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15 Easiest Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs to Get Into – 2023


Written By: Raymond Aguirre, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN

Are you considering becoming a clinical nurse specialist? If so, you may be looking for clinical nurse specialist schools to go into. And one of the questions you may ask is, “What are the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into? Becoming a clinical nurse specialist is no easy feat. Getting into any clinical nurse specialist program can be challenging. However, based on acceptance rates, some clinical nurse specialist programs are relatively easier to get into than others. So, in this article, we’ll go over the 15 easiest accredited clinical nurse specialist programs to get into in 2023.


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HOW LONG ARE THE EASIEST CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS TO GET INTO?


The length of the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into can vary depending on whether you attend school full-time or part-time. At Old Dominion University, for example, their full-time clinical nurse specialist program takes a little over one year to complete, while their part-time program can take up to three years. Meanwhile, at East Carolina University, the full-time clinical nurse specialist program takes two and a half years, while the part-time program can be completed in 3 and a half years.



HOW MUCH DO THE EASIEST CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS TO GET INTO COST?


There are differences in the cost of attending the easiest to get into clinical nurse specialist programs. Some may be less costly than others. At private institutions like Mount Saint Mary’s University, for instance, the cost per credit for their clinical nurse specialist program is $1141. Therefore, the total cost of their 46-unit CNS program is $52486.

Some clinical nurse specialist programs, however, are part of public institutions. That means their tuition costs are lower than private colleges. For example, San Francisco State University’s clinical nurse specialist program costs as low as $25762 for in-state students. Out-of-state students, meanwhile, must pay $396 per unit. Since the clinical nurse specialist program at San Francisco State University has 44 units, the total tuition, out-of-state and international students have to pay $17424 more than in-state students.



WHAT IS THE TYPICAL COURSEWORK LIKE IN THE EASIEST CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS?


You’ll find some variation in the curriculum of the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into. However, there are several similar courses among these clinical nurse specialist programs. Here are a few examples of common classes you can expect to take:

• Advanced Nursing Research
• Advanced Health Assessment
• Advanced Pathophysiology
• Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses
• Health Promotion
• Ethics




HOW WE CAME UP WITH A LIST OF THE EASIEST CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS TO GET INTO?


Well, to begin with, by no means are Clinical Nurse Specialist programs easy to get into or easy to complete. When we say, ‘Easiest To Get Into,’ we simply mean these Clinical Nurse Specialist programs are easier to get into compared to other Clinical Nurse Specialist programs. To compile this list of the easiest to get into Clinical Nurse Specialist programs in the nation, we have factored in the overall school acceptance rates as provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

However, since these are the overall school acceptance rates, the exact Clinical Nurse Specialist program-specific acceptance rates may not match up. As there are no available Clinical Nurse Specialist program-specific acceptance rates, by using the overall school acceptance rates, we have tried our best to come up with this list of the easiest Clinical Nurse Specialist programs to get into.



WHAT ARE THE EASIEST CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS TO GET INTO IN THE NATION FOR 2023?


(Based on the overall school acceptance rates, the following are the 15 easiest accredited Clinical Nurse Specialist programs to get into in the nation for the year 2023.)


1. Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

95%

Program Details:

Old Dominion University is one of the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into, but that’s not the only reason it’s a great option.

As a clinical nurse specialist student at Old Dominion University, you’ll be privileged to study in a highly reputable and established nursing school. Old Dominion University’s School of Nursing has existed since 1962, which means it has a long track record of providing excellent education.

Another benefit of pursuing your clinical nurse specialist degree at Old Dominion University is that you can specialize in several fields. There are three tracks within Old Dominion University’s clinical nurse specialist program, which include adult-gerontology (44 units), pediatrics (50 units), and neonatal care (52 units).

Completion of any of the three tracks within Old Dominion University’s clinical nurse specialist program takes just a little over a year to complete as a full-time student and about three years as a part-time student.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Old Dominion University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum grade point average you need to be considered for admission into Old Dominion University’s clinical nurse specialist program is 3.0 out of 4.0.

