Post-Bachelor’s, Hybrid-Online Acute Care NP DNP Degree

UCF’s hybrid-online Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program prepares nurses for advanced practice in acute care, focusing on patients 18 years and older.

The AGACNP cares for adult or gerontology patients with medically-complex, stable and unstable acute, critical, and chronic illnesses across care settings ranging from hospitals to sub-acute, ambulatory care, clinic, and home care environments. The AGACNP provides a spectrum of care from disease prevention to acute and critical care management.

The DNP program prepares nurses at the highest level of practice for the current healthcare environment based on a strong scientific foundation for practice; flexibility and emphasis on evidence-based practice, leadership, and organizational analysis; and analysis of the DNP project.

Video: Interprofessional educational event in the College of Nursing’s STIM Center with acute care nurse practitioner and athletic training students.


Deadlines: Apply annually by Feb. 1 for Fall admission
Program Length:  Full-time (9 semesters); Part-time (12 semesters)
Program Type: Hybrid with intensives twice a year
Credit Hours: 76
Clinical Hours: 1,080


FAQs Scholarships & Aid Program DirectorContact Advising Team


100% of recent UCF NP students passed the national certification exam.

of recent UCF nurse practitioner students passed the national certification exam.

Is this program for me?
To apply to this program, you will need to meet the following:
  • You fulfill the general UCF graduate admissions requirements (see Admissions section of the UCF Graduate Catalog).
  • You have a BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution and the nursing program must be accredited either by CCNE or ACEN. (RNs with Non-Nursing Bachelor’s degree can apply, but must take prerequisites).
  • You have completed and passed an undergraduate statistics course.
  • You are a licensed RN in the State of Florida. (Out of state applicants must be eligible for RN license in Florida and must obtain RN license to begin clinical courses.)
What can I expect from the curriculum?

This track’s curriculum:

  • Prepares nurses for advanced practice with acute and critically ill patients
  • Designed to support collaboration and interprofessional learning with online and classroom courses
  • Emphasis on evidence-based practice, leadership and organizational analysis
  • Provides analytic, critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills to examine practice innovations
  • Combines experiential learning, laboratory simulations in a team-centered environment and direct clinical practice education

Students will take course work corresponding to the eight DNP essential competencies delineated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Are courses online, live, or mixed mode?

The Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) DNP degree program at UCF College of Nursing is offered in a mixed mode format with reduced on-campus seat time.

  • DNP students are required to attend live intensives, which are held on two back-to-back days once during both the fall and spring semesters.
  • Lab courses (NGR 5003L, 6063L, 6230L) are offered live and require some on-campus attendance.
  • AGACNP clinical courses (NGR 6211L, 6212L, 6215L) require attendance at a one-day per semester simulation workshop.
  • Examination reviews, focused on preparation for board certification, are provided live on-campus. While optional, they are highly recommended.

All on-campus requirements are subject to change. Lab and intensive dates are sent out as far in advanced as possible so students can plan their work and other schedules accordingly.

What is the DNP Intensive?

The DNP Intensive is a required on-campus two-day event in both the fall and spring semesters. Students will participate in enhanced learning opportunities related to individual courses as well as program specific competency education. It is intended to facilitate interaction with course faculty, program advisors and university-related services. In addition, there are opportunities for professional networking and continuing education credits associated with regional, national and international experts.

What’s the difference between a primary care and an acute care nurse practitioner?

The biggest difference is the type of patient you will care for and where you will care for them.

Acute care nurse practitioners care for patients with acute and/or critical conditions with chronic or episodic illnesses and/or with acute medical needs, focusing on patients 18 years and older. AGACNPs practice in settings such as clinics, physicians’ offices, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and private practices. The AGACNP is uniquely qualified to provide specific healthcare functions to acutely and chronically ill hospitalized patients who may be physiologically unstable, technologically dependent and highly vulnerable to complications.

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners (AGACNPs) do complete clinical rotations in a hospital or acute care setting, whereas adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners (AGPCNPs) and family nurse practitioners (FNPs) do not complete clinical rotations in a hospital setting.

Primary care nurse practitioners care for patients with acute, chronic and complex conditions across the lifespan, focusing on patients 13 years and older. AGPCNPs are educated in a variety of settings, including clinics, physicians’ offices, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and private practices.

Both AGPCNPs and AGACNPs are graduate-educated, nationally certified and state licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Graduates from both programs at UCF are eligible for national certification. See additional information regarding certification and licensure in the FAQs below.

Download the BSN to DNP Comparison Sheet

Do I have to find my own clinical sites and preceptors?

No. Currently, the AGACNP Program Director assigns students to clinical sites and preceptors. Students are not required to find their own clinical sites and preceptors.

Can I work while I am in the program?

The program is quite rigorous and requires students to make serious decisions about commitments that extend beyond graduate school.

Students in the nurse practitioner track programs should plan to reduce their work hours to accommodate program demands. Full-time students should strongly consider working on a part-time basis only; part-time students may also require a reduction in work hours, particularly once clinical coursework begins.

Considering the essential balance between work and the academic demands of these programs will allow the best opportunity for student success.

How many hours per week am I in clinicals?

Each credit hour of study equates to 60 patient-contact hours in the clinical setting. Thus, a 3-credit hour clinical course equates to 180 patient-contact hours in the clinical setting.

Can I complete the program outside of UCF’s service area?

No. The program cannot be completed out of UCF’s service area in greater Central Florida, which includes Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Brevard, Osceola, Flagler, Northern Indian River, and Marion counties.

Will I be eligible for AGACNP national certification?

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) programs are accredited nationally by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and meet the educational eligibility criteria for national certification, which is a requirement for obtaining the license to practice in the state of Florida as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP).

Graduates of UCF’s AGACNP Post-Bachelor’s DNP or AGACNP Post-Master’s Certificate program are eligible to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) National Board Certification Examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Adult Gerontology (ACNP-AG) National Board Certification Examination offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Passing either of these certification exams meets the requirements for nurse practitioner board certification nationwide and the license requirements for the state of Florida.

UCF is an approved institution of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). Membership in NC-SARA requires the university to disclose information regarding state licensing and certification requirements for the selected program of study when licensing and/or certification are a requirement to practice in the profession after graduation.

We are unable to confirm the educational and licensure requirements of other states, territories, or foreign entities. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we advise you to contact the applicable credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements for licensure and determine if our program meets its eligibility criteria.

You are welcome to contact the College of Nursing’s Assistant Dean of Students with questions in this regard, and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.

How many students are admitted each year?

The AGACNP DNP program admits once per year in the fall semester. Class admission sizes vary, depending on faculty and college resources.

I am ready to apply. What are the next steps?

Visit our Doctoral Admissions page for details on the application process and requirements.


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