If you are a registered nurse and are looking for your next career step, you may have come across the opportunity to advance your skills as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, or AGPCNP for short. Depending on your previous experience and the kinds of roles you have already worked within, you may be wondering what an AGPCNP does, where they work, and how much they earn. If you are curious about potentially advancing your career and studying the unique set of skills required to become a successful AGPCNP, then continue reading. Here you will find information about the expectations of the role, how to study for it and what to expect when looking for vacancies.

What is Adult-Gerontology?

Adult-gerontology is the study of an adult human’s age process and the health implications of different life stages. For example, an AGPCNP would work with people of a wide variety of ages, from young adults to seniors. The kinds of treatment involved vary depending on the practitioner’s training. Still, they can extend across preventative to routine care of patients, either as in-patients or out-patients. However, a practitioner will tend to find themselves focusing more on one than the other.

What Are the Two Types of Adult-Gerontology Nursing?

There are two types of Adult-Gerontology Nursing, and they are divided by the type of care needed by the patients. Adult-Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner or AGACNP refers to the study and subsequent career of treating mostly in-patients with specialty needs. These can include emergencies, surgeries, critical care, and oncology. The other type of adult-gerontology nursing is called primary care, which encompasses helping patients stay on top of their chronic illnesses, improve their lifestyles, and prevent disease. Although there are similarities between the two types of care, they require different skills and usually different qualifications. Here you will learn more about becoming an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

Who Should Pursue This Career Path?

It is no secret that nursing is a demanding job that not everyone can step into with ease. There are people who have an attitude and a temperament better suited to this kind of career, whereas others might struggle to maintain their own wellbeing or sustain professional success. If you are considering the prospect of taking on the challenge to train as an AGPCNP, then you most likely aren’t afraid of pushing yourself to your limits. Only those with a strong resolve to help others and take in as much knowledge as possible should think about pursuing this type of career path.

What Lifestyle Can You Expect as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse?

If you do choose to train further and become a fully qualified AGPCNP, then it is important that you are aware of the lifestyle most people in this field adopt. Different careers come with lifestyle adjustments that those hoping to succeed must accept or work around. Since you will be caring for patients directly, you will need to be comfortable with managing your emotional response to difficult scenarios and using your leisure time to adequately support your own mental health needs. You may also need to travel to different locations; having your own transportation can make this much easier.

What Are the Main Challenges of the Role?

Any form of nursing comes with its fair share of difficulty, both physically and mentally. People who work within the field of nursing often report having to cope with high demands on their energy levels and needing to take enough breaks so they can recharge. As an AGPCNP, you will likely face stubbornness in patients when trying to educate them about their illness, anxiety from people afraid of medical procedures, and possible administrative challenges that ensure everything is recorded properly. If you are adept at maintaining a positive and helpful attitude, committing to a task until completion, and paying attention to the finer details, then this area could be right for you.

What Will You Study During the Program?

Once you have decided that studying to become an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, you will need to find an institution that offers the program you seek. While some schools might offer other types of nursing qualifications, not all will have a specific AGPCNP program on their list of subjects. You will most likely study through lecture and laboratory-formatted classes during your program. You will learn how to comprehensively assess a patient by building up a patient’s health history, conducting physical examinations, and detecting differences between what is normal and abnormal for a particular patient. You will also learn how to perform necessary procedures, provide follow-up care, and apply your knowledge to real-life situations. When you specifically study for primary care nursing, your studies will focus more on prevention and wellness than the acute care nursing program.

How to Apply to Study

The first step to becoming an AGPCNP is identifying the schools that offer your program. Once you have done this, look at their individual entry requirements, syllabus, teaching approach, and accreditations. You will want to make sure the program is offered at a timescale you are happy with, which may be part-time or full-time, depending on your other responsibilities. Some institutions also offer more than one start date, adding an extra layer of flexibility. It all depends on how rigid your current lifestyle and timetable are and how much change you can deal with while undergoing your studies.

Entry Requirements

You will need to meet the program’s entry requirements if you even want to consider applying for a place. This should be one of the first pieces of information you look for when scoping out a potential place of study. You will most likely need to have a Registered Nursing license, several years of relevant work experience, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. If you want to apply to study as an AGPCNP, then you will need to make sure you fulfill these requirements. They may differ between schools, so it’s important to check and compare.

Studying Online

You might find that there are very few or possibly no schools in your location that offer a specific AGPCNP program. If you are not prepared to move across the country, you can find excellent online schools to cater to your needs. The key is that you find an online AGPCNP MSN program that works for you. Online study can be an incredibly helpful method of obtaining your qualification since it allows you to learn while continuing with work. If this is how you intend to pursue your education, ensure you have the technology and equipment you need to study comfortably and effectively.

Finding Employment After Your Qualification

Once you have successfully completed your AGPCNP studies, it is time to look for a role where your new skills and knowledge can be put to good use. Fortunately, there is a high demand for adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners since modern medicine is leading to longer lifespans and an aging population. As more and more people grow older, there will need to be enough qualified nursing personnel available to treat them according to their medical needs. With a lot of care becoming community-focused, you might find yourself working outside of a hospital setting, visiting patients at home and supporting them in their own environments.

Where Do Adult-Gerontology Nurses Work?

Some practitioners work between various locations, such as hospitals, patients’ homes, nursing facilities, and other community or residential homes. While you may end up frequently traveling to visit regular patients in their own residences, you may also find yourself mostly centered at an out-patient hospital where you meet your patients for appointments. Your location will depend on your preferences, your manager’s preferences, and the needs of the community you’ll be serving.

What Are the Advantages of Becoming an AGPCNP?

As you can tell, becoming an AGPCNP is a lot of hard work, both as a student and as a fully trained nurse practitioner. This doesn’t mean, however, that the role has no perks or advantages. You will be able to enjoy the satisfaction of making a tangible positive difference in many people’s lives, as well as exercising your expertise in meaningful ways. Although all forms of nursing require strong will and determination, those who succeed often experience the highest levels of career satisfaction and overall fulfillment.

Should You Study to Become an AGPCNP?

If you have taken in the above information and are now more keen than ever to become an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, then you have the right attitude that will see you through. With the right entry requirements, you can find a school that offers your desired program, either in-person or online, so that you can study and train until you qualify to search for AGPCNP vacancies out in the world. If you have the right mindset, a positive attitude, confidence in your skills, and a willingness to learn, then don’t let anything hold you back from becoming an AGPCNP.