How to Get Into Old Dominion University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

There are several requirements you need to satisfy to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at Old Dominion University.

Two of the most basic requirements are a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an unrestricted RN license. Professional experience isn’t required, but Old Dominion University highly recommends that you work as a nurse for at least a year.

In addition, you must complete an undergraduate-level statistics or research course before applying to the clinical nurse specialist program. Without either of these courses, your application will immediately be rejected.

Other requirements include three letters of recommendation and a 500 to 700-word personal statement.


2. Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

94%

Program Details:

At the core of your success as a future clinical nurse specialist is a solid educational foundation.

By attending Azusa Pacific University’s clinical nurse specialist program, you will become part of a highly respected faith-based institution with a well-rounded curriculum.

You can choose from two academic tracks, depending on your career goals. There is a pediatric concentration if you like working with kids and adult gerontology track if you prefer working with that population.

Regardless of which specialization you select, your clinical nurse specialist training at Azusa Pacific University will be comprehensive enough to cover various domains, from research to transitional care. In addition, because of Azusa Pacific University’s Christian roots, you will take a course called Spiritual Concept Analysis in Health Care, which ties Judeo-Christian principles with the current healthcare environment.

The clinical nurse specialist program at Azusa Pacific University consists of 48 to 50 units and will take about two years of full-time study to complete.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Azusa Pacific University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

To get into the clinical nurse specialist program at Azusa Pacific University, you must have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

How to Get Into Azusa Pacific University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You must meet several requirements to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at Azusa Pacific University.

To get the process started, you must complete an online application. In addition, you must submit your transcripts from all colleges you’ve attended. As stated on Azusa Pacific University’s website, your transcripts must indicate completion of the following courses: health assessment, pathophysiology, nursing research, statistics, nursing leadership, and community health nursing.

You must also submit a one to two-page written statement, resume, and two letters of recommendation.


3. University of Southern Indiana - Evansville, IN


Programs Offered:

MSN and BSN-to-DNP

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

BSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Adult Gerontologic Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

94%

Program Details:

Do you want to get a master’s degree or a doctor of nursing practice degree as a clinical nurse specialist? At the University of Southern Indiana, you get to choose.

Besides being one of the easiest to get into clinical nurse specialist programs, the University of Southern Indiana offers an MSN and a BSN-to-DNP pathway to become a clinical nurse specialist.

Better yet, either program is available 100% online. That means you have plenty of flexibility while taking your classes. If you cannot afford to quit your job or have life commitments you can’t put on hold, the University of Southern Indiana might be your ticket to fulfilling your educational goals.

The BSN-to-DNP program has 78 units, which can seem intimidating at first. However, they offer a part-time option, making it a convenient choice for busy professionals.

And although the 42-unit MSN program is a full-time program, it can be completed in as little as 2.5 years.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into University of Southern Indiana Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

To get admitted into the University of Southern Indiana’s clinical nurse specialist program, you need a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0.

How to Get Into University of Southern Indiana Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The requirements to get into both the clinical nurse specialist MSN and BSN-to-DNP programs are the same.

You will need an RN license and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition, you must also take an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of C or better.

If you are an international student, you must also take the TOEFL. The minimum score for the paper-based test is 550 and 79 for the internet-based test. Alternatively, you can also take the IELTS and score at least 6.5.


4. Nebraska Methodist College - Omaha, NE


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

BSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

92%

Program Details:

Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program is designed to set you up for success.

As healthcare organizations increasingly prefer medical professionals with the most advanced degree, Nebraska Methodist College’s BSN-to-DNP program will make you a competitive prospect once you enter the workforce as a clinical nurse specialist.

Besides having a 1080-hour clinical rotation and a capstone project, Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program also allows you to spearhead projects designed to help communities. In other words, you won’t only get a well-rounded clinical nurse specialist education at Nebraska Methodist College. You’ll also get a chance to make a lasting impact on society. If that sounds good to you, consider attending Nebraska Methodist College’s BSN-to-DNP clinical nurse specialist program.

Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program consists of 75 units and can be completed in 36 months as a full-time student or four to five years as a part-time student.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Nebraska Methodist College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You must have a grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0 to get into Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program.

How to Get Into Nebraska Methodist College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

There are several requirements you need to satisfy to get admitted into Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program.

One of those requirements is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Your BSN must come from a school accredited by one of the following organizations: CCNE, ACEN, NLNAC, or NLN CNEA.

You must also have an RN license. Even if you are an out-of-state student, you must still comply with Nebraska’s authorization requirements.

There are no exams needed for admission. In addition, work experience, although encouraged, is not required to get into Nebraska Methodist College’s clinical nurse specialist program.

You do, however, need to submit a written statement and a copy of your resume.


5. Edgewood College - Madison, WI


Programs Offered:

ADN-to-MSN and MSN

ADN-to-MSN Specialties Offered:

Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult Gerontology

MSN Specialties Offered:

Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Gerontology

School Acceptance Rate:

91%

Program Details:

You may find Edgewood College attractive because it has a relatively easy clinical nurse specialist program to get into. However, the school offers so much more.

One of its most unique aspects is its ADN-to-MSN program. While some clinical nurse specialist programs require you to have a BSN, this is not the case at Edgewood College. Although Edgewood College also offers the more traditional MSN clinical nurse specialist program, the ADN-to-MSN program just opens the doors to many other nurses who want to pursue a career as a clinical nurse specialist.

The ADN-to-MSN program consists of 78 units. The first 30 units will get you a bachelor’s degree in nursing, while the other 48 will let you graduate with an MSN. However, because Edgewood College lets you apply 12 units from your BSN program toward the MSN portion, the actual number of units for the ADN-to-MSN clinical nurse specialist program goes down to 66 units. As a full-time student, you can complete ADN-to-MSN clinical nurse specialist program in less than five years.

Edgewood College’s traditional MSN program takes three years of full-time study to finish.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Edgewood College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You need a minimum GPA of 2.25 to get into the ADN-to-MSN clinical nurse specialist program and a 3.0 GPA for the traditional MSN program.

How to Get Into Edgewood College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The requirements to get into the ADN-to-MSN clinical nurse specialist program is slightly different from the MSN program.

Getting into the ADN-to-MSN track is quite simple. The requirements for this clinical nurse specialist program are an RN license, an associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution, an application, and a set of transcripts.

The requirements to get into the MSN program are the same as the ADN-to-MSN program. However, you also need two letters of recommendation and a written statement of intent with 500 words or less.


6. Mount Saint Mary's University-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

89%

Program Details:

Becoming a competent clinical nurse specialist requires more than just medical training. It also requires having a strong multidisciplinary background.

The clinical nurse specialist program at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles understands this very well. And that is what makes it unique. Mount Saint Mary’s University incorporates other fields of study, such as the humanities, into its clinical nurse specialist program.

Mount Saint Mary’s University’s goal is to prepare you for the realities of healthcare delivery today and to equip you with the skills needed to care for the needs of a diverse population.

The clinical nurse specialist program at Mount Saint Mary’s University is a superior option if you’re looking for one that will help you become a well-rounded medical professional in the future.

There are 46 units in the clinical nurse specialist program at Mount Saint Mary’s University, which you can complete as a full-time student in 28 months.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Mount Saint Mary's University-Los Angeles Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum grade point average you need to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles is 3.0.

How to Get Into Mount Saint Mary's University-Los Angeles Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles has several requirements if you want to get into its clinical nurse specialist program.

First, you must have a bachelor of science in nursing from an American college.

Also, even though Mount Saint Mary’s University has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 for its clinical nurse specialist program, you can still apply for the clinical nurse specialist program if you submit a personal statement explaining why your GPA is low. This statement will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, which means you are not immediately denied admission for having a GPA below 3.0.

Other requirements include getting a “B” or better in statistics or research and an RN license in California.


