AG-ACNP Certificate Admission Requirements

Admission is once per year. Applications are due January 15th for admission into the fall class. All application materials (for example, application, application fee, recommendations, essay, official transcripts, copy of active advanced practice nurse licensure) must be submitted by the deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Applications are submitted through NursingCAS, a centralized, online application system. Please be sure to review the supplemental application checklist provided with your NursingCAS application.

These are the major areas considered in admissions decisions. Acceptances will be offered based on all the criteria listed below with no single criterion having more importance than another.

  • College academic preparation and achievement
  • Professional recommendations
  • Personal statement included in the NursingCAS application

Apply Early

Please don't wait until the night before a program deadline to submit your application. You should apply before the earliest deadline of the program(s) that you are applying to. This will allow the necessary time to verify and process your application.

Application Guidelines


Part 1: The Application Process

Admission is once per year. Applications are due January 15th for admission into the fall class. All application materials (for example, application, application fee, recommendations, essay, official transcripts, copy of active advanced practice nurse licensure) must be submitted by the deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Applications are submitted through NursingCAS, a centralized, online application system. Please be sure to review the supplemental application checklist provided with your NursingCAS application.

Part 2: Prerequisites/Degree Requirements

Admissions requirements include:

(1) Master of Science degree in nursing with nurse practitioner concentration;
(2) Completion of three separate courses in Advanced Pathology/Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, and Advanced Pharmacology;

(3) An unencumbered license as an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner);

(4) Certification in an advanced practice nursing specialty other than AG-ACNP;

(5) Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher in master's program;

(6) Three recommendations supporting the applicant's ability to function in the AG-ACNP role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership); and

(7) For individuals educated outside of the United States, evidence of proficiency in English is required through submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Minimum proficiency scores: 550 on TOEFL paper version, 213 on TOEFL computer version, and 80 on TOEFL Web-based version are required.

Pre-Matriculation Requirements Students must meet the following pre-matriculation requirements: (1) Completion of required immunizations; (2) Successful criminal background check and drug screening prior to matriculation; (3) Evidence of current cardiopulmonary certification (BCLS) and advanced cardiac life support certification (ACLS); (4) Evidence of health and professional liability insurance; and (5) Student confirmation of their ability to meet the technical and performance standards of the AG-ACNP certificate program. Admission to the AG-ACNP Certificate Program is competitive. Only applicants who meet minimum academic requirements will be considered for admission; however applicants who meet minimal requirements are not guaranteed admission.

Academic Preparation and Achievement Admission Criteria

Applicants must document evidence of having earned a master of science in nursing or higher degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. Only applicants with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 based on all collegiate work or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant's most recently completed degree program will be considered for admission. The GPA calculation for the most recently completed degree will be based only on those grades earned at the degree- granting institution. Applicants may submit additional documents to demonstrate professional scholarship and leadership abilities that could make them more competitive.

Part 3: Official Transcript

Official transcripts from every college/university you have attended will be needed to complete your on-line application through NursingCAS. In addition, you will need to request that a copy of your transcript also be sent to NursingCAS for verification.

Transcripts from any non-U.S. institution must be sent to and verified by a NACES accredited agency, for example, the World Education Services (WES).

Part 4: Recommendation Forms & Statement

Professional recommendations allow further insight into the values and motivation of the applicants. Three recommendations from academic and work related professionals are required to support the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the program and perform in the role.

Applicants are required to provide NursingCAS with the names and addresses of three (3) persons who can address their ability to successfully complete the program -- of the three, two (2) are faculty members and one (1) is an employer.

Part 5: Essay, Recommendations, Interview and other Important Criteria

Students who were previously enrolled, but did not complete a nursing program, must submit a letter of good standing from the Director of the Nursing Program.

Applicants must complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the AG-ACNP Certificate Program. Background checks and drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study.

  • Individuals dismissed from other nursing programs are not eligible.
  • Successful background check must be completed prior to enrollment. Individuals are required to disclose any misdemeanor or felony conviction. Applicants are advised that extensive background checks (including fingerprinting) is conducted as part of the nursing licensing application process. 
  • Applicants must complete a drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the AG-ACNP Certificate program. Drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study.

In addition to academic qualifications, applicants are assessed through

(1) an essay;

(2) professional recommendations ; and

(3) interviews. 

Essay - The purpose of the essay is to provide the College of Nursing Admissions Committee further insight into the professional goals, motivation, and expectations of the applicant and to evaluate written communication skills. Applicants are asked to respond to specific questions on the application essay form. 

