Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track

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Ranked #1 for Best DNP Programs in Texas by Nurse Journal

Ranked in the top 10% for Best DNP Nursing School

Ranked in the top 10% for Best DNP Nursing School by U.S. News & World Report

Ranked #2 for Best DNP Program in Texas

Ranked #2 for Best DNP Program in Texas by dnpprograms.com

[em]Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)[/em]Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track

Focus on the Complex Acute, Chronic & Critical Care Needs of Adult Patients

Baylor University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP-AGACNP) track develops exemplary nursing leaders by focusing on advanced methods to promote patient-centered care, knowledge of information systems and technology required to deliver transformative healthcare, and the skills needed to evaluate the healthcare needs of diverse and vulnerable populations.

The focus of the AGACNP population includes the entire spectrum of adults including young adults, adults, and older adults. The AGACNP serves as an advocate for patients with complex acute, critical, and chronic illness, disability, and/or injury to improve patient outcomes. The role encompasses care ranging from disease prevention to acute and critical care management. 

The AGACNP also: 

  • Provides direct healthcare services to improve patient outcomes by utilizing evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, and inter-professional collaboration. 
  • Integrates, translates, and applies knowledge for nursing practice, person-centered care, population health, scholarship for nursing practice, quality and safety, inter-professional partnerships, systems-based practice, information and healthcare technologies, professionalism, and personal, professional, and leadership development (AACN, 2021).
  • Focuses on specialized care for patients 18 years and older with greater autonomy at the highest level in multiple settings including the ICU, ER, trauma units, specialty clinics, surgery, other hospital services, and long-term care facilities.

Clinical Placement Support 

At Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, we strongly believe in setting our students up for success. That's why we collaborate with our students to identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. Additionally, clinical placement sites may be potential locations for future employment opportunities upon graduation. If you already have a placement site or preceptor in mind, we encourage you to refer them to our placement team to secure them. Download the DNP-AGACNP brochure for more information.

 

Securing clinical placement sites and preceptors can be a challenging and tedious undertaking. It is not uncommon for students to contact 400+ sites before a preceptor agrees. That's why at Baylor, we collaborate with online nursing students on the heavy lifting to help identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. We'd much rather you focus on:

  • Coursework
  • Developing core competencies
  • Current personal and professional obligations
How Does This Benefit You?

Securing clinical placement sites and preceptors can be a challenging and tedious undertaking. It is not uncommon for students to contact 400+ sites before a preceptor agrees. That's why at Baylor, we collaborate with online nursing students on the heavy lifting to help identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. We'd much rather you focus on:

  • Coursework
  • Developing core competencies
  • Current personal and professional obligations
How Does the Clinical Placement Process Work?

Shortly after enrollment, you will be provided with a placement intake form you are required to complete that captures your competencies, experience and placement preferences. Baylor University will collaborate with you to identify a quality placement site and preceptor. While the placement team is securing sites and preceptors, you will be responsible for completing clinical clearance requirements in preparation for placement, including:

  • Drug screening
  • Background check
  • Recommended vaccinations

You will not be permitted to begin your placement rotations without your clearances complete. Once the sites have been approved by the School of Nursing, Baylor University will share the placement site details with you prior to placement.

What is the Placement Experience Like?

During the placement experience, you will have access to faculty and other resources to support you:

  • Faculty will be available to mentor and support you throughout the rotation with specific questions about procedures, patient interactions and general proficiencies.
  • At the end of the placement rotation, you and your preceptor will review requirements, complete surveys and officially end the placement rotation.
  • If you have multiple rotations, you will receive the next preceptor/site details.
What Can I Expect from My Preceptor?

Your preceptor is your on-site role model and will help you develop as a nurse during your clinical rotation. They will:

  • Bridge the gap between theory and actual practice
  • Orient you to the practice setting (key personnel, organization, and institutional policies)
  • Help you plan clinical assignments
  • Provide one-on-one supervision and daily feedback
  • Review and co-sign all documentation in the clinical records
Learn More

 

Two Entry Options Are Available

To learn more about the entry options, download your digital program guide.

