Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Post-Master’s)

Program Location
Distance Education/Online
Program Credits
29 Credits
Program Length
5 Trimesters, 80 Instructional Weeks
Time to Complete
20 Months

Total program length may vary.  WCU distance education programs are delivered out of the Orange County and Online Texas campuses, and may not be available to residents in all states.  

Clinical Hour Requirement:  this track requires a total of 500 precepted clinical hours.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code: 29-1170.00


Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's) Program must:  

  1. Have graduated from an accredited master's or doctoral program in nursing.
  2. Have a cumulative graduate GPA of 2.7
    1. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 to 2.69 may be considered for probationary admission after meeting the following admissions requirements:   
      1. The applicant must provide a letter of intent. 
      2. The applicant must be approved for admission following an interview with the Program Dean/Director.
      3. The applicant must satisfy program prerequisites and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all coursework attempted over the first trimester (two terms).  Students failing to meet these requirements following the first trimester (two terms) will be withdrawn from the university.  
  3. Provide proof of current unobstructed professional licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States.
  4. Minimum of one (1) year of RN experience in direct care prior to entering APRN core courses.
  5. Pre-requisite coursework:  Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Physical Assessment within the last five (5) years. 

Admissions Requirements (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Tracks only)

In addition to the admissions requirements above, applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) tracks must also meet the following admissions requirements:

  1. Recommendation for admission by the Program Dean/Director and admission committee members. Past academic performance and professional achievements will be evaluated using a rubric to determine the applicant’s level of qualification.
  2. Submission of a written essay that addresses the applicant’s career goals and motivations for APRN study.
  3. Submission of a current Curriculum Vitae.  
  4. All applicants may be contacted for a personal interview with the Program Dean as needed based on the submitted application.  
  5. Applications are expected to be complete and submitted 60 days prior to the first day of instruction. Applications received after the application deadline will be considered for admission on a space available basis.  
  6. Students who have taken an outside or generalist Advanced Health/Physical Assessment course (or its equivalent) within five (5) years must participate in the On-site Intensive (OSI) weekend for Advanced Health/Physical Assessment course and must pass the Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) to receive credits. Students who do not pass the OSCE must repeat the APRN Advanced Health/Physical Assessment course at West Coast University.  
  7. Students who have previously taken an outside or generalist Advanced Pharmacology which was not approved by the BRN for prescriptive authority will need to complete and pass a BRN-approved Advanced Pharmacology course/module (or equivalent) prior to the end of first term of matriculation to receive credits. 

APRN Progression Requirements

  1. In the APRN tracks, students must receive a grade of "B-" or better in all APRN track courses taken to progress.  Students will be allowed one (1) course failure (theory or clinical) with opportunity to repeat it. If the student fails the second time, the student will be dismissed from the APRN and may move to the MSN (non-APRN) program.
  2. An APRN student may be dismissed for the following reasons: Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the standards of the program; conduct reasons; or failure to meet program-specific grade and/or clinical requirements. 
  3. Due to the importance of the content of the three (3) Advanced Practice core courses (Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Health/Physical Assessment), they (or their equivalents) must have been completed within the last five (5) years with a grade of "B-" or better prior to starting APRN core courses. If more than five years has elapsed, they will need to repeat the courses.
  4. Students must demonstrate clinical competence prior to starting the APRN track clinical/practicum courses. Demonstration includes a focused history taking, physical examination and documentation of findings. Students who do not demonstrate clinical competence cannot be placed in a clinical practicum course.
  5. A student in the APRN track must participate in the On-site Intensive (OSI) weekends. The OSI brings students to campus to learn, practice and demonstrate essential hands-on skills and competencies needed by nurse practitioners. Students who do not attend the OSI automatically fail the course that is associated with the OSI. 
  6. A student who fails a sequenced theory and/or clinical course may not continue to the next course in the sequence until the failed course is repeated successfully. Students must complete all required clinical hours in each of the clinical courses, or they will not progress into the next course and must follow the University Incomplete policy.

    Program Information and Disclosures

    Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Certificate (Post-Master's)

    Accreditation & Approvals Disclosure

    The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Post-Master's) coursework is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, (202) 877-6791. 

    A student in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Post-Master's) online program at West Coast University participates in two (2) On-site Intensive (OSI) weekends.  The OSI brings students to campus to learn, practice and demonstrate essential hands-on skills and competencies needed by nurse practitioners. 

    Adult-Gerontology Care Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's) Curriculum

    Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's) Coursework

    NURS 530Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology - APRN


    NURS 676Advanced Pharmacology - APRN


    NURS 681Advanced Health/Physical Assessment and Lab - APRN


    NURS 682Care Coordination and Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse


    NURS 682L-AAdvanced Healthcare Residency I


    NURS 682L-BAdvanced Healthcare Residency II


    NURS 696Acute Care Adult and Geriatric Patient: Theory I


    NURS 696LAcute Care Adult and Geriatric Patient: Practicum I


    NURS 697Acute Care Adult and Geriatric Patient: Theory II


    NURS 697LAcute Care Adult and Geriatric Patient: Practicum II


    Total Credit Hours:29.0

    Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's) Certificate Program Costs

    For program costs, please see the Graduate Tuition and Fees section.