About this Program

This post-professional certificate enables nurses with a previously earned MSN to complete only those courses and practicums required for eligibility to take the Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification exam. The program will educate students in the concept of gerontology and associated illnesses and conditions. Students will develop knowledge in the diagnosis of illnesses, and management of an illness. Students will learn to provide advanced nursing care to older adult patients. Graduates will understand and apply key concepts related to diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of older adult patients, as well as provide expertise and support to nurses caring for older adult patients in multiple settings, help drive practice changes throughout an organization, and ensure the use of best practices and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Additionally, the adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist is educated with skills and expertise to identify gaps in health care delivery and help assess, design, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve the overall process of health care for older adults. The 19-credit hour post-master’s certificate curriculum includes those courses required by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, both of which administer certification exams for the Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Program Highlights

  • Prepares nurses with MSN to take the Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification exam

  • Full-time students complete the certificate in 18 months

  • Allows students to gain skills and expertise in care and support of older adult patients

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

$94,545 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate the daily patient care activities in a clinical practice. Ensure adherence to established clinical policies, protocols, regulations, and standards.

Nurse Practitioners

$121,610 Median Salary

Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

Registered Nurses

$73,550 Median Salary

Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

Family Medicine Physicians

$80,760 (Approx) Median Salary

Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.


What are the requirements to apply for Post-Professional Certificate in Adult Gerontology CNS (Graduate Certificate) at ODU?
Students entering the Certificate program in Post-Professional Certificate in Adult Gerontology CNS (Graduate Certificate) should meet the minimum university admission requirements Graduate Admission.
  • A completed online application and application fee. Applications to the Post-Professional Certificate Program are due on or before June 1st and, are considered for Fall semester admission along with applications to the degree-seeking program

  • A graduate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution

  • Satisfactory completion (Grade B or better) of required core courses including:

    • Advanced Pathophysiology
    • Advanced Physical Assessment
    • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Licensure as a registered nurse

  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work at regionally accredited institutions

  • Current scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum of 230 on the computer-based TOEFL or 80 on the TOEFL iBT are required if the applicant’s native language is not English


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $599
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $623
Cost Per-Credit $1,439

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid


Clinical Assistant Professor