Top 20 Online/Hybrid MSN Programs in Gerontology

Gerontological or Geriatric Nursing is the specialty of nursing practice that focuses on the needs and limitations affecting older adults. Since the science of medicine is advancing rapidly and technological interventions are extending the life space of people across the world, this specialized field of care is critical, and will only continue to become more important. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects that between the years 2000 and 2050, the number of people in the world who are over age 60 will increase from 605 million to 2 billion. With this many people needing specialized care, now is the time for nurses to consider a specialty in the area of Adult/Geriatric Nursing.

To obtain a graduate level certification in Gerontological Nursing, the ANCC requires two years or more of experience working as an RN, two-thousand hours or more of clinical experience, and at least 30 hours of continuing education beyond the initial RN degree. Both the clinical experience and continuing education must be within the specialty of Gerontological Nursing. The ANCC offers additional nursing certifications in three areas; Gerontological Nursing which awards the Board Certified Registered Nurse who is specializing in Gerontology (RN-BC), Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC), and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC). After all of their hard work of obtaining their MSN, Nurse Practitioners must also complete their Board Certification if they are hoping to work in that capacity. They may remain employed as a Registered Nurse throughout this process, however, never forfeiting that option even if they do not pass their master’s level boards. Luckily, almost all of the schools featured in this list boast a board pass rate of 95% or more.  

Geriatric Nursing Options

The nurses who begin studying in areas as specialized as this, tend to be at Master’s level or above in their study. Since an undergraduate degree in nursing is a generalist education, nurses who work specifically with the elderly require an advanced practice, or a specialist degree. These degrees include an MSN degree, a DPN (Doctor of Nursing Practice), or a PhD in Nursing. Often, undergraduate degrees leave out education dedicated to elder patient care, unless the school has a dedicated interdisciplinary Geriatric program. These programs, like those that highlight elder patient care at every level of nurse education, often offer dual nursing degree graduate programs. While undergraduate nurses do have the option of becoming credentialed in Geriatric Patient Care through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), fewer than 1% of U.S. BSN nurses have obtained this certification. Undergraduate nursing programs often do not have the time and infrastructure t0 expose their students to the material.

Well intentioned aspiring nurses may gleefully bound into the study of geriatrics hoping to care for others like their sweet old grandmother, it isn’t for everyone. Gerontology is about more than providing quality care for and spending time with older patients, it also requires employing steps to keep them healthier and lowering the likelihood that they become sick, get injured, or succumb to a chronic condition which might prevent them from enjoying a comfortable life. Often, vulnerable elderly patients cannot manage their own health, nor navigate the systems that house and care for them. Nurses who are tasked with the wellness of geriatric patients in all health care settings, are needed to function as patient advocates more than most other areas nursing requires.

MSN in Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner: The Online Option

Since the precursor to any MSN degree is either an RN or BSN, or a student’s non-nursing bachelor’s degree, many MSN programs understand that students in these programs require flexibility. They are often working RNs or professionals in other fields, and cannot attend traditional classes. Master’s level students in a career-oriented field like nursing are not able to simply stop working to attend their next level of schooling, so many of these programs make it possible to do both. With the flexibility of a hybrid MSN program, where much or most of the programming is conducted via distance learning, or fully online programs where all of it is, working RNs or career changing professionals can learn about this next level of professional nursing without dedicating their lives to commuting to their school. Each of the following programs is fully online, except where noted about clinical course work and when called Hybrid in their title. 

The option to complete an MSN degree online is one that only schools who are dedicated to flexibility of distance education can offer. Without the best education software and instructors who are specifically trained in distance education, an online or hybrid nursing course is not worth any more than the Netflix login in code from your mom. An episode or two of our favorite nursing dramas can teach more than a bad nursing program, and for a much friendlier price tag! (at least that is what we tell ourselves during Grey’s Anatomy when we should be studying for our boards).

Finding the Best Gerontology Nursing Programs

Our editors at TopRN have ranked the Top 20 Nurse Practitioner Programs with a focus on Gerontology. The only program in the list that is not a Nurse Practitioner training program, and therefore does not enable graduates to sit for the ANCC Board Certification Exams, is the Master’s in Gerontology from the School of Nursing at Utah. It is a degree of advanced nursing theory rather than advanced nursing practice. 

