CNS Program Directory

StateName of UniversityWebsiteMSNBSN-DNPMSN-DNPCertificateAdult Acute careAdult-GeroPediatricsNeonatalFamily Across the lifespanWoman's HealthOtherOnsiteOnlineOther Notes
AlabamaUniversity of South Alabama
Beirut, LebanonAmerican University of Beirut
CaliforniaAzusa Pacific University
CaliforniaCalifornia Baptist University
CaliforniaCSU-Dominguez Hills
CaliforniaLoma Linda University
CaliforniaMount Saint Mary's University
CaliforniaPoint Loma Nazaren University
CaliforniaSan Diego State University
CaliforniaSan Francisco State University
CaliforniaUniversity of California-Los Angeles acute and primaryoffer dual NP/CNS in adult and peds acute care
CaliforniaUniversity of California-San Francisco, criticalcare/trauma
CaliforniaUniversity of San Diego
ColoradoColorado Christian University
ColoradoUniversity of Colorado College of Nursing
ConnecticutWestern Connecticut State University
IllinoisGovernor's State University
IllinoisLoyola University Chicago onlyXXoncologyX
IllinoisRush University Medical Center and peds only, acute care is hybrid
IndianaIndiana University-Purdue University
IndianaPurdue University Northwest
IndianaUniversity of Southern Indiana - BSN-DNPMSN-DNP - APRN not CNS specificX
LouisianaLouisiana State University
MarylandJohns Hopkins University careX
MarylandUniversity of Maryland - both onsite & online componentsdual AG-ACNP & AG-CNS program
MarylandUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in peri-op; Active duty only
MichiganEastern Michigan University
MichiganMichigan State University
MichiganUniversity of Detroit Mercy
MinnesotaUniversity of Minnesota only MSN-DNP and must come to campus 1 week per term.
MinnesotaWinona State University
MissouriUniversity of Missouri - Columbia - Online programs, but does require travel to Columbia campus 2-3 times during degree completion for advanced hands-on training.Option to chose dual emphasis, Military Friendly- Gold Award.
NebraskaNebraska Methodist College
New YorkBinghamton University
New YorkCollege of Staten Island - CUNY
New YorkHunter College
New YorkMolloy University
New YorkSt. John Fisher College
New YorkSage Colleges
North CarolinaEast Carolina University
OhioCapital University
OhioKent State University
OhioThe Ohio State University to PhD
OhioUrsuline College
OklahomaUniversity of Oklahoma
PennsylvaniaDeSales University (adult-gero)XXX
PennsylvaniaLasalle University accepting into CNS track at this time
PennsylvaniaUniversity of Pittsburgh; dual PhD/DNPMSN-DNP
PennsylvaniaWest Chester University
PennsylvaniaWidner University -MSN-DNPBSN-DNP - hybridMSN-DNP - not CNS specific
PennsylvaniaYork College
Rhode IslandRhode Island College
South CarolinaClemson University
South DakotaAugustana University
TexasTexas Christian University APRN certificateXXxXSome scheduled onsite visits, but primarily online
TexasUniversity of Texas-Austin
VirginiaOld Dominion University
VirginiaUniversity of Virginia
WashingtonSeattle Pacific University if you already are prepared as an AGCNS
WashingtonUniversity of Washington both onsite and also distance ed options
WisconsinEdgewood College
WisconsinUniversity of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
WisconsinUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison both onsite and also distance ed options
WisconsinUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - BSN-DNPMSN-DNP - not CNS specificDNP/MBA- onsite

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Program Directory

This CNS Program Directory provides a list of currently active CNS programs in the United States that offer entry level preparation in the CNS role. The NACNS Education Committee revised the previous directory list during 2017-2019 through website review, AACN survey data, and some follow-up contacts with schools or colleges.

Information provided in the list includes: 

  1. a) State; b) University or College Name; c) World Wide Web Address;
  2. d) Program or Degree(s) that offer entry level CNS preparation, which may include Masters Degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree; or Post Graduate Certificate Program
  3. e) CNS Populations offered, which may include Adult-Gero, Family Across the Lifespan (FALS), Neonatal, Pediatric, or Women’s Health.

To request additions or deletions to the list, please complete the website intake form.