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AGNP-PC Overview

The mission of the University of Iowa Adult/Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program (AG-PCNP) is to educate nurses through didactic and clinical experiences to enable them to successfully enter into an adult/geriatric primary care practice. Currently AG-PCNP students at the University of Iowa College of Nursing receive didactic and clinical experiences that focus on care of adult and geriatric individuals which makes them eligible to be nationally board certified. University of Iowa DNP-AG-PCNP graduates are prepared to be leaders within the profession and U.S. health care system.

Program Design
Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum is designed to provide nurses doctorate graduate level education and clinical experience to become an Adult/Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Successful students will graduate with a DNP degree and be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or AANP Certification Exam. We have both a three- and four-year BSN to DNP program. We also offer a two-year Post MSN/NP DNP program for APRNs that would like to become certified as a AG-PCNP as well as receiving a DNP, a two- or three-year  post APRN to DNP and a two-year (4 semester) post graduate AG-PCNP certificate. At Iowa we also offer a dual certification which allows graduates to be certified as an AG-PCNP and one other APRN specialization. The dual certification is also four years.

Benefits of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) has recommended the DNP as the graduate degree of choice for advanced practice nurses. The University of Iowa College of Nursing was one of the first in the nation to receive approval for the DNP from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2009.

In a landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommended that “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training; and, be full partners in redesigning health care in the United States.” The DNP degree will allow AGNP-PCs to be full partners in the developing health care system of the future and provide the high quality, cost-efficient care for which they are known.

Program Sequence
The curriculum follows the University of Iowa academic calendar. You will receive a week off at Thanksgiving, a month for winter break, and a week at Spring break and two weeks between the spring and summer terms as well as summer and fall terms.

The University of Iowa AG-PCNP program from BSN to DNP will involve either 3- or 4-years of intense academic study and clinical experience (see plans of study). The curriculum is a hybrid model (both on-site and online coursework) designed to be completed in either a three- or four-year period, starting each August.

The initial portion of the plans of study provides you with courses that provide a solid foundation in advance nursing practice where you will learn from experts in various specializations. You will follow your cohort through the entire program but in these first two years you will be introduced and develop relationships with others in the Pediatric, Family and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner tracks. This foundation will prepare you for the 3rd year of clinical training and for future practice as a full partner in the future health system.

The middle and final portions begins your intense specialized training in the AG-PCNP field. During the fall, spring and summer semesters you will be required to receive at least 180 clinical hours each term along with didactic training. At the University of Iowa, you will receive exceptional clinical training in varied setting to include outpatient, specialty clinic and other areas that may be of interest to you across the state of Iowa. The DNP-AG-PCNP program at Iowa also matches you with your preceptors and arranges your clinical experience through the expertise of Angela Melsa-Worrell, clinical coordinator, and Dr. Larry Newman, Director. You will be guided through the program and clinical experiences working toward graduation in which you will have the skills to practice autonomously as an AG-PCNP.

In the spring semester before graduation AG-PCNP students defend their DNP projects. Sample projects can be found here

The University of Iowa AG-PCNP program also offers a plan of study to receive post certification in Adult/Geriatric Primary Care for those wanting a second APRN certification. This program is a hybrid program. The plan of study starts in June and finishes in the summer of your second year (4 semesters total). Successful completion of this track will enable this individual to be board certified as an AG-PCNP. During this training you are provided the same didactic and clinical experience as BSN to DNP students are provided along with being given credit for all the experience and credits you received with your initial APRN certification.

The University of Iowa Adult/Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program also offers a hybrid Post MSN/APRN to DNP plan of study for APRNs that would like to become certified as a AG-PCNP as well as receiving a DNP, and an on-line Post MSN/APRN to DNP program for AG-PCNP providers with a master's degree who want to complete their DNP.  

The University of Iowa is also excited to offer plans of study for Dual Certification with AG-PCNP specialization. This is an extremely intense plan of study where an eligible person could be ready for board certification in Adult/Geriatric Primary Care specialization along with one of the following specialization: Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric/Mental Health specializations. This is done in four years and graduates with a DNP as well. Due to the intensity of this plan of study it is recommended that the individual who undertakes this feat would solely focus on their academic and clinical training; however, the individuals who complete this dual certification would be allowed to define their practices as they see fit. They would also be known for their level expertise in more than just one area of specialization. These individuals would be defined by their exceptionalism.

The academic and clinical experience you receive in the Iowa DNP AG-PCNP program surpasses all requirements of the ANCC and AANP to sit for the national Adult/Geriatric Primary Care board exam. The Iowa program has a strong reputation for preparing remarkable AG-PCNP clinicians who can practice throughout the state of Iowa and across the nation. The future is bright for AG-PCNPs in the U.S. health care system and very bright for Iowa DNP AG-PCNPs who are prepared to be leaders within that system.