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Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)

College: College of Nursing and Health Professions

Department: Nursing


The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist concentration combines theories, concepts, research, issues and trends in caring for an aging population with complex multisystem health care needs.


The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist consists of core and support courses as well as clinical course work to prepare the student for advanced role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Preparation for clinical nurse specialists requires 540 hours of clinical practicum. Study in this option may be pursued on a full- and part-time basis. The majority of core and support courses are available online. Specialty courses are web-enhanced. Classes may be held using the interactive video network.

Content in this major involves adults with acute or chronic health problems. Although the majority of patients access the health care system via a specific health problem, interventions studied may include primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention.

Curriculum and degree requirements can be found in the most current Graduate Bulletin.

Visit the bulletins page >>

Completion Window

The program of study must be completed within six years. All students must complete a professional paper in NURS 6762 Applied Clinical Research and Role Seminar or may choose to complete a supervised research experience in NURS 6893 Thesis Option.

Comprehensive Exam

Students must meet all graduate school requirements including passing a comprehensive exam.

  • Prerequisites

    Admission Requirements

    In order to be considered for admission into the MSN program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

    • Hold a BSN degree from an accredited institution
    • Hold a current unencumbered licenses to practice nursing
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 overall or 3.0 on the last 60 hours of course work
    • Be CPR certified (professional level)
    • Have completed a course in health assessment or demonstrative proficiency in health assessment which includes physical examination and history taking (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator Option)

    Unconditional Admission

    To establish unconditional admission at the master's degree level, applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 overall or 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. All courses attempted, including any repeated courses, are considered in the computation of the grade point average.

    Admission to the Graduate School and meeting eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to all majors.

    Professional Liability Insurance

    Prior to taking the first clinical course, the student must have an unencumbered Arkansas RN license and present evidence of professional liability insurance (minimum $1,000,000/$3,000,000 coverage), current CPR (professional level) certification and acceptable immunization status.

  • Admission Process

    How to Apply

    Applying to the Graduate School

    All applicants for any MSN program must first be accepted by the Graduate School. Apply online here.

    • Send official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work (personal copies will not be accepted) to: ASU Graduate Admissions, PO Box 1570, State University, AR 72467
    • Designated, non-refundable application fee
    • Written documentation of measles and rubella immunization
    • US citizens must be registered or exempt with Selective Service. Affirmation Action information can be found here.

    For questions, contact the Graduate School at (870) 972-3029.

    Applying to the MSN Program

    After applying to the Graduate School, candidates must also apply to the MSN program:

    1. Be accepted by the Graduate School for admission.
    2. Complete the MSN application
    3. Meet the Application Deadlines:
      - Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Fall Term Admission Only, Application Deadline is February 1st
    4. Pre-Clinical Requirements
    • One year experience as an RN
    • CPR Certification
    • TB Skin Test
    • Evidence of Hepatitis B Immunization
    • Professional Liability
    • Valid, Unencumbered RN License in the State of Practice
  • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Outcomes

    Program Outcomes:  Arkansas State University Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program (formally Adult Health) graduated 6 students in May 2017 with a 60% ANCC Certification rate.  

Additional Information

Policies and other information are available in a guide for graduating nursing students, entitled "Graduate Information Guide (GIG)". Knowledge of the policies and information in the GIG, A-State Student Handbook and A-State Graduate Bulletin are required following admission.


If you have questions, you may email the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Coordinator, Jessica Camp at jcamp@astate.edu  or contact the School of Nursing at 870-972-3074.

Accredited by ACEN

ACEN LogoThe MSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Rd, NE, Suite #850, Atlanta, GA 30326, Telephone: (404) 975-5000, http://acenursing.org/.

The MSN program is also approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.