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HIV/AIDS Specialty


12 credit hours
Specialty course sequence begins in fall or spring semesters for students in the MSN, Post-Graduate Certificate, or Post-BSN to DNP program; fall start only for Non-degree Certificate students.

The HIV/AIDS specialty is designed to fulfill the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce the number of new infections, help people with HIV stay healthy by increasing their access to care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The HIV/AIDS nurse practitioner specialty is open to newly enrolled and currently enrolled students in the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner or women's health nurse practitioner APRN majors in the MSN program. It is also available to students with the same majors who are enrolled in the Duke DNP Program. The distance-based specialty curriculum includes 12 credit hours of foundational and clinical courses that address the prevention, care, and treatment of adults living with HIV infection and AIDS, including those dually diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis B or C. A minimum of 392 clinical hours is required for completion of the specialty. The final synthesis course includes a HIV-specific clinical practicum in or near the student’s home community under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in the specialty.


  • NUR 840: Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS
  • NUR 841: Pharmacologic Aspects of HIV/AIDS
  • NUR 842: Psychosocial, Political, Legal and Ethical Aspects of HIV/AIDS
  • NUR 843: Clinical Care and Treatment Issues in HIV/AIDS (Spring & Summer only)
  • NUR 844: Clinical Care and Treatment Issues in HIV/AIDS: Clinical (Spring & Summer only)
  • NUR 845: Advanced Practice Nursing Adult-Gerontology/HIVAIDS Primary Care Synthesis

How to Enroll

Duke University School of Nursing students interested in adding this specialty to their academic plan must complete the Add a Specialty Form. This form must be submitted to the MSN Program Office via email (son‐ at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester.

Licensed health care providers with a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution (e.g., MSN-prepared nurse practitioners, physician assistants, MDs) interested in the HIV/AIDS specialty certificate should follow instructions for the Specialty Certificate application. Enrollment decisions are made by the lead faculty of the specialty based on space availability.

Employment Preparation

The HIV specialty prepares students to manage the full spectrum of primary health care needs of HIV-infected adolescents and adults in a variety of outpatient clinical settings such as community health centers, Ryan White-funded HIV clinics, infectious disease specialty clinics, health department clinics, and academic medical centers.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Didactic instruction in HIV/AIDS pathophysiology, pharmacotherapy, psychosocial issues, and clinical management
  • Up to 392 HIV-specific clinical practicum hours in or near students’ home communities
  • Visits to the Duke campus each semester for intensive inter-professional group learning experiences complement the online learning and clinical practicum experiences

Learn more about our curriculum.