Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Specialist


820 N. Michigan Ave

Lewis Towers Suite 1200

Chicago, IL 60611

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Specialist

Format: Hybrid

Program Description:

Clinical Nurse Specialists make important contributions to health care including: serving as clinical experts in the delivery of evidence-based nursing interventions; developing, influencing, and evaluating population-based programs of care; educating nurses and health care professionals in solving patient care problems; implementing improvements in the health care delivery system; and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to coordinate care and implement best practice models. Clinical Nurse Specialists are educated at the graduate level, prepared to pass the national certification exam, and then licensed by the state as advanced practice nurses.

In the CNS programs, students are prepared to influence three spheres: the patient, nursing personnel, and the health-care system, with the primary goal of continuous improvement of patient outcomes and nursing care.

The focus of the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS) is advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills across health care settings, centering on the adult age spectrum. 

The focus of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care CNS (AG ACCNS) is advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to function in increasingly complex acute and/or critical care settings.

MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Specialty Tracks and Curriculum

  • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Adult-Gerontology CNS and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care CNS programs are offered in a blended format that includes online and face-to-face courses. Clinical placements for students in these programs are in the Chicagoland area, and students must have a RN license in the state of Illinois before they begin clinical.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

Find Schools