MSN - Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Prepares students for practice in three spheres of influence: patient/family, nurse/nursing and organizational/institutional. Includes knowledge of health promotion, advanced physical assessment, evidence-based practice, systems, quality and safety. Graduates are academically eligible to take the national certification examination for adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist.

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Learn more about admission requirements, application deadlines, financial aid, schedule a tour and everything you need to know to get started on your graduate school journey. 


  • Program Highlights
  • Curricular Plan
  • Admission Requirements
  • Program Faculty
  • The Master of Science in Nursing degree requires 42 credit hours of course work.
  • Doctorally prepared expert faculty.
  • Clinical experiences with expert, certified Clinical Nurse Specialists in a wide variety of clinical settings.

Core Courses – 12 Credits

NURS 6000   Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

NURS 6007   Ethics, Policy, and Health Care Advocacy

NURS 6009   Organizational and Systems Leadership

NURS 6010   Research & Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing


Foundation Courses – 9 Credits

NURS 6030   Pathophysiological Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice

NURS 6032   Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice

NURS 6035   Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan


Specialty Courses – 21 Credits

NURS 6240   Complex Health Problems / or NURS 6340 Complex Acute Health Problems

NURS 6242   Concepts and Interventions for health Problems Across the Lifespan

NURS 6244   Health Promotion Across the Lifespan

NURS 6258   Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinical 1

NURS 6259   Adult-Gerontology 2 Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinical 2

6 credits of HEAL or NURS electives

  • Applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program should have graduated with, or be about to graduate with, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program with an upper division major in nursing.
  • The required minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.000 on a 4.000 scale is required for the M.S.N. For graduates of foreign nursing schools, a formal evaluation of their nursing program of study documenting equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree must be submitted.
  • Prior to or during the first term of study, all Master of Science in Nursing applicants must have taken undergraduate nursing research and a statistics course which included inferential analysis (must be completed within 5 years of program start date). If the time period of 5 years has been exceeded for the statistics course, it may be possible for applicants to demonstrate proficiency by examination through an approved testing source (list of approved examinations available from the College of Nursing). Applicants who select an advanced practice nursing specialization must have taken an undergraduate course in health assessment.
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores (GRE). Waived if cumulative GPA is 3.200 or higher.
  • Unencumbered Registered Nurse license to practice in the United States. A Wisconsin or eNLC license is required at the time of admission.
  • Clinical experience requirements
  • For the adult older adult acute clinical nurse specialization: Experience working as registered nurse is required prior to beginning any clinical courses.
  • BCLS from the American Heart Association, which must be maintained during all programs.
  • Letters of reference: Three completed recommendation forms prepared by previous or present employers and teachers familiar with graduate education in nursing.
  • A written statement of professional goals, including reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges or universities - must reflect undergraduate courses in health assessment, nursing research and statistics (including inferential analysis).
  • (For international applicants only) a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency
  • Information regarding Graduate School tuition/fees and financial assistance is located on the Graduate School website.

Christine Shaw, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC (Option Coordinator)

Annette Garcia DNP, ANP-BC, AGCNS-BC