To meet growing demand for the specialty, the UCF College of Nursing has added a new graduate program in acute care nursing.

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program will be initially offered this fall as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). The college will expand the program to add two additional tracks in 2017 – a graduate certificate track for nurses who already have a MSN degree and a post-BSN to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree track.

All of the program’s tracks will include both online courses and classroom clinical courses at the Orlando campus, a format designed to support collaboration and interprofessional learning. Students will leave the program eligible for the AGACNP certification examination.

“There is a great need for more nurse practitioners certified to provide care for acute patients in our community and throughout the nation, and there has been increasing demand from our students for this type of program,” said Susan Chase, associate dean for graduate affairs at the UCF College of Nursing.

“Our college is always listening and responsive to the needs of the community and our students, and this program is another example of that. This dynamic and engaging program will enhance the knowledge, skills and performance of advanced practice nurses to serve patients in a variety of acute and critically ill environments,” Chase added.

AGACNPs provide a full spectrum of care, from diagnosis to management, for adult patients with medically complex acute, critical and chronic illness across care settings, including hospitals, ambulatory care and home care. AGACNPs order, perform, supervise and interpret laboratory, diagnostic and imaging studies. They also prescribe medication and durable medical equipment, and make appropriate referrals. The certification was created in part as a response to a critical shortage of medical residency programs in hospitals, and today is the third-largest specialty of nurse practitioners in the U.S.

Applications are being accepted now

Classes for the AGACNP MSN program will begin in Fall 2016. Prospective students may apply now. Applications for this inaugural cohort are due June 1, 2016.

The college has also added a new graduate program in nursing and health care simulation.