Best Dual FNP/AGACNP Programs For 2021
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Are you a registered nurse considering taking a step toward a higher degree or focused specialty? Have you wondered what it may be like to work with patients of all ages, from birth to old age? Do you like to work with patients with acute, chronic, and critical conditions? Dual FNP/AGACNP programs make this possible! An FNP/AGACNP dual program is a graduate nursing program offering students the chance to earn two NP specialty degrees concurrently. As you continue reading this article, you will find information about the best dual FNP/AGACNP programs for 2021. You will learn about admission requirements, the cost of the programs and see examples of classes students take. Finally, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about the program and have the information you need to decide if this is an academic/career path you would like to pursue.
What Exactly Is the Goal of a Dual FNP/AGACNP Program?
FNP/AGACNP dual programs are designed to prepare advanced practice registered nurses for the role of both family and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners. These programs provide didactic and clinical instruction relevant to both specialties equipping students with the necessary skills to be effective healthcare providers. An FNP/AGACNP dual program prepares students to provide primary care and management services for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults and their families throughout the lifespan from birth to the end of life. They also make students competent to deal with patients suffering from acute, chronic, and critical conditions. Graduates of these programs are prepared to assume nursing leadership roles as they promote health maintenance, disease prevention, health restoration, and rehabilitative services.
7 Big Advantages of Dual FNP/AGACNP Programs
If you are considering dual FNP/AGACNP programs online, you may have questions about whether it is a good choice for you. Evaluating the pros and cons of a new career path or academic endeavors is essential to help you decide. The following are seven significant advantages of FNP/AGACNP dual programs.
1. Increase your professional marketability.
A career as a nurse practitioner can open many doors for job opportunities. When you choose to pursue dual certifications, you increase your professional marketability, meaning you have more to offer employers and become qualified for more jobs.
2. Give yourself a raise.
Graduates of FNP/AGACNP dual programs earn an average annual salary of over $130,000. Depending on previous work experience and your place of employment, you may be able to negotiate even higher wages.
3. Variety in choice of work environment:
As a Family/Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, you will have several options in future job opportunities. You may choose to work in a physician's office or have your independent practice. Urgent or after-hours clinics, hospitals, specialty clinics, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are also potential employers after you graduate from one of the accredited FNP/AGACNP dual programs.
4. Become a leader in the nursing industry:
Nurse practitioners are leaders in the healthcare field. When you achieve a dual degree, your knowledge and skills can influence healthcare and promote patient wellness. Because they have been educated in patient care across the lifespan, nurse practitioners who earn dual FNP/AGACNP degrees are often offered management or supervisory positions within healthcare organizations.
5. Less competition when applying for some jobs:
While you may happen to stumble upon some job opportunities and find you are “overqualified,” it is more likely that a dual FNP/AGACNP degree will position you to have less competition when applying for jobs. Employers can benefit from hiring one person with the knowledge and skills necessary for treating patients from various backgrounds and different age groups instead of paying two full-time salaries for NPs who specialize in only one patient population. Keep in mind, this could be something you can use to negotiate your salary when the time comes.
6. Save money while earning your degree.
Nurse practitioner programs are not cheap. However, if you believe pursuing more than one specialty is something you want to do, enrolling in an FNP/AGACNP dual program could save you money over time. Dual degree programs can reduce the length of time you are in school, which will impact your pocketbook over time.
7. Save time while earning your degree.
Dual FNP/AGACNP programs consist of a rigorous curriculum and required clinical experiences. Although some students may continue to work while enrolled, others feel like it is in their best interest not to. If you need to work but want to pursue two specialty certifications, dual degree programs can help you save time (a year or more) and allow you to get back to work in less time.
How Long Are FNP/AGACNP Dual Programs?
The amount of time it takes to complete FNP/AGACNP dual programs varies from one student and school to the next. Generally, these programs take from three and a half to five years to complete. Some students may need longer to meet all graduation criteria. The decision to enroll part-time or full-time is the most common factor determining an individual’s time in a program. Additionally, students who need to repeat a class or take time off for any reason will take longer to graduate. The following list shows the length of time it usually takes to complete the programs featured in this article.
The University of Arizona
offers a Family Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner dual degree program delivered in a hybrid format. Full-time students can graduate after as few as three and a half years of study.
At the University of South Alabama
, students may take from three to five years to complete the dual FNP/AGACNP online degree program.
Most students at Madonna University
finish their programs in three years. However, the university allows up to six years to complete the dual degree.
