Apr 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Nursing - Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (BAGS/DGNS) - DNP


Grad Nursing - AGCNS DNP Image


72 credits

3.0 GPA required.

C grade or better required.

There are three tracks to obtain a DNP:

  • BS to DNP (BAGS): students with a bachelor’s who are pursuing a doctorate
  • Post-Master’s DNP New Role (DGNS): students with a master’s who are pursuing a doctorate and want to change professional roles
  • Post-Master’s DNP No Role Change (DGNS): students with a master’s who are pursuing a doctorate and do not desire a professional role change

A Plan of Study is available on the Doctor of Nursing Practice website.

Description of Program (DNP)


Graduates of the DNP programs are prepared for a variety of advanced nursing roles such as nurse leaders, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared for the highest level of clinical nursing practice.

Nursing science core courses, taken by all graduate students, build on students’ baccalaureate nursing knowledge to integrate scientific underpinnings for practice, understand nursing information management and decision making, and advocate for health promotion. Students develop evidence-based knowledge and skills to enhance the quality and safety of health care while demonstrating leadership and professionalism. Courses within the selected programs of Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ; Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist ; Family Nurse Practitioner ; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ; Nursing Leadership ; or Nursing Leadership: Practice and Leadership Innovations  provide specialized knowledge and practice opportunities in each advanced nursing role. A unique feature of this program is the targeted emphasis on the nurse’s use of advanced knowledge and skills of health promotion with individuals, families, and systems in diverse populations to address health care needs within complex environments.

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS)


Students in the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) program are prepared for the multi-faceted role of clinical nurse specialist with the adult-gerontology population. AGCNS students will demonstrate direct care (including prescriptive authority), consultation, systems leadership, collaboration, coaching, and research competencies and influence direct patient/client care, the practice of other nurses and nursing personnel, and healthcare systems/organization outcomes. Graduates are prepared for eligibility for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification exam or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Exam.

A minimum of 1,000 clinical/practicum hours are required for all graduates of a DNP program.

Traditional Track (BS to DNP) (BAGS)


Students with a bachelor’s degree who are pursuing a doctorate.

1080 Clinical Hours (1 clinical credit = 60 hours of contact time)

(BS to DNP) Electives (9 credits)


Choose any 9 credits at 600/700-level.

Post-Master’s DNP (MS to DNP) (DGNS) (32 credits)


A total of 72 credits are required for a DNP. This program provides 32 credits. Students receive credit for completion of their master’s degree.

Students who have graduated from a nationally accredited graduate program in nursing with a master’s degree may pursue a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

There are two tracks for AGCNS applicants who wish to pursue a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Both tracks include pre-admission requirements and DNP Nursing Science Core Courses.

(MS to DNP) Required Courses for Tracks 1 & 2


(MS to DNP) Choose One Track: New Role or No Role Change


Students who desire a DNP and a role change should select Track 1. Students who desire a DNP without a role change should select Track 2.

Track 1 (MS to DNP): AGCNS New Role


Students who have a master’s or doctoral degree from a nationally accredited graduate program in nursing and wish to become eligible for certification as an AGCNS can earn a DNP and prepare for certification as an AGCNS.

This program provides 840 clinical hours. The remaining clinical/practicum hours may come from a previous master’s degree (appropriateness determined by faculty), or additional clinical/practicum courses may be necessary to achieve the 1,000 clinical hours requirement for DNP. Students complete the DNP Core courses and the AGCNS Role courses.

Track 2 (MS to DNP): No Role Change


This program provides nurses who already have graduate degree nursing preparation as an Adult (ACNS) or Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) and are certified or eligible for certification as an AGCNS the opportunity to acquire a DNP.

Students following Track 2 complete the DNP Nursing Science Core Courses which provide 480 clinical hours. The remaining clinical/practicum hours and/or course credits may come from a previous graduate degree (e.g. CNS role courses) (appropriateness determined by faculty), and/or program pre-requisites, or additional clinical/practicum courses may be necessary to achieve the 1,000 clinical hours requirement for DNP.