D.N.P. - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Prepares students to have competence in leadership, evidence-based care and translational research methods for quality improvement as well as preparation at the very highest level to apply advanced clinical assessment and management skills to complex health problems. Graduates of this program care for acutely ill patients, ages 13 and up, in a variety of settings such as acute care facilities, specialty practice offices and skilled care. Graduates are academically eligible to take the national certification examination for adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. One year of full-time nursing experience in an acute care setting with the adult population is required prior to beginning clinical courses.

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  • Program Highlights
  • Curricular Plan
  • Admission Requirements
  • Program Faculty
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires 69 credit hours of course work
  • One year of full-time nursing experience in an acute care setting with the adult population is required prior to beginning clinical courses

Core Courses – 12 Credits

NURS 6000   Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

NURS 6007   Ethics, Policy, and Health Care Advocacy

NURS 6009   Organizational and Systems Leadership

NURS 6010   Research & Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing


Foundation Courses – 9 Credits

NURS 6030   Pathophysiological Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice

NURS 6032   Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice

NURS 6035   Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan


DNP Core Courses - 27 Credits

HEAL 6825  Quality & Patient Safety in Health Care

HEAL 6835  Health Care Informatics, Technology and Professional Issues

HEAL 7010  Translational Research

HEAL 7012  Epidemiology

HEAL 8015  Applied Statistics for Health Sciences

NURS 6746 Professional Issues in APN/DNP Practice

NURS 7981 Residency for DNP with Acutely Ill Adults

NURS 7996 Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone 1

NURS 7997 Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone 2


Specialty Courses – 21 Credits

NURS 6037   Management of Episodic Health Problems

NURS 6240   Complex Health Problems

NURS 6335   Differential Diagnosis and Advanced Skills for the Acutely Ill Adult

NURS 6340   Complex Acute Care Problems

NURS 6351   Advanced Nursing Care of the Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology 1 Clinical

NURS 6352   Advanced Nursing Care of the Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology 2 Clinical

NURS 6353   Advanced Nursing Care of the Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology 3 Clinical

  • Applicants to the BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program should have graduated with, or be about to graduate with, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program with an upper division major in nursing.
  • The required minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.000 on a 4.000 scale is required for the BSN to DNP. For graduates of foreign nursing schools, a formal evaluation of their nursing program of study documenting equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree must be submitted.
  • Prior to or during the first term of study, all BSN to DNP nursing applicants must have taken undergraduate nursing research and a statistics course which included inferential analysis (must be completed within 5 years of program start date). If the time period of 5 years has been exceeded for the statistics course, it may be possible for applicants to demonstrate proficiency by examination through an approved testing source (list of approved examinations available from the College of Nursing). Applicants who select an advanced practice nursing specialization must have taken an undergraduate course in health assessment.
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores (GRE). Waived if cumulative GPA is 3.200 or higher.
  • Unencumbered Registered Nurse license to practice in the United States. A Wisconsin or eNLC license is required at the time of admission. For students in the Indiana program, an Indiana R.N. license is required.
  • Clinical experience requirements: For the adult older adult acute care nurse practitioner specialization: A minimum of one year of full-time work experience (or its part-time equivalent) as a registered nurse in an acute care setting is required prior to beginning any clinical courses.
  • BCLS from the American Heart Association, which must be maintained during all programs. Additional certifications:  adult-gerontology acute care - ACLS prior to clinical; 
  • Letters of reference: Three completed recommendation forms prepared by previous or present employers and teachers familiar with graduate education in nursing.
  • A written statement of professional goals, including reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges or universities - must reflect undergraduate courses in health assessment, nursing research and statistics (including inferential analysis).
  • (For international applicants only) a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • The adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner may require an interview. Applicants who are invited for an interview are notified by email.

Information regarding Graduate School tuition/fees and financial assistance is located on the Graduate School website.


Debra Casper MSN, CCRN, ACNP-BC (Option Coordinator)

Felisa Antonchorgy, MSN, ACNP-BC

Jennifer Bauman MSN, CCRN, AGACNP-BC

Jessica Leiberg, DNP, ACNP-BC, CNP

Amy Steffy, MSN, ANP-BC, ACNP-BC

Stephanie Strouse, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC

Lauren Tyler MSN, ACNP-BC