The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) track at the Loma Linda University School of Nursing prepares students for a career as state/nationally certified clinical experts within the healthcare organization. Advanced CNS practitioner are involved in a variety of roles including educator, researcher, consultant or administrator in a health care setting.The CNS provides leadership in a clinical setting with the goal of providing quality care in a cost effective manner to individual patients or groups of patients in a selected setting or population. Through autonomous practice, the CNS works within the spheres of patient care, nursing practice, and the organization system to achieve successful outcomes.
The Adult-Gerontology BS to DNP program is 3 years and 6 months full-time. Part-time option is also available.
The program is divided into 4 parts:
1- Core Courses- Most of the DNP Program Core courses and the prerequisite clinical courses require that students participate on-campus for 4 to 8 hours during Seminar Week in the middle of each quarter. Students are also required to be on campus to take all course exams including the midterm and final exams.
- NGRD 657 – Intermediate Statistics – has four mandatory synchronous class meetings during each quarter and students are required to participate in them either face-to-face or by Zoom. Students must attend take the midterm exam and the final exam on campus during scheduled face-to-face meetings. Additional optional group sessions held both face-to-face and by Zoom are available for students enrolled in NGRD 657.
- NGRD 624 – Advanced Health Assessment – has mandatory synchronous lab meetings every two weeks during the quarter. Students must attend each of these sessions. The faculty coordinate the course exams including the midterm and final exams so that they are scheduled when the student is on campus for a scheduled lab session.
2- Concentration Courses: Pharmacology I & II, and Advanced Pathophysiology meet up to four times a quarter.
3- Clinical Experience: The clinical experience is a combination of clinician hours and DNP Project hours to total at least 1000 hours. Students in the CNS and NP clinical courses will be assigned clinical rotations in the Inland Empire (IE) region of Southern California (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). The CNS and NP Program faculty members arrange all clinical rotations for students as required by the California Board of Registered Nursing Regulations (Sections 1484, h (11) of Division 14 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations). The CNS and NP clinical courses meet at least four (4) times per quarter face-to-face on campus and all exams are administered on campus. The NP Program skills courses meet weekly during the quarter that the skills course is scheduled. Attendance at each of the assigned labs is mandatory for students enrolled in the skills course.
4- DNP Project: The DNP Project can be done in the workplace allowing students to collect evidence-based research data.
Program Length3-4 years full-time
5 years part-time
Possible CareersClinical nursing leadership positions in acute-care settings
Application DeadlinesThere are currently no published application deadlines.
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited program
- GPA of 3.0, both cumulative and in nursing courses
- Current United States RN license before application*
- One year of RN experience in the area of desired clinical concentration is strongly advised for application competitiveness
- Application with personal statement
- Three electronic recommendations (recommenders will receive an email once application is submitted) – preferred: professor, current work supervisor
- Official transcripts for all college credits
- Shadowing highly recommended (4 to 8 hours)
- Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing
Discipline Accrediting AgencyThe program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates are prepared for certification by the State of California and the American Nurses Association as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
State Accrediting AgencyLoma Linda University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
The California Board of Registered Nursing granted continuing approval in 2010 to the School of Nursing.
Expected Cost of Attendance
Academic Year 2022-2023
|Year of Program:||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Books & Supplies||$1,340||$1,785||$950||$110|
|Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms)||$50||—||—||—|
NotesTuition/Fees is an estimation based on 3 quarters with an average of 10 units (2 classes) per quarter. Living Expenses is calculated for financial aid purposes and is based on 3 quarters (9 months). Actual amounts may vary.
70-75% of LLU Nursing students receive financial aid.
Estimated Living Expenses
Academic Year 2022-2023, off campus, with a roommate
|Year of Program:||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Room & Board||$14,985||$14,985||$14,985||$14,985|
- Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
- International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
- In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.