Baylor 

BSN to DNP

75 Credits
Just over 3 years to completion 

Baylor

Post-Master's DNP (coming soon)

31-37 Credits
2 years to completion

DNP-AGACNP Admissions Requirements

The requirements to apply for the online DNP AGACNP program are:

  • BSN from a regionally accredited school of nursing
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • One (1) year of full-time experience as a practicing professional nurse by the first day of class
  • Current unencumbered RN license
  • Complete an acceptable written personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation, as follows: one must be from an immediate supervisor, one must be from a peer nurse, and one must be from an MSN, DNP, or PhD prepared nurse
  • No GRE or MAT Required

Download a program guide for more information

DNP-AGACNP Program Features At-A-Glance
  • CCNE-accredited** and U.S. News & World Report ranked program
  • Online main coursework with on-campus immersions throughout the program
  • Practicum requirement total: 1,125 hours
  • 15-week courses with three terms per year
  •  Nationally recognized faculty for students to learn from
  •  Clinical Placement Support 
  • Total credits: 75 
Accreditation & Rankings
Best Grad Schools US News logo

 

Baylor University is distinguished in healthcare and business, preparing students with the skills and knowledge to stand out in the industry. 

The Louise Herrington School of Nursing is nationally recognized and:

  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Approved by the Texas Board of Nursing
  • Member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Recognized as one of the top educational institutions in the nation, ranking at #76 in National Universities on U.S. News & World Report 2021 list
  • Ranked by Best-Nursing-Colleges.com as the #10 Best Nursing College in Texas.
Baylor Nursing By The Numbers
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90% of clinical placement sites provided to DNP students were within 125 miles of their home.

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100% certification pass rate for FNP and Nurse-Midwifery graduates.

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Baylor University is ranked higher than 94% of Best Colleges in the Nation in 2021 - U.S. News and World Report.

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Baylor’s DNP program is ranked higher than 88% of the Best DNP Programs in Texas in 2021 - dnpprograms.com.

DNP-AGACNP Curriculum At-A-Glance

The online DNP-AGACNP program track focuses on the complex acute, chronic and critical care needs of adult patients through an advanced curriculum that includes advanced pharmacology, applied ethics for APN, translational science and health informatics. View sample courses below:

Important Dates

Now Accepting Applications. Seating is limited.

Next Start Date: January 9th, 2023

NUR 5103: Diagnostic Reasoning

This course includes the application of pathologic disease mechanisms and advanced pharmacotherapy to refine and integrate techniques of history taking, physical examination, and diagnostics. Development of differential diagnoses that are prioritized based on clinical assessment, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning to narrow down the appropriate final diagnosis for adult and gerontology populations.

NUR 5311: Gerontology Considerations for APRN Practice

The purpose of this course is to explore high quality healthcare of geriatric patients which requires special knowledge and skills including identifying the normal and abnormal changes of the aging body with an overview of psychological, sociological, and physiological processes related to aging with particular attention to environmental, circumstantial, and behavioral concerns including cognition, perception of health, performance status, falls, malnutrition, pharmacotherapy, substance abuse, elder neglect and abuse, and end of life issues. Indications for collaboration and communication with the interprofessional team is emphasized as well as exploring community resources and care of the informal caregiver.

NUR 5333: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Management I: Common Problems

This is the first course of three, and the purpose of this course is to prepare AGACNP students to assess, diagnose, and coordinate healthcare needs of adults and older adults to include health promotion, disease prevention, and disease management. Emphasis is on synthesizing theoretical, scientific, and evidence-based practice knowledge to manage selected common health problems in adult-gerontology patients in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Indications for collaboration, consultation, and referral with the interprofessional team using patient-centered, evidence-based, high-quality, cost-effective care in a culturally diverse system are essential functions of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner’s role. The accompanying practicum provides students with an opportunity to utilize theoretical knowledge and clinical decision-making skills in the management of care of adult and geriatric patients experiencing common health problems.

The AACN Synergy Model is used as a framework for AGACNP practice focusing on patient-centered physical, social, psychological, and spiritual care across the health-vulnerability continuum. The AGACNP is responsible for knowing and understanding patient characteristics shared by nurses, patients, and systems to include resiliency, vulnerability, stability, complexity, resource availability, participation in care, participation in decision-making, and predictability to restore a patient to an optimum level of wellness as defined by the patient which includes end-of life care (AACN, 2015a). The AGACNP must have knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experience to meet the needs of patients and families and include competencies of concern for patients, nurses, and systems such as clinical judgement, advocacy and moral agency, caring practices, collaboration, systems thinking, response to diversity, clinical inquiry, innovator/evaluator, and facilitation of learning (AACN, 2015a).

