Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Online

Advance your education and build on your professional skill set with a post-graduate certificate program in nursing. Choose from a wide range of specialties!

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Post-Master’s Certificate

8 Weeks

8-week course sessions allow for start dates throughout the year

6 Tracks

There are six specialized tracks to choose from for our post-master’s certificate program


Our post-master’s certification APRN tracks are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education1

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Highlights


Specialized tracks that build on your previous graduate-level nursing education

Flexible online classes with mobile-accessible learning and 24/7 technical support

Real Life Icon

Industry-current curriculum with hands-on practice and one-on-one faculty mentoring

Your Success

Comprehensive Career Services that you can access for life

Why Pursue an Online Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing?

You may be looking for a way to develop leadership skills, learn a new nursing specialty, or simply expand your overall knowledge and professional skill set. A post-master’s certificate program is an excellent way to do that!

Because a post-graduate certificate is not a degree, you can complete the program quickly. Furthermore, with our post-master’s certificate coursework being completed online, you have greater flexibility and control over your study schedule, making it easier to fit in around your shifts as a working nurse.

Whether you’re looking to become a specialized nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, a nurse leader, or another type of nurse specialist, our post-graduate certificate program can help position you to make a difference in your chosen field.

Overview: Online Post-Master’s Certificate Program

Program Details

We know you’re eager to get started… and get finished! Our online nursing certificates are streamlined for working nurses looking to complete their education with speed. Check out program lengths for our different post-master’s specialized tracks.

Post-Master’s Track Accelerated
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner 20 months
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner 16 months
Family Nurse Practitioner 20 months
Nurse Educator 8 months 16 months
Nurse Leader 8 months 16 months
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 20 months

MSN Track Accel.
Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner 20 mos.
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner 16 mos.
Family Nurse Practitioner 20 mos.
Nurse Educator 8 mos. 16 mos.
Nurse Leader 8 mos. 16 mos.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 20 mos.

The post-graduate certificate program curriculum is curated by specialty. The number of credits needed and the number of months your certificate will take will vary, depending on the track you choose. We advise that you thoroughly review your prospective curriculum, so you are fully aware of the program details and requirements.


Tuition & Financial Aid

How Much Does the Post-Master’s Certificate Program Cost?

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future.

Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of post-master’s certificate costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. Visit the page for your post-master’s specialized track of interest below for a breakdown of the costs at West Coast University.

We offer several post-master’s nursing certificate financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies. We also offer reduced tuition rates for military personnel and their spouses.

For more information about your financial support options, visit our financial aid page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the following requirements (Post-Master’s Certificates All Track Options):

  1. Completion of the application for admission.
  2. Completion of all university admissions requirements.
  3. Submission of official transcripts with proof of a conferred Master of Science (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from an ACEN-, CCNE-, or CNEA-accredited program, with a 3.0 GPA or better.
    1. Applicants can be conditionally admitted into the program by providing unofficial transcripts or a copy of the conferred nursing degree. Official transcripts which meet the requirements set forth must be received by the end of the add/drop period to be admitted to the program.
  4. A valid and unencumbered license as a registered nurse in any U.S. state or territory in which the student is licensed, including the state in which the student completes all assignments for the program.
    1. Military, federal, and foreign-educated nurses must meet this state requirement for nursing licensure.
    2. An active and unencumbered RN license(s) must be maintained throughout the program.
    3. A domestic or foreign medical degree is not equivalent to a nursing degree.

*Applicants submitting non-U.S. or non-English transcripts should refer to the International Admissions section of the catalog.

