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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Master's Specialties

Adult Gerentology Acute Care NP

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty prepares bachelor's-prepared nurses to work in the specialty areas of urgent, emergent and critical care as an acute care nurse practitioner. The need for appropriately educated and certified adult-gerontology acute care NPs has increased over the past 10 years. The demand continues to grow for the specialized advanced practice nurse.

Nursing Post Masters Certificate ‑  Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

For more information regarding graduation rates, the median debt of students completing our certificate programs and other important information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. ​

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Gainful Employment Disclosure​​


Program Plan

Nurse practitioner students are prepared to provide safe, competent and satisfying care to their patients within their specialty. Acute Care AGNPs are prepared to formulate clinical, administrative or policy decisions to promote health with clients experiencing acute or chronic illness and to develop, manage and evaluate the care within hospitals and health care systems. This specialty is designed to meet the educational and clinical competency requirements for professional certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Nationally certified AG-ACNPs are placed on the Colorado Advanced Practice Registry.

Master of Science in Nursing Core Courses
Advanced Practice Core Courses Required for Specialty Option
Required Courses for Specialty Option
Total Credits for Acute Care AGNP


View a printable specialty program plan for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner option.​​

Competencies for AG-ACNP program

  • Analyze the varied roles of the adult-gerontology acute care NP, specifically related to advancing the profession and enhancing direct care and management.
  • Assess adult and geriatric health status, including assessment of the health-promotion, health-protection, and disease-prevention needs of the acute, critical and chronically ill or injured patient.
  • Diagnose the health status of adult and geriatric patients with physiologic instability or the potential to experience rapid physiologic deterioration or life-threatening instability.
  • Generate treatment plans to stabilize the adult and geriatric patient, minimize physical and psychological complications, maximize the individual’s health potential, and assist with palliative/end-of-life care management.
  • Evaluate measures to help enhance adult-gerontology acute care through interpersonal transaction as it relates to the cognitive, developmental, physical, mental and behavioral health status of the patient.
  • Develop a transition plan for continued care management of healthcare problems with the individual, family, and healthcare team
  • Educate individuals, family, and other caregivers while interpreting and individualizing therapies through the activities of advocacy, modeling and teaching.
  • Manage the evaluation of acute, critical, and chronically ill patients through ordering, interpretation, performance and supervision of diagnostic testing and clinical procedures taking into account the individual’s age, gender, genetic risks and health status.
  • Perform specific diagnostic strategies and technical skills to monitor and sustain physiological function and ensure patient safety, including but not limited to EKG interpretation, x-ray interpretation, respiratory support, hemodynamic monitoring, line and tube insertion, lumbar puncture and wound debridement.
  • Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk of complications and cost-benefits of therapeutic interventions.

​​Laura Rosenthal, DNP, RN, ACNP

Assistant Professor, CU College of Nursing

Assistant Professor, CU School of Medicine

Specialty Coordinator, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Phone: 303-724-6375


Click here for full faculty profile 

​Mary Mackenburg-Mohn PhD, RN, CNP
Assistant Professor, CU College of Nursing 
Phone: 651-900-1786
Carrie Parkinson, RN, MS, FNP, AG-ACNP

Lecturer, CU College of Nursing​​​


Q: Who is eligible to apply?

Please see the master's program requirements for eligibility to apply to this master's specialty.

Q: When do you accept applications?

We admit students for the Fall semester each year for this specialty. The deadline for applications is Feb 15.

Q: ​How long is the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program?

48 credits over 8 semesters. See the program plan. Spring and fall semesters are 16 weeks each, and summer semester is 8 weeks. Each credit is 45 hours for clinical.

Q: Is the program online?

Partially. Some of the courses are offered online and some classes are in the classroom, such as physical assessment. Clinical experiences may be completed at any hospital.

Q: How many clinical hours will be required?

You must complete 630 contact hours in acute care settings over four to five semesters.

Q: Will this prepare me to sit for acute care certification?

Yes, this was designed to allow you to sit for the adult gerontology acute care certification through ANCC.