Graduate Nursing Launches New Specialty Options and Earns National Recognition

The Clarkson College Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program recently added two new specialty options in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and was named one of the top 100 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs in the nation for the ninth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. 

The institution launched the new options to help meet the need for educated practitioners within these two critical areas of the health care work force. “We are excited to be able to offer these additions to our Graduate Nursing program,” said Director of Graduate Nursing Layna Himmelberg, Ed.D., MSN, CNE. “There is a tremendous need, not only in Nebraska, but across the United States for these nurse practitioners, and we are thrilled to fulfill that need.”

The state of Nebraska faces a shortage of mental health practitioners, particularly in rural areas of the state. It is estimated that only 28 percent of behavioral health professionals practice in rural areas, and only 12 percent of rural care facilities have a behavioral health provider on staff. Nurses who enter this field will help meet a need for the increase in behavioral health specialists at primary care locations.

Similarly, the need for nurse practitioners in the acute care field is on the rise. The United States is experiencing a physician shortage, and nurse practitioners can help fill the gap by providing acute care for critically ill individuals. Job opportunities exist in hospitals and urgent care facilities all around the country for acute care nurse practitioners. 

The two new options are now part of the award-winning Graduate Nursing program that U.S. News & World Report has named as one of the top online options in the nation for the ninth year in a row. The organization’s rankings are based on factors such as engagement, faculty credentials, expert opinion, student excellence, and services and technology. In order to be considered, programs must be accredited and offer all required non-clinical coursework through internet-based distance education courses. 

The Clarkson College Graduate Nursing program has long been a leader in online nursing education. Program faculty and College leadership remain dedicated to providing high quality education and meeting the growing demand for a highly trained and education nursing workforce. Along with the two new options, students can choose from specialties in Nursing Education, Nursing Health Care Administration and Family Nurse Practitioner. 

Enrollment for the two new specialty options is now open, and those currently enrolled in the Clarkson College Graduate Nursing program have the opportunity to move into one of these new specialty tracks. Learn more online or contact our Admissions team at