Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Master of Science specialty for Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) prepares graduates to practice as an expert practitioner in a specialized area of nursing with expanded authority and autonomy. The AGCNS focuses on improving patient care and nursing practice and serves in a multitude of roles. AGCNSs can provide highly specialized, expert nursing care, serve as the clinical specialty expert for a particular unit or service line, or serve in other roles such as clinical coordination, case management, staff and patient education, or hold staff roles in nursing research. Graduates in this specialty can be certified as a CNS in Adult Health by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Joyce Karl
Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialty Track Director

Message from the Director

As a former critical care clinical nurse specialist, I appreciate the important contributions that AGCNSs can make to the evidence-based, high quality care of individuals, families, groups, populations and in organizations. Their expertise in clinical care, evidence-based practice/quality improvement/research, education and staff development help them emerge as advanced practice nursing leaders in all settings.



Our AGCNS graduates enter the workforce with the skills and competencies to: 

  • Assume an advanced practice role
  • Put theory and research into practice with individuals and families 
  • Develop, implement and assess nursing strategies to assure quality of care
  • Utilize leadership skills for positive change in policies at the local, regional and national level
  • Adapt professionally to the constantly changing healthcare environment 
  • Contribute to the advancement of the profession

Specialty Curriculum

  • Nursing 7410 Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7450 Pathophysiology of Altered Health States
  • Nursing 7470 Advanced Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Nursing 7378.01 Advanced Practice Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum I
  • Nursing 7378.02 Advanced Practice Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum II


Sample Curriculum

A sample curriculum for the traditional master's full-time and part-time options, as well as the graduate entry option can be found in the master's in nursing handbook. A sample curriculum for the BSN to DNP can be found in the DNP handbook