College of Nursing Bridge Program

Clinical Nurse Specialist

As someone interested in learning more about becoming a clinical nurse specialist, you may want more information on this rewarding field. Those individuals best suited for a job as a clinical nurse specialist are interested in a engaging in a variety of nursing roles and influences. The focus in this field is patient care, but through innovative evidence-based practice strategies, CNS' also play a major role in program development related to patient and nursing practice initiatives while positively influencing the organizations and systems where they are employed.

The role of a clinical nurse specialist include:

  • Clinical expert in an area of nursing
  • Consultant
  • Collaborator
  • Researcher
  • Mentor
  • Educator

The required clinical nurse specialist education includes being a Licensed Registered Nurse and having earned a Master's in Nursing with additional education in the specialty as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). This could include having a Post-Master's Certificate in CNS or having a doctoral degree.

Grand Canyon University offers an MSN in Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist as well as a post-master's Certified Acute Nurse Specialist certificate. Both clinical nurse specialist programs are offered at GCU's traditional campus as well as in an online format. Clinical rotations require site visits with preceptors and students to approve and evaluate objectives.