Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Programs

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, the most popular field in advanced practice nursing education is Nurse Practitioner followed by Clinical Nurse Specialist. The most common educational preparation for Clinical Nurse Specialists is a master's degree in nursing with 93.3% of practicing Clinical Nurse Specialists holding a master's degree in advanced practice nursing preparation as CNS. A small percentage hold a doctorate degree. Some of the most popular Online and Campus-Based Clinical Nurse Specialist programs offered in the United States are listed below.

Clinical Nurse Specialist programs clinically prepare registered nurses in the three main areas, patient care, nursing practice and health care organizations. Curriculum incorporates patient safety, nursing leadership and motivation, evidence based practice, innovative techniques in patient care, and collaborative techniques with other health care providers and health care delivery systems. Upon graduation from a Clinical Nurse Specialist program nurses are prepared to integrate evidence based practice into patient care, assist in the development of innovative approaches for health care delivery systems that ultimately improve patient care, to educate nurses and to be a leader.*

The decision to take your nursing career to the next level and starting a Clinical Nurse Specialist program is an important one and one that requires a significant financial, time and personal commitment. There are many indicators that support the benefits of completing a Clinical Nurse Specialist educational program. There is a documented shortage of Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States and many employers are paying out hefty sign-on bonuses. Clinical Nurse Specialists are also in high demand at Magnet Hospitals to help keep their status.* What all this means is that opportunity is within reach if you are a registered nurse with the right qualifications to meet admission requirements for a Clinical Nurse Specialist program. Contact the schools below to learn more about their programs, admission requirements and to answer any other questions. One other thing, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) reports that Clinical Nurse Specialist salaries range between $65,000 and over $110,000 a year. Salary will depend highly on location, institution, certifications, experience and other factors. You may want to read the article: Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

You will also need to contact your State's Board of Nursing to learn about their specific certification and licensing requirements for Clinical Nurse Specialists, because they will often vary by state.
*(Sources: HRSA 2004, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists)

Clinical Nurse Specialist Online Programs

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Liberty University - Department of Nursing

Liberty University's Online MSN - Clinical Nurse Specialist Acute Care Track is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Graduates are prepared for national certification as a CNS and work as practitioners and/or educators. This program is enrolling now. Request information today!

Program Offered: MSN - Clinical Nurse Specialist Acute Care Track

University of Cincinnati - College of Nursing

The University of Cincinnati - College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Two Master's in Nursing Clinical Nurse Specialist programs are offered.

Programs Offered Online: MSN - (Tracks: Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Specialist - Nurse Educator, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery)

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