Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Admits in fall and spring

The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS) option prepares nurses to become evidence-based advanced practice nurses providing quality care. The CNS is an expert clinician who can work in a variety of clinical practice settings from community to hospital in areas such as acute, critical, chronic, palliative care, and hospice. The CNS provides direct patient care, population management, along with systems leadership to optimize outcomes.

Career Examples

  • Unit and/or service line CNS- patient population focused
  • Clinical educator
  • Quality improvement/Quality excellence position
  • Unit or department nurse leader
  • Magnet™ coordinator

Visit the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists for information on the national impact of the CNS role in practice.

AG-CNS Program Outcomes

  • Participates in an interdisciplinary healthcare team as a leader and active member to promote wellness, manage acute and chronic illness care, and facilitate peaceful end-of-life needs for adult patients across the lifespan.
  • Provide essential direct care services to adult patient populations optimizing transitions in care across and within healthcare services.
  • Engages in and leads evidence-based practice and quality improvement initiatives to advance nursing practice, improve patient/family outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Advance practice of other nurses and nursing personnel through mentoring and facilitating opportunities for knowledge and skill development that foster professional development.
  • Leads and facilitates change in organizations and communities to adapt successfully to dynamics within healthcare and advances in technology.
  • Advocates for ethical principles in protecting the dignity and safety for patients, families, nurses, and other healthcare clinicians.

Graduates of this specialty track are eligible to apply for national certification by examination. You will learn more about the certification organizations appropriate for this specialty during the completion of your program. Upon successful completion of the certification examination, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists are eligible for licensure in all 50 states, including Colorado (visit the Colorado Board of Nursing APRN application forms page), where licensure is granted as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and is required for practice.

Students entering the AG-CNS option will focus their learning in the following areas: Aging, Chronic Illness, Acute Care, and Palliative Care. Additional classes in Advanced Oncology Nursing and Emergent Care are offered periodically for elective credit.

Certificate programs for Veteran and Military Health Care​ and Palliative Care​ are now available for inclusion as desired in the AG-CNS student’s Plan of Study.

Gainful Employment and Program Statistics for Post-Graduate Certificate

For more information regarding graduation rates, the median debt of students completing our certificate programs and other important information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.​​​​​​​​

The AG-CNS program accepts students from WICHE states and selected other states.

Scholarship opportunities may be available for students from Georgia and other non-WICHE states.


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