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MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist

The clinical nurse specialist program prepares graduates at the master’s level for advanced practice with a focus on either adult-gerontology or pediatric populations. The CNS influences care outcomes by providing direct patient 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 Corporation.

*No longer accepting students as of June 2019

Clinical Experience

One year of full-time experience or its equivalent as a registered nurse is preferred.

Program Highlights

  • Admission requirements
  • Online Format
  • Summer term admission
  • Pediatric or Adult-Gerontology focus
  • 38 hours total (29 hours didactic coursework, 9 hours clinical practicum)
  • Two years full-time or three years part-time
  • Clinical practicum experiences with qualified preceptors take place in your geographic area when possible