Guide to Critical Care CNS Degrees Online

We found 5 nursing schools with Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist programs in our database. You may consider viewing Clinical Nurse Specialist programs (without any specialty), then speaking with the university admissions department to see which critical care classes they may have.What is a Critical Care Nurse?
Critical care nurses care for the sickest patients in the hospital, often only one or two at a time. Some larger hospitals will further break down their critical care units by specialty or age: Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Surgical ICU, Pediatric ICU and Cardiac ICU to name a few.

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants

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.

Programs by State✔ CCNE or ACEN Accredited Online ProgramsSearch Online Programs

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"]

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"]

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

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants

Sacred Heart University

Online RN-MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader Specialization
CCNE Accredited

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
laptop http://www.alverno.edu/academics/
Milwaukee WI
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Educator
American University of Beirut
laptop hson.aub.edu.lb/users/subpage.asp?id=18
New York NY
  • MSN Community and Public Health
Armstrong Atlantic State University
laptop www.armstrong.edu/Health_Professions/nursing/nursing_programs
Savannah GA
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Augsburg College
laptop www.augsburg.edu/nursing/
Minneapolis MN
  • MSN Transcultural Nursing in Community
  • Post Master's Certificate Transcultural Nursing in Community
Azusa Pacific University
laptop http://www.apu.edu/nursing/
Azusa CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Benedictine University
laptop www.ben.edu/academic_programs/education_health/nursing/index.cfm
Lisle IL
  • Online MSN Public Health
Binghamton University
laptop www2.binghamton.edu/dson/index.html
Binghamton NY
  • MSN Community Health Nursing
  • Post Master's Community Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
laptop www.bloomu.edu/nursing
Bloomsburg PA
  • MSN Adult Health and Illness Specialization
  • MSN Community Health Specialization
California Baptist University
laptop http://calbaptist.edu/explore-cbu/schools-colleges/school-nursing/
Riverside CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
California State University - Chico
laptop www.csuchico.edu/nurs/
Chico CA
  • Online MSN Adult Health Nursing
California State University - Dominguez Hills
laptop www.csudh.edu/cps/son/
Carson CA
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Gerontology
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Parent Child
  • Post Master's Certificate Clinical Nurse Specialist
California State University - Fresno
laptop www.csufresno.edu/chhs/depts_programs/nursing/
Fresno CA
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Specialist/ Nurse Educator
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator
California State University - San Bernardino
laptop nursing.csusb.edu/
San Bernardino CA
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health
  • Online MSN Public Community Health
Catholic University of America - The
laptop nursing.cua.edu/
Washington DC
  • MSN Advanced Public/Community Health Nurse Specialist
Cedarville University
laptop http://www.cedarville.edu/Academics/Nursing.aspx
Cedarville OH
  • Online MSN Global Health Ministries
Cleveland State University
laptop http://www.csuohio.edu/nursing/
Cleveland OH
  • Online MSN Specialized Populations
College of New Jersey - The
laptop www.tcnj.edu/~nursing/nursing.html
Ewing NJ
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
College of New Rochelle
laptop www.cnr.edu/NursingSchool/SchoolofNursing
New Rochelle NY
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic Nursing
  • Post Master's Certificate in Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic Nursing.
Colorado Christian University
laptop http://www.ccu.edu/ccu/nursing/
Lakewood CO
  • Online MSN Clinical Care Management in Adult/Geriatric
Delaware State University
laptop www.desu.edu/department-nursing
Dover DE
  • MSN Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Duquesne University
laptop http://www.duq.edu/nursing/
Pittsburgh PA
  • Post Master's Certificate Transcultural/International Nursing
East Carolina University
laptop http://nursing.ecu.edu/
Greenville NC
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Eastern Michigan University
laptop www.emich.edu/nursing/
Ypsilanti MI
  • MSN Adult Health Nursing
