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High Quality Care in Specialty Areas

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are experts in evidence-based nursing and practice in a range of specialty areas, such as oncology, pediatrics, geriatrics, psychiatric/mental, adult health, and others.  As a ResU-trained CNS, you’ll play a unique role in the delivery of high quality nursing care as you engage in patient care, teaching, mentoring, consulting, research, management, and systems improvement.  You’ll be able to adapt your practice across settings, greatly influencing outcomes by providing expert consultation to all care providers and by implementing improvements in health care delivery systems.

Recent research on CNS outcomes shows a strong correlation between CNS interventions and safe, cost-effective patient care.  CNS practice has been directly linked to reducing hospital costs and lengths of stay, reduced frequency of emergency room visits, improved pain management practices, increased patient satisfaction with nursing care, and fewer complications in hospitalized patients.

This in-demand career choice is a clear fit for motivated students with high aspirations.

Program Objectives and Curriculum Plan for the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Major

  • Synthesize and apply theories and conceptual models from nursing and other related disciplines to facilitate clinical decision making.
  • Integrate the use of communication skills, information systems and standardized languages in relation to clinical outcomes and continuous performance measures.
  • Develop collaborative relationships that are interdisciplinary and aggregate-focused to improve the delivery of health care of select populations.
  • Interpret and apply evidenced-based data to assess cohort risk, implement interventional strategies, and evaluate outcomes as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Design, implement and evaluate innovative individual or population-based programs of care to achieve quality outcomes.
  • Pursue continuous quality improvement through the adult clinical nurse specialist role.
  • Serve as a leader, consultant, mentor or change agent in advancing nursing practice across the health care spectrum for the selected population.
  • Create a capstone research project for oral and written presentation on a nursing practice topic.

MSN Core Courses 11 Semester Hours (SH)

NRG 5000 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice (3 SH)
NRG 5002 Health Care Delivery (3 SH)
NRG 5005 Evidence Based Practice (3 SH)
NRG 5905 Scholarly Synthesis (2 SH)

APN Clinical Core Courses 9 SH

NRG 5101 Advanced Health & Physical Assessment * (3 SH)
NRG 5102 Advanced Pathophysiology (3 SH)
NRG 5103 Advanced Pharmacology (3 SH)

CNS Specialty Courses 20 SH

NRG 5503 Quality, Utilization & Outcomes Management (3 SH)
NRG 5303 Clinical Nurse Specialist I (3 SH)
NRG 5304 Clinical Nurse Specialist II (3 SH)
NRG 5305 Clinical Nurse Specialist Residency * (8 SH)
NRG 5710 APN Role Transition (3 SH)

* = clinical experiences associated with course Total 40 SH 111

Program of Study:

Semester 1 – Fall

NRG 5000 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice A Term
NRG 5102 Advanced Pathophysiology 15 weeks

Semester 2 – Spring

NRG 5002 Health Care Delivery C Term
NRG 5103 Advanced Pharmacology 15 weeks

Semester 3 – Fall

NRG 5005 Evidence Based Practice A Term
NRG 5101 Advanced Health & Physical Assessment * B Term

Semester 4 – Spring

NRG 5503 Quality, Utilization & Outcomes Management C Term
NRG 5303 Clinical Nurse Specialist I 15 weeks
NRG 5305 Clinical Nurse Specialist Residency* (2SH w/90°) D Term
NRG 5905 Scholarly Synthesis 15 weeks

Semester 5 – Fall

NRG 5304 Clinical Nurse Specialist II 15 weeks
NRG 5305 Clinical Nurse Specialist Residency* (3SH w/120°) 15 weeks
NRG 5905 Scholarly Synthesis (1 SH) 15 weeks

Semester 6 – Spring

NRG 5710 APN Role Transition C Term
NRG 5305 Clinical Nurse Specialist Residency* (3SH w/120°) 15 weeks

* = clinical experiences associated with course