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College of Health Professions & McAuley School of Nursing

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (Master's, Post-Master's, DNP options)

A Detroit Mercy nursing student examines a test.Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in the role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a transformational experience. Students develop clinical expertise, lead nursing care and make real change happen at the bedside and in the boardroom. They can speak concisely about the importance of their role. They know the outcomes of CNS practice. They know those outcomes are critical to the viability of healthcare systems today and they know the CNS role is essential.

Our students experience the full breadth of the CNS role as a prescriber, coach for patients and staff, team builder and change agent, while improving quality of care and the bottom line for healthcare systems. Our students take the role across healthcare settings from acute to non-acute care.

Our graduates know who they are when they graduate and are practice-ready. Our 2016-2017 graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate for the national certification exams for the Adult-Gerontology CNS through ANCC (non-acute care CNS), AACN (critical care CNS) and ONC-C (oncology). The Detroit Mercy experience is transformational.

In addition, 100 percent of graduates are employed in CNS roles, care coordination, academia and across settings to include telemedicine. CNSs saw the highest pay spikes among APRNs in 2017 up to $102,000, which is a 7.4 percent than 2015 (Medscape APRN Compensation Report 2017).

We have a dynamic group of CNS faculty willing to spend the time it takes to make your experience at Detroit Mercy the best it can be. We know graduate studies are an important aspect of your lives and that life continues to move forward in unexpected ways. As a result, our faculty maintain an atmosphere of rigor with flexibility and will work diligently with any student who needs extra support. Students choose their pace. Our students say great things about their Detroit Mercy experience. That is the Detroit Mercy way.

We look forward to helping you transform your life and career!

A Note to Online Students

It is the responsibility of all applicants applying for admission in an online graduate nursing program to confirm if the program meets specific licensure requirements in the applicant’s state of residence. Applicants may contact the applicable licensing board.

For Program-Specific Information

For more information about this program or any graduate nursing program, please contact Ms. Suzanne Erwin, BA, BSN, RN, Graduate Nurse Recruiter at erwinsm@udmercy.edu or 313-993-1828.

Videos

Role of the CNS

CNS Programs at Detroit Mercy

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    Sample Program Plan

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    Required Courses

    MSN Integrated Core

    NUR 5030

    Analytic Methods for Clinical Practice

    3 credits

    HLH 7100

    Health Care Policy, Economics and the Law in Clinical Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 7000

    Advanced Theory & Knowledge Development for Clinical Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 7300

    Transformational Leadership & Innovation in Advanced Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 7400

    Information Management & Decision Support

    3 credits

    NUR 7500

    Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Theory, Design & Methods

    3 credits

    Advanced Practice Core

    NUR 5160

    Advanced Health Assessment

    3 credits

    HLH 5900

    Advanced Pathophysiology

    3 credits

    NUR 5800

    Pharmacology for Advanced Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 6030

    Professional Role Development for Business Practice

    2 credits

    AGCNS Concentration Courses

    NUR 5748

    Adult-Gerontology CNS Role & Theory 1

    3 credits

    NUR 5749

    Adult-Gerontology CNS Practicum I

    2 credits

    NUR 5751

    Wellness Adult-Gerontology CNS Practice

    2 credits

    NUR 5752

    Adult-Gerontology CNS Role & Theory II

    3 credits

    NUR 5753

    Adult-Gerontology CNS Practicum II

    2 credits

    DNP Integrated Core

    NUR 7700

    DNP Transition

    3 credits

    NUR 7200

    Epidemiology & Population Health

    3 credits

    NUR 7350

    Business Management to Ensure Quality in Health Care

    3 credits

    ETH 7010

    Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 7450

    Analytics for Evidence Based Practice

    3 credits

    NUR 7800

    Project Proposal Development

    3 credits

    NUR 7900

    DNP Clinical Practicum & Project Implementation

    3 credits

    NUR 7920

    DNP Doctoral Project

    3 credits

    Total Credits: 66 credits (41 for MSN conferral and 25 for completion of DNP)

    For more information on courses descriptions, please click here for the catalog.

