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APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification (GS-C)

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GAPNA is proud to announce a new APRN Specialty Certification in Gerontology – the APRN Gerontological Specialist - Certified (GS-C).

This specialty certification distinguishes APRNs who possess expert knowledge, experience, and skill in managing the complex health needs of older adults.

The registration fee for the exam is $295 for GAPNA members and $395 for others. Preregistration to sit for the exam is required.

    Exam Application and Guidelines Highlighted Areas


    • Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Exam Application and Guidelines, for full information on eligibility and to apply.
      • Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Exams will take place during the month of April and September.
      • Application Deadline for the April Testing Month will be February 18. Applications will be accepted until March 3 for an additional $50 late fee.
      • Application Deadline for the September Testing Month will be July 22. Applications will be accepted until August 5 for an additional $50 late fee.
    • CBT test site locations - find a location in your area to test.
    • Re-examination Application, for a candidate who does not pass the examination has ONE YEAR in which to retake the examination using this reduced application.


    To be eligible to participate, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    1. The applicant must hold a full and unrestricted RN license in the United States or its territories.
    2. The applicant must have current recognition or must meet the requirements by the state board of nursing to perform as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
    3. The applicant must hold current national certification in an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) role.
    4. The applicant must have a minimum of 2500 hours of experience in an advanced practice role, working with older adults, during the last 5 years.
    5. The applicant must have completed fifty (50) contact hours of approved continuing education specific to gerontology* within the 3 years prior to submitting the exam application. Continuing education hours must be accredited by a provider or approver of continuing nursing education, or medical education, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a state board of nursing, nursing association, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

    * For initial GS-C certification by examination, continuing education contact hours include online or on-campus coursework, attending conferences, lectures, etc., where the applicant is the learner.  Alternatively, precepting hours, writing entries or articles for publications, giving presentations or lectures, etc., are considered professional contact hours, which can be used for recertification only, not for initial certification by examination.


    It is the policy of GNCC that no individual shall be excluded from the opportunity to participate in the Gerontological Specialist Certification process on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


    Complete the exam application in its entirety. Be sure to sign and date your application. Mail or fax the completed application found on pages 8 through 11, along with the appropriate fee to GNCC’s testing agency, the Center for Nursing Education and Testing, Inc., (C-NET). C-NET will review and processes your application for completeness.

    Upon approval of an examination application, the applicant will receive an examination permit by email. The emailed permit will include a link to an online scheduling portal for the applicant to schedule the exam at the computer-based testing location of choice. The computer–based testing agency will send a follow-up email to the applicant confirming the exam site, date, and time that the applicant has chosen. If the applicant does not receive an examination permit within 4 - 6 weeks of submission, notify C-NET by calling 800.463.0786.

    NOTE: If the application is incomplete, illegible, or the criteria cannot be verified, the candidate will be contacted to provide the missing information. If the requested information is not received within the stated time frame, the application process will stop and a refund less the administrative fee will be given.

    Taking the Examination
    The certification examinations consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. Four hours are allotted to complete the examination. The current passing score approved by the GNCC Board for the GS-C exam is 76%.

    Applicants will not be admitted to the examination without an examination permit and proper ID. Substitution of an applicant cannot be made and no such request will be honored. The examination permit will remain active for a period of 90 days (from the date of issue). The applicant must test within the 90-day window printed on the permit. If the applicant does not test by the end of the 90-day window, both the examination permit and exam application will expire. The applicant must then submit a new application and fee for the exam before being allowed to test.

    You should arrive at the testing location on your examination permit at the report time listed. Bring your valid government-issued photo ID and the examination permit. The name on your ID must match the name on your exam permit. You need only bring your examination permit and your ID. Pencils and all other testing materials are provided. No drinks or food are permitted in the testing area.  Cell phones and all other electronic devices are not permitted.


    The test specifications or blueprint is based on the results of a survey, which identified the practice patterns of APRNs in gerontology. The blueprint is valuable to the test taker because it breaks down the sections of the test. Use it to help you focus your study as you prepare for the exam.