7. East Carolina University - Greenville, NC


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

88%

Program Details:

East Carolina University’s clinical nurse specialist program is a high-quality program that integrates both clinical and administrative training.

In this relatively easy to get into clinical nurse specialist program, you’ll take courses in healthcare quality and finance alongside medically-related courses such as health promotion and advanced assessment.

What that means for you is that you’ll have a variety of career options once you graduate. Not only will you be able to work in a clinical setting, but you also have the opportunity to work in managerial positions at various healthcare institutions.

Moreover, there are two specialty tracks within East Carolina University’s clinical nurse specialist Program. You can choose from the adult-gerontology or neonatal clinical nurse specialist paths, depending on the population you choose to work with.

East Carolina University’s clinical nurse specialist program consists of 43 units and can be completed in two years as a full-time student. You may also choose to be a part-time student and finish the clinical nurse specialist program in 3.5 years.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into East Carolina University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You need a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 in your undergraduate studies and a 3.0 for your college nursing courses to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at East Carolina University.

How to Get Into East Carolina University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You must meet several requirements to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at East Carolina University.

Two of the most basic requirements include a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an unrestricted RN license in North Carolina or another compact state.

Other requirements include a personal statement indicating your career goals, three letters of recommendation, and a grade of “C” in statistics.

If you’re applying for the neonatal clinical nurse specialist track, one of your letters of recommendation must come from a neonatal doctor. You must also have at least two years of experience working in a neonatal unit.

You must also have computer literacy and be willing to participate in an interview with a member of the East Carolina University’s nursing faculty.


8. Kent State University - Kent, OH


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

84%

Program Details:

If you’re looking for a clinical nurse specialist program from a highly respected college, Kent State University is a great option to consider.

Kent State University has 350+ affiliations with healthcare institutions in the Cleveland area, including the nationally-recognized Cleveland Clinic. As a student at Kent State University’s clinical nurse specialist program, you will have the opportunity to tap into the college’s deep network during your practicum. In addition, Kent State University has a state-of-the-art simulation lab, so you can practice and gain confidence in your skills before interacting with patients.

There are 39 units in Kent State University’s clinical nurse specialist program. You can complete it within two years as a full-time student or up to six years as a part-time student. It’s totally up to you what pace is most comfortable for you as you pursue your master’s degree to become a clinical nurse specialist.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Kent State University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum grade point average you need to get into Kent State University’s clinical nurse specialist program is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

How to Get Into Kent State University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

There are several requirements to get into the master’s-level clinical nurse specialist program at Kent State University.

The first is a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in nursing. Your nursing degree must come from an accredited institution. Next, you must have a statistics course with a grade of “C” or better. Lastly, you need a license to practice as a nurse in the state of Ohio.

Other requirements for admission into the MSN clinical nurse specialist program at Kent State University Include college transcripts, a two-to-three-page personal statement, a resume/CV, and three letters of reference from healthcare professionals or instructors.


9. Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA


Programs Offered:

ADN-to-MSN, MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and MSN-to-DNP

ADN-to-MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatrics Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Women’s Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatrics Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Women’s Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

BSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Women’s Health

MSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with Women’s Health

School Acceptance Rate:

84%

Program Details:

One thing that stands out about Point Loma Nazarene University besides being one of the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into is the number of entry points for prospective students like you.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in nursing. You will still find the ideal educational pathway to becoming a clinical nurse specialist. In addition, there are sub-specialties within each clinical nurse specialist program, so you can choose which best suits your career goals.

Because there are different clinical nurse specialist programs at Point Loma Nazarene University, the length of time you’ll spend in school depends on which type of degree you pursue.

The ADN-to-MSN program consists of 54 units and can be finished after 31 months of full-time study. Conversely, the MSN program has 43 units and can be completed within two years of full-time study.

