The Exam Preparation Guide

APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification Preparation Guide, 1st. Edition

The 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


  • 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 2nd. 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.

Sample Exam Questions

The 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 the 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

Exam Blueprint

The exam blueprint represents the overall structure and content of the exam by section and objective and is based on the results of a survey of practice patterns of APRNs in gerontology. Understanding the type and distribution of content on the exam will help you focus your preparation efforts accordingly.

Area Proficiency % of Test
I Performs comprehensive assessment of the complex older adult. 20%
II Performs appropriate screening, diagnostic testing, treatment and planning of care for the complex older adult. 20%
III Prescribes medications, including consideration of risks and benefits of pharmacotherapy, for the complex older adult. 20%
IV Uses a system-based approach to deisgn and implement educational strategies to optimize health outcomes. 14%
V Anticipates and manages transitions of care between sites and providers, including transition to palliative or hospice care. 20%
VI Uses a systems-based approach to anticipate and deploy resources to optimize outcomes for older adult populations. 6%