  • Reputation (as reported by the institution’s Times Higher Education Ranking)
  • Cost (per online credit hour)
  • Success Outcomes (from 10 year post graduation salary, as reported to College Scorecard)

All of the nursing programs featured in this list are accredited by the CCNE for Nurse Practitioner education.

1. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas, also known as U of A, has its flagship campus in the town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the largest and most comprehensive school for higher learning within the state of Arkansas. The university was established in 1871 and it was first built at the site of farm that sat atop a hill above the Ozark Mountains. Over time, this location gave the university its nickname “the hill.” They are also known as being the first large public southern post secondary school to offer admittance to African-American students without the use of prior litigation. One of the exciting aspects of U of A is their online program that spans many disciplines including in collaboration with their own Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.

The University of Arkansas, U of A Online School, offers a unique Master of Science in Nursing that prepares students to be experts in the critically important and niche field of Geriatric or Gerontological Nursing. This clinical program lays the foundation for graduates to excel Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nursing Practitioners (AGACNP). The coursework is entirely online, allowing students the flexibility to be effective in all aspects of their lives, including maintaining their current professional nursing obligations. Students will engage in the problem solving of complex health problems that specifically impact older adults, while learning the skills to sustain organizations and employ practices of quality improvement. Applicants must apply directly to the U of A Graduate School and submit their GRE Scores upon their application.

Focus: Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: DNP
Cost: $

2. Drexel University

Drexel University is the home to many renowned colleges including the distinct College of Nursing and Health Professions. This Drexel gem is known for their innovation, which includes technological advancements that bring them to the top of nursing excellence, as well as their prioritizing of civic engagement. Located in the Heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel is committed to expanding into the community in which it resides. They offer programs such as a health center in North Philadelphia that doubles as an interdisciplinary practice for nursing students and instructors. This site has been operational and managed by nurses since 1996. The program offerings at the College of Nursing and Health Practitioners includes fully online degree programs, and the total enrollment is close to 5,000 students.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University features a hybrid program that trains students to be Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners. This specialized program offers students complex training and experience to effectively manage medical, critical care, and surgical practices for older adults dealing with acute illness. Students will be given the skills to treat and diagnose patients, and therefore, this comprehensive program is rigorous in its training of highly competent practitioners. Applicants must first have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing to apply for the program. Thought the program is primarily online, students are required to be on campus for practicum courses.

Focus: Master of Science in Nursing: Adult Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner Concentration
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

3. Purdue Global University

Purdue Global University was established in 2018 as an entity of the Purdue University System. Their primary focus is training adult learners in a variety of disciplines, including business related fields, as well as nursing, and other fields that lead to immediate career paths. They are primarily an online school with 14 locations, and they serve close to 30,000 students. Among their sites is a tier one research university located in Lafayette, Indiana. The seven schools they offer include Concord Law School, School of Business and Information Technology, School of General Education, School of Nursing, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the Open College.

Purdue Global University delivers a specialized program for students to earn their Master of Science in Nursing online, with a specialization area in Adult-Gerontology Primary or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The framework of the program includes training students to effectively diagnose, treat, and manage acute health conditions, provide preventative care, promote general health and wellness, prescribe and manage medications, utilize the most current technology to assist patients, and work with individuals, families and communities as a health educator and coach. The program is rigorous, requiring 30 core credit hours, 51 elective credits, totaling 81 total credits for completion. Students will engage in clinical practice to apply skills and knowledge to real world experiences in a variety of health care settings in their communities.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

4. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center was established 1969 in Lubbock, Texas. Their programming includes disciplines such as the biomedical sciences, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and health professions. They have many campuses that are scattered among 100 counties in Western Texas including in Abilene, EL Paso, Amarillo, Dallas, and the Permian Basin. They are known for their distance and online learning options that serve a variety of students from adult learners requiring flexibility, and traditional students interested in alternative education. Many of the goals of the institution are to serve the historically medically underserved populations in and around West Texas, both with career advancement opportunities and comprehensive healthcare.

