Gerontological Nurse Practitioner


The Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP) Program prepares advanced practitioners to provide primary care to elderly individuals.  The GNP has the unique scope of practice to combine the caring, teaching and other domains of nursing in conjunction with diagnosis, treatment and management of older clients seeking health promotion or illness prevention.

Graduates of the program will have a wide range of positions, from collaborative roles with private physicians, clinics, or varied health agencies including nursing homes, home care agencies, rehabilitation facilities, and other extended care settings, to opening their own practices in urban, suburban and rural areas.

The GNP has a combined clinical and functional role.  Courses that prepare for this role include: Miind/Body/Aging, Diagnostic Health Assessment, Adult and Geriatric Care (theory and practicum), Individualized Clinical Study in Advanced Nursing Practice.  The cognate course in the GNP Program is Advanced Pathophysiology.  Other required courses are Advanced Pharmacology in Acute and Chronic Care, and Health Healing, and Self- Care.  An elective allows students to expand areas of interest.

The practitioner role necessitates a strong clinical background.  Therefore, applicants need to have at least one year's full time experience (2,000 clinical hours) as a Registered Professional Nurse before beginning NP clinical courses.  The autonomous and collaborative roles of the nurse practitioner in primary care demand socialization into those roles, knowledge of multiple practice models, and development of accountability for direct provision of health care services.  Clinical experiences with faculty and preceptors provide variety of experience with nurse practitioners and physicians, in varied geographic locations, and with clients from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds.

There are intensive clinical placements with preceptors.  A total of 500 clinical hours and 42 credits are required in order to meet the changing professional expectations in this practice area.

Individualized program plans are made for each student to progress through the curriculum.  Each student is expected to maintain a current plan in order for course needs can be anticipated.  The program takes a minimum of two years full-time study; it can be taken on a part-time basis within a maximum of a seven year time frame.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Curriculum – (Total 42 Credits)

Courses for all clinical tracks: (15 Credits) --  * Course should be taken early in program.

*Nursing 558 - Paradigms and Perspectives of Advanced Practice Nursing
(3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs) Fall (F), Spring (S), & check course offering for Summer Session III (SS)

*Nursing 559 - Nursing in a Sociopolitical Environment (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs) F & S, & check course offering for SS III  

Nursing 649 - Transforming Advanced Practice Roles (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs)
F & SS III, 
Pre-requisites: Nsg 558, 559, and 1 year RN experience (2,000 hours).

Research Courses (6 Crs.) -- Recommended pre-requisites - Nsg 558 & a clinical course.

Nursing 508 - Nursing Research Methods (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs) F & S,
Pre-requisites: Statistics, Nsg 558, Nsg 559

Nursing 611 - Research Seminar (3 crs.) F & S, Pre-requisites: Nsg 508

Cognate Course (3 Credits)

*Biology 560 - Advanced Human Pathophysiology (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs)  F & S

Nursing Elective Course (3 Credits)  Recommend students work with academic advisor.

Supporting Courses (9 Credits)

Gerontology 510 – Mind/Body/Aging (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs), F only,
Pre-requisite: Nsg 558

Nursing 622 - Advanced Pharmacology in Acute and Chronic Care
(3 crs. = Theory - 37.5 hrs) S only,
Pre-requisite: Bio 560/Bio 553 

Nursing 636 - Health, Healing and Self-Care
(3 crs. = Theory - 2.5 crs. - 31 hrs; Clinical - 0.5 cr. – 20 hrs),
F & S,
Pre-requisite: Nsg 558, Nsg 559

Clinical Courses (9 Credits) 

Nursing 619 - Diagnostic Health Assessment
(3 crs. = Theory - 1.5 crs. – 19.5 hrs; Clinical - 1.5 crs. – 40 hrs),
F only,
Pre-requisite: Bio 560/Bio 553 & 1 year RN experience (2,000 hours)

Successful completion of a Health Assessment Examination is required for entry into Nsg 619 (fee).   Nsg 619 is required as pre-requisite for all subsequent clinical courses

Nursing 621A - Adult and Geriatric Health Care (3 crs. Theory - 37.5 hrs) S only, Prerequisites: Nsg 558, 619, 622

Nursing 621B - Adult and Geriatric Health Care (3 crs. = 6 hr clinical seminar; Internship (a minimum of 200 hrs), F only, Pre-requisite: Nsg 621A

Functional Area Course (3 Credits) – Nurse Practitioner

Nursing 623 – Individualized Study in Advanced Clinical Nursing Practice
(3 crs. = Theory - 12.5 hr clinical
seminar; Internship - a minimum of 280 hrs), F & S, Pre-requisites: Nsg 621A & B 

Students in the Gerontology track will be expected to complete an additional 40 clinical hours in Nursing 623 (Total = 280 clinical Hrs.)