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Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP

Our Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) DNP program prepares you to work with critically ill adults in a variety of settings. 

You will learn to ensure quality patient outcomes. Clinical nurse specialists focus on three areas: direct patient care, nursing practice, and systems.  

At RUSH, you learn to use mentoring and system changes to empower nurses to develop caring, evidence-based practices. 

View the curriculum

Fast Facts: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
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Program Type:
Part-Time and Full-Time
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2-3.5 Years

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Class Size:
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Per credit hour

Our Approach

You learn from faculty who are active practitioners at a top-tier academic medical center, RUSH University Medical Center.  

This means many program advisers and clinical faculty are practicing nurse practitioners who have clinical experience that will enrich your learning. 

We offer tracks for both bachelor’s and master’s-prepared nurses. 

Program Length and Location

Coursework begins as part-time but requires a full-time commitment halfway through the program. 

Three-quarters of the didactic course work is delivered online. One-quarter of the coursework is offered in a weekly on-campus format. 

Our program takes approximately 3 ½ years to complete for students who have a bachelor’s degree. 

If you have a master’s, your program completion time will vary depending on previous coursework completed. An individualized program of study is developed based on a gap analysis. 

Most students can continue to work full-time until management and clinical courses begin, which is about two-thirds into the program.  

You will need to set aside time for school and study. When you start your clinical practicum, reserve one to two days a week to complete the required hours.

The residency clinical practicum requires three days a week. 



After completing the program, you will be eligible for the following:  

  • Certification as an Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses  
  • State licensure or certification where available

Program Tuition 

At RUSH University, we know your education is a big investment. We want to make sure you have all the information to be able to make the best financial decisions for you and your family. 

Tuition for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP program is $1,344 per credit hour.

Learn about student financial aid options

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP Career Opportunities

You will be prepared to function in the following roles: 

  • Case manager 
  • Change agent 
  • Clinical leader 
  • Collaborator 
  • Educator 
  • Patient advocate 


Employment of nurse practitioners is expected to grow 40% from 2021-31. This is much faster than the average for other professions.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP Faculty
Learn More About the Program
Admissions Contact Information

Elizabeth Miranda 
Admissions Specialist
(312) 942-6986

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