Program Description

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 offered in a hybrid format, only requiring four days on campus each quarter.  

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

3-4 years full-time
5 years part-time

Possible Careers

Clinical nursing leadership positions in acute-care settings

Application Deadlines

Quarter Application Open Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Autumn of 2021 Apr 1, 2021 Jul 15, 2021
Winter of 2022 Feb 1, 2021 Aug 1, 2021


  • 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
*California RN license required before start of classes

Discipline Accrediting Agency

The 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 Agency

Loma 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.

Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.