Michigan State University Online Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS) Programs

Michigan State University (MSU) offers online adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist programs at the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP), and Post-Master’s Certificate level, with one campus orientation and local preceptorships.

CNSs are able to diagnose, treat, and manage the care of patients from young adulthood to geriatrics, and these programs are designed to prepare graduates for service in acute care settings. These may include hospitals, emergency rooms, cardiac units, intensive care units, and coronary care units. The CNS role closely parallels the nurse practitioner role, however, the focus of the CNS is more on quality of care, reducing costs, reducing emergency room visits, improving pain management, reducing medical complications, and increasing patient satisfaction (NANCS).

The MSN program is designed to meet the MSN Essentials presented by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). These are as follows:

  • Background for practice from science and humanities
  • Organizational and systems leadership
  • Quality improvement and safety
  • Translating and integrating scholarship into practice
  • Informatics and healthcare technologies
  • Health policy and advocacy
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Clinical prevention and population health

The DNP program also meets objectives under categories including scientific underpinnings for practice, organizational and systems leadership, clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice, information systems/ technology, healthcare policy, interprofessional collaboration, and clinical prevention.

Applicants to the Post-Master’s Certificate program must hold NP, CNS, CRNA, or CNM certification from a national certification board in the U.S. Graduates of the AG-CNS programs are qualified to take the AGCNS-BC certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the AACNS-AG certification exam through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The online MSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, Michigan.

What to Expect from the Michigan State University Online AG-CNS Programs

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the MSN and DNP programs must hold a BSN degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the second half of the bachelor’s program. Applicants to the Post-Master’s Certificate program must hold a graduate degree in nursing from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and hold NP, CNS, CRNA, or CNM certification from a national certification board in the U.S.

Additionally, applicants must hold an unrestricted RN license in their state and have completed undergraduate statistics with a GPA of 2.0 or higher or a graduate statistics course with a GPA of 3.0 or higher within the past five years. Application materials include an application and fee, resume or CV, a written essay addressing career goals and motivations, and three letters of recommendation. An admissions interview is required with the College of Nursing. Those whose native language is not English must submit passing TOEFL test scores.

Applicants may also need to include documentation of a background check, immunization records, required physical exam and labs, drug screening, CPR certification, and proof of liability insurance.

State Restrictions: While Michigan State University accepts students from most states into their AG-CNS program, students from the following states may not be admitted at this time: Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon. Applicants outside of Michigan should verify eligibility with the School of Nursing, as well as check with their State Board of Nursing to make sure practicum requirements can be met within their state.

Study Plan: The MSN program can be completed in about two years full-time and three years part-time. The BSN to DNP can be completed in three to four years depending on full-time or part-time study. The certificate program can be completed in about 18 months. Students may begin in the Fall. In order to graduate students must complete at least one course per semester and earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in each course.

MSN – AG-CNS Curriculum: The online AG-CNS program comprises 42 credits plus 675 clinical hours. Courses include Clinical Epidemiology for Healthcare Practice; Scientific Foundations for the Advanced Practice Nurse; Healthcare Informatics; Health Policy and Advocacy; Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, and Quality Management in Healthcare; Leadership in Complex Health Systems; Advanced Pathophysiology; Advanced Physical Assessment; Advanced Pharmacology; Wellness Promotion for Diverse Populations; Clinical Decision Making and Management of Acute Chronic Complex Conditions; and Clinical Nurse Specialist Advanced Practice Role Development I-III.

BSN to DNP – AG-CNS Curriculum: The online BSN to DNP AG-CNS program comprises 70 credits plus at least 1,095 clinical hours, including a DNP project. MSN courses include Advanced Pathophysiology for the APRN, Advanced Physical Assessment for the APR, and Advanced Pharmacology for the APRN; Wellness Promotion for Diverse Populations; Clinical Decision-Making in Management of Acute Chronic Complex Conditions; Clinical Nurse Specialist Advanced Practice Role Development I-III; and Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialty Role Immersion I-II.

DNP courses include Scientific Foundations for the Advanced Practice Nurse; Healthcare Informatics; Clinical Epidemiology for Health Care Practice; Health Policy and Advocacy; Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, and Quality Management in Healthcare; Leadership in Complex Health Systems; and Doctor of Nursing Practice Project I-III.

