Nursing Education with a Clinical Nurse Specialty in Adult-Gerontology Master of Science in Nursing

Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in the role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a transformational experience. Students become a clinical expert, lead nursing care and make real change happen at the bedside and boardroom. They have their elevator speech ready (see below). They know the outcomes of CNS practice. They know those outcomes are critical to the viability of health care systems today, and they know the CNS role is essential!

Our students experience the full breadth of the CNS role as a Prescriber, Coach for patients and staff, Team Builder and Change Agent while improving quality and the bottom line for health care systems. Our students take the role across health care settings from acute to non-acute care.

Role of the CNS

Our graduates know who they are when they graduate and practice ready. We have 100% pass rates from the 2016-2017 graduates across the national certification exams for the Adult-Gerontology CNS through ANCC (non-acute care CNS), AACN (critical care CNS) and ONC-C (oncology). The Detroit Mercy experience is transformational!

CNS Programs at Detroit Mercy

100% of graduates are employed in CNS roles, care coordination, academia and across settings to include telemedicine. CNSs saw the highest pay spikes among APRNs in 2017 up to $102,000, 7.4% more than 2015 (Medscape APRN Compensation Report 2017).

We have a dynamic group of CNS faculty willing to spend the time it takes to make your experience at Detroit Mercy the best it can be. We know graduate studies are an important aspect of your lives and that life continues to move forward in unexpected ways. As such, our faculty maintain an atmosphere of rigor with flexibility and will work diligently with any student who needs extra support. Students choose their pace. Our students say great things about their Detroit Mercy experience (see below). That is the Detroit Mercy way.

Please consider this amazing and versatile APRN role. We look forward to transforming you!


What are our students saying?

"You have a terrific program with great support staff. It is very cohesive and collaborative."
Carol Batchelder - Georgia

"I passed the ACNS (first try), I was so well prepared by the program!"
Tracey E. Robilotto - Florida

"I continue to share my FABULOUS experience at UDM with my colleagues."
Charlene Haley - Pennsylvania

"Just wanted to give your program a huge shout out and thanks for preparing me for the role. I have 2 interviews for CNS positions next week!"
Celeste Mims - Georgia

"I can't thank you all enough for your consistent support and assistance. Each of you made me feel as if I were the only student attending University of Detroit Mercy."
Tammi Bacon - Michigan


Elevator Speeches

The CNS is a champion for quality patient care. We are APRNs with graduate preparation, sharing the same core courses as NPs (A&P, patho, and pharm), however, our focus is not only providing diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of patients, but also using our nursing expertise to support the work of the nurses at the bedside and advancing our practice by being the voice of nursing in the boardroom. We also function on the systems level by initiating research, quality improvement, cost saving strategies, and implementation of evidence-based practice.
Rachel Orfei
Master's Student

A CNS is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in a patient population or clinical area to be a champion of evidence based practice, high quality care and patient outcomes. We work across 3 spheres (the system, nurse and patient) to make sure the system is set up so it is easy for the nurses to do the right thing every time in order to provide high quality care to patients to give them the best outcomes. We are master collaborators and agents of change.
Lisa McCann-Spry
Post Master's Certificate

Mostly, my role is to bring evidence based practice to patients through direct care, the nurses or leading projects. I focus on quality and safety, clinical care issues like readmissions, errors, new technology, nurse and patient education and satisfaction. I analyze the metrics on a regular basis and communicate how we are doing or what needs more work.
Mitzi M. Saunders
Program Coordinator