Geoffrey McGowen at workA process that started 23 years ago continues as I am currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s School of Nursing to obtain a post-Masters certification as an Acute Care / Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner.

The additional education is intended to better prepare me for the nuances of caring for the older population as well as those with more acute illness requiring both routine hospitalization up to ICU status. As of now, I am set to complete this course of study in May of 2018.

The Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) Concentration is a six-semester program consisting of 49 credit hours over a period of 24 months. It is challenging, but I am looking forward to expanding my training.

My coursework prepares me for the national certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP). I am gaining the clinical expertise needed to provide care for young adults (including late adolescents), adults, and older adults (including young-old, old, and old-old adults) in the acute care setting. Courses include advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology. Once certified, I may begin work as a AGACNP feeling confident that I have the skills needed to work in acute care.

This will be in addition to my current certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner, for which I was trained to deliver primary care for families. Courses for that included advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology. FNPs work with patients on maintaining health and wellness over the long term with a particular focus on preventative care. Family Nurse Practitioners track the health histories of a family for a long period of time. This means becoming intimately familiar with all the details of that family’s history and being able to communicate with them clearly and compassionately.

I previously earned my Master’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. My Bachelor’s was earned from Winston-Salem State University in 2011, with an Associate’s Degree in Registered Nursing earned from Jones County Junior College in 1997.

I’ve come a long way since starting as a Nurse Practitioner for HCA Physician Services in 2014, working at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. I’ve spent the last 11 months, as of this writing, as a Nurse Practitioner in the Erlanger Health Center at the Academic Urology Clinic. My current focus includes treatments for general urologic conditions with an emphasis on quality of life issues pertaining to men’s health.