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DNP - Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

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Build a Foundation

Discover a rich academic and clinical environment that facilitates the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic health problems in adult and elder patients. As a student, you will build your abilities in physical and psychosocial assessment, clinical decision-making, health promotion and disease prevention, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing medications and other therapies while taking advantage of resources found only at the Hopkins medical institutions.

Expect the Best

World renowned faculty develop a curriculum and sequence of clinical experiences concentrating on the care of diverse, complex acutely ill adult and elder patients who are physiologically unstable, technologically dependent who require frequent monitoring and intervention that are highly vulnerable for health complications.  Each student will receive a well-rounded, comprehensive education as well as advanced preparation for certification exams.


Students are eligible to apply for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) certification as an Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

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The Path to Your Destination

Nurses who want to improve outcomes for acutely and critically ill adult patients will experience a vigorous academic setting and benefit from rich and varied clinical opportunities to manage adult patients across the continuum of acute, chronic, and critical care. With access to unparalleled Hopkins resources, clinical sites, and faculty, you will learn to develop and apply your assessment, diagnostic, and treatment skills for fast-paced environments where patients are physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and highly vulnerable to complications.

The curriculum builds your knowledge of nursing theory, research, nursing informatics, statistics, ethics, and the various medical technology and life support devices required to evaluate and treat a demanding patient population.

Those who earn the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner degree:

  • Work in acute and complex care settings such as critical care, and hospital-based medical and surgical intensive care units and step-down units; specialty services; specialty services; and medical evacuation and transport units
  • Diagnose and treat medical conditions, develop pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic care plans, and review conditions and treatment options with adult and elder patients
  • Provide direct patient management from admission to discharge, in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team

Online Availability

Check out the chart to see the online availability of the track that best fits your career goals.

Online Availability Chart

DNP Final Project

DNP graduates remain in practice, leading cross-professional teams in the improvement and provision of informed quality healthcare. The knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct such work is developed across the program and applied in the conduct of the DNP final project.  The DNP final project is the student’s original work that establishes them as a Hopkins Nursing clinical scholar.

Project Requirements       DNP Projects


Rebecca Lee discusses why she wants to work with older adult populations and the endless opportunities available as a nurse.

Additional Information

View the recording of the DNP Advanced Practice track virtual information session.

Watch Now

DNP Advanced Practice Roles: Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner.

Watch Now

NP and CNS Role Comparison

What are the differences between a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist?

NP and CNS Role Comparison 

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Priority Application Deadlines

Fall Entry
November 1, January 15
Still Accepting Applications

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Request Information

Speak with an admissions officer to learn more about our program.

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View Other DNP Tracks

Would you like to learn more about the other DNP Advanced Practice tracks?

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Lynn Gordy
Lynn Gordy
MSN '09, RN
I feel a responsibility to be a nurse leader.

Lynn Gordy found her perfect first nursing job in a medical/surgical intensive care unit. "My patients were very sick, and I loved taking care of them," she says. Five years later, she was ready to learn more and develop as a leader in the field.

After a cursory look at nursing programs, Gordy knew that Johns Hopkins offered the perfect choice.

Read Lynn's Story
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Admission Criteria

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree or an entry-level nursing master's degree from an ACEN or CCNE accredited college or university or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution
  • Scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Applicants must submit evidence of current nursing license. Online students must have or obtain RN license from an authorized state.
  • One year of full-time RN experience engaged in the direct care of adults and older adults who are physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and require frequent monitoring and intervention within an inpatient, acute care setting (intensive or critical care, intermediate care, progressive care, stepdown or telemetry unit) by the start of the program.
  • Three letters of recommendation (both academic and professional references; check FAQs for detailed guidance on completing this requirement)
  • Official Transcripts (from all previous colleges/universities)
  • Current Resume /CV (check FAQs for detailed guidance on completing this requirement)
  • Goal statement
  • GRE scores are accepted but not required
  • Interview with faculty (if moved forward by admissions committee)
  • TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your native language

Information for applicants with international education

Admissions Application


Undergraduate Statistics  Take at Hopkins Nursing. Course must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a letter grade of B or better. Grade of B- will not be accepted.

Maryland RN licensure (or licensure from a compact state) is required prior to the start of the term when students begin clinical coursework.

Student Sponsorship

This program does not qualify for F-1 or J-1 student sponsorship. Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the U.S. and in a status that allows for full or part-time study, may pursue this program.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Students currently cannot conduct clinical activities in Louisiana, New York and Oregon. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of credit is granted on an individual basis. Please see the transfer of credit policy and complete the form to make a request.