The dual FNP/AGACNP BSN to DNP online program at the University of Tennessee
is formatted in three- and four-year program plans.
The University of San Diego
offers part-time and full-time options for their BSN-to-DNP FNP/AGACNP dual degree program. Students typically meet graduation requirements in four to five years, depending on their enrollment status.
How Much Do FNP/AGACNP Dual Programs Cost?
The cost of FNP/AGACNP Dual Programs ranges from $30,000 to over $150,000. A few factors contributing to the total price include whether the school charges different rates for in-state and out-of-state tuition and the cost of books, supplies, and other fees. Prospective students should carefully consider the financial obligation and decide if seeking assistance to pay for the program is necessary. Many forms of financial aid can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for students. Grants do not have to be repaid. Federal, state, or private loans are another option. Additionally, scholarships, work-study, and employer-sponsored education programs can be helpful.
Below is a list of the cost of the programs featured in this article.
At the University of South Alabama
, students complete seventy-two to eighty-one credits in its online FNP/AGACNP dual degree program. Online graduate courses cost $525, making the cost of the program range from $37,800 to $42,525
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
tuition for state residents is $443 per semester hour and $1,117 for non-residents. The program, which includes seventy-three credit hours, costs $32,339 to $81,541
, depending on where the student lives. This cost includes program and services fees, health service and technology fees, and malpractice insurance.
The cost of tuition for the online FNP/AGACNP dual program at the University of Arizona
is approximately $86,775
. The per-unit rate is $975, and the program includes eighty-nine units of credit.
• Madonna University
offers BSN-to-MSN and BSN-to-DNP options for its FNP/AGACNP dual degree students. Tuition is charged on a per semester-credit basis of $995. The BSN-to-MSN option includes fifty-eight credits, with an average tuition cost of $57,710. The BSN-to-DNP path of study requires seventy-four credits and costs approximately $73,630.
The dual Adult-Gerontology/Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of San Diego
, one of the best dual FNP/AGACNP programs available, consists of eighty-three credit hours and costs $1,740 per semester unit. The program, excluding books, supplies, and other additional fees, has an average tuition cost of $140,940.
The coursework required for accredited dual FNP/AGACNP programs is based on an educational foundation rooted in advanced nursing care of families and adult-gerontology patients. Students can expect to take classes that teach evidence-based practice, quality improvement methods, and nursing theory.
Below are examples of coursework of some of our featured programs.
The University of South Alabama
offers dual FNP/AGACNP online education with both BSN-to-MSN and MSN-to-DNP options. BSN-to-MSN students complete fifty-seven credit hours in a maximum time of five years. The BSN-to-DNP pathway consists of seventy-two to eighty-one credit hours, depending on a student’s prior coursework, and must be completed within seven years.
BSN-to-MSN Sample Coursework:
◦ Physio-pathological Basis of Advanced Nursing
◦ Scientific Underpinnings of Advanced Nursing Practice
◦ Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Issues for Dual Role Nurse Practitioners
◦ Family Primary Care for Nurse Practitioners I & II (Both classes have a corresponding clinical rotation.)
◦ Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner I & II (These classes also have corresponding clinical assignments.)
BSN-to-DNP Sample Coursework:
◦ Clinical Prevention and Occupation Health
◦ Quality Improvement and Outcomes Assessment
◦ Data Management and Decision Making in Complex Healthcare Systems
◦ Organizational and Systems Leadership
◦ Evidence0Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Healthcare
Baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice while pursuing two specialties with the dual FNP/AGACNP online program offered at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center
. The dual concentration prepares graduates to take national certification examinations in both specialties. The seventy-three-credit hour program is delivered in an online format, offering students the opportunity to have more control over their time.
◦ Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Advanced Acute Care
◦ Diagnostic Reasoning for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
◦ Advanced Family Nursing I and II
◦ Integrated Behavioral Healthcare
◦ Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology
The University of Arizona
offers post-baccalaureate and post-master's DNP degrees with dual FNP/AGACNP specialization. The program focuses on health assessment and promotion, healthcare maintenance, illness management, and decision-making taught in the classroom and clinical settings.
◦ Adult-Gerontology: Diagnosis and Management of Chronic and Acute Illness
• Madonna University
◦ Advanced Practice Nursing in the Care of Older Adults in Acute Care
◦ Pediatric Health Assessment
◦ Women’s Health in Advanced Practice Nursing
◦ Theories of Leadership and Organizational Management
offers two of the best FNP/AGACNP dual programs we have found. The BSN-to-MSN and BSN-to-DNP options make it possible for nurses to achieve a dual degree at either a master's or doctoral level. Students in the post-baccalaureate DNP program take all courses included in the BSN-to-MSN option and additional doctoral nursing classes.
