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MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist

MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist student conducting examThe clinical nurse specialist (CNS) program prepares graduates for advanced practice with a focus on either adult-gerontology or pediatric populations. The CNS influences care outcomes by providing direct care, expert consultation for nursing staffs, and implementing improvements in health care delivery systems with a particular expertise in evidence-based practice, safety and quality. As a CNS you will integrate care across the continuum through three spheres of influence:

  • Direct patient care
  • Nursing and nursing practice
  • Systems and organizations

Clinical nurse specialists practice in academic medical centers as well as community hospitals. They work in many settings such as critical care units, subacute settings, inpatient units, and specialty practices, such as cardiology and orthopedics. Graduates are eligible to sit for national certification exams for the role by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Board.


Program Highlights

  • Admission requirements
  • Summer and Spring term admission
  • Pediatric or adult-gerontology focus
  • 38 hours total (includes minimum 500 clinical hours)
  • Two years full-time or three years part-time
  • Clinical practicum experiences with qualified preceptors take place close to home when possible


See the course catalog to learn more about our curriculum.