Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Overview

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Learn more about Ohio University’s online Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration track of Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.


Hello and thank you for joining Ohio University’s webinar for our adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program. Today we will go over concentration details, as well as, a career outlook and of course if you think the program will be a good fit for you we will cover the next steps for your educational goals. My name is Surina Garcia and my role as your enrollment advisor is to ensure you have all of the information necessary in order to be able to make a decision on whether or not this program will be a good fit for you. Joining us today is our associate professor and program director Dr. Char Miller along with our academic advisor Chad Kopenski. Also Christopher Hylton is another advisor on the program. And now to go over the program overview Dr. Char Miller and Chad Kopenski will be sharing all the program information.

Hello this is Dr. Char Miller and I’m going to talk just a few minutes about an overview of the adult gerontology acute care NP and what that person in that role might be doing. AGACNPs our advanced practice nurses that provide specialized specialized nursing care to adults and older adults. The patient population that they can care for includes adults that includes those aged 13 and up. So they may manage critical as well as chronic conditions and they may be in a variety of settings that include retirement homes, nursing homes, hospice both in-home hospice as well as inpatient hospice, hospitals or some private practices depending on the state in which they are practicing. My name is Chad Kopenski. I’m the academic advisor for the Graduate finishing programs and one thing I think to be sure of is just understand the difference between an AGACNP an FNP.

And I think I’m going to throw it back to Dr. Miller in what is sort of the biggest difference between those those two specialties? Sure because many of our students are trying to decide what they want to be in their advanced practice career and if you are weighing the FNP which has a focus on primary care. So the FNP is a person who’s going to be practicing with those in preventive role and in an ongoing role in a private or in a primary care practice setting. Acute care NPs. The AGACNPs are predominantly going to be practicing in acute care settings which are likely to be again hospitals certainly emergency rooms, Urgent Care. You may see a mix of the two types of providers because there are some issues with an urgent care that are really primary care issues that are handled very well by FNPs, but there may also be some more acute care issues that have the requirement for an AGACNP. One of the questions that students often ask is what is the career outlook for nurses and there are a number of different sites that you can go to. If you look at the BLS numbers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can see that there is it tends to be a growth for nurse practitioners I mean through 2026. One thing that I think is really important where people considering going into advanced practice or with a master’s program for nursing to consider is really the role that they want to take on. To look at some of these websites, shadow a nurse. So these websites see what those nurses actually do in the course of a given day. They can also look at their their State Boards of Nursing. Many states have adopted the consensus model that does lay out what the roles expectations are for nurses in those roles. Graduate school really is where you go and you get the education to take that next step. It’s not really where you go to figure out what it is that you want to do and so we’re really it’s really important to us that prospective students understand the role that they are looking to assume and really ask those questions really make those ask those questions of themselves to make those hard choices. So that they know what they’re getting into, and what the are preparing themselves for. Would you agree with that Dr. Miller?

