Women's Health Nurse Practitioner/Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the role of the Women’s Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner?
- Do I have to be a nurse to enter this program?
- How many students are accepted into this specialty each year?
- Do I need RN work experience?
- Does the school accept transfer credit?
- I have an MSN, does the school have a post-master’s option?
- Can I work full-time and go to school full-time?
- Can I take this program via the modified distance learning format?
- What is the modified distance learning format?
- Can I take this program part-time?
- What housing options are there for students participating in the modified distance format?
- What is the specialty portion of the curriculum like?
- How many times do I need to visit campus?
- What are the clinical requirements for the program?
- How do you match me with clinical preceptors?
- Is travel required as part of my clinical placements?
- What will my credentials and certifications be?
- What is the VUSN pass rate for the certification exams?
- Will I earn my nursing license?
- Will I be able to get a job upon graduation?
- Can I earn a DNP degree?
What is the role of the Women’s Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner?
The dual prepared graduate is prepared to care for adults across the lifespan starting in adolescence with significant additional women’s health care knowledge and experience. The graduate will be well-prepared for care for adults with an emphasis on women’s health.Most states require certification from the National Certification Corporation as a WHNP and a collaborating physician for prescriptive practice. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) graduates are prepared to provide care to adults across the lifespan starting in adolescence at age 13. Most states require AGPCNPs to be certified by one of the national certification bodies—the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). All nursing practices, including prescriptive practices, are regulated by state laws. Therefore, licensing and scope of practice for AGPCNPs varies by state. To learn about the specific laws and regulatory codes for prescriptive practice in your area, contact your state's Board of Nursing.
Do I have to be a nurse to enter this program?
No. You can enter this program if you have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a field other than nursing by completing a one year full-time baccalaureate equivalent program (PreSpecialty Year - Clinical Experiences), and then progressing to the Women’s Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty. If you have a BSN or MSN you enter directly into the specialty course work. All students, regardless of entry type, graduate with an MSN or Post-Master’s Certificate.
How many students are accepted into this specialty each year?
We encourage you to apply to the specialty that meets your career interest rather than focus on the number of spaces available. We strongly recommended that you complete your application by the October 15th early action date to have a greater probability of being admitted. The number of students offered admission can vary each year based on many factors. Typically, we admit about 10 students into this specialty each year.
Do I need RN work experience?
No. You can enter the program without RN work experience
Does the school accept transfer credit?
Matriculated students can transfer up to six semester credits of equivalent graduate level coursework from another accredited university to be applied toward the MSN. You must complete this petition and return, along with the course syllabus, to Sara Donahoe . Courses completed elsewhere must have been taken within the last five years. The decision is based on equivalent content (for required courses), credit allotment, and satisfactory completion of the courses.
I have an MSN degree, does the school have a post-master’s option?
Yes. There is a Post-Master’s Certificate in Women’s Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care that is available to students who already possess an advanced nursing degree. We recommend you consider the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and complete the post-master’s certificate as part of your DNP program of studies.
Can I work full-time and go to school full-time?
We strongly recommend that students do not attempt full-time school and full-time work. The few students who have successfully completed full-time school and work used flex time or accrued compensatory time to continue to work full-time. Some have used a Baylor plan (weekend shifts).
Can I take this program via the modified distance learning format?
This program is only offered via the modified distance learning format, so RNs do not need to give up employment or relocate to Nashville. If you do not have a prior nursing background, you must first complete your PreSpecialty Year on campus in Nashville before progressing to the specialty portion of your education which is taught only via a modified distance learning format.
What is the modified distance learning format?
Modified distance learning specifically means that you will do a portion of your course work online via taped lectures and web conferencing to integrate the material. A portion of your work requires on-campus learning in blocks of time (including weekends), followed by seminar and online discussions. Where possible, you can do your clinical practicum experience in your home area. You will be in continuous contact with your professors throughout the program and in between sessions.
Can I take this program part-time?
Yes, however you are required to follow a pre-determined program of studies. Length of time to complete the entire program varies depending on your background prior to VUSN enrollment. Our admissions staff are happy to walk you through your specific situation.
What housing options are there for students participating in the modified distance format?
Our Admissions Office has a listing of hotels nearby the VUSN campus and many students choose to share hotel rooms to lower costs. Some students stay with local classmates.
What is the specialty portion of the curriculum like?
All full-time students, those living in the middle Tennessee area and those living outside of the middle Tennessee area, attend “block classes” on the Vanderbilt School of Nursing campus. There are four blocks of classes in the fall, including the new student orientation, three blocks in the spring semester and three blocks in the summer semester. Block dates are determined early for the entire academic year allowing students plenty of time for adequate work/travel planning. During the second fall semester, students attend block classes at the beginning of the semester and during the second spring, students travel back to campus three times. Faculty work closely with students throughout the entire program and are in continuous contact with students between block classes.
How many times do I need to visit campus?
You will come to campus four times in the fall semester, three times in the spring semester and two times in the summer semester. During your second fall semester, there are no on-campus requirements.
What are the clinical requirements for this program?
There are 1190 clinical hours required.
How do you match me with a clinical preceptor?
We view clinical placements as a required and integral part of your education. Faculty work diligently to match you with appropriate preceptors so you can learn from clinical mentors and start applying your new skills and knowledge. We make every reasonable effort to accommodate a student’s placement request.
Is travel required as a part of my clinical placement?
Travel is often a requirement of the program, as we strive to give the student a vast array of clinical experiences to enrich the student experience (sample block schedule).
What will my credentials and certifications be?
Graduation from this MSN specialty program prepares you to take the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner certification exam offered by The National Certification Corporation and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Passage of the exams is required in most states to obtain a license as an advanced practice nurse.
What is the VUSN student pass rate on the certification exams?
Everyone will be well prepared for the certification exams as our students typically score well above national averages on these exams. For specific information, (click here).
Will I earn my nursing license?
If you enter without a nursing degree, you will take the NCLEX to obtain your Tennessee RN license after your first year of study.
Will I be able to get a job upon graduation?
You will have a wide scope of practice that will allow you to provide a wide range of primary and women’s health care to a majority of the population. Our graduates like the flexibility of this dual program, because it gives them a variety of employment options such as internal medicine clinics, private practices and specialty clinics. Many of our graduates use their education in rural, under-served and global health settings.
Can I earn a DNP degree?
Yes! Our both the MSN and Post-master’s certificate programs are designed for you to seamlessly transition to our DNP program. After successful completion of one semester of the specialty year curriculum, you complete an abbreviated application to indicate your interest in progressing to the DNP program; no additional application fee is required. Either you can progress directly into the DNP program or you can take a gap year to work as an APRN before starting the DNP program. The advantage of earning the MSN degree before the DNP degree is that you will be able to work as an APRN during your DNP program. The DNP program is designed for APRNs who are working full or part time. See DNP program details.