Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (M.S.)

People want to live long, healthy lives. You can help make sure they do.

The elderly are the fastest-growing population in the United States. In fact, the percentage of older adults is projected to jump to nearly 17% of the world’s population by 2050 — that’s 1.6 billion.* What’s more, in just a few decades the elderly are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. Which is why it’s no surprise that adult-gerontology is one of the most in-demand nursing specialties, focusing on the treatment of patients ages 13 and older.**

Along with being the largest segment, adult-gerontology patients are also one of the most complex — often presenting new conditions and unfamiliar symptoms for nurse practitioners to navigate across the lifespan. Because even though people are living longer lives, that doesn’t mean they’re living healthier ones.

Our adolescent through elderly populations need advanced practice nurses to support them, and UND has the online Master of Science – Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner degree to make sure you have the expertise you need — one of the few of its kind offered in the South Dakota/Minnesota/North Dakota region.

*National Institute on Aging | **U.S. Census Bureau

100% Online

Complete coursework 100% online

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Graduate in as
few as 8 semesters

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3 start dates per year — spring, summer or fall

No GRE icon

No GMAT/GRE required

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Qualify to sit
for the A.G.P.C.N.P. Certification Exam

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Clinical placement assistance provided

What can you learn from UND’s online Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner M.S. program?

Elderly patients are more susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses, such as dementia, diabetes and hypertension, but patients of all ages are at risk of developing life-changing conditions over time. Sometimes these conditions are diagnosed easily, while others can manifest into physical issues, such as depression and substance abuse, making them more challenging to identify.

The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner coursework offered by UND will equip you with the knowledge you need to diagnose, treat and manage chronic and acute conditions. Our online coursework also will teach you how to provide therapeutic interventions or palliative treatments and end-of-life care for patients 13 years old and above.

Focus your studies on:

  • Treating people from adolescence through adulthood and into advanced age
  • Advocating for illness prevention and health promotion
  • Preparing for public health challenges and understanding the best methods for addressing them

Get Certified

By earning your Master of Science degree, you’re eligible to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam administered by either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board or the American Nurse Credentialing Center.

What can you do with your Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner M.S. degree?

As an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, your patient population will be broad — providing care to teens, adults and the elderly. In this role, you’ll be responsible for educating every patient about how they can maintain a healthy lifestyle, prevent disease and manage their chronic illnesses. Simply put: your impact on the community could be huge.

To support your community-based care approach, you’ll work closely with specialty physicians and other health care providers to diagnose, examine and treat patients holistically. On top of that, you’ll offer routine checkups, assessments, immunizations and one-on-one health counseling.

Making sure your patients are educated and well-informed will be one of the biggest parts of your day — often developing and implementing healthy lifestyle and disease prevention plans that cover things such as diet, exercise, physical therapy and prescribed medications. As an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, you also may work with a patient’s family to make sure they’re as involved and informed as the patient.

Practice in one of the following settings:

  • Physicians offices
  • Health care clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Long-term care clinics
  • Government agencies
  • Correctional centers

UND is recognized for quality and chosen for excellence:

University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
CCNE Accredited
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Nursing Schools Almanac Top Public Nursing School badge
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Meet Our Faculty

We’re leaders in nursing and would like to help you become one, too. There’s nothing we enjoy more than sharing our holistic approach to nursing and health care advocacy techniques with eager nurses like you. Take advantage of our experience — it can help improve your performance as a nurse.

Karen Semmens, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

A.G.P.C.N.P. Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor

Karen Semmens

Karen Semmens started her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse on a medical-surgical unit in 1979. She developed a passion for the elderly and focused her attention on long-term care after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1990. She then pursued her master’s degree and became the first director of nursing for a for-profit psychiatric hospital, where she had the opportunity to assist with building a psychiatric facility from the ground up.

She’s certified as an advanced practice registered nurse and is a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist — one of only two in North Dakota. Professor Semmens shares her advocacy for the elderly with students at the University of North Dakota, where she was the original director of the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist program. That program has evolved into the current Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program.

Admission Requirements

You’ve made the decision to earn your advanced degree in nursing, and you’re just a few steps away from completing the application process. Since each online nursing program has its own set of requirements, take some time to review the ones that apply to our Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner M.S. program.

“Choosing UND for my master’s in adult-gerontology has resulted in greater autonomy, more confidence in my practice abilities and an increased salary. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

— Jeremiah Johnson, M.S., R.N.