Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

 The distance-accessible Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist track prepares you to serve as an advanced practice nurse with a specialty practice focus. CNSs use knowledge from theory and research to deliver expert nursing care and to improve nursing care given by others. CNSs provide clinical leadership by: 

  • Providing expert nursing care to complex patients in various health care settings
  • Leading the transition of individual patient care across settings such as from hospital to home or rehabilitation facility
  • Developing, implementing, and evaluating programs of care for groups of patients with similar care needs
  • Developing and evaluating innovative cost-effective interventions to improve patient/clinical outcomes
  • Leading multidisciplinary teams to coordinate healthcare services and to implement best practice models
  • Mentoring nursing staff in solving patient care problems and delivering high quality, safe care

Potential employment opportunities for graduates can found in:

  • Hospitals and acute care
  • Rehabilitation care
  • Long-term care
  • Accountable care organizations
  • Assisted living
  • Community heath agencies and clinics
  • Corporate industry/occupational health
  • Private practice settings
Upon completion of your degree, you are eligible for certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses as an Adult-Gerontology CNS. Additionally, as an advanced practice nurse, you qualify to apply for prescriptive authority from the Indiana Licensure Board.

42 credit hours
525 clinical hours

MSN Core Courses (22 Credit Hours)
  • N502 Nursing Theory I (3 cr)
  • N504 Leadership for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr)
  • R500 Nursing Research Methods I (3 cr)
  • R505 Measurement & Data Analysis (3 cr)
  • Y515 Advanced Pathophysiology Lifespan (3 cr)
  • Y612 Advanced Pharmacology Lifespan (3 cr)
  • Y625 Advanced Physical Assessment Lifespan (4 cr)
AGCNS Track Courses (20 Credit Hours)
  • M560 Enhancing Health Behaviors - Psycho-educational Intervention (3 cr)
  • M570 CNS I: Scientific Basis of Practice (4 cr/150 clinical hrs)
  • M580 CNS II: Symptom Management (5 cr/150 clinical hrs)
  • M590 CNS III: System-Level Leadership (5 cr/225 clinical hrs)
  • Y512 Advanced Concepts in Gerontology (3 cr)

Review the course descriptions.

Curriculum Delivery
  • Courses follow a traditional 16-week semester format; summer courses run across both summer sessions for 12 weeks.
  • MSN Core Courses (22 credits) are primarily taught online, with the potential for some synchronous class sessions. Synchronous sessions are generally able to be attended either in-person or via videoconferencing technology. Y625 Advanced Physical Assessment includes five on-site lab days that must be attended in-person.
  • AGCNS Courses (20 credits) are primarily distance-accessible courses that offer the option of attending class in-person or from a distance via videoconferencing technology. Most courses meet one time per week. 
  • Clinical placements are arranged by students with support from IUSON faculty and staff; all clinical hours must be completed within the state of Indiana.
  • Please see the AGCNS Track Guide for more details on course formats and sample plans of study.
Admission Timeline
  • Admission into the AGCNS track is offered one time per year for the fall semester.
  • Applications for Fall 2021 will open September 15, 2020.
  • The priority application deadline for Fall 2021 admission is January 15, 2021.
  • Applications will continue to be accepted until May 15, 2021, if space remains in the track.
  • Priority admissions notifications are sent out via email no later than April 1st and are rolling thereafter.
  • You can find detailed application instructions by clicking the Apply Now button at right.

Check out the IU School of Nursing student and alumni CNS newsletter.

Spring 2018
Spring 2019
Fall 2019

Learn more about Clinical Nurse Specialists