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Rush University Medical Center-website is terrible but the program is available. Contact them for extra information.
University of Illinois Chicago has a Perinatal CNS however the curriculum is NOT eligible for AACN certification.
I believe a couple of universities in North Carolina has one as well.
Here is Texas, the Board of Nursing no longer recognizes Clinical Nurse Specialists. The only way to work in that position would be to complete a Master's program in Education or NNP. With the Master's degree and your neonatal experience, you would be able to work in this role.
Rush only offers a DNP now, but does have the Neonatal CNS as an option. I'm not sure if it is online though.
Duke University used to offer the MSN-Neonatal CNS program, but admission is suspended to the CNS tracks until Fall 2013.
I thought SUNY Stony Brook had an online program as well, but I couldn't find any additional information on it. It seems like a lot of the schools that once offered the neonatal CNS are now canceling their programs, which is too bad.
Stony Brook does have a program, but their admission deadline was 2/1 because they start in the summer. They only admit once a year and can't have out-of-sequence students since some classes are only offered during certain semesters.
Duke's program will resume in 2013 but it won't be online, which I need.
University of Pennsylvania has a neonatal CNS program but it is not online and is a 7+ hr drive for me. Expensive too!
You are right, the Rush website is tragic, but they do have an online CNS program. I will contact them for more info. ECU also has an online CNS program that they can modify for a neonatal track.
Perhaps the OP should look for a CNL program that would allow her to focus on neonatal. The CNL education would provide most of the knowledge and skills that a person in a traditional CNS would need.
Another option would be to study nursing education in a program that would allow you to focus on staff development rather than academic education. Then the OP could work in a NICU as a staff educator -- which often involves getting involved in clinical projects and is a big component of the CNS role.
As a former Neonatal CNS, I value that role -- but over the past several years, I have come to accept the fact that hospital finances and politics lead to the evolution of the role that may be its demise. It's not being supported by academics and other health care leaders. CNL's and Staff Developers are. I think it is wise to at least consider those options -- and any others that might be appealing.
Thanks for your information and suggestions. The CNL role does seem similar to the CNS role. I am worried that I would not get the NICU-specific courses such as advanced patho, pharm, etc. I will definitely look into some programs. Currently, the NCNS position is required by the state for a level III NICU. Times are changing and maybe the state regs need to be updated!