NUR 5334: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Management II: Chronic Problems

This is the second course of three, and the purpose of this course is to explore evidence-based practice models for the management of selected chronic health problems and acute exacerbations of those complex, chronic health problems. Students will focus on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of adult-gerontology patients synthesizing theoretical, scientific, and evidence-based practice knowledge to manage selected chronic health problems in adult-gerontology patients in the acute care setting and/or specialty clinic. Indications for collaboration, consultation, and referral with the interprofessional team using patient-centered, evidence-based practice, high-quality, cost-effective care in a culturally diverse system are essential functions of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner’s role to improve health outcomes. The accompanying practicum provides students with an opportunity to utilize theoretical knowledge and clinical decision-making skills in the management of care of adult-gerontology patients experiencing chronic health problems.

The AACN Synergy Model is used as a framework for AGACNP practice focusing on patient-centered physical, social, psychological, and spiritual care across the health-vulnerability continuum. The AGACNP is responsible for knowing and understanding patient characteristics shared by nurses, patients, and systems to include resiliency, vulnerability, stability, complexity, resource availability, participation in care, participation in decision-making, and predictability to restore a patient to an optimum level of wellness as defined by the patient which includes end-of life care (AACN, 2015a). The AGACNP must have knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experience to meet the needs of patients and families and include competencies of concern for patients, nurses, and systems such as clinical judgement, advocacy and moral agency, caring practices, collaboration, systems thinking, response to diversity, clinical inquiry, innovator/evaluator, and facilitation of learning (AACN, 2015a).

The ROI of a DNP Degree

Earning a DNP degree now puts you ahead of the curve. Steps are currently being taken to transition to the DNP degree as the standard for entry-level advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). While the profession is not quite there yet, the DNP is a terminal degree that prepares nurses for leadership, given the constantly changing demands of a complex U.S. healthcare system.

According to AANC, nurses desiring an APRN education with a choice between a DNP or a master's level preparation would find it far more cost effective to spend the additional time for the DNP and be prepared for future practice. And according to a 2019 Medscape survey, DNP-prepared APRNs make an average of 5% more than MSN-prepared APRNs. Additionally, "Job opportunities are far greater, and it provides you with the knowledge and expertise to have a seat at the board table," according to Angela Renee Stewart, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, TTS, Clinical Assistant Professor at Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to complete the online DNP program?

Students typically complete the DNP program in the following timeframe. Please note that actual length to program completion will vary depending on the student's background and selected track.

  • BSN holders typically complete our DNP program in three (3) years and four (4) months, skipping the Master’s degree program entirely
  • MSN holders typically complete our DNP program in 18 to 24 months
Which practitioner degree disciplines may be eligible to transfer to the online DNP program?

The following practitioner degree disciplines may be eligible to transfer to the online DNP programs:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Do I qualify for the online DNP program as a Post-Graduate Candidate?

Unfortunately, the online DNP-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program is not currently available at the Post-Master’s level. Please check back again as this may change.

Is financial aid available to online students?

A variety of financial aid is available to online students. Find more information on our Tuition & Financial Aid page.

Why Get a DNP Instead of an MSN?

A Doctor of Nursing Practice is the optimal pathway for registered nurses who are seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice. As a terminal degree, a DNP degree is the highest level of education in the field and represents the most advanced nursing degree available. There is no further opportunity for educational advancement within this profession. Graduates of Baylor’s online DNP program are prepared as exemplary nursing leaders and visionary nurses who can actively shape and improve patient outcomes, policy, process,es and the future of nursing.

DNPs earn a higher average salary than an MSN (on average) and have more overall options for career goals. Many DNP graduates enter into positions with more responsibility to care for both individual and population health needs as nursing team leads and other expanded roles. The career outlook for DNPs is anticipated to be very strong as the AACN is advocating to require a DNP for all APRN roles by the year 2025.

The Baylor University Online Experience

Find out why Baylor University’s Online DNP degree program is the best choice for registered nurses seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice: