The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist -
Critical Care / Trauma (AGCNS-CCT).
email DorAnne Donesky at
Because inpatient care focuses increasingly on treating the sickest of the sick, the need for advanced practice nurses to provide and coordinate care in emergency departments, trauma, critical care, and intensive care units has never been greater.
Clinical nurse specialists in critical care, emergency and trauma settings fill that role. They bring clinical expertise to acute care and lead the care management processes that are essential in today's health care environment. Many also play a vital teaching and research role; from the front lines they lend a unique and essential perspective to understanding a range of issues confronting nurses.
The AG CNS critical care/trauma program at UCSF is rooted in the belief that nursing is the hub of inpatient care. As such, nurses are the first line of defense as the acuity of hospitalized patients continues to increase.
Geared to the schedules of working RNs, our program teaches the skills needed to work and lead effectively, to evaluate clinical outcomes, and to promote high-quality, cost-effective care.
Students are afforded opportunities to get hands-on experiences in prestigious clinical settings with expert advanced practice nurses as their mentors. Students with particular interests in research can work with faculty researchers to develop research skills.
The curriculum includes pathophysiology, pharmacology, monitoring and clinical management of critical care, trauma, and emergency department patients, critical analysis of practice issues, and clinical experiences in advanced practice roles.
Our graduates go on to become clinical nurse specialists, clinical educators, clinical researchers, trauma coordinators, and several other leadership positions in both established and evolving critical care, emergency, and trauma nursing roles.
Clinical Nurse Specialist graduates are eligible for certification as a CNS through the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN; no examination required). Additional certifications are available through the American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Assoc. of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
The American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) is on-line at http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Certification.aspx (website); the American Assoc. of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is at http://www.aacn.org/DM/MainPages/CertificationHome.aspx (website); and the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is on-line at http://rn.ca.gov/applicants/ad-pract.shtml (website).
Master's Entry Program (MEPN)
The AGCNS-CCT specialty area is NOT open to MEPN applications.
Post-Master's OptionThe AGCNS-CCT program offers a Post-Master's option. Please refer to the Post-Master's webpage for general information and application details. Email Rosalie Bravo at Rosalie.Bravo@ucsfmedctr.org if you have additional questions about the Post-MS program and application; email DorAnne Donesky for AGCNS-CCT particulars at DorAnne.Donesky@nursing.ucsf.edu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Goal statement, letters of reference, extracurricular activities,
language skills, activities on-the-job, research activities, work
experience, professional organization activities, and Grade Point
Average (GPA) are ALL considered when the application is reviewed.
List all of these aspects.
Be sure to ask colleagues to review your goal statement. Include
examples of on-the job activities. Describe any volunteer and
professional activities. Make sure to ask your colleagues for
"excellent" references and have them give specific reasons why they
believe in your success.
4.0 maximum scale) is expected for admission into the School of Nursing,
although special circumstances can be discussed.
Doctoral Programs: an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2, and, if a graduate (master's) degree has been earned, a Grade Point Average of 3.5 is expected, verified by official transcripts.
Caution: transcripts from outside the USA require special handling.
Non-English transcripts or international transcripts (especially
transcripts using different grading systems) should be submitted for
translation and/or evaluation to a transcript evaluation agency.
The purpose of the evaluation is to verify that your
degree/coursework is the equivalent to that of a US Bachelor or Master's
Evaluation agencies provide a variety of services. Be sure to request an evaluation that provides the following:
- Lists all subjects/courses completed at the post-secondary level
- Provides a U.S. semester credit and grade equivalent for each course
- Provides a U.S. grade point average (GPA) for the Bachelor's degree or its equivalent on a 4.0 scale, and
- Designates the level (upper or lower) of each undergraduate course
Un-translated non-English transcripts will not be accepted.
Many of our students find that sharing housing is a good approach to solving both the availability and cost issues. Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area may be expensive, but help can be found with the Campus Housing Office, the Student Affairs Office, and previous graduates can often give advice.
This program cannot be taken through on-line or distance learning. Students are required to attend classes at UCSF two days a week, and attend clinical a minimum of 1-2 days a week.
This program is a progressive and additive program that must be taken within the two-year time frame.
Part time study is not an option.
An ideal work schedule would be limited to part-time or per-diem, 1-2 days a week, so that your schedule is very flexible. This would allow the student the have the widest variety of clinical settings available during the course of the program.
Working full time may severely limit the available opportunities for clinical placements as well as not allowing adequate time for studying.