Gerontological Health - MSN

The Area of Specialization

Advanced Practice Gerontological Nursing has become an increasingly popular specialization because 20% of the population will be over the age of 65 by 2020. This specialty prepares graduates for advanced practice as Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialists, (GCNSs) or Geriatric Nurse Practitioners (GNPs) to meet the escalating gerontological health needs of this rapidly aging population. The GCNS provides advanced practice gerontological nursing leadership for systems in order to assure evidence-based care and outcomes, palliative care, and programmatic solutions to promote health and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of chronic disease in older adults. The GNP provides primary care to older patients and populations including ongoing comprehensive geriatric assessment, differential diagnosis and treatment of the common geriatric syndromes, palliative care, and programmatic solutions to promote health and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of chronic disease.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities include positions as GCNS nurse leaders in acute care and community-based organizations, interdisciplinary team members/leaders in comprehensive assessment programs, GNP and/or GCNS nursing home practices, primary care clinic GNPs, primary home care GNPs for the complex older adult, transitional care GNPs assuring safe and integrated care across the continuum, and educator and research GCNSs and GNPs. Graduates are prepared to conduct comprehensive geriatric assessments needed by older adults as well as to deliver and evaluate nursing interventions for wellness promotion, illness prevention, health maintenance, and restoration across a variety of settings. Advanced practice gerontological nurses, both GCNSs and GNPs, are uniquely qualified to support patients and their families and to coordinate the many interdisciplinary services needed to maintain the highest level of function and quality of life. As in other NP specialties, the GCNS and GNP are uniquely prepared to serve the most vulnerable and underserved populations in inner-city and rural settings as well as the more well-served urban populations.

Eligibility for Certification

Upon completion of the MSN program in this area of specialization, graduates will be qualified to take the certification examination as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner.


Admission Policy

Applications for admission are considered twice a year (Fall/Spring). The application deadline for Fall admission is April 1 and for Spring admission is October 1.


Please join us for an informational session/open house. Information Session Schedule