Health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention among adults

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program


Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Program Focus


Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner education is based on an understanding of health sciences theory and clinical preparation that shapes knowledge, judgment, and skills deemed necessary to provide primary health care management, health promotion, and disease prevention to adolescents and adults. The focus of the University of Michigan School of Nursing program is on cutting edge, community based care.


Adult-Gerontology Primary Care nurse practitioners' practice is the independent management of adolescent and adult health care, focusing particularly on health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and primary health care management. Nurse practitioners take health histories and provide complete physical examinations; diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems; interpret laboratory results and diagnostic procedures; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies; provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance; and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.
See the application requirements for this program.

“The Michigan Difference” in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

A History of Pioneering Leadership and Innovation

The ANP program was started in 1980 by Dr. Lois Gage, a pioneer in community mental health nursing. As a result of the founder's deep involvement in this field, our program began with and maintains a strong emphasis on community based primary care and mental health, a fact that we believe benefits our students and their future patients. In fact, this focus which has been standard in our program since inception is now becoming the trend for NP programs nationwide. To ensure that we remain actively engaged in our communities and to continue Dr. Gage's legacy, current faculty continue to build on a strong curriculum and foundation to develop adult-gerontology primary care nursing education and practice.

World-Class Faculty Leaders in Education, Research, and Practice

Faculty that teach in our program are not only experienced instructors and researchers, but also expert clinicians who maintain active practices in the community. In addition to their teaching, research, and practice, faculty are actively involved in leadership roles at the state and national level. Living up to the title "leaders and the best," our faculty are actively involved in national organizations (e.g. NONPF, ANCC), using their expertise to help shape and advance the future of care and education.

Diverse Practice Settings and Exposure to the Full Spectrum of Care

Our diverse and even international clinical settings expose students to the entire spectrum of care—from clinics located within community settings such as the Ozone House and the Delonis Homeless Shelter, to private primary care practices and specialty clinics affiliated with major hospitals (e.g. the Taylor Teen Clinic). In these settings, our students learn by doing and in the process help patients through assessing, diagnosing, and managing acute and chronic illnesses; promoting education and health; and in some cases providing psychiatric/mental health counseling. In addition to formal clinical coursework, students can get out into the community through health fairs, educational seminars, and political forums on nurse practitioners and health care. Due to the program's focus, the majority of our placements emphasize experience in primary care work; however, because we value the individual interests of our students, opportunities for specialty experiences may be possible in final clinical coursework. 

Innovative, Groundbreaking Research Specific to Community Based Nurse Practitioners

The University of Michigan School of Nursing is widely known for health promotion research that is both community and patient focused. For example, Dr. Joanne Pohl leads the only national clinical and financial data warehouse on nurse managed health centers; Dr. Barbara Brush, studies efforts to promote physical and psychosocial well being in homeless women and children; Dr. April Bigelow developed a nationally recognized curriculum aimed at improving healthcare for the underserved; and these researchers exemplify only a few of the topics currently being explored as, on top of clinically-driven community health projects, we frequently collaborate with other units and departments on campus to conduct interdisciplinary research specific to health promotion.
Of course, the community and the field benefit indirectly from the wealth of research occurring at U-M's School of Nursing, however, so too do our students who learn about most up-to-date research which is steadily incorporated into the basic curriculum. In addition, we support our students as researchers in their own right and so encourage them to take advantage of faculty expertise on a wide range of research projects depending on their population of interest.


The University of Michigan School of Nursing Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program meets the core competencies for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners as outlined by the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties. These competencies include:
  • Providing health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, and treatment

  • Assessing health status

  • Diagnosing health status

  • Creating a plan of care and implementation of treatment

  • Ensuring a professional, collegial, and collaborative approach to care

  • Serving as a teacher and coach to patients

  • Committing to advancing the profession

  • Assisting patients in managing and negotiating the health care delivery system

  • Monitoring and ensuring high quality health care practice

  • Demonstrating cultural competence

The process of education at the University of Michigan School of Nursing begins with a solid foundation in primary care.  Over the course of study, the curriculum covers the full range of competencies required for the complex needs of Adult-Gerontology Primary Care including special emphasis on  the needs of older adults, an ever expanding focus of ANP practice. To put knowledge and theory into practice, clinical experience is integrated throughout the entirety of the program. 

Specialty Appeal

Adult-Gerontology primary care nurse practitioners are in demand. With the looming shortage of physicians entering primary care, the demand for primary care providers is naturally on the rise. The exciting trend of the patient centered medical home model requires a team of providers with increased need for nurse practitioners.
In addition to the practical  upside of belonging to a field with growing demand, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners can practice in multiple settings and thus have multiple opportunities throughout their careers. From settings such as student/college health, to faith based health centers and internal medicine, graduates can apply their skills and their degree in a spectrum of nursing positions. 
Ultimately, however, despite the tangible benefits of the specialty, being an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner is a rewarding and challenging occupation. Through engaging in health promotion and following patients across the health spectrum, ANPs utilize their skills in ways that are meaningful both to their patients and their patients' families.


Listed below are the required courses for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program. The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP students will be placed in clinical settings appropriate to the NP role. The curriculum is offered in an on-campus format; however, a few of the core courses may be web-blended. This program is offered fall term (September) start only. There are 2-year and a 3-year programs for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner curriculum.

 Sample Plan of Study

Course Number
Course Name
Course Credits
Term Offered

Core Courses

N528Models, Theories and Methods to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes
N527Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare Delivery
N529Scientific and Analytic Approaches for Advanced Practice

Specialty Courses

Course Credits
Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
N523Role Transition to APRN3
Advanced Primary Care Nursing I: Health Promotion and Management of Acute Health Problems of Adults and Well Women/GYN Care
N568Critical Elements and the Study of Families and Health3
N646Primary Care of Older Adults3
Advanced Primary Care Nursing of Chronic Illness in Adults and Their Families
Behavioral and Lifestyle Management in Primary Care
Advanced Primary Care Nursing of Families in Complex Systems
N674CDM III: Advanced Primary Care Nursing of Adults and Families with Complex Systems 8
N554Advanced Practice Specialty Procedures and Skills for Primary Care2

Required Cognates

Pharmacotherapeutics I
Pharmacotherapeutics II
HS505Team Based Clinical Decision Making2
Total Credits = 57
Minimum Required Clinical Hours = 504