Friday, September 22, 2023

Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs Online

Must read

Cns Scope Of Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice Clinical Nurse Specialist Program at Johns Hopkins

Since CNSs are regarded in most states as APRNs, youâre probably wondering how much power they can wield. On the downside, every State Board of Nursing has different regulations for CNS roles. On the upside, the NCSBN maintains a CNS Independent Practice Map and a CNS Independent Prescribing Map that summarizes the facts.

  • In 2018, 28 states had granted CNSs the authority to practice without physician supervision.
  • In 2018, 19 states allowed CNSs to prescribe independently.

But itâs interesting to note that most CNSs in the NACNS Census didnât have prescriptive authority.

Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Concentrations

A CNS has advanced education and training in a concentration of their choosing. Their specialized role is often defined by population and settings such as intensive care units and emergency rooms. Diseases like oncology and cardiology or types of care such as psychiatry and rehabilitation are also factors.

The CNS must pass a national certification exam in their chosen specialty after graduation.

Some of the more popular specializations include the following:

Adult Gerontology PediatricsFamilyPsychiatric Mental HealthNeonatal

University Of Southern Indiana Evansville Indiana

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Average Graduate Tuition: $8,884/year in-state and $17,407/year out-of-state Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1 Points: 6The top Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the University of Southern Indiana is an online program comprised of core courses and clinical nursing courses. This 42 credit hour program can be completed in three years. It includes limited on-campus requirements for four courses. New students are admitted to the program once each year and can take courses year round. The program is recognized by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and meets requirements for the ACCNS-AG certification exam.

Recommended Reading: Rn To Nurse Anesthetist Programs

What Is A Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist is an advanced practice nurse who has hands-on expertise, advanced knowledge, and a certification in a given specialty. The graduate-level nursing education and extensive training that the CNS must go through preparing them to practice autonomously and to adequately assess, diagnose, and manage patient problems. The type of specialty area that a clinical nurse specialist works in is defined by the patient population types that they’re treating, the kind of care needed, the medical setting, or the type of disease or illness. Although they’re both advanced nurses, clinical nurse specialists shouldn’t be confused with nurse practitioners as their respective scopes of practice are different. Whereas nurse practitioners tend to carry out tasks like taking patients’ health history and acting as their primary care provider, clinical nurse specialists usually tend to focus on research, education and consulting.

Highly Evolved Nursing Practice

Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Degree Programs

Nurses in advanced practice specialties are uniquely situated to forge their own patient care practices under the guidance of a physician. This kind of empowerment is key to the development of nursing as a whole and the understanding of the fields importance to healthcare. Often its the physicians that get the pat on the back for patient care, but nurses are omnipresent, often key to communicating decline or improvement in patient condition. CNSs combine all the qualities of a nurse, from theory through to advanced research, and long-term care management. But they also take into account the administrative strata of a hospital or clinic and combine advanced nursing practice with appropriate business sense. This is nursing taken to its highest clinical level.

You May Like: Accelerated Nursing Programs In Ma

What Are The Different Types Of Cns Programs

Online CNS programs come in various degree types to suit the needs of a range of academic levels. Whether youre interested in an MSN or a DNP, plenty of options exist to help you meet your goals. The following section looks at the three most common paths for becoming a clinical nurse specialist.

Degree Types

  • MSN Programs: These programs exist as both RN-to-MSN and BSN-to-MSN options they typically take between two and three years to complete and provide the training needed to work as a clinical nurse specialist. Many schools now offer these degrees fully online so you can go to school and balance personal and professional responsibilities more easily. Learn more about online MSN programs.
  • DNP Programs: Both BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP programs exist to help learners reach the highest echelons of the discipline. Pursuing a CNS doctorate gives you the credentials needed to work in high-level research, administrative, and academic positions. They take between three and five years to complete depending on previous education. Find the right online DNP program for you.
  • Post-Masters Certificates: Post-masters CNS certificates are designed to help nurses with an advanced degree gain the specialized skills needed to work as a clinical nurse. They especially cater to students who didnt take any CNS courses in their MSN program. Most take between 12-18 months to complete and can be found online or on campus.


Overview Of Cns Certification

Check with your State Board of Nursing to find out what national certifications you need in order to practice as a CNS. Typically, states will want to see a CNS certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses .

If youâre interested in adult gerontology, itâs useful to know that some RN to MSN Adult Gerontology CNS programs will prepare you for both the ANCCâs AGCNS-BC certification and the AACNâs ACCNS-AG certification . Talk to your mentors about which credential is best for your goals.

Don’t Miss: Vanderbilt University Nurse Practitioner Program

Required Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications / Credentials

Clinical nurse specialists can become certified in the various specialties that are available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses .

