Top Online Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Programs

Registered nurses aspiring to become adult-gerontology nurse practitioners must earn a master of science in nursing (MSN), post-master’s certificate (PMC), or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) with an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) or adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) specialization.

According to the AANP, 17.8 percent of nurse practitioners hold a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree (Jan 2019). Although a DNP is not currently required to practice, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has advocated for the DNP to be the new educational standard in the nurse practitioner field, a move supported by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That said, the current requirement is still that a nurse practitioner hold a graduate degree in nursing, complete an NP specialization, and earn a professional NP certification, in this case in adult-gerontology.

Online adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) programs have become commonplace, and today aspiring AGNPs can find a selection of programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. MSN-prepared registered nurses may alternatively pursue a post-master’s AGNP certificate. Most programs allow out-of-state students to enroll, although certain states may be restricted, so please explore our detailed school profiles to get the details. While most programs are designed for RNs holding a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), some programs will accommodate RNs with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Most online AGNP programs offer flexibility in learning with most coursework online, a minimal amount of campus visits, and allow (and sometimes assist in finding) preceptorships local to the student.

Online AGNP Program Rankings

The NPSchools.com staff gathered program data for all online AGNP programs accepting students at the outset of the 2019-2020 academic year. Those programs are listed here and ranked by our AdvanceU score, which factors in cost, admissions flexibility, and program variety. This in-depth nurse practitioner program database comprises more than 700 online NP programs at the MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate levels. To qualify as “online” for our purposes, each program has to require fewer than ten campus visits in total.

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Adult-Gerontology NP Career and Salary

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP, 2018), about 10.9 percent of nurse practitioner students study gerontology including adult-gerontology primary care (AGPCNP), adult-gerontology acute care (AGACNP), and general adult-gerontology (AGNP).

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners may work in a variety of settings including outpatient care centers, private practice, hospitals, government facilities, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, research firms, and home health care situations. The main practice settings for the various specialties include (AANP, 2018):

  • AGNP/AGPCNP: Hospital Outpatient Clinics, Long-Term Care Facilities
  • AGACNP: Hospital Inpatient Units

AGNPs often work in collaboration with health care teams to create a workable health care plan for their patients, keeping in mind the long-term benefits of the plan as well as the feasibility of patient compliance. AGNPs are able to assess, diagnose, and treat patients including young adults, adults, older adults, and elderly adults. They prescribe medications, conduct patient education at the patient, family, and community levels, operate and monitor medical equipment, and make recommendations for further care.

The pay range for nurse practitioners (which are grouped with nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives in government data) falls between $80,670 and $182,750, with the median annual wage for nurse practitioners specifically landing at $107,030 (BLS, 2018). In addition, the nurse practitioner occupational outlook from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects that this occupation will grow by 28 percent between 2018 and 2028, compared to the average of 5 percent for all occupations. This amounts to an increase of 53,500 job openings by 2028 (BLS, 2018).