Absolutely! I would say one of the most common questions that we are asked by prospective students these days, is just exactly that. You know what, what what do I want to do. You know this is kind of what I have in mind for my career is that an FNP appropriate role? Or is that an AGACNP appropriate role? And the answer to that can be found in those documents that Chad mentioned the APRN consensus model, certainly your own individual State Board of Nursing and your advanced practice state organization also is a great place to go for information and also to connect to people who are functioning in those roles. So to AP RNs who are prepared as FNPs and as AGACNPs its a great place to connect with those who might be willing to have a student come with them for a few hours and live a day in the life so to speak. It’s a big decision and it’s not one to make to be made lightly and the last thing that you or the program wants is for you to get midstream and then realize, “oh wow this is not, you know, this is not what I thought I was going to be doing.” So doing a little bit of legwork in the beginning, so that you make the very best informed choice, is the best way to make sure that you’re going to be ending up in a satisfying career and it is what you had envisioned going to be successful in our program. Absolutely now starting our program there’s a common set of courses our core courses that all of our students take and you can see them listed here. The theory, the assessment, EVP course, path of health appraisal pharmacology those kinds of courses are what we collectively call our three P’s.And those really are requirements for almost all nurses or all advanced practice nurses. The idea behind this core set of courses is that by taking them over your first three semesters you have a solid basis in the in the nursing practice before you then refine it once you get into into your track specific courses. This is the basis of advanced practice which you’ll then refine once you get into your track courses, which would you probably think of or as your clinical courses. The courses that you see on this slide are the AGACNP concentration curriculum courses. What you would probably think of as the clinical courses or sort of the meat and potatoes of what is what are the courses that are going to transform you into an AGACNP by the end of the program. The first two courses that you see listed here are applied clinical pharmacology and advanced diagnostic and procedures. These are really critical courses you take them prior to beginning your clinical experiences and in the advanced diagnostic and procedures course this is all about how to interpret x-rays, when do I order a cat-scan versus an MRI? How do I interpret lab values? and What do those things mean in terms of management. So it’s really the foundation for what you’ll use for clinical decision making as you go into clinical courses that course does include an on-campus OCI. OCI stands for on-campus intensive. It is a two to three-day experience where you come on to one of the Ohio University campuses either in Athens or in Dublin and we actually do a hands-on instruction for lots of different skills. That would include things like central lines. Things like for centisis. Things like lab interpretation, x-ray interpretation, CAT scan interpretation, how to do an ultrasound, how to read an EKG strip. All of those advanced practice skills that you will be utilizing in your clinical practice and in your clinical rotations in the upcoming courses and then the applied clinical pharmacology course builds on your advanced pharmacology course that you took in the core.

And in the core course for pharmacology, what you can expect is going over the classes of drugs that you probably recall from your bachelor’s degree as well as those that you utilize every day as a registered nurse in your practice but it asks you to take a little step further into understanding the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the prescribing issues that go along with those drugs. Apply clinical pharmacology for AGACNP is about a different type of pharmacology. It’s about the pharmacology that we find in acute care settings. In particular it’s about things like IV therapy, IV antibiotics, IV fluids. It’s about total parenteral nutrition or TPN. It’s about how do I give, you know, a drug IV, as opposed to by mouth. It’s about all of the management of the drugs that we see used in acute care that we typically would not see in in primary care or in an office setting and then the clinical courses so that’s AGACNP management of common adult health problems one and two. Those courses are where you begin your clinical rotations. So you will be working with an approved preceptor in an acute care setting and you will also have a clinical supervisor who is a faculty person here at Ohio University who oversees that clinical experience and help you to develop into an AGACNP and prepare for board certification in each of those courses. You will be completing clinicals that might be in a variety of settings but they will all be in acute care type settings. It could be hospital, could be briefly some time in an internist office with some rotation into hospital certainly will be emergency room, intensive care unit, could be trauma units burn units urgent care and certainly any other kind of specialty emergency room practices that you have access to. And then the AGACNP in practice is again kind of putting it all together. Again this is a supervised precepted clinical with a preceptor as well as a supervisor and you are completing the polish on your practice as a novice AGACNP, so the focus in that course is really about those things that are absolutely critical to being an APRN. It will be things like in Ohio, we require a standard care arrangement with a physician in order to practice. So we review those kinds of issues as well as other clinical issues like issuing you know how do I get issued a DEA number in order to prescribe. Talking about licensing certification and all of the requirements then to maintain that and then the capstone experience is the course that you take concurrently with AGACNP and practice the focus of that course is on the development of a program portfolio which basically is your way of documenting having met all of these standards within our program as well as those that are required for national accreditation and certification. So you are pulling artifacts is the term that we use, but those are basically your graded assignments from throughout the program and you pull those all together into a digital portfolio. You also pull reports from your clinical experiences which we can do in graphical or narrative form and you will document your experience and your having met those specific standards and competencies. There is also an OCI that accompanies that course that on campus intensive involves doing work with standardized patients. So you will have a multi patient simulation. So it will basically simulate an ICU or an ER type setting where you have multiple patients to manage care for you will have a specific amount of time to provide the care the management the decision-making and the documentation for those cases. It really is a fantastic experience for students and faculty to see how far you’ve come and to sort of put you through your paces as again a novice AGACNP and preparing for that transition to practice. Dr. Miller if it’s okay there are two questions I always get asked by prospective students and I want to just ask you those questions. The first one that I always get is, can I work full-time and do my clinical courses? Well the answer is maybe. What we find with most of our students is that when they are coming into the program they most of them are working full-time. In fact about 70 percent are working full-time and most of them are able to maintain that through the core courses time. So during the first three semesters most students find that they’re able to maintain their employment that they had upon program admission without too much trouble. In the second year or in the clinical year when you start those track specific courses then it becomes a little bit more challenging, mainly in the clinical courses because you do have a total of 650 clinical hours to complete and you have to fit that into you know your your seven days a week. And seven days a week just doesn’t get any bigger than that. No matter what you should so if you are working five days a week and you need to do clinical three days a week that doesn’t compute. It isn’t successful it really depends on what your what your job responsibilities are and what your schedule is. Most students have found, I believe, the ones that maintain full-time employment are those who are able to work something like a three 12-hour shift week or they take advantage of things like their paid time off or their vacation time and take those days off accordingly and during the clinical year. But I would say we drop down to about half of the students are able to maintain full-time employment or the same level of employment that they did upon program admission during the clinical year.