Both the 76-unit BSN-to-DNP and the 55 to 65-unit MSN-to-DNP clinical nurse specialist programs take 3.3 years of full-time study to complete.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Point Loma Nazarene University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum GPA you need for Point Loma Nazarene University’s ADN-to-MSN and MSN clinical nurse specialist programs is 3.0. Meanwhile, a 3.2 GPA is required for admission into the BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP programs.

How to Get Into Point Loma Nazarene University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

Even though there are several entry points into Point Loma Nazarene University’s clinical nurse specialist program, the admission requirements are nearly the same. The only differences are the minimum GPA requirements and the prompts on the required admission essays.

One of those requirements is full-time practice as a nurse for at least a year in the last five years.

If you meet this threshold, you may submit your application to Point Loma Nazarene University, which you can access online. You must also submit all academic transcripts, a copy of your most recent CV/resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Lastly, you must submit a 250-word essay. Check the homepage of the clinical nurse specialist program you’re interested in to ensure you’re answering the correct writing prompt.


10. San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

84%

Program Details:

San Francisco State University is an excellent option if you want a clinical nurse specialist program that offers multiple sub-specialty tracks.

There are six specialty areas within San Francisco State University’s clinical nurse specialist program. Some specialties, such as community public health, psychiatric and mental health, and woman’s health, aren’t typically available at other colleges. So, if any of these subfields interest you, San Francisco State University just might be the place for you.

In addition, San Francisco State University is also part of California’s highly respected state university system. That should reassure you that the education you’ll get through its clinical nurse specialist program is nothing short of top-quality.

San Francisco State University’s clinical nurse specialist program consists of 44 units and can take up to two years of full-time study to complete.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into San Francisco State University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

To be considered for admission into San Francisco State University’s clinical nurse specialist program, you need a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your last 60 college credits.

How to Get Into San Francisco State University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

San Francisco State University has a few requirements to get into its clinical nurse specialist program.

Besides the minimum GPA requirement, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution. You must also be licensed as a registered nurse.

San Francisco State University has an experience requirement for its MSN program, but it only applies if you’re in its family nurse practitioner program. You do not need nursing experience to get into the clinical nurse specialist program.

There are also no testing or essay requirements for San Francisco State University’s clinical nurse specialist program.


11. DeSales University - Center Valley, PA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

82%

Program Details:

DeSales University may have one of the easiest to get into clinical nurse specialist programs, but it’s certainly not one to be taken lightly.

As a student of DeSales University’s clinical nurse specialist program, you’ll gain access to its high-tech simulation lab, which can provide you with the most realistic hands-on experience outside of the clinical setting. These labs, which include high-fidelity manikins and simulated healthcare settings, allow you to practice your skills without the fear of potentially harming a patient.

DeSales University also uses a monitoring system for its labs, which helps students review their performance with instructors in a non-pressured environment.

Another benefit of attending the clinical nurse specialist program at DeSales University is the flexibility it gives students. Besides its online version, the clinical nurse specialist program at DeSales University also offers a hybrid option. If you like in-person interactions at school, DeSales University’s hybrid clinical nurse specialist program might benefit you.

There are 45 units in DeSales University’s clinical nurse specialist program. You can complete it in two years as a full-time student or three years as a part-time student.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into DeSales University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0 to be considered for admission into DeSales University’s clinical nurse specialist program.

How to Get Into DeSales University Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The admission requirements for DeSales University’s clinical nurse specialist program are quite straightforward.

First, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition, you need at least a year of full-time experience as a nurse within the last three years. DeSales University does not require you to be in a specific healthcare setting or specialty.

The GRE or GMAT is not required. However, if your GPA falls below the minimum requirement, you must take either of those tests if you still want to be considered for admission to DeSales University’s clinical nurse specialist program.


12. University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO


Programs Offered:

MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and MSN-to-DNP

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

BSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

MSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

82%

Program Details:

The clinical nurse specialist program at the University of Missouri-Columbia belongs to well-respected and recognized Sinclair School of Nursing.

The Sinclair School of Nursing is home to several high-caliber educators, including 16 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing.

By attending the clinical nurse specialist program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re in an institution with a strong record of success.

