We admit students for the MS and BS-DNP programs twice a year; Fall and Spring Semester. We admit students for the Post-Graduate Certificate program every Summer Semester. Please see Application Deadlines.
The AGCNS MS Program is completed in 2 years and 4 months (7 semesters) as a full-time student and the AGCNS BS-DNP in approximately 4 years (12 semesters). The AGCNS Post Graduate Certificate Program is completed in 1 year (3 semesters). Please see the posted program plans.
The AGCNS is a hybrid program. The didactic courses are offered in both an online and in class format which alternate semester to semester. The three CNS specialty courses (that come at the end of the program) are taught in an intensive, face-to-face setting, and uses interactive video conferencing to accommodate long distance students. A CNS faculty will be assigned as your academic advisor and will work with you to develop a program plan to meet your individual needs and learning preferences.
Most students can complete the program at a distance online but need to be able to attend on-campus intensives. The AGCNS core courses use interactive video for distance student and local students come to campus. It is advised students contact student affairs to discuss their specific state requirements prior to applying to the program.
Yes. The AGCNS program requires 12 credits of clinical experience, which equals to 500 clinical hours for the MS.
The University of Colorado College of Nursing is responsible for ensuring adequate and sufficient clinical experiences for students in all programs, including out of state. Clinical placements are arranged by the University of Colorado College of Nursing for students who live in the Denver Metropolitan Seven-county area (Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Broomfield, and Boulder counties). For those who live outside these counties and outside of CO, the CON asks the students to assist in finding clinical preceptors/sites. The AGCNS program direct works with the student in securing preceptors and clinical site contracts. It can take several months to achieve an affiliation agreement, so we highly recommend providing information about an institution to your Specialty Director shortly after program admission.
Yes. Successful program completion will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for edibility to take the national certification with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), depending on which examination you choose.
Yes, you may take up to 12 semester credits as a non-degree student prior to being accepted to the program. You must meet all prerequisite requirements of the course. Non-degree students register on a space available basis during open enrollment just prior to the beginning of the semester. Please contact the AGCNS Program Director for guidance on which classes. Please see the Office of Professional Development for more information.
The MS-CNS student interested in continuing their education in the PhD nursing program would meet with the PhD and CNS faculty to develop a program plan that facilitates student progression seamlessly between the two programs and be admitted to the PhD program prior to completion of the CNS. In addition, The PhD program is structured so that individuals frequently work while moving through course work, so you can practice as a CNS while completing this portion of your education.
Preceptors will vary with the type of clinical experience being sought. Preceptors suitable for CNS clinical experiences include advanced practice nurses (APNs) (i.e., CNS or NP), physicians and allied health professionals (e.g., respiratory therapy, nutrition, etc.), and nurse researchers and educators. The majority of your clinical hours should be completed with CNSs. We maintain a list of qualified preceptors in the Denver metro and surrounding areas.
CNSs work primarily in hospitals, but may also work in clinics, corporations, educational institutions and in community healthcare settings. Our graduates are prepared to work in diverse healthcare practice settings in which care of adults and older adults is provided.
Currently, CNS graduates can apply for prescriptive authority in 38 of the 50 states. Requirements differ between states as to how many hours the CNS graduate must be observed prior to being able to apply for and be granted prescriptive authority. State specific information concerning APRN CNS, prescriptive authority, independent practice, and state specific reimbursement policies are available at state specific Board of Nursing websites and at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is a great website to review and learn more about the CNS as an advanced practice nurse. Current publications, competencies, etc, for the CNS Option are housed at the NACNS website.