Post-graduate certificate programs in nursing are especially designed for registered nurses with a graduate degree in nursing who want to expand their skills and knowledge in a specific nursing subfield. These certificate programs include a limited number of classes focused on a single subfield, such as midwifery or mental health, and require clinical hours. In this article, you can learn about your different options for attending a post-graduate certificate program in nursing and how you can apply to the program of your choice.
Types of Post-Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing
One type of post-graduate certificate in nursing program is in the subfield of nurse midwifery, which primarily focuses on women's reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbirth. Midwifes generally provide care to immediate newborns, gynecological services, and care for post-menopausal woman. A post-graduate certificate program in nurse midwifery could include classes on the care of women throughout their lifespan, childbearing, health assessment, and pediatric diagnostics. The required number of credit hours needed to earn your midwifery certificate varies by program, and most also require the completion of clinical hours.
Health informatics is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses nursing science along with information science, health care management, and business management. A post-graduate certificate in health informatics could prepare you for a nursing career in a clinical department or an IT department or as a consultant who specializes in knowledge management and computer operations. These types of certificate programs may require that you complete anywhere from 4-7 classes. Possible topics you could study include health data, information systems, operational informatics, and organizational behavior.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Another type of nursing post-graduate certificate is that in the subfield of family nurse practitioner studies, which mostly centers on nursing knowledge and skills related to providing primary care to patients throughout their lifetimes. Typically, this kind of certificate program requires about 17-19 credits. You may take classes that center on primary care topics, family health, and diagnosis management. Also, most family nurse practitioner certificate programs require clinical practicum hours that could take place at an internal medicine clinic, a rural health clinic, or a primary care clinic.
Psychiatric Mental Health
You could choose to attend a post-graduate certificate nursing program in the subfield of psychiatric and/or mental health, which could help you expand your skills and knowledge about treating those with mental health conditions. Your coursework in this type of certificate program requires about 24 credits and could touch on such topics as psychotherapeutics interventions, pharmacology, and psychiatric assessment. Usually, you learn how to assess patients of all age groups from adolescents to adults and provide them integrative psychiatric mental health care. Along with coursework, you must also complete clinical practicum hours.
Admittance Information for Post-Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing
First, the major requirement for applying to a post-graduate certificate in nursing program is holding an advanced degree in nursing, such as a master's degree. Further, most programs require that you are a currently licensed nurse. Also, some programs may require that your current nursing specialty matches the specialty of the program to which you are applying. Other application materials include transcripts, a CV, and a personal statement.
There are several types of post-graduate certificate in nursing programs, including the subfields of midwifery, health informatics, family primary care, and psychiatric and mental health. To apply to a program of this kind you must already hold a master's degree in nursing and must be a registered nurse.