Clinical Nurse Specialist Photo 2

Post MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Program

Clinical Nurse Specialist Photo 2Clinical Nurse Specialists are licensed registered nurses (RNs) who have completed master’s or doctoral education as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). According to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, these specially trained nurses offer advanced knowledge in physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, clinical knowledge, and education, to patients and other clinicians.

The purpose of the Vanguard University Post Masters (MSN) CNS program is to prepare the graduate for the role of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The   curriculum will prepare each student to meet all the criteria required from the California Board of Nursing (BRN) to practice as an APRN in the state of California and will also prepare the graduate to take the certification exam offered by the ACCN.

Goals of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Track

The goals of this track are to prepare the students to:

  1. Function as an expert clinical practitioner and guide students and staff to improve the care of client populations.
  2. Develop educational methods and skills that address both clients and health care workers.
  3. Hone research skills to enhance the use of evidence based practice.
  4. Utilize research and evaluation instruments to measure health care outcomes and serve to impact healthcare.
  5. Develop consultation skills in order to assist various levels of a healthcare team.
  6. Uses theory/research as a foundation for clinical practice in a specialty.
  7. Develops the skills to become a change agent for improvements in health care systems.

CNS Student Learning Objectives

  1. Utilizes advanced theoretical knowledge of physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessment in advanced practice to provide optimum nursing care to patients within a specific specialty area.
  2. Possesses advanced physical assessment skills to establish health/illness status of clients with specific health needs.
  3. Displays confidence to act as a preceptor to students and mentor nursing staff.
  4.  Provides educational sessions to a variety of aggregates and nursing staff.
  5. Collaborates and participates with agency educators to promote staff development.
  6. Is a role model for professional advanced practice nursing.
  7. Becomes involved with community activities either at a local or national level to optimize healthcare of individuals.
  8. Completes literature searches, and reviews the latest research data in order to practice evidence-based nursing care.
  9. Takes opportunities to stimulate the use and conduct of research among other healthcare providers.
  10. Evaluates the client/patient progress in order to change or maintain optimum patient care that is evidence-based.
  11. Initiates the collection of relevant data and analyzes it to enhance quality of care.
  12. Consults with members of health car teams to recommend care strategies, provide clinical expertise in order to improve patient/client outcomes.
  13. Provides advance practice care to clients/ patients within a specialty area.

Application Information

Applicants for the CNS certificate option must have a completed master’s degree in nursing.  All other application and admission requirements and program policies are the same as indicated for the MSN program.

Applications and information about graduate program admission may be obtained from the Graduate Admissions Office or by clicking here:

• Phone: (714) 966-5499 main or (877) 669-8872 toll free

• Email:

• For deadlines and to apply: