School of Nursing - LSU Health New Orleans

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.         What is the difference between the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) and the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner?

A1.         There are a few primary differences between the two NP roles:

  1. The AGACNP has one population of focus – Adults (young, middle, and older adults).
  2. The AGACNP is prepared to comprehensively care for the adult patient with complex disease states. This means the depth of acute on chronic pathophysiology and biology is applied to the care and management of the adult population.
  3. The AGACNP is educated to differentiate between the care for patients 13 years and older. The needs of pediatric populations are not a part of the curriculum.

For more information differentiating these roles, please read the National Organization of NP Faculty statement related to this topic.


Q2.         Can the AGACNP work within a primary care setting with the role certification of an “Acute Care” NP?

A2.         Yes, the role was not developed to limit the NP from working within certain practice settings. The role was developed to prepare the NP to comprehensively care for patients with new acute conditions or acute exacerbations of chronic conditions in any setting.

For more information related to this topic, please read the AGACNP competencies.


Q3.         Does the AGACNP have to work within the hospital?

A3.         No, the Role and Population foci of the NP does not limit the setting in which the NP can practice.

For more information related to this topic, please read the National Organization of NP Faculty statement.


Q4.         Can the AGACNP work within nursing homes?

A4.         Absolutely. The AGACNP is not bound by the healthcare setting.

For more information related to this topic, please read the National Organization of NP Faculty statement.


Q5.         Can the AGACNP work within Emergency Departments if Pediatrics is not a part of the curriculum?

A5.         Yes. The AGACNP’s practice is licensed and certified to diagnose, treat, and manage populations 13 years and older.  Thus, if the Medical Staff or ED physician’s group specifically wants a NP for the fast track area, pediatric populations must be excluded from the AGACNP’s credentialing.
                Also, the skills and competencies the AGACNP are equipped with are excellent for emergency environments.

For more information related to this topic, please read the AGACNP competencies.


Q6.         If I am licensed and certified with another NP population (e.g. Women’s Health NP) and earned a Master’s degree, may I enroll in the post-Master’s DNP program and different NP concentration to become dual-certified?

A6.         Absolutely, your academic Advisor will review your transcript to remove the transferrable courses to customize those required for certification in a different NP population; and those required for the DNP degree.


Q7.         Do I have to be a Registered Nurse to enroll in the BSN-DNP AGACNP program?

A7.         Yes. This role of Advanced Practice Nursing is designed to be built the role of the Registered Nurse (Nurse Generalist) with a focus on the adult population experiencing acute and acute on chronic illness.


Q8.         Why do I need one year of nursing experience within an acute care environment if the AGACNP can practice in any care setting?

A8.         Good question. The expectation for the AGACNP is to be equipped to handle complex illness (which ranges from complex chronic illness to critical illness) in a timely manner. The RN generalist must have exposure to such disease states before entry into an advanced nursing role. The acute care environment provides the most exposure to such illnesses.


Q9.         Can I work full-time while enrolled as a full-time student in this program?

A9.         Yes. The workload is manageable per the majority of students. However, each student must decide, giving consideration to each student’s personal circumstances (work, care of children, residential distance from school, care of elder loved ones, etc.), what is manageable. Program faculty are aware and consider the graduate student is often a working, and often-times, parenting student.


Q10.       Can I enroll part-time some semesters and full-time other semesters?

A10.       Yes. Each student’s academic Advisor will work with the student for an individual plan of study.


Q11.       What is the hybrid format for learning? Does that mean online?

A11.       Yes. The hybrid format is a mixture of on-line and in-person learning. Courses within the Core DNP curriculum may have different frequencies for meeting on campus.


Q12.       How often will I have to come on campus?

A12.       During the core AGACNP course work, the student will be expected to be on campus no more than once or twice per month for a maximum total of six times per semester.


Q13.       Why do I need a DNP degree to meet the requirements for licensure and certification as an AGACNP?

A13.       The LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing faculty aligns the program with the national agenda towards all advanced practice nurses (APN) being prepared with a terminal, or doctoral, degree. For the AGACNP, the DNP degree equips you to critically appraise current research and guidelines to extract the best evidence and apply it to practice. The DNP degree equips the AGACNP professional with the skills and competencies to lead change as a clinical expert.

Please read the DNP Fact Sheet and DNP Talking Points to learn more about its impact upon APN practice


Q14.       Will I be able to get a job after graduation?

A14.       Absolutely. Of course, AGACNP program faculty cannot guarantee you a job. However, we will work closely with you to facilitate that process and transition the student into practice.


Q15.       If I started my NursingCAS application a few months ago, may I use the same data entered for the application for the next enrollment period?

A15.       Absolutely. That information populates for the purpose of transferring it among institutional applications.

If you are ready to complete and submit your application now, click here to go to the NursingCAS site.


Q16.       If I am currently enrolled in a Master’s of Nursing program, may I transfer into the BSN-DNP AGACNP concentration?

A16.       Yes. Each student’s transcript and ability to meet the admission criteria will be reviewed on an individual basis for admission. There are some circumstances the transfer student may have to be admitted under the condition of meeting all admission criteria within a specified time period.