Florida International University
laptop cnhs.fiu.edu/
Miami FL
  • MSN Advanced Adult Health Nursing
  • MSN Advanced Child Health Nursing
Georgetown University
laptop http://nhs.georgetown.edu/nursing/
Washington DC
  • Post Master's Certificate Adult Acute & Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Georgia Southern University
laptop chhs.georgiasouthern.edu/nursing/index.php
Statesboro GA
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist Community Health
  • Online Post MSN Certificate Clinical Nurse Specialist Community Health
Georgia State University
laptop nursing.gsu.edu/
Atlanta GA
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Practitioner
  • Post Master's Certificate Adult Health Nursing
  • Post Master's Certificate Child Health Nursing
Grand View University
laptop http://www.grandview.edu/aspx/audience/landing.aspx?aid=11
Des Moines IA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
Idaho State University
laptop www.isu.edu/departments/nursing/
Pocatello ID
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Post Master's Certificate Clinical Nurse Specialist
Indiana University Southeast
laptop www.ius.edu/nursing/
New Albany IN
  • MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
laptop nursing.iupui.edu/
Indianapolis IN
  • Online MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Johns Hopkins University
laptop http://son.jhmi.edu/
Baltimore MD
  • Health Systems MNGT/Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN MPH Public Health Nursing
  • MSN Public Health Nursing
  • Online Health Systems MNGT/Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
La Salle University
laptop www.lasalle.edu/schools/snhs/nursing/
Philadelphia PA
  • MSN Adult Health and Illness Clinical Nurse Specialist
Lehman College-The City University of New York
laptop www.lehman.edu/deannss/nursing/
Bronx NY
  • MSN Parent-Child Nursing
Liberty University
laptop www.liberty.edu/academics/index.cfm?PID=188
Lynchburg VA
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialists
Long Island University - C. W. Post Campus
laptop http://www.liu.edu/CWPost/Academics/Schools/SHPN.aspx
Brookville NY
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Loyola University Chicago
laptop www.luc.edu/nursing/index.shtml
Maywood IL
  • MSN Adult Health Advanced Practice Nursing
Malone University
laptop www.malone.edu/academics/school-of-nursing/
Canton OH
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mercer University
laptop www2.mercer.edu/Nursing/default.htm
Atlanta GA
  • MSN Acute Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
laptop www.mccn.edu/
Columbus OH
  • MSN Adult Health
Mount Marty College
laptop www.mtmc.edu/nursing/index.aspx
Yankton SD
  • MSN Advanced Public Health Leader
Mount Mercy University
laptop www.mtmercy.edu/department-nursing
Cedar Rapids IA
  • MSN Health Advocacy
Murray State University
laptop www.murraystate.edu/nursing
Murray KY
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Post Master's Clinical Nurse Specialist Certificate
Northern Illinois University
laptop http://www.chhs.niu.edu/nursing/
DeKalb IL
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Old Dominion University
laptop http://www.odu.edu/nursing
Norfolk VA
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator
Pittsburg State University
laptop http://www.pittstate.edu/department/nursing/
Pittsburg KS
  • MSN Clinical Preceptors
Point Loma Nazarene University
laptop http://www.pointloma.edu/experience/academics/schools-departments/school-nursing
San Diego CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Purdue University Calumet
laptop http://webs.purduecal.edu/nursing/
Hammond IN
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Regis College
laptop http://www.regiscollege.edu/academics/ug-department.cfm?id=Nursing_Dept
Weston MA
  • MSN Adult Acute Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Sacred Heart University
laptop http://www.sacredheart.edu/academics/collegeofhealthprofessions/academicprograms/nursing/
Fairfield CT
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
Sage Colleges
laptop http://www.sage.edu/nursing/
Troy NY
  • MSN Community Health Nursing
Saint Anthony College of Nursing
laptop http://www.sacn.edu/
Rockford IL
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
laptop http://sfmccon.edu/
Peoria IL
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Saint Joseph' s College
laptop http://www.sjcny.edu/brooklyn/academics/programs-departments/nursing
Brooklyn NY
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Saint Xavier University
laptop http://www.sxu.edu/academics/colleges_schools/son/index.asp
Chicago IL
  • MSN Clinical Leadership
San Diego State University
laptop http://nursing.sdsu.edu/
San Diego CA
  • MSN Community Health Nursing
