Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Critical Care/Trauma (AGCNS-CCT)


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.

Certification Eligibility

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).

Master's Entry Program (MEPN)

The AGCNS-CCT specialty area is NOT open to MEPN applications.

Post-Master's Option

The 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 if you have additional questions about the Post-MS program and application; email Lynda Mackin for AGCNS-CCT particulars.