Critical Care CNS Degrees Online

Many smaller hospitals will combine all critical patients in one large intensive care unit. In addition to workingin anICU, critical care nurses work in emergency rooms, on medical transport teams and with the military on the battlefield.

Patients on these units often require a great deal of care, so critical care nurses learn a considerable amount of advanced monitoring and therapeutic skills. Many nurses report that working in this setting is very stressful because of how quickly a patients status can deteriorate.

Written by Nicole Galan, RN

“Critical care nurses work in emergency rooms, on medical transport teams and with the military on the battlefield.”

The Critical Care Environment

Advanced technological equipment is often utilized in the critical care environment. Nurses will learn to be proficient in mechanical ventilators, intra-aortic balloon pumps, arterial lines, ventricular assist devices (LVAD and RVAD), and other hemodynamic monitoring systems. Since these devices arent taught in most nursing programs, training is provided on the job. Ongoing education is necessary for nurses to keep their skills up to date.

General medical or surgical nursing experience is usually required before progressing to the critical care unit, though in some situations, entry-level nurses will begin working in critical care.

Find a Clinical Nurse Specialist or MSN Specialty Program

Use the below tool by clicking on each tab to quickly find MSN programs in your state, or to search accredited online MSN programs that are currently accepting applicants into their program. Note that all of the programs we have listed are sponsored programs and they may require an RN license to be accepted into their program.

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List of Featured CCNE or ACEN Accredited Online Programs

The following programs are entirely online CCNE or ACEN accredited programs (we have verified but you should also verify when you talk to them), and are currently accepting applicants. [business_directory category="ccne, acen" text="description" display="url" level="super" status="msn" single_link="no"] [business_directory category="ccne, acen" text="description" display="url" level="super2" status="msn" single_link="no"] [business_directory category="ccne, acen" text="description" display="url" level="content-f1, content-f2, content-f3" status="msn" single_link="no"] [/su_tab] [su_tab title="Search Online Programs"]

List of Featured Online RN to BSN Programs

The following programs are entirely online and are currently accepting applicants. [business_directory category="online" text="description" display="url" level="super" status="msn" single_link="no"] [business_directory category="online" text="description" display="url" level="super2" status="msn" single_link="no"] [business_directory category="online" text="description" display="url" level="content-f1, content-f2, content-f3" status="msn" single_link="no"] [/su_tab] [/su_tabs]

Organizations Dedicated to Critical Care

The American Association of Critical Care Nurses offers several certification programs, depending on which patient population you work with and the subspecialty in which you practice. There are specific eligibility requirements that must be met to sit for the exam. Certification is not required to work as a critical care nurse and can be difficult to obtain.

Organizations like the National Flight Nurses Association and The Emergency Nurses Association can provide standards and guidance to nurses working or interested in working in those sub-specialties as well.