BSN-to-MSN Sample Coursework:
◦ Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy
◦ Advanced Practice Family Nursing of Pediatrics and Childbearing Women
◦ Gerontology Acute Care I, II, and III
◦ Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
◦ Advanced Human Pathophysiology
BSN-to-DNP Sample Coursework:
◦ Health Promotion for Advanced Practice
◦ Adult-Gerontology Acute Care I and II
◦ Scientific Foundations Informing the Advanced Practice Role
◦ Economic and Financial Management for Quality Healthcare
◦ Interdisciplinary Perspectives of DNP Practice
◦ Scholarship Sustainability and Dissemination
◦ Clinical Readiness & Skill Building
The University of San Diego
prepares students in its Dual Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner specialty to provide quality health promotion and maintenance, restorative and rehabilitative services, and disease prevention methods related to clients' acute and chronic health conditions across the lifespan.
◦ Primary Adult-Gerontology Health Care: Management of Older Adults with Long-Term Health Problems
◦ Epidemiology: Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice
◦ Perspectives in Program Planning and Evaluation
◦ Pathogenesis of Complex Disease
◦ Strategic Planning and Quality Initiatives
◦ Health Policy Analysis
Although some schools may require more, students in accredited dual FNP/AGACNP programs can expect a curriculum that requires them to complete at least 1,000 clinical practice hours before graduating. The minimum 1,000 hours requirement is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommendation, as outlined in the Doctoral Essentials. The Doctoral Essentials
state that clinical practice hours must be part of an academic nursing program. It further says that to achieve the "DNP competencies, programs should provide a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program" (see page 19 of the Doctoral Essentials).
The following list indicates the number of clinical hours required in the programs featured in this article.
At the University of South Alabama
, Family NP/Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP students must attend two on-campus Nurse Practitioner Clinical Skills Intensives, which include basic skills workshops, clinical examinations, and simulation labs. By the time students graduate, they will have earned 2,160 clinical hours
in Family Practice and Adult-Gerontology settings.
The curriculum for the FNP/AGACNP online degree program at the University of Tennessee
includes 1,020 clinical practice hours. Although this is the minimum required, some students may need to complete additional hours, to be determined by program faculty/directors.
The online FNP/AGACNP dual program offered by the University of Arizona
requires students to complete a minimum of 1,440 clinical practice immersion hours, 720 for each specialty, and a faculty-mentored DNP project.
• Madonna University
offers BSN-to-MSN and BSN-to-DNP options for students pursuing the dual FNP/AGACNP degree. Students participate in 1,060 clinical hours to satisfy graduation criteria.
Students in the FNP/AGACNP dual program at the University of San Diego
participate in 1,260 clinical practice hours
. The clinical practicum provides students with experiences involving medical-surgical, psychiatric, obstetrics, pediatrics, family, and geriatric settings.
An admission offer to any of the accredited dual FNP/AGACNP programs is contingent upon meeting criteria as determined by each school. Some of the programs in this article are tailored for baccalaureate-prepared students, and others are for post-master's students. Therefore, the admission requirements related to previous academic accomplishments will vary.
General admission requirements typically include:
◦ Possess a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse
◦ Have access to a web-connected personal computer
◦ Demonstrate computer literacy and adequate computer skills
◦ Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, even if a degree was not earned
◦ Current CPR certification
◦ Pass a drug test and criminal background check
The following are some criteria admissions faculty look for at the programs featured in this article.
The University of South Alabama: Admission Requirements for BSN-to-MSN
FNP/AGACNP online Degree Programs
◦ Applicant must be in good standing with any academic institution or nursing program previously attended to be considered for admission.
◦ Minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all coursework from the bachelor's in nursing coursework
◦ Submit a professional resume that highlights clinical experience (Before beginning the program's clinical component, all students must have at least two years of nursing experience in a setting relevant to the FNP/AGACNP track.)
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center: Admission Requirements for BSN-to-DNP FNP/AGACNP Program
◦ Applicant must have earned either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing from a regionally accredited college or university.
