Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers an influential degree in the field of Clinical Nurse Specialist. 

Clinical nurse specialists are prepared to make several important contributions to the health care field:

  • They serve as clinical experts in the delivery of evidence-based nursing interventions.
  • They develop, influence, and evaluate population-based programs of care.
  • They educate nurses and health care professionals in solving patient care problems.
  • They implement improvements in the health care delivery system.
  • They collaborate on interdisciplinary teams to coordinate care and execute best practice models.

Before becoming a CNS, you must complete graduate-level coursework, pass the national certification exam, and gain advanced practice licensure by the state.

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Oncology Specialty
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Oncology Specialty
  • The degree offers full-time enrollment
    - Average time to completion (full-time): 2–3 years
    - Full-time enrollment requires 8+ credit hours per fall and spring semester
  • The degree offers part-time enrollment
    - Average time to completion (part-time): 3–5 years
  • This degree offers select online courses

The Adult-Gerontology and Adult-Gerontology with Oncology Specialty tracks are available in the online format. The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care CNS track is offered in a blended (online and on-site) format.

Loyola has collaborative partnerships across health care settings; many sites are in medically underserved areas. Faculty members guide students in the selection of appropriate clinical sites for clinical practical experiences.
The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care CNS program is offered in a blended format that includes online and face-to-face courses. Clinical placements for students in this program are in the Chicagoland area. The Adult-Gerontology and Adult Gerontology with Oncology Specialty programs are offered in an online format. Clinical placements can be arranged near where students live or work.

Career services are available—learn more at LUC.edu/career.

  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist graduates are eligible to apply for the ANCC certification examination.
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist graduates are eligible to apply for the AACN certification examination.
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Oncology Specialty graduates will be eligible to apply for the ONCC certification examination. 

Pass rates for all APRN exams are at or near 100% over the past several years.

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has been successfully educating graduate nurses for more than 50 years. The School is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

  • Study abroad: The School of Nursing offers MSN students an annual study abroad trip to Belize.
  • Student organizations: Graduate Student Nursing Association (GSNA), Student Committee on InterProfessional Education (SCIPEC).
  • Service learning: You may have an opportunity to participate in an International Service Immersion as part of a collaboration between Campus Ministry and the School of Nursing. Opportunities for community service at local schools and community organizations may also be available.

Our faculty and clinical preceptors are experts in their fields and hold national certifications in their areas of specialization. They have a wide variety of clinical and research interests and are well respected in their areas of professional specialty.

You must have a RN license to apply. Additionally, 2,000 hours of recent clinical nursing experience is required prior to beginning the first practicum in your chosen advanced practice specialty.

Prior to graduating, you’ll complete a comprehensive exam comprised of two parts: a paper of publishable quality that demonstrates your theoretical/clinical expertise and an oral presentation of your paper.

All MSN applicants must have a current U.S. nursing license.

Begin the financial aid process by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.

The School of Nursing has limited funds available for financial assistance. Visit LUC.edu/nursing/admission/tuition-finaid to learn more about these financial aid opportunities.

For questions or assistance regarding financial aid through the School of Nursing, contact us at 708.216.9101 or SchoolofNursing@luc.edu.

 

 

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.