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Graduate Certificates

Nursing graduate certificates are designed for individuals who have previously acquired a masters or doctoral degree in nursing and who wish to expand their scope of practice. The certificate curriculum builds on the student’s prior graduate degree in nursing by integrating content from that degree with theory-based advanced practice nursing courses and specialty clinical practice. The graduate certificate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, with the next accreditation review occurring in 2025.

Graduate certificate programs are offered in three specialty areas:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)*
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH-NP)*
  • Nursing Education (EDUC).

* NOTE: To be eligible for either the FNP or PMH-NP graduate certificate programs, the individual must already be certified as a nurse practitioner in another specialty.

The graduate certificate program requirements are based on the type of certification the individual is pursuing.

Program Information

FNP & PMH-NP Graduate Certificate

The FNP graduate certificate program was developed for nurses who are certified nurse practitioners in another specialty such as psychiatric mental-health, adult, pediatric, or women’s health. The program expands their scope of practice to assist them to acquire the theory, knowledge, and skills needed to provide primary care for families.

The PMH-NP graduate certificate was developed for nurses who are certified nurse practitioners in another specialty such as family, adult, pediatric, or women’s health. The program expands their scope of practice to assist them to acquire the theory, knowledge, and skills needed to provide primary care psychiatric-mental health (across the lifespan) services.

Both the FNP and PMH-NP graduate certificate programs are offered in a hybrid format. Didactic courses are distance delivered, using synchronous or asynchronous methods. However, clinical courses are hybrid, with some content being distance delivered, while other content is offered in mandatory short intensive sessions on campus. The certificate programs generally take 3-5 semesters of part-time study.

Graduates of the FNP graduate certificate option are eligible to take the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the exam offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certification Board. Graduates of the PMH-NP graduate certificate option are eligible to take the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) Certification exam offered by ANCC.  

Supplemental Coursework

Students who have not completed Advanced Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and/or Advanced Physical Health Assessment (the 3 P courses) in their original nursing MS program will need to take these courses to complete the certificate program; this may add up to 10 credit hours of additional coursework. A student who has not been working as a nurse practitioner, may be asked to test out of the 3 Ps or re-take them.

Clinical Locations

All FNP and PMH-NP graduate certificate clinical experiences must be completed in the state of Alaska.

  • In most instances, clinical rotations are completed in the student’s own community. In the rare event an adequate clinical site is not available locally, the student may need to do clinical outside of their home community. Our goal is to make the program available to individuals throughout the state of Alaska.  
  • The program bases decisions for clinical sites on a preceptor’s ability and willingness to provide adequate experiences that allow students to meet the course and program outcomes.
  • We also encourage students to take advantage of clinical learning opportunities in rural settings.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Program

Nurse Practitioners practicing in other specialties will need to take the following courses, based on their current specialty: 

*This is a clinical course that uses a hybrid delivery and requires short intensives on campus.


Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program

The certificate requires completion of 23 credits, listed below:

  • PMH-NP Graduate Certificate Requirements

    The certificate requires completion of 23 credits, listed below:

    • NSG A611 Psychopharmacology (3)
    • NSG A670 Advanced Practice PMH Nursing I (5)*
    • NSG A671 Advanced Practice PMH Nursing II (5)*
    • NSG A672 Advanced Practice PMH Nursing III (5)*
    • NSG A673 Advanced Practice PMH Nursing IV (5)*

    *This is a clinical course that uses a hybrid delivery and requires short intensives on campus.

Nursing Education Graduate Certificate

The 15-credit Nursing Education Graduate Certificate is available for nurses who already have a masters or doctoral degree in nursing and are seeking to develop advanced knowledge and skills in order to teach in academic or clinical settings. The coursework emphasizes instruction in teaching, program and course development, implementation, and evaluation and is offered fully online using synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods.

The curriculum is based on standards for master’s education outlined in the Essentials for Master’s Education in Nursing published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011), as well as the developed Core Competencies of Nurse Educators proposed by the National League for Nursing (NLN). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Examination.


Nursing Education Courses

The Nursing Education certificate requires completion of 15 credits, listed below:

  • NSG A640 Teaching and Learning in the Professional Context (3)
  • NSG A641 Developing Curriculum for Nursing and Other Professions (3)
  • NSG A643 Course and Curriculum Evaluation for Professionals (4)
  • NSG A644 Technology for Learning and Collaboration (2)
  • NSG A647 Evidence-Based Practicum for Nursing (3 [1+8])