PMC Additional Admissions Requirements Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Tracks Only:

In addition to the admissions requirements above, applicants to the Post-Master’s Certificate – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) tracks must also meet the following admissions requirements:

  1. Recommendation for admission by the program dean/director and admission committee members. Past academic performance and professional achievements will be evaluated using a rubric to determine the applicant’s level of qualification.
  2. A valid and unencumbered license as an RN in any U.S. state or territory in which the student is licensed, including the state in which the student completes practicum experiences.
  3. Applicants who have been dismissed from a previous WCU nurse practitioner program track do not qualify for admission into any of the Post-Master’s Certificate APRN tracks.
  4. Applicants will have a formal transfer of credit gap analysis prior to acceptance of admission.
  5. Applicants who do not meet full admissions criteria will not be considered.
  6. Applicants to the APRN tracks must have a minimum of one (1) year of direct patient care RN experience before entering APRN core courses as verified using the experience verification form.
  7. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Track applicants must have one (1) year of intensive care unit (ICU) experience as a registered nurse (RN) within the past 5 years prior to admission as verified using the experience verification form.
  8. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track applicants must have one (1) year of registered nurse (RN) experience in direct patient care or a minimum of six (6) months of direct patient care experience in psychiatric mental health nursing (preferred) within the last 5 years prior to admission as verified using the experience verification form.
  9. All students will be required to complete the Supplemental Application Form.

 For additional information, please visit our catalog.

Academic Calendar

New academic sessions begin, on average, every eight weeks. The number of trimesters needed depends on the track selected for the post-master’s certificate program. For the most updated start-to-completion schedule, view the Academic Calendar.



Hands-On Experience

In addition to your online post-master’s certificate coursework, you will need to complete on-site intensives and clinicals2 to ensure you’re getting the right level of hands-on experience in your selected nursing specialty. Clinicals can be completed at a WCU-approved site and preceptor in your local area.

Below is the list of precepted hours required for each track within the post-master’s certificate program:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Certificate: 500 precepted hours
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 500 precepted hours
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 600 precepted hours
  • Nurse Educator: 135 precepted hours
  • Nurse Leader: 135 precepted hours
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 500 precepted hours

If you need assistance finding a clinical site and preceptor to complete your hours, our dedicated Clinical Placements team can support you through the process. They can help you locate a facility that meets program requirements.

Career Services

Support Through Your Job Search

As a WCU graduate, you’ll be able to leverage our knowledgeable Career Services team. Get professional support every step of your job search, including resume writing workshops, interview coaching, and more.3 The Career Services department also works to keep our graduates and alumni informed of potential job opportunities in their field.

Additionally, you’ll have access to this resource for the rest of your career! As a WCU alumni, you can contact Career Services whenever you need a little help.


Will I be able to complete my certificate if I am working?

WCU’s post-master’s certificate program is designed for working nurses. Online coursework makes it easier to study on a schedule that makes sense for you, whether that’s in the mornings, evenings, or weekends. While there are general due dates to help ensure you stay on track, you decide when to complete each assignment within each week.

What is a post-master's certificate?

A post-master’s certificate is not a degree. It is a specialized certification that allows professionals with master’s degrees advance their skills, knowledge, and professional development. A post-graduate certificate can help open the door to specialized areas of practice and provide new opportunities for career advancement.

Can I get a post-master’s certificate online?

WCU’s post-master’s certificate programs are completed through online coursework. Keep in mind that some in-person practice experience is necessary to complete your post-graduate certificate, but these can generally be completed through WCU-approved healthcare facilities within your local area.

How long does it take to get a post-master's certificate in nursing?

Time for completion will vary depending on the specialty track you are pursuing for your post-master’s certificate. Visit our track-specific pages to learn more about program length.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid, scholarships, and grants are available for those who qualify. Among the scholarships and grants offered are the Alumni Pathway Grant (covers up to 20% of tuition), the WCU Health Services Grant (covers up to 10% of tuition), and the WCU Performance Scholarship (covers up to 15% of tuition). For additional information and eligibility requirements, visit the scholarships and grants page of our online catalog.

What type of support will I get for my online studies at WCU?

We know online study can feel overwhelming at first if you’re not used to it. That’s why we make sure to provide support every step of the way. At WCU, we offer a wealth of online resources, 24/7 technical support, free tutoring, and your own personal Student Success advisor. Additionally, our professors provide one-on-one mentoring and typically respond to student questions within 24 hours.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

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1 The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

2 Students enrolled through the Orange County campus must complete their OSIs in California. Students enrolled through the Texas campus must complete them in Texas. Travel costs are not included in tuition and fees, and students are responsible for arranging transportation.

3 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.