About one in five Americans will be 65 years old or older by 2030, according to projections compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Ten million Americans currently require long-term care, and that number is expected to increase to 15 million by 2020.  What’s more, there’s only one board-certified geriatrician per 2,620 Americans aged 75 and up. This gap is projected to widen significantly to 3,798 per geriatrician by 2030. The growing demands of an aging population that’s living longer has created an ideal climate for clinical professionals looking to enter the field of geriatrics. 
These crucial gaps in care for older patients in the U.S. can be filled by well-educated, experienced nurse practitioners (NPs), according to the Institute of Medicine’s report on the future of nursing.  It calls for nurses to practice at the highest and fullest extent of their skills. Adult-geriatric nurse practitioner (AGNP) programs are designed to educate registered nurses (RNs) to the master’s level, preparing them for national certification, further study, or teaching.
Statistics indicate it’s a great time to become a nurse practitioner. The number of NPs is projected to grow 35% from 2014 to 2024 — an increase way above the 7% national average.  This equates to around 44,700 new NP jobs nationwide, across a range of fields and clinical settings.
The population is aging fast. According to the U.S. Census Bureau there were approximately 44.7 million people over age 65 in 2013.  That’s around 14% of the total U.S. population. That number is projected to exceed 71 million by 2030.  With an aging population comes increasingly complex health care issues, yet just 4% of NPs pursue certification as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. 
AGNPs are increasingly seen working with underserved populations, helping to provide health care in a diverse range of settings, often without physician supervision. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15,600 new health educators and community health worker roles from 2014 to 2024 to meet this growing need. The top five states to work as an NP are: 
AGNPs can be found in a wide range of clinical settings, including: 
The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.
Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.
You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.
Note that your time to completion also may vary based on the number of clinical hours your program requires you to complete. This could range from 500 hours to about 1,000.
While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework, standardized test scores, a personal statement or essay, letters of recommendation, and an overview of relevant work experience.
In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.
For more information about admissions, please visit our admission requirements page.
Undertaking your master’s degree is a big commitment, both academically and financially. It’s important to do your research to make sure your educational plan is a good match for your desired outcome.
The following two master’s degrees touch on the same topics and learning outcomes as an AGNP, but they offer a different focus or specialization. As you do your research, consider learning more about these degrees to see whether they might be a better fit for your goals and interests.
There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.
For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.
There are two tracks for those who choose to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner:
This specialization is designed for registered nurses who wish to focus their nursing career on the needs of young adults, adults, and older adults.
The MSN with an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner concentration can help nurses and prospective nurses gain the competencies required to provide care and improve outcomes for patients throughout their adulthood. The program focuses on teaching skills related to disease prevention, treatment of trauma, emergency care, and more. 
In order to become certified as either an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), a master’s degree is required.
When choosing your MSN with an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner concentration, you may want to consider some of the following criteria:
Typical requirements to become admitted to an accredited MSN in Adult-Gerontology program include:
Whether you will need to complete the GRE prior to applying for a program will largely depend on what school you have chosen. There are many programs that do not require a GRE. Check the admissions requirements for your school before applying.
Subjects that you can expect to cover in the core classes of a typical MSN with an AGNP concentration include:
If you choose to pursue a specialty in acute or primary care, your core courses may be adjusted to address relevant competencies.
The typical length of an MSN in Adult-Gerontology degree is two years for students who study full-time. Your time to completion may be extended if you choose to study part-time, but this could give you the flexibility to help you work or address personal responsibilities while you stuyd.
Yes, most programs require clinical experience. In order to sit for board certification, successful completion of clinical coursework in a graduate program of study is required. The ANCC requires at least 500 faculty-supervised AGNP clinical hours in order to become certified. 
Yes. There are several online programs available through which you can complete this degree. Many programs will provide coursework online and allow you to fulfill your clinical requirement in your community.
Online and on-campus degrees typically look identical. Most institutions do not indicate on the degree that it was earned online.
In most graduate degree programs, the online and campus-based programs are closely aligned. The didactic portion of the program is typically very similar, if not the same. The clinical portion will depend on the program. For example, an on-campus program may choose a specific location for clinical experiences, where others allow students to choose a clinical site in their community that is then vetted by the institution.
Asynchronous coursework can be completed on your own time — a big plus for many online graduate students who may be working around a busy work schedule or home life. Synchronous coursework has to be completed within a set timeframe. This is typically done for group projects, seminars, presentations, and other learning initiatives that require multiple attendees.
The elements of asynchronous and synchronous learning in your online program depend on the professor and the course. Once you enroll, reach out to teachers for specifics, but remember that the curriculum may be divided into these two subsets.
Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioners earn on average $92,410 per year, according to AANP’s 2015 National NP Compensation Survey.  Below find common job titles and average salaries for MSN in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner degree holders:
According to the United States Census Bureau, there were approximately 44.7 million people over the age of 65 in 2013. That’s 14% of the total U.S. population. Yet only 4% of nurse practitioners pursue Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner certification. 
In addition to this growing aging population, an Adult-Gerontology NP can also specialize to care for adults and young adults (13 and up), increasing the range of patient impact. This helps to broaden your skills at a time when the nurse practitioner field itself is expanding. The amount of active nurse practitioners is projected to grow by 31% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than the national average for other occupations. 
Common settings in which master’s in AGNP graduates typically find employment include:
No, attaining management/senior positions is not guaranteed through the completion of a master’s degree. These positions often require many years of experience and a significant level of career achievement. However, an advanced degree can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for these positions and also prove your dedication to the field.
There are two main accrediting bodies for nursing education: The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)  and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). 
Accreditation information can typically be found on each program’s website, and you can typically confirm accreditation by checking the list of accredited schools at an an accrediting body’s website. In the case of the AGNP programs, visit the CCNE or NLNAC websites to confirm.  
Accreditations are a strong indication of quality, but are also required for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation ensures that your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations, and other accredited institutions of higher education.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) applies only to distance education programs in the United States that cross state lines. This agreement is made between member states and establishes comparable postsecondary national standards for distance education courses. 
Not every state is a SARA member. Through SARA, member states only have to receive authorization in their home state. Without SARA, non-member states would have to receive authorization in their home state and the state of each of their online students. 
Every school has a department or team responsible for online education. This department will be able to answer questions regarding compliance for your home state. Additionally, you can locate the school through SARA (if it is a SARA institution) to confirm compliance. 
Generally there are supplementary costs apart from tuition. For example, the tuition does not usually include the cost of books or additional fees. These additional costs will vary from program to program.
Yes. The largest provider of student financial aid in the nation is the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office. It supplies college-level or career school students with loans, grants, and work-study funds. You can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
There are numerous other scholarships available, but you will need to research which opportunities you’re qualified to pursue. Many states, associations, websites, and businesses award scholarships based on specific criteria. Be sure to do your research and apply for any scholarships for which you qualify.