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Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, A-GACNP


As an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GACNP), you'll be qualified to diagnose and treat patients with critical illnesses and complex conditions.

You'll be trained to manage chronic issues in adults and older adult patients and be prepared to guide patients in improving their overall health and preventing and treating disease.

  • Our program is offered in both full- and part-time settings through an online, in-class, or hybrid format.
  • Our students complete clinical requirements in our network of nationally-ranked clinical facilities throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
  • You'll experience a broad range of clinical settings including hospitals, care facilities, and hospital-to-clinic settings.
  • Clinical Placements coordinated by the University

Graduates of our program are eligible to take the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-AG) Certification offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The required 60-hour advanced pharmacology course exceeds the minimum required for prescriptive authority in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Full-time or part-time class schedules

  • Full-time students can complete the program in two calendar years
  • Part-time students can complete the program in three calendar years

Online, hybrid and in-class courses

  • Complete core courses completely online or in hybrid format
  • Advanced core and specialty/clinical courses are in a hybrid format

Admissions Requirements

MSN Admissions Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

  • An active registered nurse license or eligibility for licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. New Jersey licensure as a registered nurse is also required prior to beginning the clinical sequence for all MSN programs.

  • Evidence of the equivalent of 12 months full-time nursing practice within the last three (3) years

  • For the Post-Master's Certification Programs, evidence of a minimum of one (1) year of experience as a practicing licensed registered nurse within the past two (2) years

How to Apply

*For applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, completion of the GRE or MAT will be required to be considered for admission to the program

*For applicants born outside of the United States, where the official language is other than English, completion of the TOEFL will be required to be considered for admission to the program

Additional Requirements for the AGACNP

  • Evidence of the equivalent of two (2) years of full-time nursing practice in an adult acute care/ICU specialty area (i.e. medical/surgical ICU, trauma ICU, neuro/neurosurgical ICU, cardiac ICU, open heart unit, burn unit, etc.) within 18 months of application completion.
  • Should a prospective student apply to the A-GACNP program with less than 2 years of acute care/ICU nursing experience, they will be required to continue their work in the acute care/ICU setting to fulfill the two years of nursing practice experience required to progress through the program.
  • All admission to the A-GACNP program will be at the discretion of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator.


Here is a sampling of courses you'll take*:

Core Graduate Nursing Courses

  • NU 522: Health Policy, Organization, and Financing
  • NU 530: Applied Research
  • NU 538: Health Informatics, Quality and Safety

Advanced Practice Nursing Core Courses

  • NU 622: Advanced Physical Assessment
  • NU 626: Pathophysiology
  • NU 628: Advanced Pharmacology

Specialty/Clinical Courses

  • NU 735: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner I
  • NU 737: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner II
  • NU 739: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner III

A-GACNP Curriculum Summary

  • 13 Courses plus Portfolio
  • 50 credits
  • 75 Clinical Laboratory Hours
  • 675 Clinical Practicum Hours

*View all required courses and MSN program outcomes in the Graduate Catalog 


DeSales University is home to some of the most advanced simulation technology in a university setting.

Simulation captures the key characteristics and behaviors of real life clinical events and gives students the opportunity to practice clinical skills, repeat procedures, fine-tune processes, and observe the impact of their choices — all without harm to patients. 

The DeSales family of Human Patient Simulators (HPS)

HPS, also known as high-fidelity manikins, are life-like models of the human body with software/computer equipment components to mimic human bodily functions. The HSC maintains several HPSs, including a pregnant mother and new-born infant.

Clinical Skills Lab 

Our clinical skills suite provides both a 12 bed in-patient and a 12 bed out-patient practice environment. Students can practice a wide variety of clinical skills with low fidelity mannequins. Task Trainers help students gain expertise in technical procedures and clinical skills such as foley catheter placement or pelvic examination for undergraduate students and more advanced skills such as central line placement or peripheral IV insertion, for our graduate students.

Standardized Patient Program

This on-campus suite replicates a functioning healthcare office, complete with a waiting room, and 8 fully equipped examination rooms. Standardized Patients are real people who are specially-trained to portray different patient scenarios, where they are treated as real patients by DeSales students. They actively participate in the instruction, practice, and assessment of the physical examination skills of our students, nurses, and physician assistants. Become a standardized patient 

Education Management

Our Education Management Solutions, Inc. system (EMS) provides a comprehensive solution for the labs;. Digital AV software and hardware allow faculty to capture both the simulations and standardized patient environments for further review. The results provide a digital video record of individual and team performance, which assist in evaluating a student’s performance when faced with realistic clinical challenges.

Simulation Lab in Gambet Center at DeSales The labs in the Gambet Center are outfitted with audio-video technology as well as integrated simulation management and skills evaluation software to allow the instructors to manage clinical skills training and patient exam protocols.

Video: See the Sim Center in Action  


Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are as follows.

  • Tuition/credit hour: $840
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Re-admission Fee: $50
  • Graduation Fee: $120
  • Laboratory Fee*: $250
  • Returned Check Service: $30
*Laboratory fees are due on registration for: NU 551, NU 552, NU 553, NU 622, NU 625, NU 711, NU 712, NU 713, NU 715, NU 717, NU 719, NU 729, NU 731, NU 735, NU 737, NU 739, NU 742, NU 743, NU 744

Online Learning at DeSales

Attending classes from an off-campus location can be an excellent option for many busy students. Distance education at DeSales encompasses everything from video conference courses to hybrid (a combination of in-class and online) to online courses. 

Blackboard Learn™ is our online learning system.

Learn About Online Learning at DeSales

CCNE Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at DeSales University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

CCNE - Accredited

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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)