Top 5 Online Gerontology MSN Practitioner Programs

The population across our country is aging and this is contributing to increased dependence on the healthcare system. Indeed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the healthcare sector is truly unprecedented. Many registered nurses are aware of this growth in demand and are taking advantage of it by taking part in online gerontology MSN degree programs. Since these programs are online, it means that they can complete their degree while continuing to meet their usual responsibilities and commitments. More and more schools are now offering online programs because demand is so high.

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Seton Hall University Online Nursing Programs

Seton Hall University offers a CCNE-accredited Online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner.

Below are what we believe to be the top 5 online gerontology MSN practitioner programs.

1. Duke University

Duke University is known to be one of the best schools in the country, particularly for its geriatric nursing program. Additionally, it is recognized for its academic excellence in its online programs. The university offers intellectual and clinical resources to its students. The degree integrates clinical and didactic clinical experiences and students will gain experience of both urban and rural clinics. This means graduates are in incredibly high demand.

  • Campus: Durham, NC
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,495 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: 48 credit hours
  • Degree requirements: Transcripts, prerequisite courses, BSN, RN license, 3 letters of recommendation
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care or Primary Care
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
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2. George Washington University

George Washington University has been recognized for its excellent online MSN program. It was one of the first schools in the country to develop and offer online degree programs and they take great pride in having made nursing education accessible to all. During the program, students learn to deliver primary health care to patients within a wide age-range (adolescent to geriatric). A lot of semester hours have to be completed working out in the field.

  • Campus: Washington, DC
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $920 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: 48 semester hours
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, RN license,
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner MSN
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. University of South Carolina

At the University of South Carolina, you can take part in a highly respected online MSN program. The school is a flagship for the state and they have made it their mission to increase the quality of health care. It is also the first Center for Research Excellence in the state that has been NIH funded. The adult gerontology track ensures graduates are able to deal with adults and geriatrics who have acute illnesses or other complex health problems. Twice every semester, students must attend the campus for a check-off on clinical work.

  • Campus: Columbia, SC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $5,820 per year for in-state students and $12,480 for out of state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 37 credit hours
  • Degree requirements: BSN, RN license, 2 letters of reference
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. Drexel University

Drexel University is nationally recognized not just for its excellent online programs, but also for its Student Engagement and Accreditation and its Student Services and Technology. Graduates from the online gerontology MSN practitioner program can manage critically and acutely ill adults with chronic health issues. The emphasis is on clinical decision making and diagnostic reasoning. Some on-campus visits are required and there are also clinical practicum rotations. Furthermore, the online program is delivered synchronously.

  • Campus: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $832 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: 57 credits
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, transcripts, two years’ work experience, 2 letters of reference, personal statement, interview, RN license
  • Programs: MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is one of Virginia’s most innovative universities. It advocates nursing science and prepares the most exceptional leaders in the nursing profession. The degree is perfect for RNs who want to be able to take on both academic and clinical roles. The program is a combined AGNCS and Nurse Educator program.

  • Campus: Norfolk, VA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $412 per credit for in state students and $1,048 for out of state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 45 credit hours
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, one year’s work experience, RN license
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

In order to become a gerontology nurse practitioner, it is important to first hold a nursing undergraduate degree (BSN). Upon completion, students can take the NCLEX-RN examination. It is important to also speak to your own State Board of Nursing to see whether there are any other licensing requirements. Additionally, if you want to practice nursing in a different state, you will need to be endorsed there. Once you hold your RN license, you will need to gain work experience, with most master’s universities requiring at least one year practical experience.

You are then ready to enroll in a master’s degree program (MSN), choosing a Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (GNP) specialization. Some schools also offer post-graduate certificates. As an aspiring GNP, you must ensure that the school you choose is CCNE or ACEN accredited. You can expect to have to study from one to three years, depending on how the program is delivered. Additionally, you will be expected to gain clinical skills and most universities will therefore have strong practicum requirements. Some of the skills you will learn including diagnosing illnesses and providing patients with treatment.

Finally, you must become certified as a GNP through the ANCC before you can start to work. There are different requirements in each state in terms of certification and licensing, so make sure you check with your State Board of Nursing as well before you start to seek employment as a GNP.