PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Officials with Bradley University’s Department of Nursing announced that they launched a new online nursing program.

According to a press release, the university launched an online adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program (AGNP) at the start of the current semester.

The university stated that the new program is in response to the rapidly aging U.S. population, where one in five adults will be 65 or older by 2030, and By 2050, 90 million Americans are expected to be 65 or older, compared to the 45 million today.

The Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at Bradley University, Jessica Clark, said the demand for the program is increasing as our population ages.

“This field covers so much, from treating chronic illnesses to providing palliative care, yet there is a significant shortfall in number of certified AGNPs working today,” Clark said. “It is imperative to fortify this important foundation in modern patient care with these well-trained nurse practitioners. They’ll provide high-quality acute care within the hospital setting, as well as primary care for our growing, aging population.”

Those who graduate from the program will be eligible for certification in adult-gerontology care from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

The program is offered entirely online, as part of a suite of programs Bradley offers for advanced nursing certifications. More information is available on Bradley University’s website.