The program is delivered in a hybrid format, so you only need to be on campus several times a year. You can also choose from two specialties: adult gerontology or pediatrics. Just select the one that best suits your career goals.

Lastly, there are three entry points into the University of Missouri-Columbia’s clinical nurse specialist program: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and MSN-to-DNP. Whether you plan to pursue a master’s or doctorate in nursing to become a clinical nurse specialist, the University of Missouri-Columbia has a place for you.

The MSN program has 45-47 units and may take at least two years to complete as a full-time student. Meanwhile, the BSN-to-DNP program has 72 to 74.5 units and can be completed in three years (full-time) or five years (part-time). The MSN-to-DNP clinical nurse specialist program can be finished in three years as a part-time student and presumably less than that as a full-time student.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into University of Missouri-Columbia Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum GPA you need for admission into University of Missouri-Columbia’s clinical nurse specialist programs are as follows: 3.0 (for MSN), 3.3 (for BSN-to-DNP), and 3.5 (MSN-to-DNP).

How to Get Into University of Missouri-Columbia Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The admission requirements for the MSN and the two DNP clinical nurse specialist programs at the University of Missouri-Columbia are similar.

You must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing for the MSN and BSN-to-DNP clinical nurse specialist programs and a master’s degree in nursing for the MSN-to-DNP program. For all three clinical nurse specialist programs, you must have a registered nurse license.

All applications to the University of Missouri-Columbia’s clinical nurse specialist programs must be submitted through NursingCAS.

There is no need to take the GRE or GMAT or to write a personal statement. However, you must participate in an interview as part of the admissions process at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s clinical nurse specialist program.


13. California State University-Dominguez Hills - Carson, CA


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

81%

Program Details:

Are you an experienced busy working nurse but want to get your master's degree as a clinical nurse specialist? If so, California State University-Dominguez Hills just might be the option for you.

California State University-Dominguez Hills' clinical nurse specialist program may be a relatively easy clinical nurse specialist program to get into, but it's much more than that.

As a member of California's state university system, you can expect a high-caliber educational experience as a clinical nurse specialist student at California State University-Dominguez Hills.

Not only that, but you also have plenty of flexibility while taking your classes. The clinical nurse specialist program at California State University-Dominguez Hills is offered in an asynchronous online format. That means you don't have to log in to your courses at specific times. You can complete your coursework at your pace, based on your schedule.

The clinical nurse specialist program at California State University-Dominguez Hills is a 43-unit, full-time program that can be completed in about three years.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into California State University-Dominguez Hills Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

To be considered for admission into California State University-Dominguez Hills’ clinical nurse specialist program, you need a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

How to Get Into California State University-Dominguez Hills Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You must satisfy several requirements to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at California State University-Dominguez Hills.

To be considered for admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an active license as a registered nurse. You must also have acute care nursing experience in the specialty area you’re applying for. For example, you must have neonatal nursing experience to apply for the neonatal clinical nurse specialist program. California State University-Dominguez Hills’ website does not mention how long your experience needs to be.

In addition, you must also have several prerequisites, which include statistics, research, pathophysiology, and health assessment.

Lastly, you need to submit your resume and a 350-word personal statement.


14. Rhode Island College - Providence, RI


Programs Offered:

MSN

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

81%

Program Details:

Rhode Island College's clinical nurse specialist program is part of its Zvart Onanian School of Nursing, one of the most respected nursing educational institutions in Rhode Island.

Being a student in this clinical nurse specialist program gives you the credibility and respect you deserve once you enter the workforce.

The clinical nurse specialist program at Rhode Island College is multi-faceted, meaning you’ll have versatile skills once you graduate. You will take many of the standard courses in most clinical nurse specialist programs. However, you'll also receive training in other aspects of healthcare delivery.

You will, for example, take a course on case management. As the healthcare system becomes increasingly complex, knowing how to navigate it is a priceless asset that will benefit you and the patients under your care.

