Choose the Best Online Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Program for You in 2022
Accredited Online Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Programs
|University||Study Length||Clinical Hours||Enrollment Type|
|California State University, Dominguez Hills||3+ years||500 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|DeSales University||2+ years||525 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|East Carolina University||2+ years||540 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|Indiana University – IUPUI||2+ years||525 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|Kent State University||2+ years||500-700 Hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|Loyola University Chicago||2+ years||505 Hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|Michigan State University||2+ years||N/A||Part-Time|
|Old Dominion University||2+ years||504 Hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus||2 years||540 hours||Full-Time|
|University of Detroit||3+ years||500 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|University of Missouri – Columbia, MU Sinclair||2.5+ years||660-780 Hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|University of South Alabama||2+ years||540 hours||Full-Time and Part-Time|
|University of Southern Indiana||3+ years||545 Hours||Part-Time|
Choosing an Online School for Your CNS Program
Potential Salary and Jobs
Certifications and Licenses
Scholarships for CNS and Nursing Students
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 practice—but 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.
Maintaining personal and professional commitments while pursuing your advanced degree in nursing is possible with an online CNS program. Many programs offer either a 100% online option or hybrid delivery method with both online and on-site classes. With sophisticated streaming and recording technology, immediate test feedback, and online forums for discussion, online students receive the same core curriculum as in-person students. Synchronous and asynchronous formats enable students to choose between attending “live” or accessing archived lectures when is most convenient for them.
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.
Employers may often regard online degrees with a comparable level of respect as their in-person counterparts. That’s because the two are typically designed to thoroughly prepare aspiring nursing professionals for practice through a rigorous curriculum and field experience. Making sure your program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is important. These accreditations indicate that the corresponding programs have been carefully vetted.
With all the different paths, requirements, and programs, it may be possible to complete an online CNS program with a non-nursing degree. There are a variety of bridge or direct entry programs available, from LPN to RN, LPN to ADN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, and BSN to DNP. If you’re not yet familiar with these acronyms, be sure to conduct your research to learn more about your options and which of these programs you may qualify for.
MSN programs are graduate programs that allow nurses to build on their foundations in preventative care and care delivery through courses like advanced pharmacology and pathophysiology. After completing an MSN, graduates can pursue ANCC or AACN certifications for clinical nurse specialists.
Meanwhile, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest possible degree you can earn in the nursing discipline. Some DNP programs offer tracks geared specifically for CNSs, with courses ranging from health finance to health information systems. In addition to preparing CNSs for clinical care, a DNP degree provides nurses with the qualifications to teach others, lead a health care team, work as case managers, researchers, and consultants, and positively impact patient outcomes.