San Francisco State University
laptop http://www.nursing.sfsu.edu/
San Francisco CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Public Community Health
  • MSN Public Community Health
Seattle Pacific University
laptop http://spu.edu/depts/health-sciences/
Seattle WA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Seattle University
laptop http://www.seattleu.edu/nursing/
Seattle WA
  • MSN Advanced Community Public Health Nursing
  • MSN Advanced Community Public Health Nursing
Seton Hall University
laptop http://www.shu.edu/academics/nursing/
South Orange NJ
  • Master's Entry - Clinical Nurse Leader
Spring Hill College
laptop http://departments2.shc.edu/nursing
Mobile AL
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
St. John Fisher College
laptop http://sjfc.edu/academics/nursing/about/index.dot
Rochester NY
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
laptop http://www.downstate.edu/nursing/
Brooklyn NY
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
Stevenson University
laptop http://www.stevenson.edu/graduate-professional-studies/
Stevenson MD
  • Online MSN Population-Based Care Coordination
Texas Christian University
laptop http://www.harriscollege.tcu.edu/
Fort Worth TX
  • MSN Adult / Gerontology CNS
  • MSN Pediatric CNS
Thomas Jefferson University
laptop http://www.jefferson.edu/university/nursing.html
Philadelphia PA
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology-Clinical Nurse Specialist
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
laptop http://www.usuhs.edu/gsn/
Bethesda MD
  • MSN Perioparative Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Akron
laptop http://www.uakron.edu/nursing/
Akron OH
  • MSN Adult/Gerontological Health Nursing CNS
University of Alabama in Huntsville
laptop http://www.uah.edu/nursing
Huntsville AL
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of California - Los Angeles
laptop http://nursing.ucla.edu/default.cfm
Los Angeles CA
  • MSN - Masters Entry Clinical Nurse
University of California - San Francisco
laptop http://nursing.ucsf.edu/
San Francisco CA
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Critical Care/Trauma
  • MS Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Oncology
University of Central Florida
laptop http://nursing.ucf.edu/
Orlando FL
  • MSN Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Cincinnati
laptop http://nursing.uc.edu/
Cincinnati OH
  • MSN Occupational Health
University of Colorado
laptop http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/nursing/Pages/default.aspx
Aurora CO
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Delaware
laptop http://www.udel.edu/nursing/
Newark DE
  • Online MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Children Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Hartford
laptop http://www.hartford.edu/enhp/academics/health/default.aspx
West Hartford CT
  • MSN Public Health
University of Hawaii at Manoa
laptop http://www.nursing.hawaii.edu/home
Honolulu HI
  • Graduate Entry Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online Graduate Entry Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health Nursing
University of Illinois at Chicago
laptop http://www.nursing.uic.edu/
Chicago IL
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Incarnate Word
laptop http://www.uiw.edu/nursing/index.html
San Antonio TX
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Kansas
laptop http://nursing.kumc.edu/
Kansas City KS
  • Online MSN Public Health Nursing
University of Maryland
laptop http://www.nursing.umaryland.edu/
Baltimore MD
  • MSN Community/Public Health Nursing
University of Massachusetts Boston
laptop http://www.umb.edu/academics/cnhs/nursing
Boston MA
  • Online MSN Acute Care Critical Care Nurse Specialist
University of Massachusetts Worcester
laptop http://www.umassmed.edu/gsn/
Worcester MA
  • GEP to MSN Population Health Track
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
laptop www.umassd.edu/nursing/
North Dartmouth MA
  • MSN Nurse Clinical Specialist
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
laptop http://nursing.umich.edu/
Ann Arbor MI
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Nebraska Medical Center
laptop http://www.unmc.edu/nursing/
Omaha NE
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Nevada - Reno
laptop http://www.unr.edu/nursing
Reno NV
  • MSN Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
laptop http://nursing.unc.edu/
Chapel Hill NC
  • MSN Health Care Systems
  • Online MSN Health Care Systems Specialist
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
laptop http://nursing.uncc.edu/
Charlotte NC
  • MSN Community Public Health Nursing
University of North Dakota
laptop http://www.nursing.und.edu/
Grand Forks ND
  • MSN Advanced Public Health Nurse
