Clinical Nursing Specialist MSN + 3 No GRE Degrees


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A clinical nurse specialist, or CNS, is an advanced practice nurse that holds either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). As a clinical nurse specialist, you will likely focus your career in one or more areas of clinical expertise. These can include:

  • A specific population, such as pediatrics or women’s health
  • A specific setting, such as critical care or ER
  • A certain disease, such as diabetes
  • A type of care, such as psychiatric
  • A certain health problem, such as wounds, stress or pain

While in your career as a CNS you will handle regular nursing responsibilities, which focus mostly on helping a patient to recover from an illness or medical condition, your scope of practice also will include the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, diseases and disabilities. You also will provide a high level of direct patient care, and will serve as an expert consultant for nursing staff. You also will take a firm, active hand in the improvement of health care delivery systems.

A CNS can work in many types of settings, including hospitals, community health centers, long term care centers, mental health facilities, occupational health and private practices. A clinical nurse specialist uses his or her expertise as an educator, consultant, clinical expert and researcher to positively influence outcomes by boosting the quality and cost effectiveness of patient outcomes.

3+ No GRE Options for MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist

Georgetown University
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Per Credit Hour: Total tuition: $21,940
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: Yes
Program: MSN – Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Request Info: Georgetown University Online

Ohio State University
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
Per Credit Hour: $964 in state; $2068 out of state
GRE Required: No, for students with at least a 3.0 GPA
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: Yes
Program: MSN – Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist
School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

University of South Alabama
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Per Credit Hour: $398 in state; $796 out of state
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: No
Program: MSN – Clinical Nurse Specialist
School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Basic Description of a Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Specialist

A Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Nursing will prepare you for an advance generalist role in this growing field. This type of graduate nursing program will incorporate the latest skills and knowledge in the field, clinical expertise, car outcomes accountability, full health care services integration, and clinical leadership in client care.

Most CNS programs will focus on the development of clinical nursing competencies related to use of technology, evidence based practice, care customization health team leadership, and outcome/risk assessment.

A master’s program in clinical nursing will prepare you for the most advanced clinical care roles in a complex clinical care environment. Most of these types of programs will focus on:

  • Evidence based approaches to solving clinical problems
  • Assessing nursing and health care outcomes
  • Excellent clinical decision making and designing nursing care for needy clinical populations at the clinical unit level
  • Lateral care integration
  • Clinical leadership

No GRE CNS programs also feature an extensive clinical practicum experience, which will give you chances to improve your clinical skills and to develop more competences for health care client management at the point of care.

To become a clinical nurse specialist, you need to be a registered nurse.

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Clinical Nurse Specialists – Advanced Nurses and Advanced Care

Where Can a Clinical Nurse Specialist Find Work After They Graduate?

The nursing field generally will see a large increase of jobs by 2020, as much as 26%.

Much growth in the health care field is going to be driven by the baby boomer population reaching retirement age. Many of these patients are living much longer than previous generations and they are much more active than people in years past. So, there is going to be a much greater need for the critical health care services that clinical nursing specialists provide.

Registered nurses overall earn a median salary of $64,600, but the top 10% of nurses, who usually hold an advanced degree, will earn over $95,000 per year. states that the median salary for clinical nurse specialists in the US is $93,000. The salary range in this field can range from $60,000 to over $100,000, depending upon where you work in the country and your clinical specialty. states that the average salary for a CNS is $83,787.

Additional Resources:

Sady Brown
Written by Sady Brown
Sady Brown is Editorial Strategist for