Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

  • Family Nurse Practitioners
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Educator Nurse Practitioners

Registered nurses with an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degree who wish to advance their education and careers have several post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate options from which to choose. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are highly-trained medical professionals who start off as RNs and move on to become primary and specialty care providers providing advanced care to individuals and their families. The credits required for these programs usually depend on if the student is an RN pursuing an NP certification or an NP looking to specialize. NPs typically work in the capacity as health care providers and are allowed to prescribe medication in most states. Here are five post-master’s certificate NP options.

1. Family Nurse Practitioner

The FNP certificate program is for students or nurse practitioners who want to provide primary care to families, including both adults and children. They provide healthcare services for various problems from acute and chronic, wellness to health education and disease prevention. FNP students complete a mixed curriculum of practical and theory-based courses. Once the student completes the coursework, he or she must complete clinical experiences in an outpatient-based setting. Courses topics include patient management, health assessment and diagnosis, counseling and disease prevention. Graduates can take the FNP certification exam.

2. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

This certificate option is available for nurse practitioners who want to focus their healthcare services on adults and seniors in community, ambulatory and institutional settings. Like most NP post-master’s programs, this program is offered on campus, online or in a hybrid version. It can typically be completed in two semesters if taken full time. Students take courses such as primary care for the elderly, mental health problems of urban families and primary care of the family. Graduates of this program can test for the gerontological nurse practitioner certification.

3. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

RNs or nurse practitioners who aspire to work with newborns and infants often choose the neonatal nurse practitioner certificate option. Course topics include health policy, nursing theory, neonatal assessment, neonatal pharmacology, neonatal pathophysiology, and health promotion and disease prevention. This program often requires the applicant to have at least two years of full-time experience working as an RN in a NICU or with ill neonates or infants. Once the coursework and clinical education are completed, the NP can sit for the neonatal nurse practitioner’s board exam.

4. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

The women’s health nurse practitioner option is available for RNs or nurse practitioners who want to work in the management of prenatal, gynecological and primary care for women. They learn how to provide care to women suffering from acute, chronic and mental health issues. WHNPs provide primary healthcare to women of all ages ranging from puberty to menopause and beyond. Course topics include health education, promotion of wellness, diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease prevention and counseling. Students will also be expected to complete a supervised internship for a designated number of hours.

Related Resource: Top 50 Affordable RN to MSN Online Programs

5. Nurse Educator Nurse Practitioner

The nurse educator certificate program builds on what the RN learned in the MSN program and prepares them to work in leadership positions in the nursing field and teach nursing students. Upon completion of this certificate program, the candidate is eligible to take the certified nurse educator certification exam. The student typically takes five courses equaling 12 credits as well as a clinical internship. In addition to completing courses such as curriculum development, the role of the nurse educator and evaluation methods, the student must obtain hands-on training in teaching, clinical instruction and student management.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that NPs could see an employment growth of 31 percent during the 2016-2026 decade, which could result in 211,600 new jobs for nurse practitioners by 2026. Completing a post-master’s certificate program is an ideal way for an RN or NP to take their training to a higher level and earn an excellent wage in the process.