Recommendation Forms - Applicants must submit 3 Recommendation Forms from graduate prepared nurses or faculty members who can address the applicant's potential or ability for functioning in the AG-ACNP role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership). Applicants currently enrolled in an advanced practice nursing (APN) program should have at least 1 Recommendation Form submitted by a faculty member in that program. Individuals who are in an APN program must be licensed as an APN prior to entering the AG-ACNP program. 

Interview – Applicants meeting admission criteria and selected for further admission consideration must participate in an interview for the purpose of evaluating communication and decision-making skills, educational goals and current leadership, scholarship, practice roles and activities. The interview will be in-person, face-to-face unless extraordinary circumstances warrant other arrangements, as determined by the AG-ACNP Certificate Program Director.

Part 6: Minimum Performance Standards for AG-ACNP Certificate Applicants

In addition the technical and performance standards expected of all students in educational programs in the College of Nursing, students in the AG-ACNP program are also expected to possess the mental, auditory, visual, sensory, strength, manual dexterity, and communication skills to: 1. Perform a systematic and complete history and physical examination on a client. 2. Communicate significant examination findings to other professionals and client/family. 3. Appropriately assess and record subjective and objective findings. 4. Maintain effective relationships and interact appropriately with other professionals and clients/families, demonstrating skills of leadership collaborations and decisiveness. 5. Accurately analyze alterations in functional patterns. 6. Demonstrate advanced use of the nursing process: assess, develop, implement, educate and counsel clients, prescribe appropriate therapy, demonstrate self-care skills and evaluate appropriate plans of action for diagnosed problems. 1. Maintain flexibility and emotional stability in response to novel, unique situations and stress. 2. Anticipate common, acute, and life-threatening problems encountered in critically ill patients. 3. Identify ethical issues in critical care practice and participate in ethical decision making using a systematic approach. 4. Demonstrate/role model the appropriate integration of evidence into practice. If a student cannot fulfill these Technical and Performance Standards, with or without accommodations, at any time in the program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued progression in the AG-ACNP Certificate program. In addition to assuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical criteria for the AG-ACNP Certificate program, it is of utmost importance that students have the ability to provide for the safety and welfare of their patients and others. Reasonable accommodations will be provided, when appropriate, to help student meet these Technical and Professional Standards. Any student wishing accommodations must contact the university's Office of Student Academic Support Services at 901-448-5056 (email: SASS@uthsc.edu).

Part 7: Certifications

  • Current RN license (For RN applicants only)
  • Current Basic Life Support (CPR Certification) prior to UTHSC enrollment and maintained throughout UTHSC enrollment

Part 8: Laptop & Tablet Required; Essential Computer Skills

  • Must own a web-connected laptop.
  • Computer/web-based literacy skills expected.
  • Once accepted, students will referred to the UTHSC College of Nursing Computer and Software Requirements.

Part 9: Native Tongue not English (TOEFL scores required)

  • Evidence of English proficiency is mandatory part of application process
  • Official minimum TOEFL Score earned within two (2) years prior to application to College of Nursing
  • Three versions of TOEFL: Paper-based Test (minimum score 550), Computer-based (minimum score 213), and Internet/web-based (minimum score 80).
  • If Not a U.S. Citizen:
    • Applicant must provide photocopy of immigration documentation showing “legal immigration status” (e.g., “Green Card”).
    • Copy of Immigration Status Doc.

Part 10: Fees

NursingCAS fees are $65 for the AG-ACNP Certificate Program. After acceptance, students are required to submit a $75 Application Processing Fee and a $200 Guaranteed Enrollment Deposit (GED). The GED, a non-refundable fee due within 30 days of acceptance, is held in escrow and applied to the student’s first term of study.

January 15, 2015 Application Deadline

APPLICANTS WHO MEET THE MINIMUM PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED INTERVIEW OR ADMISSION.

Apply to CAS

Future Student
Contact Information

Jamie Overton, M.A.Ed.
Director of Student Affairs
920 Madison, #1021
Memphis, TN 38163
901-448-6139
joverton@uthsc.edu

Shawn Boyd
Coordinator
920 Madison, #1033
Memphis, TN 38163
901-448-6141
sboyd15@uthsc.edu

Roylynn Germain
Student Affairs - Admin Coordinator
920 Madison, #1020
Memphis, TN 38163
901-448-6125
rgermain@uthsc.edu

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