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This program is offered in the online with course immersions format.

Program may be completed in 78 credits and provides 784 acute care clinical hours and 224 DNP practicum hours.

Course Immersion Dates

  • Fall 2022 Semester Dates*

    • October 3, 2022 & November 14, 2022 8am-5pm Location: Onsite TBD
      Advanced Practice in Acute Care IV (NR.210.664)—DNP Adult/Gero Acute Care NP Students Admitted Fall 2019 4-Year only

    • November 7-9, 2022 8am-5pm Location: Onsite TBD
      Advanced Health Assessment (NR.210.601); Group 1 - Adult Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner —DNP Advanced Practice Students Admitted Fall 2021 4-Year Track & DNP/PhD Student Admitted Summer 2020 only

    • Virtual Immersion - Date/Time TBD
      Advanced Practice in Acute Care I (NR.210.661)—DNP Adult/Gero Acute Care NP Students Admitted Fall 2020 4-Year only
  • Spring 2023 Semester Dates*

    • March 6-8, 2023 8am-5pm Location: Onsite TBD
      Advanced Practice in Acute Care II (NR.210.662)—DNP Adult/Gero Acute Care NP Students Admitted Fall 2020 4-Year only
    • Virtual Immersion - Date/Time TBD
      Diagnostic Skills and Procedures for Advanced Practice Nursing (NR.210.605)—DNP Adult/Gero Acute Care NP Students Admitted Fall 2021 4-Year only & DNP/PhD Students Admitted Summer 2020 Only

* = Dates do not include remediation dates

Plan of Study

4 Year Plan

  • Fall I (5 Credits)
    • Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice (3)
    • Health Finance (2)
  • Spring I (7 Credits)
    • The Research Process and Its Application to Evidence-Based Practice (3)
    • Advanced Pathophysiology/Physiology (4)
  • Summer I (6 Credits)
    • Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Across the Lifespan (2)
    • Clinical Pharmacology (4)
  • Fall II (8 Credits)
    • Context of Healthcare for Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
    • Advanced Health Assessment and Measurement (3)
    • Health Information Systems and Patient Care Technology (2)
  • Spring II (7 Credits)
    • Philosophical, Theoretical & Ethical Basis of ANP (3)
    • Diagnostics Skills and Procedures for APN (2)
    • Advanced Nursing Health Policy (2)
  • Summer II (6 Credits, 112 Clinical Hours)
    • Intro to Acute Care (4, 56cl)
    • Problem Discovery (2, 56cl)
  • Fall III (9 Credits. 168 Clinical Hours)
    • Acute Care I (6, 168cl)
    • Nursing Inquiry for EBP (3)
  • Spring III (9 Credits, 224 Clinical Hours)
    • Translating Evidence into Practice (3)
    • Acute Care II (4, 168cl)
    • Project Advancement (2, 56cl)
  • Summer III (7 Credits, 168 Clinical Hours)
    • Analysis and Evaluation of Individuals and Populations (3)
    • Acute Care III (4, 168cl)
  • Fall IV (8 Credits, 280 Clinical Hours)
    • Acute Care IV (6, 224cl)
    • Project Application (2, 56cl)
  • Spring IV (6 Credits, 56 Clinical Hours)
    • Organizational and Systems Leadership (2)
    • Clinical Data Management and Analyses (2)
    • Project Evaluation and Dissemination (2, 56cl)

* Curriculum, credit hours, and sequencing are subject to change.

** Up to 16 credits can be applied from the JHSON MSN (Entry into Nursing) Program to the DNP Advanced Practice Track.

***A minimum of 1000 practice hours is required for DNP.

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Tuition & Other Costs

Billed Expenses

(September 2022 - August 2023)

Tuition: $51,6691 (full-time per year)
Health Fee: $849
Matriculation fee: $500 (one time only fee for first-time enrolled JHU students)
Health Insurance: $4,5002
Total Billed Expenses: $57,518

Estimated Other Expenses3

Room and Board: $22,500
Books & Supplies: $1,575
Loan fees: $1,809
Personal Expenses: $3,072
Travel Expenses: $5,472
Total Expenses: $91,946

1Full-time: 9 credits per semester. Tuition is billed at $1,901 per credit and is less for students enrolling in less than full-time.

2All students must have health coverage.  Purchase of the School’s plan is optional.

3Amounts for other expenses vary based upon student's selection of books, supplies, and living arrangements.

Billed expenses are subject to change without prior notice. Changes to a student’s program or course load may result in additional tuition charges and fees.

State Authorization Disclosure

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a DNP?

