What does an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner do?

Dr. Christine Colella talks about the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner role

Though it might sound like adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners care for elderly patients only, that’s not the case.

Christine Colella, DNP, APRN-CNP, FAANP, executive director of graduate programs and coordinator of adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner programs at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing, discusses the role and what she enjoys about working in the field, along with some of the benefits of UC’s program.

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners treat patients 13 and older.

Colella: Although some people believe adult-gerontology nurse practitioners only take care of older people, we actually care for patients 13 and older, so your patients will range from adolescents to people along the entire life spectrum.

Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings.

Colella: Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners certified in primary care (as opposed to acute care) are not limited to working in primary care settings. We can work in specialty settings, such as dermatology, orthopedics, pulmonary, oncology clinics and more, as long as they are outpatient, community-focused settings.

Adult-geronotology primary care nurse practitioners diagnose and treat medical conditions, but also focus on preventative care.

Colella: Before becoming an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, I worked as an RN in several acute-care roles inside a hospital. When I decided to become an advanced-practice nurse, I realized I wanted to take care of people before they got that sick – before they ended up in the hospital. I wanted to work to educate patients about their health, medications, diet and exercise. I wanted to make sure they live happy and fulfilled lives.

I always say the best thing about being nurse practitioners is that we are nurses first.

Christine Colella, DNP, APRN-CNP, FAANP

UC's adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner programs build on your previous experience to prepare you for what's next.

Colella: Our adult-gerontology nurse practitioner programs prepare you to think critically and be a successful nurse practitioner through courses in advanced health assessment, differential diagnoses, pathophysiology, pharmacology and more.

I always say that the best thing about being nurse practitioners is that we are nurses first. This means we take all of your knowledge and experiences as a nurse and add information to assess the patient with a holistic approach, looking at the patient as a whole person.

In our practicums, you work side-by-side with a nurse practitioner or physician, learning how to use the same skills you learned in your classes, but with real patients. These experiences, coupled with the education we provide, prepare you for your certification exam and to care for patients as you proceed in your career.

Learn more about our adult-gerontology nurse practitioner programs in primary care:

Have a question? Our admissions counselors are here to help. Email nursingbearcats@uc.edu or call 513-558-3600.