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Why ODU for Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Administrator Online?

Become an expert clinician. Learn to apply evidence-based knowledge to nursing interventions, teaching and research. In ODU's online CNS master's degree, you'll learn strategic leadership, finance, and management for nurse administrators. You'll also learn how to provide patient-centered quality care and improve health outcomes.

Courses study theory, research, education, adult-gerontology CNS professional and clinical cores, and an advanced practice area with a selected secondary focus. When you graduate, you will be prepared for clinical and administrative or advanced leadership roles. 

ODU's Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This online CNS MSN program is approved by the Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine.

* Note: This program is not available in the state of Washington.

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Practical Training

An important feature of ODU's CNS program is our collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School's Standardized Patient Program, one of the largest in the U.S., with more than 115 standardized patients ages 14 to 84. These highly specialized actors provide safe practicum experiences where you will learn and refine clinical skills. You will be required to travel to ODU's Virginia Beach campus for scheduled training and/or testing at certain points in the program.

Traineeship grants may be available to assist with tuition, dependent on grant funding.

Ranked #61

Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs, 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Required Courses

  • 49/53 credit hours
  • Clinical practicum at a physical location
  • Hands-on training in Virginia Beach

In certain courses, you will be required to travel to ODU's Virginia Beach (usually once in the semester) for training or testing. The final, demonstrated comprehensive exam must also be completed in Virginia Beach.

Contact us to determine if you have credits that will transfer.

Online Learning Environment

Access course materials online from any location. Some courses have live, online meetings (usually on Thursday mornings), while some courses do not. Instructors also may schedule assignments, office hours, and exams at specific times. All courses follow ODU's regular academic calendar.

Clinical practicums are completed at a physical location and are negotiated on an individual basis.

In certain courses, you will be required to visit ODU's Virginia Beach campus (usually only once in the semester) for training and/or testing with standardized patients or simulation instruction. The final, demonstrated comprehensive exam also must be completed in Virginia Beach.


As a CNS with specialized administrative training, you will be prepared for roles in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Our graduates have found careers in areas such as: 

  • Clinical leadership
  • Administration
  • Public or military health care
  • Public policy 
  • Research

Keep in mind that nursing board requirements may vary by state.

Calculating Cost

  • In-state Virginia Residents$551 per credit hour*
  • Out-of-state Students$595 per credit hour

Rates are effective Fall 2020 and subject to change.
* In-state rate assumes residency requirements are met.

State Licensure

Use the links here to see if we have determined whether this program will prepare you for nursing certification or licensure in your state.

We encourage you to check your state's professional nursing requirements before applying to ODU.

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How to Apply

In addition to meeting general requirements for graduate admission, you must hold a current license as a registered nurse and have an undergraduate degree in nursing from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program (preferred) or a bachelor's degree in a related field. You must be accepted as a degree-seeking student in order to register for nursing courses.

Meet Your Team

You'll have a dedicated academic advisor for this program.

Contact us if you have questions about admission requirements, transferring credits, or application deadlines.