    The DNP is a doctoral degree focused on the clinical practice of nursing. The degree represents the highest academic preparation for nursing practice. The DNP curriculum focuses on the knowledge needed to provide comprehensive direct care across settings. It can be conferred in conjunction with any specialty in advanced practice.

  • What academic preparation is preferred in a DNP Advanced Practice candidate?

    A strong foundation in courses such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment with a grade of B or above is one key to success.

  • What is the program of study?

    The curricular content will enable the graduate to make complex diagnoses, provide evidence-based treatment modalities, utilize sophisticated informatics and decision-making technology, and assimilate in-depth knowledge of biophysical, psychosocial, behavioral and clinical sciences.

  • How is this different from current APN practice?

    The expanded competencies of the Doctor of Nursing Practice enable graduates to independently provide complex care across all settings including ambulatory, acute, community and home settings. For example, the expanded curriculum will focus on the utilization of evidence-based decision-making to admit and co-manage hospitalized patients, to provide advice and treatment initiated over the phone, and to initiate specialist referrals and evaluate the subsequent advice and initiate and participate in co-management.

  • How long will it take to complete?

    The DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP Track offers a 4-year plan of study only.

  • Can I work while in the program?

    During the first several semesters, when core classes are given on-line, it is possible to work.  Some students may be able to work full-time.  However, individual student needs and their particular work/life balance will dictate how many hours can be worked while maintaining the DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP prescribed plan of study.  Once an DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP student starts their clinical practicums in the 7th semester of the program, work hours will need to be specifically evaluated and adjusted. It will not be feasible to maintain full-time employment throughout the entire program.  For many students, there will need to be a decrease in hours after the first couple of semesters even prior to semester 7. 

  • How does the DNP differ from the PhD or other research doctorates?

    The DNP, or clinical doctorate, prepares the graduate to practice independently with the most complex patients, in any setting where the patient requires care, utilizing complicated informatics and evidence-based decision-making. Research doctorates prepare graduates to initiate and conduct sophisticated research projects, serving as the principal investigator.

  • How many credits can I transfer?

    The school accepts up to six credits of transfer from outside the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Once admitted into the program you can request to transfer credits by completing the transfer of graduate credit form.

  • What academic terms do students attend?

    The School of Nursing follows the regular academic schedule (prospective students should note that these courses are not self-paced). Students are enrolled for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Prospective students should refer to the plans of study found on the curriculum pages for each specialty.

  • What is the cost per credit hour?

    Please visit School of Nursing’s Tuition and Fees page for the current program costs.

  • How are courses delivered?

    For students admitted to the DNP Nurse Practitioner tracks, please note that while this is an on-campus program, many of the courses and course content will be delivered in an online format. Please refer to the course schedule for the upcoming semester for specific course delivery information.

  • How will I get clinical experience if I don’t have experience working as a RN?

    The DNP program requires a minimum of 1000 practice hours.  The majority of these hours will be in the clinical practicum where you will apply what you learn in the theory courses to gain the competence required for your particular specialty.  The balance of the practice hours are devoted to the DNP practicum which focuses on the DNP Scholarly Project. Ideally, you will have one-year of RN experience before starting the first specialty clinical.

  • How many students are in a class?

    Many of the core courses will be taken by all DNP students at the same time. This could be as many as 60 students. However, the track specialty courses will be taken with only students in that specific specialty. In clinical courses, there is a ratio of 1 to 6 students per clinical instructor with each student assigned to a preceptor.

  • Do we attend the same classes with our cohort?

    Students in the same specialty and the same plan of study (3- or 4-year) will move through as a cohort. 

  • If I have a specific area that I would like to focus in, for example oncology, are there additional electives I can take or other opportunities where I could gain more insight and experience in that particular area? 

    It is possible for students to negotiate a clinical site within their area of interest, but these cannot be guaranteed. The DNP Scholarly Project could allow students to identify a problem within a specific area and bring that together with the specialty role. 

  • Would it be doable to live in another state and come in during the week for classes/clinicals? 

    This program is able to be completed remotely with onsite immersions. There will be an on-site clinical immersion at Johns Hopkins Hospital during Introduction to Acute Care. Students must hold an RN license for Maryland. Additionally, there will be on-site simulation immersions during Acute Care I – Acute Care IV. 

  • What is the role of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner? 