    The list may be helpful in preparing for the GS-C certification exam.


    • Halter, J.B., Ouslander, J.G., Studenski, S., High, K.P., Asthana, S., Supiano, M.A., Ritchie, C. (Eds.). (2017). Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, 7th ed., New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
    • Ham, R.J., Sloane, P.D., Warshaw, G.A., Potter, J.F., & Flaherty, E. (Eds.). (2014). Ham's Primary Care Geriatrics: A Case-Based Approach, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders/ Elsevier.
    • Harper GM, Lyons WL, Potter JF. (Eds). (2019) Geriatrics Review Syllabus: A Core Curriculum in Geriatric Medicine. 10th ed. New York: American Geriatrics Society.
    • Ferrell, B.R., Coyle, N., & Paice, J. (Eds). (2015). Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing, 4th ed.  New York: Oxford University Press.
    • Kennedy-Malone, L., Martin-Plank, L., & Duffy, E. (Eds.). (2019). Advanced practice nursing in the care of older adults (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
    • Morley, J.E., Ouslander, J.G., Tolson, D., & Velias, B. (2013). Nursing Home Care. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
    • Reuben, D.B., Herr, K.A., Pacala, J.T., Pollock, B.G., Potter, J.F., & Semla, T.P. (2018). Geriatrics at Your Fingertips, (20th ed.). New York: American Geriatrics Society.
    • Semla, T.P., Belzer, J.L., & Higbee, M.D. (Eds.). (2016). Geriatric Dosage Handbook, 21st ed. Hudson, OH: Lexicomp/ Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information.
    • Singelton, J.K., DiGregorio, R.W., Green-Hernandex, C, Holzemer, S.P., Faber, E.S., Ferrara, L.R., & Slyer, J.T. (Eds.) (2015). Primary Care: An Interprofessional Perspective, 2nd ed. New York: Springer Publishing company.

    Other references - Examples

    The APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification Study Guide 1st. Edition
    The Examination Preparation Guide includes:

    • Exam Blueprint  
    • GAPNA Section Articles with case studies in Geriatric Nursing , based on 12 Nursing Proficiencies
    • Suggested Reading Material
    • Sample Questions and Answer Key with Rationale

    This booklet offers you references and information which can be used to prepare yourself to take the APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification exam. The contents does not imply successful performance on the examination. Purchase in the GAPNA Store.


    APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification Preparation Guide, 1st. Edition
    This Preparation Guide offers information and guidelines that may be helpful in assisting you to prepare for the Gerontological Specialists Certification (GS-C) exam. The preparation guide has been designed to help focus your attention on areas of particular emphasis as determined by practice analyses and is not meant to be all-inclusive.

    Use of this preparation guide as a study resource does not imply that its use will guarantee passing on the certification examination. There are multiple other resources that are available to assist you in your preparation.

    View/download the APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification Preparation Guide, 1st. Edition


    These sample questions are provided by GNCC to familiarize applicants with the type of questions on the exam. The questions in this quiz do not represent an actual exam in format, length or content coverage.

    Applicants should not equate success or failure in answering these questions as a measure of readiness for the GS-C exam, nor does it guarantee passing the examination.

    View/download the Sample GS-C Examination Questions


    View/download the comprehensive FAQs for the APRN Specialty Certification in Gerontology – the APRN Gerontological Specialist - Certified (GS-C).


    The GS-C credential is valid for five (5) years. Recertification is available by exam or by continuing education. Certified individuals receive courtesy recertification notices prior to the expiration of their certification. It is the certificants professional responsibility to know the certification expiration date.

    Recertification applications should be submitted to GNCC no later than 30 days prior to your expiration date. For more information on GS-C recertification, visit GAPNA.org/recertification (available shortly).


    Congratulations to the following individuals who became board certified by passing the Gerontological Specialist - Certified (GS-C) examination administered by the Gerontology Nursing Certification Commission (GNCC) at test centers across the United States.

    View the 2020 GS-C Certificants

    View the 2019 GS-C Certificants

    View the 2018 GS-C Certificants