Meet the UCD Clinical Nurse Specialist Students


Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology 
Adult Gerentology Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology (AG-CNS) option prepares nurses to become evidence-based and theory-guided advanced practice nurses providing quality care. The clinical nurse specialist is an expert clinician who can work in a variety of clinical practice settings from community to hospital in areas such as acute, critical, chronic, palliative care and hospice.

Career Examples

  • Clinical Educator
  • Magnet™ Coordinator
  • Quality Improvement/Quality Excellence position
  • Unit and/or Service Line CNS – patient population focused
    • Unit or Department Nurse Leader
      For information on the CNS role, see 
    • Plans of Study

      Students entering the AG-CNS option will focus their learning in the following areas: Aging, Chronic Illness, Acute Care, and Palliative Care. Additional classes in Advanced Oncology Nursing and Emergent Care are offered periodically for elective credit.

MS: Clinical Nurse Specialist Plan of Study (PDF)
BS-DNP: Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Plan of Study (PDF)
Post-Graduate Certificate Information


CNS Competencies

The 2017 revised CNS Core Competencies were developed by a panel of clinical nurse specialists representing experts in education, practice and research. The members of the NACNS Task Force for the Revision of the NACNS Statement on Education and Practice are:
(View Full Document Here​)

Under the Consensus Model for APRN REgulation, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are enducated and assessed across the continuum from the wellness through acute care. In addition, CNSs must be educated, certified, and licensed to practice in a role and population.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Competencies

The patient population of the Adult-Gerontology CNS practice includes young adults (including late adolescents and emancipated minors), adults and older adults (including young-old, old, and old-old adults). Preparation of the graduate with the entry-level competencies delineated in this document, unless otherwise specified, includes preparation across the entire adult-older adult age spectrum. The scope of practice of the Adult-Gerontology CNS is not setting specific but rather is based on patient care needs.

  • Coaching Competency
  • Collaboration Competency
  • Consultation Competency
  • Ethical Decision-Making, Moral Agency, and Advocacy Competency
  • Research Competency
  • System Leadership Competency
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
    The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing
    (View Full Document Here)

The nine Essentials addressed in this document delineate the knowledge and skills that all nurses prepared in master’s nursing programs acquire:

  • Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Quality Improvement and Safety
  • Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice
  • Informatics and Healthcare Technologies
  • Health Policy and Advocacy
  • Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and
  • Population Health Outcomes
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health
  • Master’s-Level Nursing Practice