Among the all encompassing nursing programs that Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers, one is the specialized Master’s of Science in Nursing degree in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. The program is primarily delivered online with infrequent required sessions at the campus in Lubbock. Students are effectively trained to provide culturally sensitive and acute care for older adults with chronic and ongoing health problems. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

5. Georgetown University

Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies was established in 1903. Located in the heart of Washington DC, students have access to the culture and history that this International City invites. This multi-disciplinary health sciences institution has been operating with a simple mission “Advancing the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities.” They are the home to several academic departments, all of which are in service to their mission, including Health Systems Administration, Advanced Nursing Practice, Human Science, Professional Nursing Practice, and International Health. They are the home to the Center for Health Equity, which is a hub for research, Teaching, and Implementation. There are a variety of programs offered through their online program called Nursing@Georgetown.

Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program that combines live online coursework with on the ground clinical experience. The program was designed for students who are already working as registered nurses to gain deeper skills in working with families, facilitating ethical decision making, and providing direct patient management skills in a variety of complex healthcare settings. Before entering the program, students are required to Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification. The program is 4 credits in length, and will take 23 months to complete. There are 3 on campus residencies required throughout the course of the program.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

6. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina College of Nursing was established in 1957, as the first accredited national baccalaureate nursing program in the state of South Carolina. They are located in the capital city of Columbia, though they have many opportunities for students to study in the field of nursing online. The on-campus facilities include state-of-the-art, technologically advanced labs that simulate real health care settings, enabling students to practice and make mistakes in scenarios identical to real life. In 2016 the US News and World Report ranked their Doctorate and Nurse Practitioner Programs number #1 in the country. They have an active research agenda that includes cancer survivorship and vulnerable populations.

The University of South Carolina offers a graduate program in advanced practice nursing specializing with an emphasis on Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The program is primarily online, though students are required to attend clinical residencies on campus at least two times per year. Students will have opportunities to administer healthcare to older adults who are acutely ill, and dealing with complex health problems. Completion of the program enables students eligibility to sit for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

Focus: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

7. Duke University

Duke University is a private liberal arts university located in the lovely southern town of Durham, North Carolina. It is one of the informal group of elite, private universities called “Southern Ivy League” due to its reputation for excellence and selective acceptance rates, much like that of the Ivy League of the Northeast. Over two sprawling campuses that are divided by the town’s main street, Duke offers students a rich education steeped in tradition that is also at the cutting edge of innovation. The School of Nursing at Duke began in 1931, and survived a complete overhaul in 1985, eventually reopening with a new curriculum and focus on research. In 2006 and 2008, Duke School of Nursing, launched their PhD in Nursing and their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), in those years respectively, the only ones in the state.

The School of Nursing now offers distance learning in several Master of Science in Nursing focus areas, including Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Acute Care or Primary Care. Students can either attend full-time and attend a hybrid model with on-campus attendance fall semester and distance learning in spring, or attend part-time in the distance learning spring semesters only. Graduates from the acute care track will have completed 48 credit hours and 728 clinical hours to be considered for the degree. The primary care track requires 42 hours and 560 clinical hours. The four required core courses for MSN students focus on Global Health, Professionalism, and Nursing Scholarship in two parts, ensuring graduates have as many options open to them as possible as a well-rounded nursing professional.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care or Acute Care
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$$

8. George Washington University

George Washington University School of Nursing is located in the backbone of the country, just blocks for the White House, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. GWU has comprehensive program and degree offerings including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and a number of specialized certificate programs. They are known for their competitive admissions process and academic rigor, ensuring that students will graduate with the the skill set and abilities to be leaders in the fields of nursing. GWU features an additional campus in Ashburn, Virginia- the Virginia Science and Tech Campus.

