Adult/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP

The Adult/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist specialty of the DNP program prepares students to lead and guide the management of complex health conditions, working with nurses and organizations, to provide care to adults and elders in a variety of settings.

Adult Health Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist

Graduates of this program work as expert clinicians and consultants in acute care settings, nursing homes, transitional care settings and specialty practices.

Length and commitment

  • 3-year, full-time program
  • On campus: Each semester for a 4-day session (Tuesday–Friday) that includes: core courses, enhancement programming, specialty courses, advisor meetings; beginning second year of program: 2 additional times per semester for 1–2 days each time for coursework
  • Clinical sites: Complete 1,000 hours at clinical sites arranged by the school

What makes our program distinct?

Each student benefits from a variety of clinical rotations with outstanding clinical leaders who are committed to each student’s education.

Each Adult/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist student’s program of study is individualized though clinical placements and assignments to match the student’s interests. 

Each student benefits from a variety of clinical rotations with outstanding clinical leaders who are committed to each student’s education.

Faculty are nationally and internationally known for their teaching and research. Students have opportunities for involvement in research with the Center for Aging Science and Care Innovation and the Minnesota Center on Aging.

Students have the opportunity to specialize in a subspecialty area such as cardiology, critical care, or palliative care.

Our graduates are prepared to:

  • Conduct comprehensive holistic wellness and illness assessments using known or innovative evidence-based techniques and tools
  • Prescribe pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, nursing therapeutics, diagnostic measures, procedures and treatments to meet the needs of patients, families and groups
  • Use leadership, team building, negotiation and conflict resolutions skills to build partnerships within and across systems including the community
  • Integrate evidence into the health, illness and wellness management of patients, families, communities and groups
  • Provide leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation of process improvement initiatives


Completion of the required courses and clinical hours in adult and gerontological nursing provides eligibility to take the Adult/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist certification exam from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses

Contact us

George Sakkal
Doctoral Programs Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator

Adult Health/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist

Meet our students and graduates

Melissa Bitz

Melissa Bitz, Adult/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP

DNP-MPH Dual Degree

A powerful combination