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 specialty 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 specialty 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 specialty's 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 specialty:
- 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 specialty, both offered through the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the AG-ACNP Intensivist Specialty.
Some aspects of this specialty are offered in a modified (block) learning format, which combines modified course delivery methods and on-campus experiences. However, the Intensivist specialty 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 specialty is built upon Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s successful AG-ACNP specialty. Visit the AG-ACNP specialty site for information, to meet the specialty 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, RN, ACNP-BC, CCRN-CSC-CMC
Coordinator, AG-ACNP Intensivist Subspecialty
AD Jefferson State
BSN University of Alabama at Birmingham
MSN University of Alabama at Birmingham
PhD Vanderbilt University
Dr. Widmar is an Assistant Professor in the Adult-Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and is the coordinator of the Intensivist Subspecialty. His clinical background includes extensive experience in cardiothoracic critical care, including care of patients with advanced heart failure, cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support device therapy. His research interests include patient and family centered care, and self-care education in cardiothoracic transplant and ventricular assist device patient populations.
Nathan E. Ashby, MD
MD, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis
Anesthesiology Residency, Vanderbilt University
Critical Care Fellowship, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Ashby attended undergrad at Vanderbilt University before getting his M.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. He returned to Vanderbilt University to complete Residency in Anesthesiology and then stayed on to complete a Critical Care Fellowship. He is boarded in Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Neuro Critical Care. He attends in the Operating Room as well as the Cardiovascular and Neuro ICUs. He has interests in the use of simulation in medical education and in multidisciplinary education. He has worked on a number of programs in the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing in these areas.
Megan Shifrin, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC, DNP(c)
Assistant Coordinator, AG-ACNP Intensivist Subspecialty
Instructor of Nursing
DNP, Chatham University
MSN, Vanderbilt University
BS, Bryan College
Megan Shifrin is an assistant coordinator in the Adult-Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Intensivist Subspecialty. She has a strong clinical background in the critical care management of both adult trauma and cardiothoracic surgery patient populations. Her research interests include interdisciplinary end-of-life patient management in intensive care unit settings.