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Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology

Adult Gerentology Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology (AG-CNS) option prepares nurses to become evidence-based and theory-guided advanced practice nurses providing quality care. The clinical nurse specialist is an expert clinician who can work in a variety of clinical practice settings from community to hospital in areas such as acute, critical, chronic, palliative care and hospice.

Career Examples

  • Clinical Educator
  • Magnet™ Coordinator
  • Quality Improvement/Quality Excellence position
  • Unit and/or Service Line CNS - patient population focused
  • Unit or Department Nurse Leader

For information on the CNS role, see

Plans of Study

Students entering the AG-CNS option will focus their learning in the following areas: Aging, Chronic Illness, Acute Care, and Palliative Care. Additional classes in Advanced Oncology Nursing and Emergent Care are offered periodically for elective credit.

​The AG-CNS program accepts students from WICHE states and selected other states.

WICHE states​:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Other selected states:

  • Georgia
  • Ohio


How would a student in the MS-CNS option move into the PhD in Nursing Program at CU?
How long will it take to complete the clinical nurse specialist program?
Will I be required to have any clinical experiences?
Is the CNS program offered completely online or in class?
Will I have to do the clinical hours in Colorado?
What are the requirements for CNS preceptors?
What about advanced practice certification?
How can I get the remaining hours I need to meet new certification requirements for the AG-CNS?
Can I take courses before I apply?
Where do graduates of your program work?
How does the DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) Degree work with the MS-CNS Option?
Can the CNS graduate hold prescriptive authority (be able to write a prescription for medications)? What about third-party reimbursement?
What is a good website to obtain more information about Clinical Nurse Specialists?


American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Competencies

(View Full Document Here)

Under the Consensus Model for APRN REgulation, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are enducated and assessed across the continuum from the wellness through acute care. In addition, CNSs must be educated, certified, and licensed to practice in a role and population.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Competencies

The patient population of the Adult-Gerontology CNS practice includes young adults (including late adolescents and emancipated minors), adults and older adults (including young-old, old, and old-old adults). Preparation of the graduate with the entry-level competencies delineated in this document, unless otherwise specified, includes preparation across the entire adult-older adult age spectrum. The scope of practice of the Adult-Gerontology CNS is not setting specific but rather is based on patient care needs.

  • Coaching Competency
  • Collaboration Competency
  • Consultation Competency
  • Ethical Decision-Making, Moral Agency, and Advocacy Competency
  • Research Competency
  • System Leadership Competency