Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master's Certificate

The University of Virginia prepares Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-ACNP) either within the master’s program or post-master's certificate. The AG-ACNP is an advanced practice nurse who is prepared to manage patients in acute care, critical care and specialty care units and clinics.

AG-ACNPs deliver care along the continuum of critical, acute and chronic care for adults. Emphasis is placed on providing the student with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to manage acutely ill patients through all phases of their hospitalization and clinical follow-up. Diagnostic and clinical decision-making, preparation for prescriptive authority, collaboration with physicians, and managing and monitoring clinical outcomes are covered. Evidenced-based practice, teaching, and clinical research are also emphasized.

The curriculum builds on both the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of the bachelor's prepared nurse.

Students can complete the post-MSN certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in 21 months. In the first year, the student has didactic classes on Thursdays and Fridays (in the fall) and Wednesday-Friday (in the spring). In the second year, the didactic component is on Thursday, and clinicals are generally Monday-Wednesday.

Note:   Students in the post-master's programs at the University of Virginia are ineligible for scholarship assistance or student loans. University aid is restricted to those who are enrolled in degree programs (MSN, DNP, PhD, etc).

Transfer Credit:
Applicants who are master’s prepared and currently certified as a nurse practitioner will not be required to re-take advanced pharmacology (GNUR 6020), advanced pathophysiology (GNUR 6010), and advanced health assessment (GNUR 6025)—the “3 Ps”—or APRN Role Acquisition and Transition (GNUR 6031 & 6032). The academic history of other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Any of the 3 Ps not showing on the applicant’s transcript will need to be completed in order to receive a post-master’s certification.


Students complete 560 clinical hours, divided evenly between GNUR 7311 and GNUR 7312. The first clinical course (GNUR 7311) is completed at the UVA Medical Center. The Medical Center adjoins the School of Nursing. The UVA Medical Center is a 590-bed, Level I trauma center with 6 adult ICUs. It provides an excellent clinical cite with a wealth of professional and technological resources. The second practicum (GNUR 7312) may be completed at another facility in Virginia with prior arrangement or the program director.

In the second practicum the individual student may focus on a specialty (ie: cardiology, ER/trauma, digestive health, nephrology, wound/ostomy/continence, neurology or neuro-surgery, general surgery, pulmonary, transplant, oncology, etc). The acute care graduate program can accommodate students interested in preparing for more than one specialty and/or preparation as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). In such cases, students should expect additional clinical hours, and will receive individual faculty advisement.

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted in a different state as long as that state participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. A list of participating states can be accessed at


Students are qualified to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and based on evaluation of all portions of the application. To be considered for the certificate program, applicants must submit a completed application and:

  • Have a master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school (prerequiste or corequisite)
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate and graduate study
  • Hold an unencumbered RN license from a US state at the time of application.  All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes.
  • Have worked at least 1 year full-time as a RN
  • Submit a total of three satisfactory recommendations (academic, professional, and clinical), one of which should be from an APRN.
  • Submit a copy of your resume or CV
  • Be available for an interview if requested
  • International applicants have additional admissions requirements

Technology requirements: All graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop. Students in the advanced practice programs (CNS and NP) are required to have a smartphone (Apple or Android) in addition. Information on the laptop and smartphone requirements will be sent to enrolling students in the summer before classes begin.

Application deadline:  November 1 for fall entry.  

Downloads, Program of Study, and Links


  • Complete the online inquiry form to be added to the mailing list
  • Admissions and financial aid questions: contact the Office of Admissions & Student Services, (434) 924-0141 or (888) 283-8703
  • Other inquiries: contact MSN & DNP Program Director Dorothy Tullmann, PhD, RN, CNL