Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Online


Kent State's Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) concentration will prepare you to provide advanced nursing care to patients from young adulthood through old age to death.

Clinical Nurse Specialists play an essential role in healthcare settings. They advocate for patients and their families, lead interdisciplinary healthcare teams to promote patient and organizational outcomes, and influence policy both within their organizations and the healthcare system. As the population in this country grows older, CNSs who have an adult and gerontological population-focus will be increasingly called upon for their unique expertise.

Students in the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist concentration develop the needed competencies to care for patients spanning the entire adult to older-adult spectrum. These competencies include direct care, consultation, systems leadership, collaboration, coaching, research, ethical decision-making, moral agency, and advocacy.

Class and clinical experiences focus on providing advanced nursing care across the health continuum, from wellness to acute care. The curriculum is verified by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the Acute Care CNS–Adult-Gerontological certification.

Graduates of this program meet educational eligibility requirements to take the ANCC or AACN examination for the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2018 MSN graduates attained an average pass rate of 98% on board certification examinations.

Why Kent State? We offer you:  

  • Faculty mentorship and advising from nationally certified advanced practice nurses, as well as active researchers with decades of experience
  • 100% online courses accessible from anywhere through advanced course delivery technology
  • Full- and part-time customizable academic plans
  • Clinical experiences with qualified preceptors in a wide variety of settings near you
  • Fall and spring semester start dates

Admissions Criteria

We invite you to apply to the MSN program if you meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor's and/or graduate degree from an accredited registered nursing program.1
  • Minimum 3.000 undergraduate/graduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale. 2
  • The completion of an undergraduate statistics course with a minimum C grade.
  • Active, unrestricted registered nurse license in the state in which clinical coursework will be completed.

Additional Requirements

  • A résumé or curriculum vita.
  • Essay (2-3 pages) describing reasons for seeking the master's degree in the identified specialty and professional goals.
  • Three letters of reference from a health care professional or academic faculty who can speak to the applicant's professional and academic abilities.
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 560 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
    • Minimum 83 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
    • Minimum 78 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 55 PTE score
Admission to the MSN degree is a selective process. In the selection process for applicants, program faculty will consider years of registered nurse experience, professional experience relevant to the specific MSN concentration and evidence of scholarship and involvement in the nursing profession as indicated on the applicant's résumé, along with GPA and intent for full-time study.
1. Applicants with an RN license and a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field will be considered based on faculty review of a portfolio submitted with the application.
2. Applicants with a lower GPA may be considered for conditional admission according to the University's Graduate Student Admission Policy.
Additional Requirements


The Adult Gerontology CNS concentration is 40 credit hours which includes 525 practicum hours.

Below you will find a sample curriculum plan for 2-year full-time students. Other options for part-time plans of study are also available.

Year 1

Fall Semester

  • NURS 60101: Theoretical Basis for Nursing Practice / 3 credits
  • NURS 60045: Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse / 3 credits
  • NURS 60015: Advanced Health Assessment / 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • NURS 60441: Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing / 3 credits
  • NURS 60506: Clinical Diagnostics / 3 credits 
  • NURS 60110: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist I / 3 credits
  • NURS 61192: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist I Practicum (150 hours) / 2 credits
Year 2

Fall Semester

  • NURS 60210: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist II / 3 credits
  • NURS 62192: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist II Practicum (225 hours) / 3 credits
  • NURS 60403: Methods of Inquiry / 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • NURS 60310: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist III / 3 credits
  • NURS 63192: Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist III Practicum (150 hours) / 2 credits 
  • NURS 60025: Health Policy and Advanced Practice Nursing / 3 credits
  • NURS 60010: Advanced Nursing Informatics / 3 credits

View Course Requirements

Post-Master's Certificate

We also offer an Adult-Gero CNS post-master's certificate for nurses who already hold a Master's degree or higher in nursing.

Learn more about the Adult Gerontology CNS post-master's certificate

Meet the Faculty

Learn more about the Adult-Gerontology CNS course instructors:

Photo of Cindy Wilk

Cindy Wilk

Photo of Tina Saunders

Tina Saunders
Senior Lecturer


Begin Your Transformation

Discover why Kent State's Adult-Gerontology CNS master's concentration is right for you. Enrollment advisors can be reached at 330-672-7911.

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