    The DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP Track provides care to adults and older adults with acute, critical, and complex chronic physical and mental illnesses across the entire adult age spectrum from young adults (including late adolescents), to adults and older adults (including frail older adults). DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are prepared to provide services ranging from disease prevention to critical care to stabilize the patient’s condition, prevent complications, restore maximum health and/or provide palliative care. This practice focuses on patients who are characterized as “physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and/or are highly vulnerable to complications”. These patients require ongoing monitoring and intervention. The patients with acute, critical, and complex chronic physical and mental illnesses may be encountered across the continuum of care settings. The scope of practice is not setting specific but rather is based on patient care needs. The DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner also coordinates comprehensive care in and across care settings to ensure that the acute and chronic illness needs of patients are met during care transitions. 

  • What clinical experience is preferred by an applicant to the DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP track?
    • Current acute, critical care experience in the following areas:  ICU, intermediate care units or telemetry units (CVPCU, PCCU) and Oncology (specialized care).
    • Certificate within a specialty area, e.g., Critical Care Registered Nurse, Cardiac Nurse Certification, Progressive Care Certified Nurse.
    • A understanding of patient hemodynamics and mechanical ventilation.
    • Completion of Advanced Cardiac Life Support will be required prior to starting the first clinical rotation in the DNP AGACNP track.
    • Evidence of leadership such as membership in a specialty organization (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Trauma Nurses) and unit-based or hospital-based committee work. 
  • How are clinical sites for clinical practicum determined? 

    Clinical practicum experiences are determined by the student’s advanced practice focus area, student interest, site and preceptor availability, and the student’s programmatic needs. The student will work collaboratively with the specialty Track Coordinator and the Clinical Placement Team to request sites and preceptors, with final approval by the Track Coordinator. There will be an orientation to an electronic software system where the student will take responsibility to complete requests and upload appropriate documentation.  Students will be working with the Clinical Placement Team from the time they enter the program until they graduate. The Clinical Placement Team will be a part of advising sessions, orientation and immersions.  The student is encouraged to work collaboratively and proactively with the team on an all-hands approach for optimal preceptor opportunities. Unauthorized states for clinicals include LA, NY and OR.

  • What is included in a DNP Project?

    The American Association of Colleges of Nursing requires that all DNP Projects should:

    1. Focus on a change that impacts healthcare outcomes either through direct or indirect care.
    2. Have a systems (micro-, meso-, or macro- level) or population/aggregate focus.
    3. Demonstrate implementation in the appropriate arena or area of practice.
    4. Include a plan for sustainability (e.g. financial, systems or political realities, not only theoretical abstractions).
    5. Include an evaluation of processes and/or outcomes (formative or summative). DNP Projects should be designed so that processes and/or outcomes will be evaluated  to guide practice and policy. Clinical significance is as important in guiding practice as statistical significance is in evaluating research.
    6. Provide a foundation for future practice scholarship.
  • What is the process for the DNP practicum?

    There are four DNP Scholarly Project courses that sequentially reflect the stages of evidence based practice quality improvement: Project Identification, Project Proposal, Project Implementation, and Project Evaluation. Each of the four courses has an associated practicum. The first course for the DNP Scholarly Project, DNP Problem Identification has an accompanying DNP practicum.  The DNP Scholarly Project is situated in the clinical setting where the student will carry it out.  As the project is a quality improvement focus, key stakeholders in the practice setting are necessary to identify clinical problems they want to address and for which they want to partner with a student or team of students.  See your plan of study for the number of practicum hours associated with each course associated with the DNP Scholarly Project. 

  • Who should I ask to complete my letters of recommendation?
    • At least one letter should come from a recent or current direct supervisor/manager (the person who is responsible for your performance evaluation)
    • At least one letter should come from an academic faculty member who can speak to your ability to successfully complete a demanding graduate level academic and clinical program.
    • The third letter can come from a second academic faculty member or an individual in a leadership position who can speak to your clinical abilities.
    • Personal references from colleagues, friends, or family members do not meet the requirement.
    • If you are unable to provide one of the reference letters above, please upload a statement of explanation to your application.

  • What information should I include in my resume/CV?
    Please include the following information in your resume or CV:
    • Work experience (include dates, sites and locations; paid and unpaid; any residency participation)
    • Education Background
    • Scholarly activities (research, presentations, publications, honors, awards)
    • Professional activities (leadership, certifications, professional organization membership, service on committees)
    • Community Service/Volunteerism
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Funding Opportunities

Scholarships & Grants

Grants are awards based on financial need that do not have to be repaid. Many students also benefit from scholarships and awards based on merit.

Scholarships & Grants


Many students will avail themselves of loans to help finance their School of Nursing Education. If necessary, we encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely essential to cover your educational costs.



Many students locate part-time employment to help pay education expenses. Numerous positions are available on campus and within various community based organizations. These jobs provide students with opportunities to gain practical work experience. Most positions are funded through the Federal Work-Study Program. 


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