George Washington University offers two Gerontology related programs including the MSN: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Both programs are primarily delivered online with on campus residency requirements, where students are responsible for their own travel. Both programs offer abundant opportunities to work with aging populations including longer term care, home health, and assisted living. The acute care emphasis will prepare students to specifically treat patients who are critically ill, and learn the skills to additionally collaborate with their families with health care plans and complex and ethical decision making. Acute care trains students to work in high intensity environments required for the field.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$

9. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public research university located in the city of Birmingham, in central Alabama. The history of the university dates back to 1859 with the founding of the Medical College of Alabama, the original purpose for some of the first buildings and land that UAB utelizes today. In 1936 The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa opened the Birmingham Extension Center of The University of Alabama, on those same grounds. In 1966, the two merged, forming the University of Alabama at Birmingham, although is was still a satellite campus of the Tuscaloosa school. Three years later in 1969, UAB became its own entity, and began the groundwork for the traditions and innovation students enjoy today.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a specialized program for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nursing Practitioner that is meant to prepare students to provide primary care to older adults in their choice of various healthcare settings. The program consists of a total of 44 required credit hours with a total of 600 hours towards dedicated patient care. Several of the courses required for MSN degree completion are offered either on-campus or online, in a distance learning format. UAB uses the educational software Canvas to deliver synchronous course work to students whose lives require a non-traditional approach to their education. This approach makes the program accessible to busy RNs who are going back to school and require flexibility, but who are still local to the Birmingham area.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: DNP
Cost: $

10. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is located in Music City, U.S.A., Nashville, Tennessee. This prestigious school is nicknamed Vandy to those who know it well. Vanderbilt is one of the informal group of elite, private universities called “Southern Ivy League” due to their reputation for excellence and selective acceptance rates, much like that of the Ivy League of the Northeast. The School of Nursing at Vanderbilt was established in 1908, a full 35 years after the University was founded in 1873. With a list of “firsts” under their belt, Vandy School of Nursing (VUSN) is often ahead of its time, offering some of the first programs in the nation, like the Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, and the first to allow non-nurses to enter a master’s degree in nursing without repeating undergraduate classes in 1986. With such a long track record of a higher standard, the VUSN, is still ahead of the curve.

One of the innovative programs that Vanderbilt School of Nursing offers is the online Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. Using the latest in technological advancements and a hybrid online educational delivery system, students will learn from taped lectures, web conferencing, and online discussions, as well as on-campus learning through seminars. Clinical practicum experience can be arranged in the student’s home area for convenience and community building. Gero MSN students are required to follow a predetermined program of studies. Those students who do not have an undergraduate degree in nursing may enter the program, and must complete a full-time Pre-Specialty Year in addition to the MSN programming.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$

11. Emory University

Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia and was founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is a private university and operates the 16th largest endowment in the country, used for investing and expenditures, and a $628 million research funding budget generated by the efforts of faculty and scholars. The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is located adjacent to the Emory Medical Center, adding to its reputation as the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the state of Georgia. The School of Nursing has been ranked in the top three nursing schools in the country for the past several years by U.S. News and World Report.

The MSN program at the Woodruff School of Nursing offers an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program, both of which are offered as a hybrid model, with some courses online and others offered on campus. Labs and clinicals must be arranged and attended in person. For those students who have an undergraduate degree in something other than nursing, all of the nursing prerequisites are also available 100% online, including online labs. Students only have the option of attending the Primary Care Program full- or part-time, but the Acute Care Program must be attended on a full-time basis. Both are four-semesters long.

Focus: Adult- Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$$

12. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River, which makes up the southern border of the state. With a huge student body of 44,000 students, UC the second largest university in the state of Ohio. Through research grants and other research funding, they operate a roughly $400 million research budget per year. The College of Nursing at Cincinnati was founded in 1889, placing it among the oldest public nursing schools in the country. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the Nursing School in the top 10% of nursing programs in the country in 2017. They offer innovative programming including distance learning and online degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level.

The School of Nursing at CU offers an entirely online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program for students with or without an undergraduate degree in nursing. The program can be completed in up to two years at a full-time pace, but students who don’t hold an BSN degree may first be required to complete a prerequisite year. The Gerontology Center at UC, also called the Center on Aging with Dignity, relies on social science research to inform some aspects of nursing care for elderly patients, using an interdisciplinary style to enhance a long tradition of excellent medical insight. Graduates of this online program will have completed 44 total credit hours, 504 hours of clinicals, and 42 lab hours, each completed online or in their home communities.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP Program
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

13. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University or SLU for short, is a private school in Saint Louis, Missouri. They were founded in 1818 by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, they offer 100 undergraduate options for degrees, and nearly that many graduate and post bachelor’s degrees. The School of Nursing at SLU was founded in 1928 and was the first program to offer an accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1971, for students seeking a fast-track undergraduate degree in nursing, or for second degree seeking students. The mission of the SLU School of Nursing is to educate the “whole person” including their spirit, their mind, and their body. They use the most innovative and cutting-edge methods available to make this happen.