◦ A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all collegiate coursework, OR a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.2 earned during the most recently completed degree program
◦ Three letters of recommendation, including two academic and one professional reference, that address the applicant's potential for success in a graduate nursing program. The recommendations must be submitted on a recommendation form. They should include reference to the applicant's clinical, critical thinking, and independent decision-making skills and collaborate with the interdisciplinary healthcare team.
The University of Arizona: Admission Requirements for FNP/AGACNP-DNP
◦ Bachelor of Science in Nursing with cumulative GPA of 3.0; OR
◦ Master of Science in Nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
◦ Submit a professional resume/curriculum vitae
◦ Complete both an online NursingCAS and University of Arizona Graduate College applications
The University of San Diego: Admission Requirements for BSN-to-DNP FNP/AGACNP
◦ Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an approved, accredited school of nursing
◦ One year of clinical nursing experience as a registered nurse in acute care
◦ Provide a Goal Statement that demonstrates an understanding of the role of the FNP/AGACNP and explaining an evidence-based clinical issue or problem the applicant plans to address in their DNP Scholarly Project
◦ Participate in an interview with program faculty
FOLLOWING ARE THE 5 BEST DUAL FNP/AGACNP PROGRAMS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) IN THE NATION FOR 2021
(These FNP/AGACNP Dual Concentration Programs are ideal for individuals who wish to become a nurse practitioner with expertise in both FNP and AGACNP.)
1. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL (Online)Programs Offered: MSN
(BSN to DNP & MSN to DNP)
2. University of Tennessee Health Science Center - Memphis, TN (Online)Programs Offered: BSN to DNP
3. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ (Online)Programs Offered: DNP
4. Madonna University - Livonia, MI (Campus)Programs Offered: MSN
and BSN to DNP
5. University of San Diego - San Diego, CA (Campus)Programs Offered: BSN to DNP
View Ranking Methodology
Career Opportunities Post-Completion of This Dual Program
After completing dual FNP/AGACNP programs, graduates may find employment opportunities in a variety of places. One of the benefits of choosing a dual-degree option is being qualified to care for diverse populations of people, making it easier to find a job that is a good fit. Some examples of places nurse practitioners may work after completing an FNP/AGACNP dual program include the following.
◦ Veteran’s Homes
◦ Correctional Facilities
◦ Family Practice Clinics
◦ School Nurse Practitioner
◦ Physicians’ Offices
◦ Independently Owned Clinics
◦ Urgent Care or After-Hours Clinics
◦ Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Facilities
Average FNP/AGACNP Salary
The average income for nurse practitioners who complete an FNP/AGACNP dual program is $130,960. Typically, nurse practitioners can expect to see an increase in annual earnings of approximately $5,000 every five years. While this is not a guarantee, it is commonly seen in the industry. Some places report incomes for graduates of these programs to be as much as $160,000 yearly. Of course, geographic location, cost-of-living, type of work environment, and previous experience and skills are all factors that contribute to one’s earning potential.
Job Outlook for Graduates of This Dual Program
A reported shortage of primary care physicians in the United States coupled with a growing population suggests job growth for graduates of accredited FNP/AGACNP dual programs will continue. Understandably, jobs will increase as the public becomes more health-conscious and insurance companies encourage wellness care. Being a graduate of a dual degree program, like the ones featured in this article, creates opportunities for job security as the reach of practice extends beyond one age group and encompasses clients from preconception to old age.
The Bottom Line
The nursing industry is one of the largest professional industries in the United States. If you are a registered nurse considering furthering your degree, pursuing programs like the best dual FNP/AGACNP programs for 2021 can help broaden your professional scope and help you experience long-term employment options while improving patient health and wellness.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
Is it essential for a dual AGACNP/FNP program to be accredited?
Yes! One of the most important things you can look for when choosing a dual AGACNP/FNP program is accreditation by either ACEN
. The purpose of accreditation is to ensure that NP programs are held to common standards of quality. Potential employers prefer to hire graduates from accredited programs because they realize to maintain accreditation, schools must meet standards and teach current information and skills to students.
How do I know if I should enroll in dual FNP/AGACNP programs online or on-campus?
Online NP learning has become a popular means of earning a degree, especially for people who are currently working and need to continue. However, it takes dedication and a solid plan to succeed with online learning. If you are trying to decide which option is best for you, consider your current obligations: Do you have to work? Do you have children or other people for whom you are responsible? Then, think about which type of learning is best for you: Do you prefer to study independently? If so, online learning could be perfect for you. However, if you require in-person instruction or learn better in a group, an on-campus or hybrid option may be better for you.
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.