A Look at a Career in Adult Gerontology

For nurses who enjoy clinical work with adult patients and want to gain specialized skills caring for this population, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner online program may be an ideal fit. Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioners (AGACNPs) are employed in various settings, including private practice. An AGACNP role is also one of the highest-paid nursing positions in the profession with a broad scope of practice.

What Does an AGACNP Do?

AGACNPs are advanced practice registered nurses certified to provide healthcare to adults aged 13 years and older with acute and chronic health conditions. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), “the primary role of the AGACNP is to care for patients with complex, acute conditions. Many AGACNPs practice in intensive care, trauma or acute care units.” This includes interpreting diagnostic test results such as ECGs, lab results and diagnostic imaging results, to name a few.

AGACNPs also facilitate the transfer of patients to different levels of care both within and outside the hospital. Long-term care facilities and specialized clinics also hire AGACNPs to provide multifaceted care.

They are also responsible for monitoring adults and geriatric patients with complex conditions and developing a detailed care plan. In addition to clinical practice, these professionals are also involved in research, administrative and teaching roles.

What Is the Job Demand for AGACNPs?

In early 2019, there were an estimated 270,000 NPs in the U.S., and 2.9% of these practitioners were AGACNPs.

Job demand for NPs is high and growing quickly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a significant job growth rate of 45% for NPs, midwives and nurse anesthetists between 2019 and 2029. This expected growth is due to an increased demand for healthcare services for the aging baby boomer population as well as preventive care services. Arizona and Florida have the highest need for these NPs due to the large population of retirees.

How Much Do AGACNPs Earn?

2020 national data of nurse practitioners (NPs) revealed that full-time AGACNPs earn a median income of $113,000 every year. This includes base salary, incentive payments, productivity bonuses and other related pay. This very closely mirrors the average salary for acute care NPs reported by ZipRecruiter in January 2021 at $117,066/year or $56/hr.

Why Consider a Career as an AGACNP?

There are many career incentives for students interested in becoming an adult gerontology acute nurse practitioner. AGACNPs learn advanced nursing skills to work in tertiary care facilities that provide trauma care, critical care and acute care. These professionals also have the opportunity to work with adults aged between teen years and the end of life, managing both acute and chronic conditions.

Programs like the MSN AG-ACNP online at Youngstown State University allow nurses to continue working while pursuing their MSN and NP certification. With one of the highest salaries in the nursing profession and excellent job growth rates for the next 10 years, this career path presents students with several compelling benefits.

If you like nursing in the acute care environment and working with adults but want to advance your career and education, the AGACNP role is worth considering. With a bright career outlook due to an aging population, the need for more AGACNPs continues to grow year after year.

Learn more about YSU’s online Master of Science in Nursing – Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners:
Are You Considering a Career as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?
More Than 290,000 Nurse Practitioners Licensed in the United States
NP Fact Sheet

Nurse.org: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

Nurses Get Certified: The Ins and Outs of Being an AG-ACNP

Teach.com: What is an AGACNP?

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

ZipRecruiter: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary

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