AGACNP, Certification, consensus model, exam development



  1. Jackson, Kristopher PhD, MSN, ACNPC-AG, CCRN (Postdoctoral Scholar and Critical Care Nurse Practitioner)


Background: National standards for nurse practitioner licensure require certification programs to conduct practice analyses to ensure that certified nurse practitioners possess the necessary knowledge for entry-level practice. The practice analysis for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation (AACN Cert Corp) adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) credential is performed every five years by the AACN Certification Corporation.


Purpose: The AACN Cert Corp conducted a practice analysis to confirm that current AGACNP practice is reflected in the ACNPC-AG test plan, and the examination is congruent with 2008 consensus model guidelines. This work describes findings from the 2020 AACN Cert Corp practice analysis and changes in AGACNP practice and academic preparation based on the survey data.


Method: : In 2020, AACN Cert Corp volunteer subject matter experts (SMEs) developed a survey of practice activities and competencies relevant to AGACNP practice. Patient care activities and competencies were rated by AGACNP respondents for criticality and frequency. AACN SMEs reviewed criticality and frequency ratings to determine the patient care problems, skills/procedures, and competencies to include in the updated AACN Cert Corp ACNPC-AG test plan.


Results: The 2020 AGACNP practice analysis survey and subsequent review resulted in the retention of 33 skills and procedures, 165 patient care problems, and all national competencies in the final ACNPC-AG test plan.


Conclusions and Implications: The 2020 AACN Cert Corp AGACNP practice analysis survey describes possible changes in AGACNP practice and academic preparation that have occurred since the 2016 survey, findings that may be associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.