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Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

In advanced practice nursing, there is more to manage than the patient. Our program focuses on developing advanced practice nurses who can improve health outcomes by working with the patient and family, the nurses providing the care, and the health system itself.

Our program

Patients and families don’t receive care in a vacuum; the quality of care delivered by nurses and the systems under which such care is delivered are key factors that influence patient outcomes. Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialists apply their skills in supporting patients, families and nurses at the point of care. CNS nurses also work more broadly across organizations by leading new initiatives, driving quality practice, and supporting implementation of new technology, impacting and influencing patients, nurses and healthcare systems.


You will analyze theories of nursing within a complex healthcare system and develop expertise in clinical judgment, interdisciplinary collaboration, systems thinking, care delivery models, advocacy, research, education, and cultural awareness.

We also encourage students to pursue a related minor in an area connected to their career interests, such as Quality Improvement and Safety, Health Informatics, or Palliative Care.

Study options

We offer the Neonatal CNS program full-time, part-time, or as a post-Master’s certificate.

After graduation

The CNS degree prepares you for a variety of leadership roles in the field of Neonatal Nursing in addition to the CNS advanced practice role, including nursing education, quality and safety, research, and nursing management.

Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for the ACCNS-Neonatal exam, offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.