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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  May 22, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, M.S.N.

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program (AG-ACNP) prepares registered nurses to provide direct patient management in acute and complex care settings. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Adult-Gernotology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner examination through the American Nurse Credentialing Center or American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Graduates are employed in a variety of acute care settings ranging from emergency departments, critical care, trauma, cardiology, pulmonary, nephrology, gastroenterology and surgery.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply knowledge from core courses in the assessment of clients.
  • Integrate core and clinical course content in the diagnosis and treatment of clients.
  • To use core and clinical course content within the context of the community and to understand community as client.
  • To apply theory to practice problems, to analyze practice guidelines, and to conduct an evidence based practice project
  • To understand laws governing advanced practice, to understand scope of practice, and to apply evidence based practice knowledge in treatment planning.


The admission process attempts to identify individuals who have a high probability of successfully completing the program. All factors are considered in combination. Specific requirements include:

  1. a bachelor of science in nursing degree from a program that is nationally accredited;
  2. transcripts of all previous college studies with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for full admission;
  3. registered nurse licensure in South Carolina or possession of an unencumbered license in the state in which clinical practice will occur;
  4. a completed application to The Graduate School with the College of Nursing supplement;
  5. three letters of recommendation written by master’s or doctorally prepared nurses or physicians who are qualified to evaluate nursing practice performance and academic potential of the applicant;
  6. resume or cv with personal goal statement.

Course planning with the student’s advisor is required before registration. All students are required to submit a Master’s Degree Program of Study form to the Office of Graduate Studies at the earliest convenient date (no later than the end of the first year). These forms may be obtained in the Office of Graduate Studies and must be completed with the assistance of the academic advisor. The original will be forwarded to the dean of The Graduate School for approval. Copies of the approved program will be kept in the student’s permanent file in the Office of Graduate Studies, College of Nursing.

Degree Requirements (40-45 Hours)

Requirements for earning the M.S.N. degree include:

  1. completion of an approved program of study;
  2. completion of an applied research course, NURS 791  (3), or a thesis, NURS 799  (6);
  3. a GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on all courses attempted for graduate credit and all courses numbered 700 and above;
  4. a GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on all courses on the approved program of study;
  5. all students must pass a comprehensive assessment during the last semester of the program.  

Objectives: Students in the master’s programs of the college acquire a) knowledge and skills required for advanced nursing practice, b) the ability to apply theory and research in practice, and c) leadership skills for advanced nursing practice.

This curriculum prepares nurses to sit for national certification as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Research Requirement (3-6 Hours):

Select one course from the following:


Students may elect to add a pediatric option to the acute care curriculum; required courses: NURS 706 .

* Indicates courses with practicum hours.

Other Program Requirements:

Students must successfully complete all clinical placement requirements, including criminal background checks, drug screening and immunizations.  Students must participate in clinical rotations in states approved through State Authorization (see for specifics.

Students are required to participate in two on-site clinical check off days during clinical courses.