Certificate: Caring for the Complex Adults and Geriatric Patients


The Certificate: Caring for the Complex Adults and Geriatric Patients is a joint venture between GW Nursing and Optum.  This program option prepares advanced practice registered nurses with the clinical skills to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.  

This 12-credit post-master’s certificate is available online for employees of Optum. Offered as a part-time option, the program can be completed in three semesters.


  • Gain clinical skills to practice with complex adult and geriatric patients within the Optum system.
  • Gain specialty knowledge of assessment, diagnostic reasoning and evidence–based treatment plans including prescribing medications.
  • Develop skills to utilize a systems-based approach to strategies to optimize health outcomes.
  • Acquire the skills to manage transitions of care including palliative care and end of life.

Who Should Apply

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who are interested in developing skills necessary to think critically and act confidently in the complex gerontology working environment should consider applying to this program.  This program option is limited to employees of Optum. 



Fall 2022 Applications
Priority: 12/01/2021
Final: 05/01/2022



The Certificate: Caring for the Complex Adults and Geriatric Patients program consists of 12 credit hours. Questions about program requirements should be directed to the program director.

Program of Study


For full listing of courses and descriptions, please visit the University Bulletin.

Complete applications that are submitted by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Applications do not have to be verified by the priority deadline, only completed and submitted. Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected]

A completed application includes the following components:

  • Master’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Preferred scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts (from all post-secondary schools)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resumé
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Evidence of current active un-encumbered nursing licensure
  • Evidence of current APRN certification


3 Great Reasons to Choose GW Nursing

Online Learning
These specialties are delivered in a hybrid format with online courses and some on-campus experiences for testing and training.
Flexible Format
Some specialties require you to complete a set number of clinical hours to complete the curriculum.
Exceptional Faculty
Our faculty members are nationally recognized leaders in nursing who actively engage and inspire students to improve global health care for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

On-campus requirements vary by program and specialty. Students enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program spend the duration of the program on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, Virginia.

Most graduate programs are delivered in a distance format with online courses and some on-campus experiences for testing and training, which typically take place in our state-of-the-art simulation facilities at VSTC. For example, nurse practitioner students are required to come to campus for Campus Learning and Skills Intensive (CLASI) when enrolled in NURS 6222 and for Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) during their second clinical course. For specific on-campus requirements for graduate programs, please visit the webpage for your respective specialty area of interest.

All nurse practitioner students are also required to complete an end of program skills assessment. During this final on-campus simulation-based learning event, students have an opportunity to showcase their assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and patient management skills.

Students enrolled in our Accelerated or Veteran Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may only attend the program on a full-time basis due to its accelerated format.

Students enrolled in our RN to BSN or RN to MSN programs may only enroll on a part-time basis.

Students enrolled in a graduate program have the ability to enroll in most tracks on a part-time basis. To review your program of study options, visit the MSN, DNP or certificate webpage in the specialty area of your choice. PhD applicants should contact the program director directly.

Our clinical placement model provides students with faculty and staff support to ensure clinical sites align with clinical course objectives and nurse practitioner (NP) competencies. Our approach includes a clinical placement team dedicated to processing legal documentation required to clear students for clinical placement. Although we offer as much support as possible to students who are unable to locate a preceptor, our process is driven by student submission of a request for placement. We are dedicated to ensuring adequate and robust clinical experiences, however, GW Nursing is not required to locate clinical sites and preceptors for our NP students. 

Students wishing to apply for a student visa in the United States will need to seek sponsorship from George Washington University. At this time, the only program available to students seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa is our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program taught in person in Ashburn, Virginia. For further questions about eligibility, please contact [email protected].

image of faculty and student looking at cost and financial aid


Our graduate tuition is charged per credit hour based on the semester you start and the total credits noted in your program of study. We offer a variety of scholarships which you are automatically considered for upon applying. This program qualifies for Title IV funding.