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.

1- Core Courses: Most core courses are hybrid and meet 1 of 2 times for 3 to 6 hours during Seminar week in the middle of the Quarter.  
2- Concentration Courses: Pharmacology and Pathophysiology meet only once during seminar week. Advanced Health Assessment has 4 meetings for testing and skills each quarter.
3- Clinical Experience: All students in the Clinical tracks complete 510 DNP Practice hours and additional clinical hours. All NP students will complete over 1,000 combined clinical and DNP Practice hours. Clinical rotations, sites and preceptors are arranged by the Graduate Program.
4- DNP Project: The DNP Project may be completed at the workplace if approved by the DNP Chair and DNP Program Director once an affiliation agreement for the project is signed.

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
Winter of 2022 Aug 1, 2021 Nov 1, 2021
Autumn of 2022 Oct 1, 2021 Apr 1, 2022


  • 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.

Expected Cost of Attendance

Academic Year 2021-2022

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Tuition $27,200 $26,350 $17,000 $22,100
Fees $2,757 $2,757 $2,757 $2,757
Books & Supplies $1,340 $1,785 $950 $110
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms) $50
Total $31,347 $30,892 $20,707 $24,967


Tuition/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 2021-2022, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Months enrolled 9 9 9 9
Room & Board $13,275 $13,275 $13,275 $13,275
Transportation $2,880 $2,880 $2,880 $2,880
Personal Expenses $2,250 $2,250 $2,250 $2,250


  • 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.