Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Intensivist Focus
What Will You Do as an Intensivist Nurse Practitioner?
As an AG-ACNP Intensivist you will provide care to adults with critical life-threatening illness in a variety of intensive care settings, and you will be prepared to practice on multi-disciplinary intensive care teams, like those found in tertiary care centers. This subspecialty within the AG-ACNP program focuses on providing care for critically ill patients such as those with cardiac arrest, shock, respiratory failure, multiple organ failure, sepsis, stroke, and brain injury.
Where Will You Practice?
Many clinical settings are available to the Intensivist Nurse Practitioner. Upon certification, you will find a variety of clinical opportunities in settings that include:
- Critical Care Teams
- Shock Teams
- Cardiovascular Intensivist Care Units
- Medical Intensivist Care Units
- Surgical Intensivist Care Units
- Burn Care Units
- Intensivist Care Units
How will Vanderbilt Prepare You?
With the increase in patient acuity in intensive care units, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-ACNPs) are partnering with Critical Care physicians to provide state-of-the-art patient care. Within the AG-ACNP program at Vanderbilt, an AG-ACNP Intensivist focus has been designed to meet this new demand for AG-ACNP’s. The focus of the AG-ACNP Intensivist track is to provide the necessary clinical experiences and pathophysiological background so that graduates will be well prepared to join critical care intensivists teams. Vanderbilt’s program unique feature is the pairing of School of Nursing AG-ACNP faculty with Critical Care physicians to provide advanced critical care didactic, ICU clinical rotations, and highly sophisticated critical care simulations. Students have the opportunity to rotate through five intensive care units including the SICU, MICU, NeuroICU, CVICU and the Burn Unit. Within each rotation students are mentored in diagnosing and managing complex patients and guided in the development and refinement of their own clinical skills.
Through this program:
- Your curriculum will include the AG-ACNP content with additional coursework in advanced diagnostics and therapeutics in the critically ill.
- You will gain clinical experience, with hands-on learning in diagnostic reasoning and therapeutics, while on Vanderbilt’s critical care teams in a variety of intensive care units.
- You will participate in clinical rotations which include advanced critical care simulation through the Simulation Technologies Program of the Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
- You will also be introduced to bed management skills, triage, ethical issues, legal issues and other aspects of managing complex ICU patients.
- You will be introduced to a variety of common critical care procedures, such as airway management, central line placement, arterial line placement, and bedside bronchoscopy.
- You will complete certification in the Foundations of Critical Care Support Course and will be eligible to complete the Adult ICU program, both offered through the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the AG-ACNP Intensivist Program.
Some aspects of this program are offered in a modified (block) learning format, which combines modified course delivery methods and on-campus experiences. However, the Intensivist program didactic, simulation, and clinical ICU rotations are only available on Vanderbilt campus and do not utilize a block format. Students must be within commuting distance of campus for Spring and Summer semesters (January - August)
The AG-ACNP Intensivist program is built upon Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s successful AG-ACNP program. Visit the AG-ACNP program site for program information, to meet the program directors and to learn more:
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) – provides advanced nursing care to adults with acute, critical and chronic conditions, practicing in settings where patients require specialized care such as complex and continuous monitoring, intricate or invasive therapies or interpretation of diagnostic testing.
Credentials and Certification
Graduation from the Vanderbilt MSN program prepares you to sit for the AG-ACNP certification exam, and eligible for prescriptive authority consistent with state law. Visit Credentialing and Certification for specific information.
Brian Widmar, PhD, ACNP-BC, CCRN
Brian Widmar is board certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with specialization in cardiac critical care. In his faculty clinical role, he practices at VUMC as an Intensivist NP in the Division of Critical Care Anesthesia, while coordinating the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Intensivist Focus in the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. His research interests include patient and family-centered critical care and methods of self-care education of cardiac transplant recipients and patients with advanced heart failure/ventricular assist device therapy.