Between the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a doctoral degree lies a wide piece of academic real estate in which grad-level RNs might opt to study ultra-specialized topics. Post-graduate nursing certificates in dozens of specialties offer flexible and targeted educational strategies for professionals. In today’s optimized academic setting prospective post-grad nursing students may opt to shop and compare programs from campus-based to online.
Look for post-grad nursing programs offered through university nursing schools. These schools specialize in degree programs ranging from undergraduate BSN programs of study up to PhD and DNP nursing programs. Most offer a few post-grad certificates. Even better, most are offered online, or web-based. Why? Usually the post-grad certificates emphasize academic study, versus clinical practice. However in the event you are required to complete a small clinical practicum, you can plan to do so on campus or in a facility local to you.
Nursing schools can save money AND reach a wider audience when they offer dynamic online curricula. You benefit as well: you still have access to all the same highly educated faculty, tools for real-time communication with fellow nursing students, and the flexibility to manage your study according to the demands of your own schedule.
How long does a post-masters nursing certificate take to complete? About a year.
What nursing specialty are you particularly interested in or in what specialization do you already practice as a RN?
Common post-grad certifications include:
These few are just the tip of the iceberg, but give you a clearer idea of the types of certificates available.
Because the nursing post-grad certificates are a kind of professional certification, always check with your employer for any type of employment tuition reimbursement for your studies. You won’t be covered for textbooks, but you may be eligible to get financial support for your professional coursework.
Also, check with any nursing association with which you may be affiliated. Many organizations offer scholarships and study grants helpful for qualified RNs.
Nursing is one of the more reliable professions when it comes to career advancement. Studies now show that professional RNs who pursue career advancement and combine advanced levels of nursing scholarship also increase their annual salary. The key is making your career goals clear to management and seeking compensation for increased job responsibility when applicable.