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*Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


If you are a registered nurse interested in providing primary health care to adults, the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PCNP) concentration offers a flexible and rewarding career path for you.  The VCU School of Nursing Adult-Gerontology PCNP concentration prepares nurses to diagnose and manage common acute and chronic health problems in adults, ranging from adolescence to the oldest old, through comprehensive physical and psychosocial assessments, use of decision-making/diagnostic reasoning processes, performance of advanced practice skills and procedures, and implementation of evidence-based treatment strategies, including health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Post-Baccalaureate Plan of Study

    Full- and part-time students begin in the fall.  Full-time students can complete all courses in five academic semesters.  Foundational courses during the first year of enrollment, provide advanced knowledge and skills in health assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, health promotion, and evidence-based practice.  The Adult-Gerontology PCNP specialty courses, beginning in the spring semester of the first year of enrollment, address primary care management as well as health promotion and disease prevention in adults across the lifespan.  Students are prepared to assume an expanded scope of practice that includes prescriptive authority along with advanced assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and collaborative management of the primary health care needs of adults.

    Students in the Adult-Gerontology PCNP concentration complete clinical rotations in settings that focus on the primary care health needs of adult-gerontology patients.  Students are directly supervised by qualified providers who have expertise in the primary care management of adult-gerontology patients and are committed to student education.  School of Nursing faculty strive to provide opportunities for students to work with diverse adult-gerontology patients, with an emphasis on providing care to underserved populations.
  • Post-Master’s Certificate Plan of Study

    The post-master’s certificate is designed for nurses who have already earned a master’s degree in nursing and wish to become a Adult-Gerontology PCNP.  The post-master’s certificate plan of study is tailored to meet the individual needs of students who plan to apply for certification as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and offers flexibility for those who work full time.


Students who successfully complete the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care PCNP concentration are eligible to apply for the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (APCNP-BC) certification exam given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner exam administered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Clinical Practice

Adult-Gerontology PCNPs focus on primary health care management, health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention with adult-gerontology patients.  Adult-Gerontology PCNPs complete health histories, conduct physical examinations, interpret results from laboratory and diagnostic tests, diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems in adult-gerontology patients, and prescribe and manage medications and other therapies.  They provide health teaching and coaching with an emphasis on building a relationship with the patient, which leads to improved health outcomes.  Adult-Gerontology PCNPs also provide leadership in quality improvement while providing culturally sensitive care.

Demand for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners are in high demand as Americans are growing older, living longer, and more likely to have health concerns.  Along with the growing need for primary care services in the U.S., recent health care reform initiatives have contributed to an increase in employment opportunities for the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in a variety of settings, included general private practices, public health clinics, and hospital-based outpatient clinics.  Additionally, many Adult-Geronotology PCNPs go on to develop expertise in sub-specialties areas like management of patients with diabetes, cancer, or heart conditions.  Beyond numerous employment opportunities, the benefits of becoming an Adult-Gerontology PCNP include the opportunity to practice in a rewarding and challenging field where you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients, their families and the community.

Adult-Gerontology PCNP Concentration CoordinatorLana Sargent

Lana Sargent, MSN, RN, FNP-C, GNP-BC


More information

The VCU Graduate Bulletin:

The Graduate School at Virginia Commonwealth University

The following websites provide additional information about the Adult-Gerontology PCNP specialty:

For additional information about the Adult-Gerontology PCNP concentration and questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Enrollment and Student Services (OESS) at VCU_Nurse@vcu.edu. or call 804-828-5171.

We look forward to working with you as you consider the educational opportunities at VCU School of Nursing.

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