Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

AGACNP Intensivist Focus

What Will You Do as an Intensivist Nurse Practitioner?

As an AGACNP Intensivist you will provide care to adults with critical life-threatening illness in a variety of intensive care settings, and you will be prepared to practice on multi-disciplinary intensive care teams, like those found in tertiary care centers. This subspecialty within the AGACNP specialty focuses on providing care for critically ill patients such as those with cardiac arrest, shock, respiratory failure, multiple organ failure, sepsis, stroke, and brain injury.

Where Will You Practice?

Many clinical settings are available to the Intensivist Nurse Practitioner. Upon certification, you will find a variety of clinical opportunities in settings that include:

  • Critical Care Teams
  • Rapid Response Teams
  • Shock Teams
  • Burn Care Units
  • Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units
  • Medical Intensive Care Units
  • Neurological Intensive Care Units
  • Surgical Intensive Care Units

How will Vanderbilt Prepare You?

With the increase in patient acuity in intensive care units, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNPs) are partnering with Critical Care physicians to provide state-of-the-art patient care. Within the AGACNP specialty at Vanderbilt, an AGACNP Intensivist focus area has been designed to meet this new demand for AGACNPs. The focus of the AGACNP Intensivist track is to provide the necessary clinical experiences and pathophysiological background so that graduates will be well prepared to join critical care intensivists teams. Vanderbilt’s specialty's unique feature is the pairing of School of Nursing AGACNP faculty with critical care physicians and advanced practice nurses to provide advanced critical care didactic, ICU clinical rotations, and highly sophisticated critical care simulations. Students have the opportunity to rotate through five intensive care units including the SICU, MICU, NeuroICU, CVICU and the Burn Unit. Within each rotation students are mentored in diagnosing and managing complex patients and guided in the development  and refinement of their own clinical skills

Through this specialty

  • Your curriculum will include the AGACNP content with additional coursework in advanced diagnostics and therapeutics in the critically ill.
  • You will gain clinical experience, with hands-on learning in diagnostic reasoning and therapeutics, while on Vanderbilt’s critical care teams in a variety of intensive care units.
  • You will participate in clinical rotations which include advanced critical care simulation through the  Simulation Technologies Program of the Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
  • You will also be introduced to bed management skills, triage, ethical issues, legal issues and other aspects of managing complex ICU patients.
  • You will be introduced to a variety of common critical care procedures, such as airway management, central line placement, arterial line placement, and bedside bronchoscopy.

Some aspects of this specialty are offered in a modified (block) learning formatwhich combines modified course delivery methods and on-campus experiences. However, the Intensivist specialty didactic, simulation, and clinical ICU rotations are only available on Vanderbilt campus and do not utilize a block format. Students must be within commuting distance of campus for Spring and Summer semesters (January - August).

The AGACNP Intensivist focus area is built upon Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s successful AGACNP specialty. Visit the AGACNP specialty site for information, to meet the specialty directors and to learn more:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) – provides advanced nursing care to adults with acute, critical and chronic conditions, practicing in settings where patients require specialized care such as complex and continuous monitoring, intricate or invasive therapies or interpretation of diagnostic testing.

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 Intensivist focus? Watch a previously-recorded webinar, which:

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