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    Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Post-Master's Certificate

    Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in the role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a transformational experience. Students develop clinical expertise, lead nursing care and make real change happen at the bedside and in the boardroom. They can speak concisely about the importance of their role. They know the outcomes of CNS practice. They know those outcomes are critical to the viability of healthcare systems today and they know the CNS role is essential.

    Our students experience the full breadth of the CNS role as a prescriber, coach for patients and staff, team builder and change agent, while improving quality of care and the bottom line for healthcare systems. Our students take the role across healthcare settings from acute to non-acute care.

    Our graduates know who they are when they graduate and are practice-ready. Our 2016-2017 graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate for the national certification exams for the Adult-Gerontology CNS through ANCC (non-acute care CNS), AACN (critical care CNS) and ONC-C (oncology). The Detroit Mercy experience is transformational.

    In addition, 100 percent of graduates are employed in CNS roles, care coordination, academia and across settings to include telemedicine. CNSs saw the highest pay spikes among APRNs in 2017 up to $102,000, which is a 7.4 percent than 2015 (Medscape APRN Compensation Report 2017).

    We have a dynamic group of CNS faculty willing to spend the time it takes to make your experience at Detroit Mercy the best it can be. We know graduate studies are an important aspect of your lives and that life continues to move forward in unexpected ways. As a result, our faculty maintain an atmosphere of rigor with flexibility and will work diligently with any student who needs extra support. Students choose their pace. Our students say great things about their Detroit Mercy experience. That is the Detroit Mercy way.

    We look forward to helping you transform your life and career! 

    Online Program

    The program is taught on-line in a flexible and student-centered format with course and faculty availability seven days a week. Students need not be a resident of Michigan to be in the program. Clinical sites and qualified preceptors are identified near the student's home to complete the required clinical component in the role of the CNS.

    A Note to Online Students

    It is the responsibility of all applicants applying for admission in an online graduate nursing program to confirm if the program meets specific licensure requirements in the applicant’s state of residence. Applicants may contact the applicable licensing board.

    Certification

    Upon completion of the Post-Master’s certificate, the nurse will be eligible to sit for the examination for the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

    Adult-Gerontology CNS Post-Master's Certificate Sample Program Plan

    Gainful Employment Disclosure

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    Learn more about the CNS role

AGCNS highlights

Our graduates achieve great careers. One-hundred percent of Detroit Mercy AGCNS graduates are employed in CNS roles, care coordination, academia and across setttings to include telemedicine.

CNSs saw the highest pay spikes among APRNs in 2017 up to $102,000, which is an increase of 7.4 percent over 2015 figures (Medscape APRN Compensation Report 2017).

The 2016-17 Detroit Mercy graduating class achieved a 100 percent pass rate across the national certification exams for the Adult-Gerontology CNS through ANCC (non-acute care CNS), AACN (critical care CNS) and ONC-C (oncology).

What are our students saying?

Tracey E. Robilotto

"I passed the ACNS (first try), I was so well prepared by the program."

Carol Batchelder

"You have a terrific program with great support staff. It is very cohesive and collaborative."

Elevator Speeches

"The CNS is a champion for quality patient care. We are APRNs with graduate preparation, sharing the same core courses as NPs (A&P, patho, and pharm). However, our focus is not only providing diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of patients, but also using our nursing expertise to support the work of the nurses at the bedside and advancing our practice by being the voice of nursing in the boardroom. We also function on the systems level by initiating research, quality improvement, cost saving strategies, and implementation of evidence-based practice,"
— Rachel Orfei 
Master's Student

"A CNS is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in a patient population or clinical area to be a champion of evidence based practice, high-quality care and patient outcomes. We work across three spheres (the system, nurse and patient) to ensure the system is set up so it is easy for the nurses to do the right thing every time and thus provide high quality care to patients to give them the best outcomes. We are master collaborators and agents of change,"

— Lisa McCann-Spry 
Post Master's Certificate

Mitzi Saunders headshot"One aspect of my role is to bring evidence-based practice to patients through direct care, the nurses or leading projects. I focus on quality and safety, clinical care issues like readmissions, errors, new technology, nurse and patient education and satisfaction. I analyze the metrics on a regular basis and communicate how we are doing or what needs more work,"

— Mitzi M. Saunders 
Program Coordinator

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