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Adult/Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Post-Master's Certificate

Adult/gerontological acute care nurse practitioners work in emergency departments, tertiary care settings, intensive care units, trauma centers and specialty medicine areas treating patients with acute, critical and chronic illnesses, as well as those with disabilities or injuries. 

In Saint Louis University's adult/gerontological acute care nurse practitioner post-master's certificate program, students learn to use complex monitoring and invasive therapies, high-intensity interventions and continuous vigilance within the range of high-acuity care to help meet the specialized physiological and psychological needs of adults of all ages, including the frail elderly.

At Saint Louis University, we partner with our students on clinical placement. Besides being paired with a faculty mentor with expertise in students' desired field of study, SLU helps students obtain preceptors for their clinical rotations.

The Valentine School of Nursing is renowned for excellence in nursing education. U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks our MSN-NP program as a top program in their Best Graduate Schools survey.

Curriculum Overview

Saint Louis University's post-master's nurse practitioner certificate programs are conducted almost completely online, requiring only two visits to the St. Louis campus.

A minimum of 15 credits is required for completion of a post-master's nurse practitioner certificate program. The total number of credits varies, depending on the particular certificate pursued.

At the Valentine School of Nursing’s discretion, students may transfer three to six credits of graduate-level coursework to be applied toward their post-master's certificate program of study.

Student files are individually reviewed. Students may be able to petition for advanced standing in courses such as “Advanced Health Assessment,” “Advanced Pathophysiology” and “Advanced Pharmacology.”


Upon completion of the post-master's nurse practitioner certificate program, you will qualify to take the certification exam through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

According to a U.S. News & World Report ranking, the median salary of nurse practitioners in 2022 was $120,680. The best-paid 25% of NPs made $129,680 that year; the lowest-paid 25% made $99,540. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 52.2% employment growth for nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030. In that period, an estimated 114,900 jobs are projected to open up in the NP profession.

Admission Requirements

  • A master's degree in a nursing specialty, preferably from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency
  • A college cumulative grade point of 3.20 or higher
  • Completion of a graduate-level physiology or pathophysiology course and a beginning health assessment course, or the equivalent thereof
  • Experience in an advanced practice role in nursing is preferred
  • Proof of completion of an American heart care provider course is required after acceptance.

The Valentine School of Nursing adheres to the principles of a holistic admission process in which selection criteria are broad-based and linked to our University’s and school’s mission and goals. While we do consider academic metrics we also look at applicant experiences, attributes, potential for success, and how applicants may contribute to the school’s learning environment and to the profession.

The curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in the State of Missouri. Note that the Missouri Board of Nursing may impose additional requirements on candidates prior to granting a license; we encourage you to investigate these requirements.

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing has not determined whether the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for nursing licensure in any other states or territories. However, graduates of our APRN programs are eligible to sit for National Board Certification Exams in all states and territories. We encourage you to investigate the requirements in your state or territory prior to accepting an offer of admission.

Saint Louis University School of Nursing accepts applications to the pediatric primary care post-master's certificate program from students living in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Application Requirements

Please follow the five steps outlined below to apply:

  • Step 1 - Application
    Submit the application form and pay the associated fee through NursingCAS. Select Saint Louis University. 

  • Step 2 - Transcripts
    • Please submit your official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended directly to NursingCAS. They will provide details when the application is initiated.
  • Step 3 - Resume or Curriculum Vitae:
    Attach your CV/résumé documenting your education, clinical nursing experience, and service to the nursing profession/community within the NursingCAS application.
  • Step 4 - Professional Goal Statement
    Attach your professional goal statement within the NursingCAS application. The goal statement should outline your short- and long-term goals as a nurse practitioner and include an explanation of why you've decided on that path. The statement should be one-to-two pages and double-spaced.
  • Step 5 - RN License
    Attach a copy of your unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done within the NursingCAS application.

Requirements for International Students

International students on F1 or J1 student visas are not eligible for admission, as these programs are conducted entirely online. For additional information, contact the Office of International Services.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall admissions: Priority admission is April 15 with an application deadline of June 1.
  • Spring admissions: Priority admission is October 15 with an application deadline of December 1.

    If the application deadline has passed for your semester of interest, please contact Late applications may be accepted.
Tuition Cost Per Credit
Graduate Tuition $1,310

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

Net Price Calculator

Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans.  For price estimates, please review the SLU Cost Calculator.  

The Valentine School of Nursing offers scholarship and graduate research assistantship opportunities to eligible graduate students.  Additionally, most nursing students will participate in a tuition assistance program provided through their employer.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at


The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To achieve its educational objectives, the school uses the hospitals within SSM Health and many health care organizations in the greater St. Louis area.

  1. Graduates will be able to implement collaborative strategies to provide ethical, high-quality, safe, effective, patient-centered care. 

  2. Graduates will be able to use scholarly inquiry including evidence-based practice and research application to improve decision-making and health outcomes.

  3. Graduates will be able to integrate advanced competencies, skills, theories, and cultural sensitivity in relationships with patients and professionals.

  4. Graduates will be able to design culturally sensitive patient care that includes health promotion and disease prevention.

  5. Graduates will be able to facilitate the improvement of health care through leadership within health care systems and communities.

  6. Graduates will be able to demonstrate competence in a specialized area of advanced practice nursing that builds on foundational nursing knowledge.

  7. Graduates will be able to utilize health care informatics and technologies to support practice.

  8. Graduates will be able to advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.

Core Courses0-17
Students must complete (or may transfer) in the following courses:
NURS 5040
Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition
NURS 5080
Advanced Pharmacology
NURS 5110
Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making
NURS 5130
Clinical & Diagnostic Reasoning
NURS 5140
Health Promotion
NURS 5160
Principles of Practice Management
NURS 5170
Advanced Pathophysiology
NURS 5900
Specialty Courses
NURS 5260Advanced Clinical Studies I: The Acute Care Setting4
NURS 5270Advanced Clinical Studies II: The Acute Care Setting5
NURS 5310Critical Appraisal of Technology: Acute Care3
NURS 5810Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum4
Total Credits16-33

May be waived for post‐M.S.N. students who are already nurse practitioners depending on the experience and time since relevant course content.  Will be required of an NP post‐M.S.N. certificate student if the student’s clinical experience is not current or the specialty is not primary care or adult‐gerontological acute care.  


Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions, please contact the Valentine School of Nursing's recruitment and enrollment staff:

Undergraduate Inquiries

Graduate Inquiries