SLU’s School of Nursing is proud to support an Adult/Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner that is offered 100% online. The program is designed for students who have already achieved an RN degree and are working in that capacity on a full-time basis. The main differences between the two programs besides the focus area of immediate care versus ongoing care respectively, are the number of credit hours needed for completion. The Primary care program requires an extra credit hour in the area of the Nursing Practicum summer semester allowing for extra practice for the needs of the elderly veteran population through veterans affairs programs.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

14. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian University located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. They pride themselves in their commitment to a progressive liberal arts education to all students, no matter their socioeconomic or religious background. Emphasised in all programs is a commitment to service and leadership for students and faculty alike. Originally founded by Southern Baptists in 1949, GCU operated for 10 years as a for-profit institution, but returned fully in 2018 to a non-profit, student-centered school. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at GCU is located at three different sites in Arizona, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Boswell Medical Center, and Scottsdale HonorHealth, to give students more options for practical education, especially for those students choosing a distance learning path.

The work of Geriatric Nurse Practitioners must begin with a high quality foundation of education focused in just this topic. GCU offers a Master’s degree in Nursing with a Specialization in Gerontology. Applicants of this program must have an active RN licence and be comfortable in an online classroom setting. Graduates of this program are interested in providing competent advanced practice for adults and the frail elderly, in both critical care and acute settings. The curriculum is based on an evidence-based program of study, and features expert faculty and the most cutting edge educational technology. Graduates of this program we be eligible for certification as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners and will receive a Master’s in Science in Nursing.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

15. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University is a private Catholic University that was founded in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley and is one of the oldest diocesan universities in the U.S., under the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The campus and online programs educate nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 90 rigorous majors and programs each year. The main campus is located in the town of South Orange, New Jersey, a little more than a dozen miles from Manhattan. The College of Nursi

ng will be housed in the brand new Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus, in the towns of Clifton and Nutley, N.J., set to open in the summer months of 2018.

The College of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program that prepares working RNs to learn to practice in the capacity of a nurse practitioner, primarily serving elderly populations in primary care or acute settings. Graduates of this online program will be trained to assess and provide care to people across their lifespan, including the specific conditions mostly affecting us in advanced age. Students can choose between two tracks of learning, the acute track and the primary care track. These are relatively identical regarding student expectations of time and commitment, with a different content focus.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

16. University of Texas at Arlington

The history of the University of Texas at Arlington dates back to 1885, when Arlington College was established at the suggestion to improve the options for quality education for the rural people who lived between Dallas and Fort Worth. Now, UTA is one of the largest producers of college graduates in the entire state of Texas, and if no one from Texas has told you today, Texas is a very big state. The school did not become the University of Texas at Arlington as we know it today until 1967, after many iterations and changes in vision. It is currently classified as one of the R-1: Doctoral Universities with the Highest Research Activity. Consistent with the mission of the University, UTA is committed to comprehensive programs and elevating the life options of the students who choose to attend. They do this through the 180 baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs.

The University of Texas at Arlington offers a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Online with focus areas in Adult/Gerontology Primary and Acute Care. UTA proudly features graduate pass rate of 96% on the national certification exam for the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner board certification exam. Nearly 100% of graduates from this program are employed 3 months after graduation. This Accelerated MSN program will allow nurses to provide leadership in professional nursing and interdisciplinary health care, with competent patient advocacy as a prominent feature. **Please note that the program is only available to BSN holders with an active RN license in Texas and California.