And the second question I always get asked is: Do you find my clinicals for me or will you help me find my clinical placements? And the answer to that is that we do provide assistance in locating appropriate clinical sites. We do have a database that students can access that lists potential preceptors. We also have a clinical coordinator who is able to help students navigate that process. We do not assign preceptors at this time, so you don’t come into the program and you are automatically assigned to a preceptor. We do allow students to locate approved preceptors in areas that are convenient to them so if you know of providers or you know practices where you would like to have clinical placements, we are able to accept your application or your preceptor packet we then investigate make sure that the credentials and the site are appropriate and approve those. So I guess we’re trying to blend the best of both worlds. We are certainly able to give assistance or placements but we are also willing to accept placement applications for students who have access to preceptors close and convenient to them and we do talk about that at orientation so students are able to get most of their information and start to early. Ok so now taking the next step. Advanced practice nursing is an absolutely exciting career. It is absolutely valuable. You know this as nurses. You know how wonderful it is to come home at the end of the day knowing that you have truly helped somebody and absolutely affected their lives. There’s no gooder a feeling of that. There really isn’t. So that you absolutely made a difference. If you’re looking at taking this next step in your career please do the research. Ask your questions, talk to your family members, talk to your co-workers, talk to those are in the profession and make sure that this is for you the right choice the right time and then take the steps and apply. We look forward to working with you. We look forward to seeing you successful through this program and on your journey. We look forward helping you take that next step in your career. Best of luck!

Thank you so much Chad and Char for sharing all the information. Now what I’d like to do is go over some of our admission requirements. As you can see, if you live in one of the six states below: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, California, Michigan, or Indiana you can go ahead and start your application. If you do not live in one of these six states and would love to be considered when we are, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to update you when the state becomes available. Also you want to make sure that you have a BSN from an accredited college or university and that your GPA is above the 3.0, along with an unrestricted RN license. For assistance with getting started with an application please feel free to reach out to myself Surina or Chris Hylton. your enrollment and your other enrollment advisor. For assistance with the admission process to complete an application, you’ll just need to request all of your transcripts from all colleges you’ve attended you need an updated current professional resume, a professional goal statement, three recommendation letters and then there’s a fifty dollar application fee at the end. Again as your enrollment advisors Christopher and I will be happy to assist you with the process. Feel free to reach out to us. Please keep in mind that we do not offer all of our programs every single semester. We do offer the family nurse practitioner program every semester for spring, summer, and fall. The nurse educator program is only offered in the spring semester. Our psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program is offered every summer. And adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner is offered every fall semester. Again for assistance please don’t hesitate to each myself Surina or Hylton for assistance.