List of Critical Care CNS Programs

List of Critical Care CNS Programs

All Critical Care CNS Programs

See below for the list of all of the Critical Care CNS programs in our database.
Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
Alverno College
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse EducatorCCNE
American University of Beirut
New York, New York
  • MSN Community and Public HealthCCNE
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Savannah, Georgia
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Augsburg College
Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • MSN Transcultural Nursing in CommunityCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate Transcultural Nursing in CommunityCCNE
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, California
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Benedictine University
Lisle, Illinois
  • Online MSN Public HealthCCNE
Binghamton University
Binghamton, New York
  • MSN Community Health NursingCCNE
  • Post Master's Community Health Nurse Practitioner CertificateCCNE
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult Health and Illness SpecializationCCNE
  • MSN Community Health SpecializationCCNE
California Baptist University
Riverside, California
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
California State University - Chico
Chico, California
  • Online MSN Adult Health NursingCCNE
California State University - Dominguez Hills
Carson, California
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist GerontologyCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Parent ChildCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
California State University - Fresno
Fresno, California
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse EducatorCCNE
California State University - San Bernardino
San Bernardino, California
  • Online MSN Advanced Public HealthCCNE
  • Online MSN Public Community HealthCCNE
Catholic University of America - The
Washington, District of Columbia
  • MSN Advanced Public/Community Health Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Cedarville University
Cedarville, Ohio
  • Online MSN Global Health MinistriesCCNE
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, Ohio
  • Online MSN Specialized PopulationsCCNE
College of New Jersey - The
Ewing, New Jersey
  • MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
College of New Rochelle
New Rochelle, New York
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic NursingCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate in Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic Nursing.CCNE
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, Colorado
  • Online MSN Clinical Care Management in Adult/GeriatricCCNE
Delaware State University
Dover, Delaware
  • MSN Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Post Master's Certificate Transcultural/International NursingCCNE
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • MSN Adult Health NursingCCNE
Florida International University
Miami, Florida
  • MSN Advanced Adult Health NursingCCNE
  • MSN Advanced Child Health NursingCCNE
Georgetown University
Washington, District of Columbia
  • Post Master's Certificate Adult Acute & Critical Care Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Community HealthCCNE
  • Online Post MSN Certificate Clinical Nurse Specialist Community HealthCCNE
Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse PractitionerCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate Adult Health NursingCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate Child Health NursingCCNE
Grand View University
Des Moines, Iowa
  • MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
Idaho State University
Pocatello, Idaho
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Post Master's Certificate Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, Indiana
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Online MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
  • Health Systems MNGT/Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN MPH Public Health NursingCCNE
  • MSN Public Health NursingCCNE
  • Online Health Systems MNGT/Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
La Salle University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult Health and Illness Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Lehman College-The City University of New York
Bronx, New York
  • MSN Parent-Child NursingCCNE
Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistsCCNE
Long Island University - C. W. Post Campus
Brookville, New York
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Loyola University Chicago
Maywood, Illinois
  • MSN Adult Health Advanced Practice NursingCCNE
Malone University
Canton, Ohio
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Mercer University
Atlanta, Georgia
  • MSN Acute Critical Care Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Columbus, Ohio
  • MSN Adult HealthCCNE
Mount Marty College
Yankton, South Dakota
  • MSN Advanced Public Health LeaderCCNE
Mount Mercy University
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • MSN Health AdvocacyCCNE
Murray State University
Murray, Kentucky
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Post Master's Clinical Nurse Specialist CertificateCCNE
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/EducatorCCNE
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, Kansas
  • MSN Clinical PreceptorsCCNE
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, California
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Purdue University Calumet
Hammond, Indiana
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistACEN
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistACEN
Regis College
Weston, Massachusetts
  • MSN Adult Acute Critical Care Clinical Nurse SpecialistACEN
Sacred Heart University
Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
Sage Colleges
Troy, New York
  • MSN Community Health NursingCCNE
Saint Anthony College of Nursing
Rockford, Illinois
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Peoria, Illinois
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistACEN
Saint Joseph' s College
Brooklyn, New York
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistACEN
Saint Xavier University
Chicago, Illinois
  • MSN Clinical LeadershipCCNE
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
  • MSN Community Health NursingCCNE
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, California
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Public Community HealthCCNE
  • MSN Public Community HealthCCNE
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, Washington
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Seattle University
Seattle, Washington
  • MSN Advanced Community Public Health NursingCCNE
  • MSN Advanced Community Public Health NursingCCNE
Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey
  • Master's Entry - Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
Spring Hill College
Mobile, Alabama
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
St. John Fisher College
Rochester, New York
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
Brooklyn, New York
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Pediatric Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Stevenson University
Stevenson, Maryland
  • Online MSN Population-Based Care CoordinationCCNE
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas
  • MSN Adult / Gerontology CNSCCNE
  • MSN Pediatric CNSCCNE
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology-Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, Maryland
  • MSN Perioparative Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Akron
Akron, Ohio
  • MSN Adult/Gerontological Health Nursing CNSCCNE
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of California - Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
  • MSN - Masters Entry Clinical NurseCCNE
University of California - San Francisco
San Francisco, California
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Critical Care/TraumaCCNE
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - OncologyCCNE
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida
  • MSN Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
  • MSN Occupational HealthCCNE
University of Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online MSN Children Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Hartford
West Hartford, Connecticut
  • MSN Public HealthCCNE
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Graduate Entry Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online Graduate Entry Advanced Public Health NursingCCNE
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health NursingCCNE
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health NursingCCNE
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Incarnate Word
San Antonio, Texas
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Kansas
Kansas City, Kansas
  • Online MSN Public Health NursingCCNE
University of Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
  • MSN Community/Public Health NursingCCNE
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Massachusetts
  • Online MSN Acute Care Critical Care Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Massachusetts Worcester
Worcester, Massachusetts
  • GEP to MSN Population Health TrackCCNE
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
North Dartmouth, Massachusetts
  • MSN Nurse Clinical SpecialistACEN
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Nevada - Reno
Reno, Nevada
  • MSN Public HealthCCNE
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • MSN Health Care SystemsCCNE
  • Online MSN Health Care Systems SpecialistCCNE
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
  • MSN Community Public Health NursingCCNE
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • MSN Advanced Public Health NurseCCNE
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health NursingCCNE
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
  • MSN Adult Gerontology CNSCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN CNS Women's & Children's HlthCCNE
University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • MS CNS Acute Care TrackACEN
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Neonatal Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Pediatric Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader TrackCCNE
University of San Diego
San Diego, California
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
University of Scranton
Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult Health NursingCCNE
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
  • MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, Indiana
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee
  • MSN Nursing of Women & ChildrenCCNE
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
  • AE-MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • Master's Entry Child Health AdministrationCCNE
  • MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
  • MSN Child Health AdministrationCCNE
  • MSN Public HealthCCNE
  • MSN Public HealthCCNE
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas
  • Online MSN/MPH Dual DegreeCCNE
University of Texas-Pan American
Edinburg, Texas
  • MSN Adult Health NursingCCNE
University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio
  • Post-Master's Psychiatric-Mental Health CNSACEN
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist MSNACEN
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
  • MN Community Health NursingCCNE
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
  • Master of Public HealthCCNE
Ursuline College
Pepper Pike, Ohio
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Washington State University
Spokane, Washington
  • MSN Advanced Population HealthCCNE
  • MSN Community Based Population Focused CareCCNE
  • Online MSN Advanced Population HealthCCNE
  • Online MSN Advanced Population HealthCCNE
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Health NursingCCNE
Wesley College
Dover, Delaware
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing CNSACEN
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology CNSCCNE
West Coast University
Irvine, California
  • MSN Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, Connecticut
  • Online MSN Advanced Nursing Practice Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Western University Of Health and Sciences
Pomona, California
  • Online MSN Health Systems Leadership Clinical Nurse LeaderCCNE
Widener University
Chester, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
William Carey University
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • MSN Population-focusedCCNE
Winona State University
Rochester, Minnesota
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Worcester State University
Worcester, Massachusetts
  • MSN Community and Public Health Nursing SpecialtyCCNE
  • MSN Community and Public Health Nursing SpecialtyCCNE
Wright State University
Dayton, Ohio
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
York College of Pennsylvania
York, Pennsylvania
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse SpecialistCCNE
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, Ohio
  • MSN CNS Chronic Illness CareACEN

Still Looking for a Nursing Program?

Here are some of the most popular nursing programs. On each page you will find a detailed writeup of the program, specific courses, and even schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.