Post-Master’s Certificate – AG-CNS Curriculum: The online Post-Master’s Certificate AG-CNS program comprises 27 credits plus 675 clinical hours. A gap analysis will be conducted to verify the completion of Advanced Pathophysiology for the APRN, Advanced Physical Assessment for the APR, and Advanced Pharmacology for the APRN. Courses for the completion of the certificate include Wellness Promotion for Diverse Populations; Clinical Decision Making and Management of Acute Chronic Complex Conditions; and Clinical Nurse Specialist Advanced Practice Role Development I-III.

Online Experience: Michigan State University delivers courses through the D2L Brightspace online learning management system (LMS). Courses are typically asynchronous with recorded lectures, assignments, assessments, and collaboration through discussion boards, group projects, and presentations. AG-CNS online students have access to services such as academic advising, an online bookstore and library, faculty office hours, technical support, and career counseling.

On-Site Requirements: MSN students are required to come to the East Lansing, MI campus for an orientation the August before beginning the program. All other coursework is online and preceptorships are completed locally.

Paying for the MSU Online AG-CNS Programs

Michigan State University charges $831.50 per credit plus fees for the online MSN, DNP, and certificate programs. Interested nurses should contact the MSU School of Nursing for current tuition costs and fees.

Graduate nursing students may be eligible for federal Stafford loans and Graduate PLUS Loans by applying through the FAFSA. Graduate students may choose to inquire with their employers concerning a tuition reimbursement program or tuition discounts. Michigan State University students may also seek outside funding such as community and organizational scholarships and grants.

Michigan State University

The AGCNS programs through Michigan state University are offered with MSN, BSN to DNP, and post-master's options, and are designed to graduate nurses prepared to serve in acure care settings such as hospitals, emergency rooms, ICUs, cardiac units, and coronary care units.

APRN Programs

BSN to DNP – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
MSN – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Post-Master's Certificate – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Campus Address

220 Trowbridge Rd
East Lansing, Michigan 48824

Michigan State University – BSN to DNP – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Essentials

Degree Level

DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice

Specialization

CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Start Dates

Fall

100% Online?

No

Campus Visits Required

1

Credits Needed to Graduate

70

Program Accreditation

CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Admissions

Level of Education Required?

BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

GRE or GMAT Required?

No GRE Required

GPA Required?

3.0 or higher

State Restrictions? (Will Not Accept From…)

FL, KS, KY, MA, NY, OR

Program Tuition

Credit Hours

70

Cost Per Credit Hour (state resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (state resident)

$58,205.00

Cost Per Credit Hour (non-resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (non-resident)

$58,205.00

Michigan State University – MSN – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Essentials

Degree Level

MSN – Master of Science in Nusing

Specialization

CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Start Dates

Fall

100% Online?

No

Campus Visits Required

1

Credits Needed to Graduate

51

Program Accreditation

CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Admissions

Level of Education Required?

BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

GRE or GMAT Required?

No GRE Required

GPA Required?

3.0 or higher

State Restrictions? (Will Not Accept From…)

DE, FL, KS, KY, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, OR

Program Tuition

Credit Hours

51

Cost Per Credit Hour (state resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (state resident)

$42,406.50

Cost Per Credit Hour (non-resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (non-resident)

$42,406.50

Michigan State University – Post-Master's Certificate – Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Essentials

Degree Level

Post-Master Certificate – Post-Graduate (Post-MSN) Nursing Certificate

Specialization

CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist

Program Start Dates

Fall

100% Online?

No

Campus Visits Required

1

Credits Needed to Graduate

27

Program Accreditation

CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Admissions

Level of Education Required?

MSN – Master of Science in Nusing

GRE or GMAT Required?

No GRE Required

GPA Required?

3.0 or higher

State Restrictions? (Will Not Accept From…)

FL, KS, KY, MA, NY, OR

Program Tuition

Credit Hours

27

Cost Per Credit Hour (state resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (state resident)

$22,450.50

Cost Per Credit Hour (non-resident)

$831.50

Estimated Total Tuition (non-resident)

$22,450.50

Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the published tuition rate. Rates may change, so please check here for the latest tuition information. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the rates for part-time students. “Resident” and “non-resident” refer to the student’s school-recognized state residency status. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Estimated total tuition does not include additional fees.