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What is a Post-Master’s Nursing Certificate?

Education for nurses is an ever-continuing thing. Even after you receive your RN license or complete your RN-to-BSN degree, there are plenty of opportunities to advance your education and, by extension, your career. One way in which many professional nurses are doing this is by moving beyond the MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) degree to including post-Master’s nursing certificates.

Note: These certificates are only open to professionals who have successfully completed a Master’s level program. Most Master’s nursing programs build on an existing BSN degree with an additional two years of schooling.

How Do I Get a Post-Master’s Nursing Certificate?

There are a limited number of post-Master’s nursing programs nationwide, though more and more opportunities are opening up as online nursing courses are becoming more accepted. Many top-ranked nursing schools now offer post-Master’s certificates that can be accomplished either completely or mostly online, and you can complete them in as little as two to four semesters.

The eight post-Master’s certificate options include:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
  • Nurse-Midwife (NM)
  • Nurse Anesthetist (NA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Nursing Leadership (NL)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Nurse Educator


these courses, you will learn advanced practices and theories, which will make you eligible to sit for the corresponding national certification exam. As is the case with any nursing program, you will also have to apply and be accepted to the program you wish to enter. In some cases, this may require a GRE or MAT test, as well as considerable experience working in the field.

Benefits of the Post-Master’s Nursing Certificate

Once you complete the course and earn your certificate by passing the national exam, you become qualified to work in your chosen field. You will be able to command higher rates of pay, gain more autonomy in the workplace, or even open your own practice. In many cases, you can also earn more than one certificate, making you even more marketable as a nursing professional with advanced skills.

Due to the highly specialized nature of these certificates, and because they require a fairly large educational investment, it’s important to find the right program and prepare accordingly. Distance learning and online nursing programs are making it easier than ever before to accomplish your goals, and opportunities to find employment in the field are only expected to increase over the next twenty years.

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