AGNPs focus on ongoing care and support for adult patients age 13 and above. However, they primarily work with the elderly, which entails a number of different tasks. AGNPs provide routine checkups and diagnosis while also giving needed counsel and education, for all health-related matters. This is all in the service of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention plans, in order to avoid future complications. WIth an aging population and an increase in chronic conditions, AGNPs are well set up for future success.
Tasks and responsibilities
Your specific duties will depend heavily on what track you specialize in, as well as the focus of your facility. Generally speaking, most AGNPs can expect to carry out the following responsibilities:
Diagnosing acute chronic conditions and providing necessary treatment
Ordering diagnostic tests, evaluating the results and interpreting their implications
Going through patient symptoms, history of health to accurately diagnose and create all-encompassing treatment plans.
Tracking the progress of treatment plans, and making changes when necessary
Prescribing medication, thoroughly informing patients on potential side effects and giving detailed dosage and consumption instructions.
Taking the time to educate both patients and caregivers on how to manage their health conditions, whether chronic or acute.
AGNPs can choose to focus on acute or primary care, depending on their preferences. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-ACNP) specialize in immediate treatment for illnesses. On a typical work day, they usually evaluate patients and stabilize their conditions when necessary. They can also prescribe helpful medication and carry out certain operations. They can be found primarily in hospitals or other inpatient settings.
Meanwhile, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-PCNP) create long term strategies for disease prevention and health management. As such, they primarily focus on educating patients and their families on living healthy lifestyles and managing chronic health issues. You can find these individuals in private practices, community care facilities and other long term care facilities.
At the time of writing, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) places the median salary for nurse practitioners at $117,670 per year. Actual salary can range $82,460 to $184,180, depending on multiple factors. While this number accounts for all NPs, it lines up with Glassdoor’s estimated AGNP salary of $117,83 per year.
Salary Range, According to Experience
Like with most HCP jobs, AGNP salary is heavily dependent on experience. The more years of work you have, the higher your income. Payscale provides an estimate for each range, which are as follows:
Entry Level (Less than 1 year): $88,812
1-4 Years: $90,954
5-9 Years: $102,047
10-19 Years: $95,501
No matter your employment situation, AGNPs tend to enjoy a host of strong professional benefits, including (but not limited to):
Reimbursement for Certification and CE Costs
Paid vacations and holidays
Insurance (Health, Vision, Dental, Life, etc)
Access to nursing conferences
Assistance with site relocation and relocation packages
Dependent health insurance coverage
Paid Leave (Family Leave of Absence, Maternity, Bereavement)
How to become a Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Becoming an AGNP requires a huge personal and professional investment. All in all, the AGNP route will take around 10 years. For those who can commit, you have to go through the following steps:
Step 1: Become a Registered Nurse
To become an RN, you need to by completing an accredited BSN or ADN nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN. For ADN Nurses, you either need to complete your BSN or enroll in an accelerated RN to MSN program that lets you earn your BSN and MSN simultaneously.
Step 2: Acquire relevant nursing experience.
You can opt to skip this step, but most AGNP programs require at least two years.
Step 3: Earn either your MSN or DNP
The next step is to complete an accredited MSN or DNP program. This will typically take three years to finish.
Step 4: Pass the national examination to become a certified nurse practitioner.
As for the matter of certification, aspiring AGNPs can choose from a number of options:
The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) Certification is provided by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC) Certification.
Finally, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC) certification is also brought to you by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
No matter what you pick, the requirements for all three are fairly identical:
Active Nursing License from the US
Finishing a graduate nursing program that is accredited
Nationally recognized competencies of the NP role and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care or Family/Across the Life Span population specialty.
Advanced physical assessment
Completing all the faculty supervised, direct patient care clinical hours from your NP program
Generally speaking, the BLS projects a 45% growth in employment for Nurse Practitioners between 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This roughly translates to 29,400 annual job openings within that timespan.
AGNPs in particular will remain extremely relevant because of the baby boomer population. As they age, AGNP demand will only continue to increase. On top of that, there will be an estimated 20,000 shortage in primary care physicians, according to the National Center for Workforce Analysis (NCHWA). Undoubtedly, AGNP is one of the most exciting specialities in an already promising Nurse Practitioner field.
Like with most HCPs, AGNPs are expected to stay on top of their continuing education and pay fees in order to keep their license active. Generally speaking, NPs are expected to complete at least 75 CE contact hours of education in their field of expertise.
Specifics will depend on your location, so you want to contact your local state board of nursing to inquire on the minimum CE hours required.