Focus:Family, Pediatric Primary and Acute Care, Adult/Gero Primary and Acute Care
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

17. University of Utah

The University of Utah is a public research university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. With over 100 undergraduate degrees available and almost as many graduate school options, U of U is selective in its admissions process for admitting new students. Established in 1850 by the “Mormon Moses” himself, Brigham Young, the university is still heavily attended by members of and influenced by the leadership of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) church establishment. The university was originally founded in 1850, years before Utah was even a state. This makes it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It became the University of Utah in 1892 and has been creating traditions and developing outstanding leaders ever since.

The College of Nursing at the University of Utah offers a Master of Science in Gerontology that allows for a theoretical application of health and wellness for people as they age. It is not a Master’s of Science in Nursing, and graduates will not be able to take nursing licensing exams, nor practice nursing at a Master’s level. The program is offered 100% online, and is a great option for those with an RN or nursing background, who are interested in other aspects of elder care than direct patient care. Students can choose from a Master’s Thesis option or a Master’s Project options, which require 33 and 34 credits respectively.

Focus: Gerontology
**not an MSN program**
Degree: MS
Cost: $$

18. Old Dominion University

The ODU School of Nursing offers a Family Nurse Practitioner Program that features a focus in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. Students in this dynamic program will learn to provide high quality care that is both primary preventative, and in relation to chronic illness for adults at various stages of life.The coursework provides students with the complex skills to perform diagnostic testing, take patients histories, interpret lab results, and prescribe medications. An important and unique feature of ODU’s FNP program is the relationship OSU has with Eastern Virginia Medical School and their Standardized Patient Program. Another unique feature of the ODS FNP program is that it is one of only 17 nursing schools in the country that has been funded to provide a preceptor infrastructure that is technology supported. A nurse preceptor is a nurse who is in the dual role of practitioner and educator, think somewhere in between a teacher and a mentor. Training nursing educators, especially those who are interested in improving healthcare for people in rural parts of Virginia and the south, is something that ODU is committed to.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

19. Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private university located in New Castle, Delaware, directly on the Delaware River. They offer over 100 career-focused degree programs that emphasize in-demand knowledge, prioritizing the success of students above all else. They were founded in 1968 as Wilmington College, and got approval to make the switch to university in 2007. Part of the career-focused aspect of WilmU includes a unique focus in the College of Health Sciences, where they accept only upper classmen, or those who have completed two-years of study in their focus area, either as transfer students, or those from other areas of WilmU. Another unique feature of the College is that they accept up to 90 transfer credits as an institution, allowing more students to find success here, than they might elsewhere.

The College of Health Professions at Wilmington University offers a Master’s in Science in Nursing as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus on Adult/Gerontology Family Nursing. WilmU is proud to offer unparalleled flexibility so as to not derail the valuable education that a working nurse is receiving everyday they show up to work. The accelerated curriculum prepared nurses for advanced practice, while maintaining a specific focus on the specific needs of aging adults and how those differ from the general population. Graduates will be prepared to work in a wide of healthcare settings including hospitals, community-based clinics, private practice, prisons, occupational health settings, patient homes, shelters, adult day care and assisted living settings, and private practice.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

20. Clarkson College

Clarkson College is a private college located in Omaha, Nebraska. The College was founded in 1888, then going by the name of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. The original campus was located only a few blocks from its location in Omaha, Nebraska. The main focus of the college is to provide education in undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees in the health sciences. With such a specialized focus on healthcare and health professions, faculty at Clarkson are experts in the things that make amazing nursing, amazing. Clarkson nursing students are well trained and well rounded professionals through technological advancements like their state-of-the-art simulation lab, equipped with simulated adult and infant patients. They celebrated 125 years of educating the great caretakers of tomorrow in 2013, and continue to do just that today.

The online RN to MSN program at Clarkson allows working RNs to complete their BSN degree, while earning graduate level credit, and smoothly transition into the MSN program with flexibility needed with a demanding nursing schedule. Nurse Practitioner majors must attend up to four on-campus visits. The rest of their coursework is online. Students may elect to complete an additional 21-29 credit hours in the speciality area of the Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. This focus area allows Nurse Practitioners facilitate the management and diagnosis of acute and chronic primary care health wellness concerns in adult and elderly patients.

Focus: Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $