Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

AGACNP Hospitalist Focus

As an AGACNP specializing in hospitalist medicine, students will focus on providing both specialized and comprehensive care to acutely ill patients in both rural and urban hospital settings. Students will learn to both utilize and participate in multidisciplinary teams while providing care to varying patient populations. The hospitalist subspecialty focuses on triaging patients from outside facilities, providing care to hospitalized patients with a varying levels of illness acuity and the patent transfer or discharge to lower levels of care. Hospitalist education includes preparation for cross-coverage in low-acuity intensive care units.

Where Will You Practice?

AGACNP hospitalists work in a variety of specialized medical and surgical hospitalist teams including:

  • Ambulatory Medicine
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Cardiovascular/Heart Failure
  • Critical Care/Pulmonary
  • Diabetes/Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology/Hepatology
  • Geriatric
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology/Neurosurgery
  • Ortho/Trauma

How Will Vanderbilt Prepare You?

The hospitalist role started in 1995 as an effort to improve the effectiveness and efficacy of patient care in the hospital setting. With the increasing need for Hospitalists, AGACNPs are being integrated with hospitalist physician groups to provide individualized evidence-based patient care across medicine and surgical specialties. The hospitalist focus will provide advanced didactic learning, high-fidelity clinical simulation experiences and hospitalist-focused procedural training to prepare the AGACNP clinician for hospital-based practice.

Students will participate in one semester of a general internal medicine rotation and a second semester within a chosen focus area. Distance students are required to arrange their own clinical rotations and are strongly encouraged to follow the placement strategy for local students.  All OMTA clinical sites must have approved contractual agreements coordinated by VUSN Clinical Placement Office [link to VUSN CP Office].  

Through this specialty:

  • Your curriculum will include the AGACNP content with additional coursework in advanced care of the hospitalized patient
  • You will be introduced to common hospitalist procedures such as airway management, tissue biopsy, orthopedic injections, paracentesis and lumbar puncture.
  • You will review routine laboratory and radiologic studies commonly seen in hospital-based practice
  • You will be introduced to various hospital settings, triage, bed management skills, and legal issues of caring for hospitalized patients
  • You will be introduced to discharge strategies for hospitalized patients requiring lower levels of care

The program is offered in a modified-distance format. Registered nurses with 2 or more years of nursing experience may pursue the AGACNP Hospitalist sub-specialty program without having to relocate or terminate employment. Courses are offered via different learning methods which include on-campus time during the weekdays, online conferencing and clinical practicum placement in your home region.

Due to State Boards of Nursing and/or State Higher Educational rules, the School may not be able to provide clinical placements in your location of choice, but every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate your placement request.

Credentials and Certification

Graduation from the Vanderbilt MSN program prepares you to sit for the AGACNP certification exam, and eligible for prescriptive authority consistent with state law. Visit Credentialing and Certification for specific information. 

Interested in learning more about the AGACNP Hospitalist focus? Watch a previously-recorded webinar (August 2019), which:

  • Describes the program in detail
  • Explains the application requirements
  • Provides tips for preparing a competitive application

For more information on the AGACNP Hospitalist specialty, see Focus Coordinator Sharon Bryant's recent publication:

Bryant, S. Filling the gaps: Preparing nurse practitioners for hospitalist practice. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Journal of American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 2018. 30(1):4-9.