Advancing Your Career | Specialties

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner: A Brimming Profession

  • Have you heard of adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioners Are you wondering, “What does this type of nurse do?”   
  • An adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) is a type of advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in primary or acute health needs for patients. 
  • Let’s break it down and cover everything you should know about being an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner!

Sadia Arshad


July 15, 2022
Simmons University

You’re here because you’re wondering what an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner is! An adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) is a type of advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in primary or acute health needs for patients.  

AGNPs are also referred to as adult/gero practitioners or adult/gero NPs and can work in acute or primary care settings.  

Advance practice registered nurses are also known as clinicians or mid-level providers.  

When I first started to read about nursing and the different nursing specialties, I wondered about the differences between AGNPs and other nursing professions.  

Navigating healthcare as a patient and navigating healthcare professions are both complicated. Whether you are curious about entering the nursing profession or wondering who took care of you at your last visit, this post is for you!

Education of an Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

AGNPs are a type of nurse practitioner with training and education to care for patients as young adults and into their geriatric years. Geriatrics is a focus of healthcare that deals with the health care needs for elderly people, often defined as people older than 65 years of age.  

AGNPs have a graduate-level degree in adult/gerontology nursing. Some AGNPs work as registered nurses before going back to school. Other AGNPs have entered the nursing profession via an accelerated or direct entry nursing program.  

If you are interested in specializing in acute adult/gerontology care, most nursing schools require a few years of experience as an acute care nurse, such as working in emergency medicine or in intensive care units (ICUs). 


adult gerontology nurse practitioner duties

Salary of an Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

Salary varies by state and place of employment, such as a hospital or private practice. Typically, hospitals pay more than private practices, and AGNPs with more experience tend to have a higher salary than recent graduates

According to, the average salary for an AGNP is $99,500. Note that this average varies depending on experience, location, and place of work.  

Where Does an Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Work?

Where does an adult gerontology nurse practitioner work?  

AGNPs can work in many places, such as: 

  • Public health departments 
  • Hospitals 
  • Ambulatory health centers 
  • Military health services 
  • Palliative and hospice care facilities 
  • Clinical research facilities 
  • Pharmaceutical companies 
  • Telehealth start-ups 
  • Correctional facilities 
  • Community health centers, and more. 

Adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioners can also specialize in private consulting, serve as sexual assault nurse examiners, or teach at nursing schools. 

adult gerontology nurse practitioner career

Scope of Practice

AGNPs can see people from young adulthood into late adulthood regarding their primary health needs. Some AGNPs specialize in working with certain patient populations, such as veterans or people with disabilities.  

Common AGNP duties include:  

  • Prescribe medication  
  • Conduct comprehensive health assessments 
  • Perform annual exams 
  • Administer immunizations 
  • Order pertinent testing 
  • Interpret lab results 
  • Offer referrals for specialty care 
  • Work in collaboration with other clinicians  
  • and of course, educate and counsel patients as needed.  

This is just a sample of what AGNPs can do! The scope of work for a AGNP strongly depends on their training, local boards of nursing, workplace practices, and local legislation.  

Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner vs. Other Specialties

There are several nurse practitioner specialties, such as emergency medicine and midwifery. AGNPs focus specifically on primary care and overall health of a patient from young adulthood into geriatrics. AGNPs do not see pediatric patients.  

If you are thinking about working as a nurse practitioner and would like to see pediatric patients, you might want to consider being a pediatric nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner.  

AGNPs play a key role in health education and overall health concerns. Since AGNPs can see patients from across the lifespan from young adulthood into older years, they can form a consistent provider-patient relationship and establish trust within a community.  

An adult gerontology nurse practitioner in the acute setting, such as an emergency room, can influence someone’s health in a positive way during a difficult time (since no one goes to the ER for fun!).  

If you are considering being an adult gerontology nurse practitioner, I would recommend that you ask yourself if you truly are passionate about adult health needs, nursing, and compassionate patient care.  

With an increasing aging population, the demand for AGNPs is expected to grow nationwide.  


adult gerontology nurse practitioner job

Professional Resources

If you are thinking about becoming an adult gerontology nurse practitioner or learning more about the profession, I would recommend looking into the Gerontological Nurse Practitioners Association or the American Association for Nurse Practitioners.  

You can also learn about the growing field of adult-gerontology nursing by reading the Journal of Gerontology Nursing or the Journal for Nurse Practitioners.  

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