Online nursing certificate programs provide graduate level, nursing education in a concise, flexible format. Many students leverage these programs to build on prior education and experience. Online nursing certificate programs are generally shorter in length, and may focus on honing clinical skills and bedside care, technological expertise, education and training techniques, or even leadership.
Designed to meet the needs of busy nursing professionals (not to mention today’s tech-savvy students), these programs aim to meet students wherever they are. That could bring graduate education into reach no matter your hours. Online nursing certificate programs may also be available at a variety of levels, making advanced nursing education accessible to students with a range of backgrounds.
Graduate online nursing certificate programs are non-degree credential programs aimed primarily at licensed nurses with at least a BSN. However, rarely, certificate programs may also be available for those with unrelated education and backgrounds who are interested in learning more about nursing.
Other programs may be designed more broadly. Sometimes referred to as online post graduate nursing certificate programs, these programs may cater both to MSNs and nurses holding a doctorate. Often, they aim to develop specific advanced skills relevant to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These online nursing certificate programs may include coursework at either the masters level or higher. Specifics may depend on the topic and how the curriculum is designed. For more information, reach out to the program in question.
Earning a graduate nursing certificate online may be a unique experience. This is especially the case if you have little or no experience with online education. Online programs are designed to be flexible. This could be especially valuable for nurses, as it could enable you to pursue your education alongside your career, whatever shift you find yourself working. Because they’re not limited by physical location, you’d also have the freedom to choose a program whose curriculum really works for you, without having to worry about getting there. In other words, you could earn a graduate nursing certificate narrowly tailored to your goals and interests, and study alongside nurses living across the country and working in a diverse array of care settings.
Additionally, studying online doesn’t mean you’ll be alone. While online study may attract self-motivated students who prefer working independently, many programs provide unique support structures to help students succeed. From lively discussions in classroom forums and video chat, to simulated lab experiences, career support, and even resources for research, you may find that your online graduate nursing certificate program brings the resources of campus learning to your own laptop.
Of course, that’s just the start! The specific motivations for pursuing a nursing certificate, or benefits of having done so, depend not only on the specific program, but also on the area of focus, and the student in question. Contact schools directly to learn more about how they might support your goals.
An online graduate certificate in nursing is an academic credential, earned via successful completion of a specified curriculum. A certification program is a little different. A nursing certification is a professional credential, generally earned through a combination of experience and passing a standardized credential exam. Often, these certifications are specialized, and are designed to demonstrate expertise in a particular work area or type of nursing. In some cases, employers may express preference for or even require professional certifications. Also bear in mind that professional certification is still different from licensure, which is generally administered by the state and a primary requirement to work as a nurse in any capacity.
While many graduate online nursing certificate programs may support students in preparing for credential exams, they’re not directly related, and the requirements, standards and content may vary. As such, if you’re interested in doing both, it may be a good idea to compare the certification requirements and exam content with the curriculum of your selected online certificate programs. Reach out to the online program for more information.
Because graduate online nursing certificate programs are generally fairly short in terms of courses taken, they’re often quite focused. In many cases, online nursing certificate programs center on the responsibilities of a specific type of nurse, the needs of a certain type of patient, or a specific, in-demand skill set.
Thinking about earning your graduate nursing certificate online? Choosing a graduate certificate program at all is a big decision. Choosing an online program may come with additional considerations!
This is especially important if you’re working toward a certification or license to provide nursing care in a specific capacity. Since, studying online, you won’t be limited to programs based locally. You’ll want to double check the program against any specific requirements in your area, to make sure it’s compatible.
Start searching for online nursing schools to earn your graduate certificate. Already know what you want to study? Then select your concentration from the menu above. Then read more about those programs, or review the sponsored program listings. Click on a program name to learn more about it or get in touch. Then you could schedule a phone or skype interview—or a visit if the school maintains a physical campus—or start applying!