District of Columbia Graduate Nursing Certificate Schools

Graduate school nursing certificate programs enable nurses to build on the education they already have—potentially in a program anchored in their own communities. Programs may focus on any number of nursing specialties, areas of responsibilities, or care settings. And if you’re looking to learn about something outside the realm of bedside care, some programs may focus on roles like nurse education, technology, and even leadership. Because many of these programs are designed to accommodate busy professionals, campus programs could offer flexible scheduling options—making an advanced education a possibility no matter what shift you work.

Why Attend a Graduate School to Earn Your Nursing Certificate

Earning graduate certificates in nursing in a campus setting could be an attractive option beyond the obvious reason that nursing is an interpersonal, hands on field. For one, if you attend a school in your area, you may study under instructors with experience in your local healthcare community. That means they might be able to speak to the unique needs of your local hospitals, patients, and community health concerns. A local perspective like this one could add value to any graduate nursing certificate program.

Plus, studying in graduate school nursing certificate programs, you’d have access to all the program resources found on campus. For example, you could work in cutting edge lab facilities or practice in simulated clinics—or even an active clinic, if your school maintains one. Plus, your school might have relationships with local hospitals. That connection could prove useful for future job searches and internships. That, plus the friendships you could forge while studying alongside other dedicated nurses in your classes, could make attending graduate school nursing certificate programs a prime opportunity./p>

Types of Graduate Nursing Certificate Programs

Graduate schools might offer nursing certificate programs at a few different levels. These generally reflect the type of degree students hold (e.g. a BSN) and the types of courses that make up the curriculum. The two main types of graduate school nursing certificate programs are as follows.

  • Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Certificate Programs: Also referred to as masters certificates, these are aimed toward nurses who hold a bachelors degree but might not have attended graduate school before. The courses would be at a comparable level to masters programs
  • Post-Masters Nursing Certificate Schools: These types of certificates generally require that students have at least a masters degree in nursing, in addition to professional experience, to attend. Often, they’re aimed toward nurses in advanced care roles. They generally build on masters education and the courses are more advanced.

Concentration Areas

Graduate nursing certificate schools are fairly short compared to degree programs, made up of fewer courses and able to be completed in less time. As a result, many programs opt to focus on a specific concentration or specialty. These may coincide with students’ current roles or ones they aspire to. They might also address specific patient needs or care settings.

  • Midwifery: Often, these programs are designed for nurses who already hold an MSN degree. Nurse Midwife certificates focus on women’s health, labor and delivery, and neonatal care in primary and critical care settings.
  • Nurse Education: These certificate programs discuss the roles and responsibilities of nurse educators. Courses may cover professional development, teaching in undergraduate nursing programs, educating patients and their families, and more.
  • Nurse Practitioner: Some nursing certificate programs are designed to help Nurse Practitioners expand their practice, or move into a new specialty. Said specialties could include things like pediatrics, primary care, or gerontology.
  • Post-MSN Certificates: This category includes nursing certificate schools that require at least a Masters in Nursing in order to apply. Many (but not all) of these certificates are designed for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
  • Nurse Administration: Also sometimes called nurse leadership, these types of certificates aim to build organizational skills, leadership, and team management acumen to help nurses succeed in an administrative role.
  • Nurse Anesthesia: Many Nurse Anesthetist programs require that students already hold an MSN degree. Nurse Anesthesia certificate programs focus on how to safely administer anesthesia to patients, and to deal with any challenges that may arise.
  • Nurse Informatics: As healthcare evolves, technology and data management become more crucial than ever. Nurse informatics certificates aim to help nurses prepare for that reality by developing technological and data management knowledge. Nurses might use this expertise to help doctors, nurses, and families make the most of healthcare technology.
  • Nurse Specialties: Many graduate nursing certificate programs focus on a specific care setting, patient type, or health issue. These might mirror bedside care roles nurses might fill in an outpatient care setting or hospital. Examples include pediatrics, women’s health, primary care, critical care, gerontology, and more.

What’s The Difference Between Nursing Certificates and Certifications?

Some nursing certificate programs might support students as they prepare to sit for a related credential exam—however, not all of them are designed with this objective in mind. So if that’s what you’re looking for, make sure you follow up. Nursing certificate programs may also in some cases help fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain a professional credential. This would depend on the requirements of that particular certification.

Choosing Your Graduate School Nursing Certificate Program

Earning a nursing certificate at a graduate school could support a variety of goals. For example, some people might want to support a career move into a new care setting or to start working with different kinds of patients. Other people might want to earn a new professional certificate or credential, or maintain one they already have. Still more people might be interested in further developing skills related to their current position. Whatever you motivation, selecting your preferred graduate nursing certificate school could be a big decision. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself to get started.>

  • What is your primary goal in earning this certificate?
  • Is this certificate program designed to support earning the professional credential you’re looking for (if any)?
  • Does this program offer the support and experience you need to succeed?
  • Do you meet the minimum requirements to attend this program?
  • Is the campus in a convenient location for home or work?

Search for Graduate School Nursing Certificate Programs

Start searching for graduate school nursing certificate programs right here. If you have your eye on a specific concentration area, choose that option from the menu. Then read more about those programs, and review the listings. You can also sort your options by location. Find out more by clicking on a program that sounds promising. Then get in touch, schedule a meeting, or start to apply!

Find Schools