Clinical Nurse Specialist Post Master's Certificate Program


This 12 credit post master Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is designed to assist RNs who have an MS degree in nursing with specialty concentration as a clinical nurse specialist to acquire the knowledge and clinical experience that will prepare them to sit for a national certification examinations offered by American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Acute Care/Critical Care (CCNS) by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Other certification bodies offering CNS certification specialty exams include the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and the Association of Orthopedic Nurses.

Learn more about this program:
To receive more information and connect with the program manager, please click on inquire now to the right.

Sample a Course

Click here for more information on the Clinical Nurse Specialist Post Master's Certificate Program

The University of Massachusetts Boston is currently not accepting students for online study who reside in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia (with some exception), and Washington due to regulations in those states. Please contact your state's Board of Education for details. Click here for information on distance education authorization in other states.


Registration is administered through College of Advancing and Professional Studies at UMass Boston. Payment is due upon registration. Please see Fee Schedule below.

Type of Fee Amount
Fee per credit $520
Late reg. fee per semester* $25
Returned check fee per semester** $28
Application fee $60
Student acceptance fee $390
Clinical course lab fee $55
Total for course*** $1560 (520 x 3 credits = 1,560)

Click here to browse our course listings.

*applicable when you register after deadline; non-refundable unless course has been cancelled

** applicable when checks returned unpaid

*** Courses can vary from one to six credits; this total represents a standard 3 credit course

Please note that the lab fee for all graduate courses is $55.00 per course


College of Nursing is accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education through April 2012. The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Did you know?

University of Massachusetts has earned several awards for its distance learning programs, faculty and technology including:

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell’s B.S. in Information Technology Ranked Among Top Affordable Online IT Degrees by Get Educated in 2011
  • UMass Ranked Among Top 10 Best Colleges in Online Education in Communication & Public Relations Degrees, 2011 by The Best Colleges
  • UMass ranks 19th highest-rated university in the world by the Times of London.
  • UMass ranked 56th in the Times of London's Top 200
  • UMassOnline, UMass Boston President's Special Achievement Award, Valerie C. Haven, Sloan-C 2010 Awards
  • University of Massachusetts Ranked Among Top 28 Best Value in Online Education for Human Services & Psychology Professionals, 2009 by Get Educated
  • Ranked Top 10 Online Degrees Colleges- September 2009 (Online Degree
  • UMassOnline Awarded Public Sector of the Year by Mass Technology Leadership Council , 2008
  • Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program, UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards, 2008
  • 'Excellence in Online Teaching' Award, Dr. Jeannette E. Riley, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards, 2008
  • 21st Century Best Practices Award, United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Program of Excellence, University Continuing Education Association (UCEA)-Journalism Certificate
  • Excellence in Faculty Development, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Programming, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Teaching, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • UMass Amherst Isenberg MBA, Top 10 national rankings, #4 Best Professors (2005, 2006, 2007 Princeton Review: Best Business Schools rankings)
  • 4th in Primary Care Education, U.S. World Reports
  • Excellence in Distance Teaching Education - United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

In addition to the general admission requirements for all graduate studies programs listed in the "Admissions" section of the Graduate Admission Application (pdf), prospective students applying to the post master's CNS certificate programs must meet the following requirements:

1. A master's degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE approved graduate program in nursing.

2. A minimum cumulative grade point average in undergraduate work of 2.75.

3. A minimum cumulative grade point average in graduate work of 3.0.

4. A GPA of B 3.0 in undergraduate and or graduate level science courses.

5. Evidence of passing grades of B or better in graduate level courses in Advanced Pharmacology (within 5 years), Advanced Health Assessment, and Advanced Health Assessment within the past 7 years.

6. Evidence of B or better in Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse or evidence of integration within the prior master's in nursing program.

7. A current unrestricted Massachusetts license in nursing or a current license in another state in which the student lives or is doing their clinical practicum.

8. References: Two professional references describing your clinical practice skills, ethics, and reliability for the most recent two years of your clinical practice experience; one academic reference describing your academic performance, and reliability as a student.

9. Written essay of 500 words describing the nature of your professional goals and time frame for the completing the program of study; evidence supporting the nature of the clinical placement commitments (necessary to fulfill the clinical objectives of the specialty certificate desired).

10. Current professional resume indicating all higher education institutions attended and professional work experience in the adult population focus.

Financial Aid: 

Availability of financial aid varies depending on course status and matriculation. Check with your adviser who can direct you to assistance for application procedures. Generally, if you are enrolled at least part-time (6 credits minimum per semester) in a degree or certificate program, you may qualify for financial aid. The CNHS graduate students are eligible to apply for professional nurse traineeship funds when they are available. Students are notified by email. Professional nursing organizations offer scholarships, students should check with their member organizations for funding opportunities.

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Mary Fischer
Tuition Per Credit: 
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