The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers an Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification . Requirements for this certification are as follows:

  • Currently active and unrestricted RN license
  • Hold an MSN, postgraduate, or DNP degree which includes three separate courses in:
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced physical/health assessment
  • Have worked no less than 500 supervised, clinical hours in a CNS role working with the population of the specialty
  • *Certification must be renewed every five years

    The American Association of Critical Care Nurses offers Clinical Nurse Specialist certifications in Adult-Gerontology, Pediatric, and Neonatal. Eligibility requirements are as follows:

    • Hold a current and unrestricted RN or APRN license
    • Completion of a graduate-level advanced practice education program at a nationally accredited school of nursing.
    • The curriculum must be consistent with the competencies of the specialty

    Sacred Heart University Fairfield Connecticut

    The online Adult-Gerontology CNS program at Kent State University (extended version)

    MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Online

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1 Points: 3The top online CNL program at Sacred Heart University features a leading Clinical Nurse Leader MSN program that prepares students to become leaders in health care delivery. Courses are offered in a convenient asynchronous format, allowing students 24/7 access to course content. Classes are eight weeks long and most students can complete the program in two years. Students complete core coursework in areas like:

    • healthcare policy and ethics
    • comprehensive health assessment methods
    • care management

    Clinical Nurse Leader students complete a 348 clock hour role immersion experience that prepares them to sit for the AACN CNL certification exam.

    Recommended Reading: How To Get A Kentucky Nursing License

    A Complete List Of Online Cns Programs analyzed all online CNS programs in the U.S. To be considered an online program, the school could not require more than ten on-campus visits throughout the program.

    Please note that this data was collected between 2017 and 2018. Diligent efforts were made to report the most accurate and updated information however, tuition and availability of programs regularly change over time. Additionally, while most of the programs listed are at the MSN level, some of these institutions also provide reasonable post-masters certifications and DNP degrees at similar cost-per-credit.

    Please contact program coordinators directly with questions not answered in this analysis and please contact us to add or correct existing information.


    Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania

    MSN Clinical Nurse Leader

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1 Points: 3Drexel University features a top CNL online accredited by the CCNE. Faculty are experienced and board certified professionals from Drexels College of Nursing and Health Professions. The highly interactive online learning method allows students to feel challenged and engaged without the need to come to campus. The program consists of four-10 week quarters per year which means students can take more classes in a shorter time period. Courses cover areas like:

    • advanced pharmacology
    • quality and safety in healthcare

    Flexible clinical practicum scheduling and settings are ideal for working professionals.

    Don’t Miss: Daemen College Nurse Practitioner Program

    Bachelor’s Degree To Bsn Bridge Program

    Students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing area are able to earn a BSN through this bridge program. This track is often offered as an accelerated and/or partially online program or traditional in-classroom program. Clinical hours will be required to become licensed as an RN. This degree track often has a shorter waiting list than traditional BSN programs and is available through many universities.

    How Long Does It Take To Earn A Cns Degree Online

    Pediatric clinical nurse specialist

    The amount of time you spend completing an online CNS program depends on several different factors. Students who previously completed a BSN will graduate more quickly than those who currently possess an ADN. Similarly, those who have the time and funding to study on a full-time or accelerated basis can finish requirements faster than someone studying part-time.

    When trying to ascertain how long you should plan on being in school, its best to discuss your options with program administrators. They can help you identify which degree best matches with your interests and find a timeline that works with your existing schedule.

    Also Check: Ways To Pay For Nursing School

    Online Learning At Kent State

    E-learning is unparalleled at Kent State University.

    Kent State online students have access to the same resources as on-campus students, without ever stepping foot on campus. From applying to the program to applying for graduation, Kent State provides the tools to complete these tasks online.

    Although there are no on-campus requirements, online students are more than welcome to visit our campus in Kent, Ohio . You will be invited to various events throughout your time at Kent State, including our pinning and graduation ceremonies.

    Some of the benefits to earning your graduate degree online from Kent State include:

    • Courses developed by expert faculty and delivered via Canvas, industry-leading learning management systems .
    • Small class sizes and individualized attention from nurse educators with decades of practical experience.
    • Innovative learning activities tailored to the online environment.
    • 24/7 technical support through Kent States TechHelp.
    • Tests and exams proctored virtually no need to go to a testing center.
    • FlashLine, the universitys centralized portal system, will allow you to schedule classes, track your degree progress, schedule advising appointments, pay your tuition, and more right from your computer.

    Can I Complete My Clinical Rotations Where I Live

    The Student Clinical Services Coordinator and program directors will work with you to secure a clinical placement near where you live and work, if possible. You are required to have an experience in both an acute care/hospital based setting and in an ambulatory care community based setting. Therefore, clinical placement will be dependent upon the availability of facilities in your area in which pediatric CNS competencies can be met.

    Also Check: Hartwick College Nursing Program Reviews

    Paying For Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs

    A key factor in determining an appropriate online CNS program is tuition. Choosing an online program is often less of a financial commitment when compared to in-person programs. Yet, the cost can still vary based on the type of school , the length of the program, and enrollment status .

    Students who need help paying for a CNS program can find it in the form of financial aid for nurses and scholarships.Applying for nursing scholarships, loans, and grants can help decrease the program’s cost.

    Scholarships provide funds based on merit, talent, or academic performance. Loans consist of borrowed money that needs to be paid back, while grants are awarded based on a student’s financial need.

    Creighton University Omaha Nebraska

    Janeth Todd: Doctor of Nursing Practice `16, University of Missouri

    Online MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1 Points: 4The top online CNL program offered by Creighton University is designed for BSN nurses who want to be more efficient critical thinkers and team leaders in their organization. Most courses are offered online, but students are expected to have some campus visits. This 37 credit hour program includes 600 supervised clinical hours. Coursework covers areas like:

    • Financial Organization of U. S. Healthcare
    • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    • Practical Ethics in Health Care Settings

    There is no GRE score required for admission. Graduates have the skills needed to be a leader in todays rapidly changing health care environment.

    You May Like: Master Of Nursing In Australia

    Specialized Advanced Practice Nurse Degrees

    The title of Clinical Nurse Specialist indicates a larger group of advance degreed, advance practice nurses that work within more granular healthcare specialties, including geriatrics, child and family health, cardiac care, and womens health, to name a few. CNSs are akin to case managers in that they may see their own patients, assess health issues, diagnose and develop a treatment and care plan. Their work environment is variable and their roles in the larger scheme of nursing, critical.

    Which Nursing School Accreditation Should I Be Looking For In A School

    Accreditation is very, very important. These are issued by regulatory bodies that monitor education quality and maintain high standards for schools. Completing a nursing degree from an accredited school is especially important when hoping to advance education at a different school, as many schools will only accept degrees or credits from schools with certain accreditation.

    The government regulatory body of accreditation commissions is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and they recognize 6 agencies when considering schools for regional accreditation. The agencies below are from 2016-2017, so be sure to visit for the most current information.

    • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Western
    • Association of Schools and Colleges
    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    • Higher Learning Commission
    • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • WASC Senior College and University Commission

    The best approach for an undergraduate is to research graduate schools and find out which accreditation they accept. Leaving this option open for the future is very wise.

    For more on this see nursing school accreditation.

    Read Also: Pleasant View Nursing Home Ottawa Il

    University Of South Alabama Mobile Alabama

    Clinical Nurse Leader

    Average Graduate Tuition: $7,956/year in-state and $15,912/year out-of-state Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1 Points: 5The Clinical Nurse Leader online program at the University of South Alabama is a three-semester post-baccalaureate program with coursework and an immersion clinical experience. Courses cover areas like:

    • healthcare policy and finance
    • pharmacology for advanced practice nursing
    • advanced nursing assessment

    The interactive online format allows students to engage in active learning, discussion and problem solving. Courses are available in a flexible online format. Clinical requirements can be completed in the students own community. Graduates are prepared for success working in different roles as:

    • information managers

    University Of Southern Indiana

    Clinical Nurse Specialist Overview

    The University of Southern Indianas Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist program offers an online combination of foundational coursework and hands-on clinical experiences.

    You may complete the 42-credit hour curriculum in three years. For four courses, there are no on-campus requirements at all.

    Once a year, the program accepts new students, who are free to enroll throughout the year.

    The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has approved this curriculum to meet the ACCNS-AG certification exam prerequisites.

    In-state graduate tuition is $8,884 per year, while out-of-state tuition is $17,407 per year.

    Don’t Miss: Nurse Practitioner Malpractice Insurance Cost

    Choosing An Online School For Your Cns Program

    Choosing an online CNS program that fits your schedule, interests, learning style, and educational background doesnt have to be overwhelming. The flexibility and variety of available programs means you may be able to find a CNS program tailored to you: part-time, full-time, dual, accelerated, asynchronous, or synchronous. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, breathe easy. Here are some things to consider when searching for an online school for your CNS program:

    How Much Do Online Nursing Programs Cost

    While the cost of classes and programs varies greatly by school, many students discover that online programs are less expensive than traditional programs after considering the time and money saved on commuting and incidentals. The convenience of completing classes from the living room often outweighs the downsides.

    Many schools will require electronic books to be purchased as well as uniforms, stethoscopes, and white nursing shoes or other items needed for clinicals, if required.

    Online courses require each student to have access to a computer which is fast enough and has enough memory to support the program. Purchasing a new computer may be required if the standard is not met.

    See our guide discussing the cost of RN programs.

    You May Like: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Schools Online

    Rn To Msn Cns: Admissions

    RN to MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist programs tend have the same general prerequisites as NP programs. In other words, universities want to see:

    • A diploma or associateâs degree in nursing
    • A current RN license
    • At least one year of RN clinical experience
    • A baseline undergraduate GPA
    • Letters of professional reference

    When it comes to the clinical experience requirement, schools are often looking for RNs who are dedicated to their specialty. For example, if youâre interested in acute care CNS programs, you may be expected to have a foundation of 1-2 years in recent acute care practice before you can take the clinical rotations. If you want to apply for neonatal CNS programs, you may need some RN time in the NICU.

    More articles

    Popular Articles