Online graduate certificate programs in emergency nursing can be an effective route for advanced practice registered nurses to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be an emergency nurse practitioner. After completing these post-master's programs, nurses may also be prepared to take the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) Emergency Nurse Practitioner Board Certification examination. While these online graduate certificate programs in emergency nursing may have lectures entirely online, students will need to attend clinical sessions on-campus or at a location of their choosing.
Typical Courses in Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Emergency Nursing
Coursework for these programs may have a synchronous online learning format, which means students must participate in lectures at a set time. These graduate certificate programs can have between 12 and 25 credit hours, but in a few circumstances, students may be able to transfer graduate-level credits from other programs to reduce the course load.
Pathophysiology in Nursing
These courses are usually meant to explore advanced aspects of human physiology. Courses can teach students about major organ systems and the diseases that affect them. Students may also learn about the regulatory functions of the body that are relevant to pathophysiological conditions.
Pharmacology in Nursing
Courses of this nature are designed to build on a student's knowledge of basic pharmacology. Some of the topics that can be covered in these courses include pharmacokinetics, adverse reactions, and drug interactions. Students may also learn about age and health considerations when developing a drug therapy as well as the different types of drugs that are used in healthcare.
These are the kind of courses that develop a nurse's understanding of the psychological, biological and socio-cultural factors involved in health assessment techniques. The courses may discuss the clinical assessment skills that are necessary for primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare environments. Students also learn how to evaluate a patient's clinical history and develop their health records.
Emergency Nursing Principles
Courses that deal with emergency nursing principles are meant to introduce students to the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to provide care under emergency and trauma-related situations to individuals across the lifespan. In these courses, students can expect to learn how to evaluate cases based on their urgency. The courses can also cover effective time management in an emergency setting.
Emergency Care Clinical Courses
These are the types of courses that give students the practical exposure they need. They are generally held in a clinical or healthcare environment, and students may learn about collaborative therapeutic management and how it relates to an emergency room. Other topics that may be covered include interventions and how students can interpret diagnostic studies. Graduate certificate programs may include around two to three clinical courses, and each course could require students to complete about 200 hours of experience.
General Admission Requirements for Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Emergency Nursing
To be considered for online graduate certificate programs in emergency nursing, applicants will typically need a master's degree in nursing that is accredited by the National League of Nursing (NLN) or American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Some programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the latest degree, and applicants may also need to present proof of a valid nursing license. For certain programs, prospective students may need at least two years of work experience in critical or urgent care. When applying, the programs may also ask for school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a current resume.
Online graduate certificate programs in emergency nursing are generally meant for licensed nurses who have a master's degree in nursing. Students may be able to take the coursework online, but the clinical experience must be undertaken on campus or an approved physical location.