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Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Postdoctoral Certificate Curriculum

Program Objectives 

Our postdoctoral certificate helps advanced practice nurses with doctoral degrees gain training in acute care adult populations.

All of the coursework prepares you to provide care to the full spectrum of acute care illness.

During clinical rotations, some students prefer to concentrate in a particular area such as cardiology, neurosurgery or trauma. Others want a broader clinical experience.

We will work with you to create clinical experiences that provide you with the best preparation for your professional goals. 

Graduation Requirements 

You must complete 12-28 term hours for graduation, depending on your area of focus. This includes a practicum and a residency. 

A total of 504 direct care clinical hours are required. You will work closely with your adviser to establish professional goals and objectives for your clinical experiences.  

You will also work collaboratively with faculty to arrange clinical experiences.

Clinical experiences occur in a wide variety of settings, with a focus on managing a caseload of acutely or critically ill patients. 

Practicum sites include the following:

  • Acute inpatient hospital units and specialty clinics 
  • Emergency departments 
  • General and specialty intensive care units 
  • Specialty acute care practices, such as cardiology, neurosurgery and bone marrow transplant 
  • Subacute care institutions 



After completing the program, you are eligible for the following:

  • Certification as an Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center of the American Nurses Association
  • State licensure and certification where available

Course Curriculum

All plans of study are individualized to the student. Additional courses may be required based on your previous graduate coursework. 

The following are prerequisite graduate-level coursework (or equivalent) to be completed prior to, or as part of, the program.  

These courses may be from an APRN graduate program from another institution or completed at RUSH University.  

A gap analysis and individualized program of study will be completed for each matriculating student. 

  • Advanced pathophysiology 
  • Advanced pharmacology/applied pharmacology 
  • Advanced health assessment across the life span 
  • Diagnostics for the APRN 
  • Transition to the APRN role 
  • Health promotion 


Specialty curriculum content

  • NSG - 570A Pharmacotherapeutics Acute Care (Credits: 3) 
  • NSG - 571A Management: Adult/Gerontology I (Credits: 3) 
  • NSG - 571C Management: Adult/Gerontology Acute and Critical Illness I (Credits: 4) 
  • NSG - 571D Management: Adult/Gerontology Acute and Critical Illness II (Credits: 2) 
  • NSG - 572 Quality & Safety for the Aging Adult (Credits: 3) 

Subtotal: 15 


Specialty practica 

  • NSG - 606 DNP Specialty Practicum (Credits: 1-12) 
    • Credit hours: 1, clock hours: 84 
  • NSG - 607 DNP Immersion Residency (Credits: 1-14) 
    • Credit hours: 5, clock hours: 420 

Subtotal: 6 

Note: Additional practicum hours may be required by the area of concentration and/or individual student needs. 

Total: 21 


View the current course catalog

Refer to the course catalog for our most up-to-date curriculum information.