The Adult CNS programs are planned around a core of nursing and basic science theory and clinical courses that include human responses in health and illness (examining physiologic, pathophysiologic, experiential, and behavioral aspects); nursing and pharmacological therapies in acute and chronic illnesses or conditions; biologic science foundations (general human physiology, or electives such as neuroanatomy, microbiology, and medical genetics); nursing research (including courses in research methods as well as completion of either a thesis or scholarly project); and advanced clinical fieldwork in general or specialized clinical areas as well as in advanced practice role development.
Students may take additional electives in an enhanced area of study (such as critical care) or toward completion of a Graduate Certificate Program in Advanced Practice Nursing.
MN vs. DNP Preparation
The curriculum is organized such that preparation for certification as a CNS occurs within the first 18 months of full-time study. If you would like to sit for certification, you can obtain an MN as an exit point (MN entry-exit) or in passing (transcripted MN and continue in the DNP program).
The DNP preparation builds on and expands the CNS preparation to incorporate leadership, practice inquiry, and advanced practice at a level that offers a stronger foundation for practice, education, and application or dissemination of research.
Distance Learning Options
The University of Washington School of Nursing currently offers Technology Enhanced and Distance Learning (TEDL) options for most ACNS courses. TEDL allows students to pursue the MN or the DNP degree and most graduate certificates with minimal commuting to the Seattle campus.
While most courses include some TEDL methods, there are some courses that require in-person, classroom attendance. Currently, approximately 80% of courses required for the standard MN or DNP program as an ACNS are offered via TEDL. Some higher cost TEDL methods (specifically, video conferencing and web conferencing) are reserved for students living a significant distance from the UW. However, everyone in the ACNS specialty can use most TEDL methods, such as video streams and web-based courses — often helpful for students with scheduling constraints. Faculty work with students to identify settings for clinical practicum that is close to the student's home community.