Rhode Island College's clinical nurse specialist program consists of 45 units and can be completed as a full-time student in two years, including summers.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Rhode Island College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

The minimum grade point average you need if you want to get into Rhode Island College’s clinical nurse specialist program, is 3.0 out of 4.0.

How to Get Into Rhode Island College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

Rhode Island College has several requirements you need to meet to get into its clinical nurse specialist program.

First, you must be a licensed RN with a bachelor’s degree in nursing to apply for the clinical nurse specialist program. In addition, you must have a “C” or better in an undergraduate statistics course.

In addition, you must submit a resume, three professional references, and a 500-word personal statement indicating your reasons for applying to the clinical nurse specialist program.

To qualify for in-state tuition, you must also provide proof of residency in Rhode Island.


15. Ursuline College - Pepper Pike, Ohio


Programs Offered:

MSN and BSN-to-DNP

MSN Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

BSN-to-DNP Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

School Acceptance Rate:

81%

Program Details:

Chances are, you're not only looking for the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into. You also want to receive the best training so you can become a competent clinical nurse specialist in the future.

In that case, Ursuline College's clinical nurse specialist program is a superior choice. Ursuline College offers two pathways to becoming a clinical nurse specialist.

One is the MSN program, which has been named a Center of Excellence by the National League of Nursing and is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the top nursing programs in the country.

The other option is the BSN-to-DNP program. Having a doctorate in nursing will give you an edge as healthcare companies are increasingly looking for clinical nurse specialists with the most advanced training.

The number of units and the exact program length of Ursuline College's MSN clinical nurse specialist isn't on its website. However, the website indicates that there are 18 courses in the MSN program, which could take about two years to complete as a full-time student.

Meanwhile, the BSN-to-DNP clinical nurse specialist program can be completed in three years as a full-time student and more as a part-time student.

What is the Minimum GPA Required to Get Into Ursuline College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

You need a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to get into the clinical nurse specialist program at Ursuline College.

How to Get Into Ursuline College Clinical Nurse Specialist Program:

As per Ursuline College’s website, the requirements to get into the master’s-level clinical nurse specialist program at Ursuline College are the same as those for the BSN-to-DNP level.

To apply for the clinical nurse specialist program, you must complete the general university application online. Your application must include a 500 to 1000-word personal statement.

In addition, you must submit all your academic transcripts, especially the one from the school where you received your bachelor’s degree in nursing. Three letters of recommendation are also required for admission into Ursuline College’s clinical nurse specialist program.

There are no GRE or GMAT requirements. However, you must have an RN license in Ohio and at least a year of work experience.



WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF EASY TO GET INTO CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS EXPECT TO EARN?


The starting salary for new graduates of the easiest to get into clinical nurse specialist programs is $90,600/year. That annual salary is equal to $43.56/hour, $1742/week, and $7550/month.

Hourly$43.56
Weekly$1,742
Monthly$7,550
Annual$90,600
(Source: Indeed.com)



WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF EASY TO GET INTO CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST PROGRAMS EXPECT TO EARN?


Graduates of these relatively easy to get into clinical nurse specialist programs can typically expect an average salary of $134,574/year. That amount translates to average rates of $64.70/hour, $2588/week, and $11,210/year.

Hourly$64.70
Weekly$2,588
Monthly$11,210
Annual$134,574
(Source: Indeed.com)



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


Deciding to pursue a career as a clinical nurse specialist is a big decision. There are many things you need to ponder, including the question, “What are the easiest clinical nurse specialist programs to get into? As we’ve mentioned, all clinical nurse specialist programs have high standards, which can make them somewhat challenging to enter. However, based on current acceptance rates, we’ve found 15 easiest accredited clinical nurse specialist programs to get into in 2023. We hope that by reading this article, we’ve helped you decide which clinical nurse specialist program is right for you.


Raymond Aguirre RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN
Raymond M.E. Aguirre is a registered nurse with years of experience in the medical field. He currently works as a public health nurse and has years of experience in home health, hospice, and skilled nursing facility settings.