifics of the program course of study:

•    Students may elect for full or part time plans of study 

•    Students may choose this program as a Post-Master’s Certificate

•    Students may enter as either an RN or as part of the Graduate Entry Pre-specialty in Nursing (GEPN) program

•    Students enrolled in specialty years may choose to apply for a concentration offered at YSN  

The Clinical Experience

The AGPCNP program places students at robust clinical sites with preceptors dedicated to teaching. In collaboration with the Clinical Support Unit, our program places students in many different clinical settings where an AGPCNP would be employed.  Some examples of clinical sites include community health centers, internal medicine offices, specialty clinics, and hospital-based clinics. 

We engage with our AGPCNP students in identifying their areas of clinical interest and working collaboratively to provide opportunities for exploration of these areas of interest through clinical experiences. Many of our graduates go on to work in community health settings after graduation and prioritize care of the underserved.  Consequently, we work hard to ensure that each student receives robust clinical training in the care of the underserved.  

Since interdisciplinary work is a cornerstone of advanced practice nursing education, we engage preceptors for our program who are not only nurse practitioners, but also physicians and physician associates. Many of our preceptors are YSN alumnae. Students have the option to go out-of-state for an immersive clinical experience in either the summer between specialty year one and two or the spring of specialty year two.   Students interested in an immersive clinical experience will collaborate with the Clinical Support Unit in creating clinical experiences in the region of their choosing. In the AGPCNP program, the Clinical Support Unit will provide students with preceptors for their clinical rotations; students are not required to acquire their own clinical preceptors. We are open to students using their own networks outside of YSN in developing the pool of qualified preceptors for our program and expanding clinical placement opportunities. 

Testimonials from Students

“Advisors take a strong interest in ensuring that they understand the desires of their students and doing their best to support and provide clinical sites that can meet those.” – Anonymous student

“Clinical preceptors and sites have been truly great experiences.”  – Anonymous student

Challenging but will have me very prepared.” – Anonymous student

“AGPC ‘s greatest strength is the small size. We truly get to know the other students in an intimate way - which was my favorite part of this program.” – Anonymous student

Who Should Apply?

Prospective students should have a vested interest in caring for individuals aged from adolescence to geriatrics, with a focus on maintaining the health and well-being this population.  Many candidates have experience either working in health care or an understanding of health systems through such things as previous public health studies.  Must understand the scope of practice of an AGPCNP.  Previous science background is not necessary, but beneficial. 

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Certification

The Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) specialty curriculum prepares students to be eligible for the Certification Examination of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). 

Accreditation

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.