  • Online MSN Advanced Public Health Nursing
University of North Florida
laptop http://www.unf.edu/brooks/nursing/
Jacksonville FL
  • MSN Adult Gerontology CNS
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN CNS Women's & Children's Hlth
University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
laptop nursing.ouhsc.edu/
Oklahoma City OK
  • MS CNS Acute Care Track
University of Pennsylvania
laptop http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/Pages/default.aspx
Philadelphia PA
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Rochester
laptop http://www.son.rochester.edu/
Rochester NY
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Track
University of San Diego
laptop http://www.sandiego.edu/nursing/
San Diego CA
  • MSN Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
University of Scranton
laptop http://www.scranton.edu/academics/pcps/nursing/index.shtml
Scranton PA
  • MSN Adult Health Nursing
University of South Alabama
laptop http://www.southalabama.edu/nursing/
Mobile AL
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Southern Indiana
laptop http://www.usi.edu/health/nursing
Evansville IN
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Tennessee Knoxville
laptop https://nursing.utk.edu/Pages/default.aspx
Knoxville TN
  • MSN Nursing of Women & Children
University of Texas at Austin
laptop http://www.utexas.edu/nursing/
Austin TX
  • AE-MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Master's Entry Child Health Administration
  • MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN Child Health Administration
  • MSN Public Health
  • MSN Public Health
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
laptop https://nursing.uth.edu/
Houston TX
  • Online MSN/MPH Dual Degree
University of Texas-Pan American
laptop http://portal.utpa.edu/portal/page/portal/utpa_main/daa_home/hshs_home/hshs_nursing/
Edinburg TX
  • MSN Adult Health Nursing
University of Toledo
laptop http://www.utoledo.edu/nursing/index.html
Toledo OH
  • Post-Master's Psychiatric-Mental Health CNS
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist MSN
University of Virginia
laptop http://www.nursing.virginia.edu/
Charlottesville VA
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Washington
laptop http://nursing.uw.edu/
Seattle WA
  • MN Community Health Nursing
University of Wisconsin- Madison
laptop http://www.son.wisc.edu/
Madison WI
  • Master of Public Health
Ursuline College
laptop http://ursuline.edu/Academics/Nursing/
Pepper Pike OH
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Washington State University
laptop http://nursing.wsu.edu/
Spokane WA
  • MSN Advanced Population Health
  • MSN Community Based Population Focused Care
  • Online MSN Advanced Population Health
  • Online MSN Advanced Population Health
Wayne State University
laptop http://www.nursing.wayne.edu/
Detroit MI
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Health Nursing
Wesley College
laptop http://www.wesley.edu/wcnc/prospective-students/academics/master-of-science-in-nursing.html
Dover DE
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing CNS
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
laptop http://wcupa.edu/_ACADEMICS/HealthSciences/nursing/
West Chester PA
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology CNS
West Coast University
laptop http://westcoastuniversity.edu/
Irvine CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
Western Connecticut State University
laptop http://wcsu.edu/nursing/
Danbury CT
  • Online MSN Advanced Nursing Practice Clinical Nurse Specialist
Western University Of Health and Sciences
laptop http://www.westernu.edu/nursing/
Pomona CA
  • Online MSN Health Systems Leadership Clinical Nurse Leader
Widener University
laptop http://www.widener.edu/academics/schools/nursing/default.aspx
Chester PA
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
William Carey University
laptop http://www.wmcarey.edu/schools/school-nursing
Hattiesburg MS
  • MSN Population-focused
Winona State University
laptop http://www.winona.edu/nursingandhs/nursing.asp
Rochester MN
  • Online MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Worcester State University
laptop http://www.worcester.edu/Nursing/
Worcester MA
  • MSN Community and Public Health Nursing Specialty
  • MSN Community and Public Health Nursing Specialty
Wright State University
laptop http://nursing.wright.edu/
Dayton OH
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
York College of Pennsylvania
laptop http://www.ycp.edu/academics/academic-departments/nursing/
York PA
  • MSN Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Youngstown State University
laptop web.ysu.edu/bchhs/nursing
Youngstown OH
  • MSN CNS Chronic Illness Care

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.