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Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP

Our Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares you to provide health care to neonates.  

You will be trained for roles as advanced practice nurses, with a focus on the following: 

  • Direct patient care 
  • Nurses and nursing practice 
  • Systems and organizations 

You will learn to empower nurses to develop caring, evidence-based practices by creating an environment of system change. Also, you will learn to serve as clinical experts in an evidence-based nursing practice within the neonatal population.

View the curriculum

Fast Facts: Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP
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Program Type:
Full-Time or Part-Time
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2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Years

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Per Credit Hour
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Class Size:

Our Approach

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

This means many program advisers and clinical faculty are practicing clinical nurse specialists 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

Our program takes 2 1/2 to 3 ½ years to complete, depending on whether you attend full- or part-time.  

Most classes are offered online. Some classes are offered both online and on campus. A few core courses are only offered online. 

All students are required to be on campus for the following activities: 

  • CNS clinical coursework: Typically four to six days per year for the purpose of clinical validation and simulation 
  • DNP project problem statement presentation: This is part of the on-campus visit. 
  • DNP project proposal: Done just before beginning DNP project implementation and presented during campus visit. 
  • DNP Project final presentation: Done in the last term before graduation. 


Clinical experience

For local students, clinical sites are available at RUSH University Medical Center and throughout the Chicago area. 

Distance students collaborate with our faculty to find clinical practicum sites and preceptors that meet program requirements.  

We recommend that distance learners begin planning their clinical practicum experiences early. We have been successful in negotiating distance clinical practicum contracts, but success is not guaranteed.  



Our curriculum has been approved by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.  

The approval process requires that programs meet educational eligibility compliance with the following: 

  • The consensus model for advanced practice registered nurse practice 
  • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s criteria for APRN programs (2012) 

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 Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP program is $1,344 per credit hour.

Learn about student financial aid options

Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP Career Opportunities 

Graduates work with neonates and their families to meet the demands of their vulnerabilities in various health care settings: 

  • Academia 
  • Neonatal clinics 
  • Neonatal intensive care units 
  • Outpatient Clinics 
  • Public Health  
  • 0-3 Programs 

Other employment opportunities exist in patient safety and case management. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in this field are expected to grow 9% from 2020-30. 

The median clinical nurse specialist salary is $112,257 (November 2022), according to ZipRecruiter. Salaries range between $51,100- $159,000. 

Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP Faculty
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Admissions Contact Information

Elizabeth Miranda 
Admissions Specialist

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