Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Rankings
Aspiring clinical nurse specialists should enroll in educational programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education . Universities throughout the country are now offering online CNS programs, all at the graduate level.
These distance-based education programs are usually entirely online with practicums local to the student or primarily online with minimal campus visits required. The top online clinical nurse specialist programs listed here are ranked by cost, admissions flexibility, and program variety.
Our database contains 928 online APRN programs at the MSN, DNP, and post-masters certificate levels for the 2021-2022 school year. For our purposes, a program must require no more than nine total campus visits to qualify for our rankings.
At NPSchools.com, we aim to maintain a comprehensive listing of online APRN programs that meet our criteria, and we seek to ensure the accuracy of all of the data on our website. That said, advanced nursing education is a dynamic space. Should you find an error or a missing program, please contact us to bring it to our attention.
What Are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities For Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist Jobs
Weve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist job is above the national average. Topping the list is Atkinson, NE, with Deer Park, CA and Johnstonville, CA close behind in the second and third positions. Johnstonville, CA beats the national average by $22,137 , and Atkinson, NE furthers that trend with another $54,681 above the $116,490 average.
With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist appears to be exceedingly fruitful.
Additionally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies as much as 27% between Atkinson, NE and New Haven, CT, suggesting a strong potential for positive wage variance in a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist role. Cost of living should also be factored in when balancing location and salary.
List Of Top Universities Offering Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs
- Auburn University at MontgomeryAddress P.O. Box 244023, Montgometry, AL 36124-4023Contact no. 334 244-3000
- Address 3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017Contact no. 855-GCU-LOPE
- Address South San Francisco, St Flagstaff, AZ 86001Contact no. 928523-9011
- California State University, Dominguez HillsAddress 1000 East Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90747Contact no. 310243-3696
- Address 921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83209Contact no. 282-2475
- Address 600 South Paulina Street, Chicago IL 60612Contact no. 312942-5000
- University of St. Francis, Joliet, IllinoisAddress 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, IL 60435Contact no. 800735-7500
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Applying To An Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Program
Before applying to an online CNS program, students should review the admission requirements to determine if they meet the prerequisites. They can then decide if a program is appropriate for them and their academic and professional background.
To gain admittance into either a master of science in nursing or doctor in nursing practice program, prospective CNSs must meet the following requirements.
- Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution , transcripts from previous academic programs, National Council Licensure Examination for RNs exam scores, resume outlining professional nursing experience, and letters of recommendation
- GPA Requirements: 3.0 or higher
- Other Requirements: A valid, unencumbered RN license
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.
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Are Any Certifications Or Credentials Needed
Many employers require prospective perinatal nurses to earn nurse practitioner credentials before hiring them. Completing your advanced degree program and becoming an NP or CNS can offer you distinct career advantages. Certification shows any potential employers that you meet the highest-level standards of practice. Additionally, passing certification exams can translate into greater career opportunities and increased salary potential. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers certification for NPs and CNSs who meet specific eligibility requirements.
Additionally, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses provide different resources for perinatal nurses, such as continuing education credits online and a handful of National Certification Corporation certifications. Read more for further clarity on neonatal nurse certifications.
What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do
A CNS focuses on a specialized area of nursing within a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Specialty areas mainly include adult-gerontology, family, pediatrics, neonatal, and psychiatric mental health. Within their specialty, the CNS might play the role of an educator, advisor, advocate, and a researcher.
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Neonatal Np Vs Pediatric Np Specialties
Are you an RN who loves caring for children? You may be wondering whether to becoming an NNP or a PNP. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner : NNPs only deal with neonates and infants under the age of 2. Its an intensivist roleNNPs must be able to handle high-stakes situations, complex daily tasks , medical crises , and the trauma of newborn deaths. The role often involves on-call coverage and long hours in the NICU . Because of their specialized training & expertise, NNPs earn the highest salary among NP specialties.
- Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner : AC PNPs care for children under the age of 21 who have acute, critical, and chronic health conditions. Just like neonates, these pediatric patients need 24/7 care. Thanks to their expertise, AC PNPs may be responsible for medical procedures , case management, and teaching. Youll often find them at all hours in hospitals and ICUs. They tend to be paid less than NNPs and more than PC PNPs.
- Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner : PC PNPs handle outpatient primary care tasks . This is the world of office paperwork, regular business hours, and one-on-one time with patients & families. The job doesnt usually involve life & death situations. And it doesnt pay as well as the NNP or AC PNP.
What Is A Perinatal Nurse
Perinatal nurses help care for women and babies throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum, and usually up until the new baby is around a month old. Perinatal nurses educate their pregnant female patients about their unborn child. One of the largest roles of a perinatal nurse is to teach patients, spouses, and family members methods and techniques that can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. They educate patients on childbirth options, and how to bond with and care for the baby after it’s born.
Perinatal nurses assist patients during labor and are there to help in case complications arise. Lastly, perinatal nurses teach family members how they can best support the mom-to-be during and after pregnancy.
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Should I Enroll In An Online Cns Program
Online and in-person programs are generally comparable in terms of access to resources and faculty, educational outcome, and job opportunities. With an online CNS program, students may be able to balance study with work, life, and family. Consider your personal circumstances and goals when selecting a program.
The Cns Program At Pitt Nursing
Becoming a CNS involves learning to interpret research and translate that knowledge into practice while working with fellow nurses to develop more efficient and effective protocols.
The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists mandates the graduates must have achieved competency in direct care, consultancy, systems leadership, collaboration, coaching, research, and ethics. Coursework and hands-on learning opportunities in the DNP-CNS program cover care of patients and families in both acute and ambulatory settings. The three-year program includes courses from the APRN core including pathophysiology, advanced physical assessment, and pharmacology. Additional coursework supporting the CNS role includes the science of health care delivery, organizational and management theory, grant writing, public policy, and ethics. Additional course work focusing on the design and process of instruction and measurement and evaluation of curriculum is available for those working towards a clinical faculty appointment.
Two key components of the DNP program are clinical practicums and the culminating DNP project. Clinical experiences take place in one of the world-class hospitals adjacent to the School of Nursing. Some of the clinical hours may be spent in educational settings, with Pitt faculty and/or hospital-based educators. The DNP project permits students to apply theoretical and practical knowledge gained from the three-year program to an actual problem or situation.
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A Complete List Of Online Cns Programs
OnlineFNPPrograms.com 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.
How To Become A Perinatal Nurse
Becoming eligible to work as a perinatal nurse involves two steps: earning a nursing degree and becoming a licensed registered nurse .
To begin, youll need to complete a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing or four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing . These degrees make you eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs, or NCLEX-RN. Passage of this exam and subsequent licensure is required to practice as an RN. Although an ADN qualifies you to take the NCLEX-RN, an associate degree isnt enough for many perinatal nursing jobsor most RN-level nursing jobs, for that matter.
In most parts of the U.S., you now need a bachelors to work in a hospital, says Kathryn Dailey-Deaton, an RN specializing in perinatal nursing. Perinatal nursing is an especially competitive field, so youll want an education that makes you as strong a job candidate as possible.
In addition, because its a competitive and specialized area of nursing, its hard to get a job without experience, Dailey-Deaton says. She suggests several ways to gain experience:
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Clinical Nurse Specialist Salaries
According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CNSs working full-time earned an average of $83,787. The survey also noted that CNSs were very satisfied with their principal positions, with over 91% being moderately or extremely satisfied.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports earnings in the general registered nurse category, which is inclusive of advanced practice registered nurses like clinical nurse specialists, as well as RNs without advanced training and education. The figures published by the Bureau are recognized to be lower than what would be expected for clinical nurse specialists due to the inclusion of non-advanced practice RNs.
According to the Bureau, in terms of medical settings, the highest average RN salaries are associated with nurses that work in physician offices , medical and surgical hospitals , and outpatient care centers . Outside of traditional medical settings, registered nurses earn average salaries that differ based on industry:
- Personal care services
- Medical equipment and supplies companies
- Colleges and professional schools
National Certification And Licensing
Requirements for licensure or recognition as a CNS vary from state to state however, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing has adopted a consensus model it advocates for use by state boards. While the NCSBN continues to work to implement a standard model, it is still necessary to meet the standards of the state in which one hopes to practice. In most cases, this requires earning certification by examination through a national certifying body recognized by the respective state Board of Nursing.
Sitting for a national certification exam requires that candidates meet specific eligibility requirements set by the certifying body. Although there is some variance in the requirements, most are generally similar:
- Hold an active RN license
- Hold a masters, post-graduate, or doctorate degree from a CNS program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
- Participated in a preceptorship of at least 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours within the specialty or patient population focus in which the CNS intends to become certified
- Completed graduate program that included core competency courses of advanced physical/health assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology
- Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health CNS
- Child Adolescent Psych & Mental Health CNS
- Home Health CNS
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Related Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Pages
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
How Do Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs Work
Expect the same rigor as an in-person course, as well as access to faculty members. You can also anticipate the latest materials, core curriculum, and competence for post-graduation practicebut with the added ability to complete your studies from the comfort of your home or office.
Depending on the program, classes can be attended in real-time via live stream or are recorded to enable students to access the content at any time. You can also complete any hands-on experience requirement at a local clinic.
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Why Is Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Accreditation Important
When researching academic institutions, applicants are advised to select an accredited nursing program. Earning a degree from an accredited institution benefits graduates and their future employers by confirming the program’s quality.
Attending an accredited program can lead to the following advantages:
- Receiving accreditation from the CCNE verifies that the program meets the standards for certification from the ANCC or AACN. Without confirming the quality of the program, the CCNE will not provide an institution with accreditation.
- Exclusive programs typically only accept credits transferred from other accredited programs. It can be difficult for students from unaccredited programs to transfer to another academic institution.
- Institutions are more likely to accept a degree earned from an accredited program as a prerequisite for admittance.
- Students who attend unaccredited programs may not be eligible for financial aid.
- Accredited degrees can lead to better employment positions with higher earning potential.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Requirements
The theory courses vary by population focus and must provide content across the continuum from wellness through acute care for the selected population. The plan for theory course work must be approved by the CNS option coordinator. The following courses under the Specialty Theory Electives heading are examples of those that can be included as specialty support credits. Other courses can be included with advisor approval.
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Online Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs
As nurses seek to further their education, some find that work and family obligations make obtaining a post-graduate degree seem daunting. Colleges and universities are responding by offering more and more programs via distance learning. These online clinical nurse specialist programs offer the same stellar education as classroom programs do, but offer a higher amount of flexibility. Students should, however, pay particular attention to their state’s guidelines on distance education, as there can be some rules and regulations that may impact them. Admissions representatives for online clinical nurse specialist programs can assist with this.
What Skills Do You Need To Be A Clinical Nurse Specialist
The most crucial skill for a CNS is their understanding of advanced nursing practices within their specialty. A successful CNS also benefits from various soft skills for nurses, including communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving.
These qualities can help nurses thrive within their chosen healthcare settings.
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Michigan State University: Online Msn
Michigan State Universityâs online MSN for Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists prepares APRNs to care for adults across the lifespan, while its primary concentrationâNurse Educationâprovides teaching expertise. All coursework is delivered 100 percent online students need only visit MSUâs East Lansing campus for a single one-day orientation before beginning their studies. Classes include Clinical Decision Making, Care for Aging Individuals Across the Healthcare Continuum, and Curricular Design in Nursing Education, among others. According to MSUâs official website, full-time students can complete the program in as few as five semesters part-time students can do so in eight semesters.
Cost: $775 per credit-hour
Whats The Difference: Perinatal Nurse Vs Neonatal Nurse
Pregnancy itself is a high-risk condition, Dailey-Deaton says, so it makes sense that there are so many types of nursing specialties for pregnancy, delivery, and newborns.
- Work with mothers and babies
- In general, work with babies up to their second or third day of life
- Specialize in care provided in the labor and delivery and postpartum departments
- Means newborns
- Focus on babies
- Work with babies until they no longer need neonatal support
- Specialize in care provided in the neonatal intensive care unit
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