Advanced practice nurses looking to expand their scope within the administration and management realm may wonder what their options are. For those who have already earned a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), earning a higher degree such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) may seem like the only option. However, post-master's nurse administrator certificate programs do exist, allowing nurses to specialize without having to earn another degree type. Leadership positions for the MSN-educated nurse can be achieved efficiently via the post-master's certificate pathway.

Choosing a Post-Master's Nursing Administration Certificate Program

Once a nurse has decided to earn a post-grad certificate in nursing administration, they will have to decide on the right school. Not every school will offer this niche pathway, and the ones that do may vary in quality. To find the right fit, students should research programs thoroughly, taking the following into account.

  • Accreditation– One of the most important aspects of post-master's certificate programs and schools is proper accreditation. Accredited schools are vetted thoroughly and held to high academic standards. Common accrediting bodies include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students should look for these organization's stamps of approval before settling on a post-master's nursing administration certificate program.
  • Cost– Program expenses, including tuition and incidentals, can add up. When researching a post-master's nursing administration certificate program, students are encouraged to consider the full cost of the program. Things like course materials and application fees should be factored in. Expenses can range from affordable to astronomical depending on city, school type, and other factors, so comparing a few programs and determining overall value is encouraged.
  • Program Length– Depending on what courses a prospective student has already taken, the post-master's nurse administrator program can require anywhere from 18 to 38 credits hours. Students should consider their goals, each school's curriculum, and the quality of instructors and courses before deciding on a program. The shortest offering may not be best; likewise, a lengthy program may not be worth the additional time.
  • Online Options– Online, or "distance learning" programs, have grown in popularity over recent years. Convenience and flexibility are the main advantages of this type of program, and employed students appreciate the ability to study when their schedules allow. Many schools are also offering "hybrid" program options, which consist of a mixture of online classes and traditional campus lectures/visits. It's a good idea to see what program options are available at your school of choice.
  • Internship/Externship Options– The post-master's nurse administrator certificate program may require a certain number of clinical or internship hours. If this is the case, finding a school with partnerships at local hospitals or health facilities can be very helpful. Before enrolling in a program, students should find out about these requirements and see if the school helps place them locally.

Online Post-Master's Nursing Administration Certificate Programs

It may have been years since a prospective post-master's nursing admin certificate program student has attended class, and many are curious to know if an online version is worth it. There are many reasons why a student might want to consider an online program, but they are not necessarily for everyone. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of online and traditional programs is highly encouraged.

Online vs. Classroom-Based Post-Master's Nursing Administration Certificate Programs

Online programs can be a lifesaver for busy working professionals who might otherwise not be able to swing a post-grad certificate program. Those with children and family obligations are also often drawn to this program option. The flexibility of these programs cannot be beat, as students can work from home and study when they see fit. Commuting, parking, and other time-consuming related endeavors are virtually eliminated with online programs, which is a big plus. Once only available at a select few schools, online offerings are growing rapidly, giving students many choices if this is the route they wish to go.

Traditional programs, however, also have their place. Those who struggle with time management or procrastination may prefer the consistent structure of classroom-based programs. Students have more opportunities to interact with professors, staff, and other students, which can aid in learning comprehension. Classroom programs may also be preferable to those who aren't great with technology, as online programs often require the use of laptops, webcams, and specific software.

For those who can't quite decide, or who find aspects of each program type intriguing, hybrid options may the ideal solution. While not available through every school, this is another growing program type due to high demand.

Post-Master's Nursing Administration Certificate Admissions Requirements

Students should take care to ensure that they meet or exceed all admissions requirements from their school of choice before applying. While each school and program may have a slightly different set of requirements, most include some combination of the following:

  • MSN degree from an accredited, board-approved institution
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Current, active RN license
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.0
  • Prior completion of undergrad courses in statistics and/or nursing research may be required
  • Two or more professional letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Completed admissions application

Post-Master's Nursing Administration Certificate Curriculum

The post-master's nurse administrator curriculum is typically comprised of leadership and management-based nursing courses. A capstone project or practicum hours may be required. Class titles may include:

  • Scientific Underpinnings of Practice
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Informatics in Healthcare Systems
  • Healthcare Finance: Concepts & Issues
  • Strategic Planning & Project Management
  • Administrative Management in Healthcare Organizations

Helpful Resources

Other Degree Programs

List of Post Master’s Certificate Nursing Administrator Programs

Jump to Your State Listings


Graduate Certificate Programs
1625 W. Fountainhead Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85282
(866) 484-1831


Graduate Certificate Programs
104 North Caraway Rd
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 972-3112


Graduate Certificate Programs
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-3000

Graduate Certificate Programs
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747
(310) 243-3696


Graduate Certificate Programs
1 Hairpin Dr
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(888) 328-5168


Graduate Certificate Programs
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600


Graduate Certificate Programs
50 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-7018


Graduate Certificate Programs
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
(785) 628-3478


Graduate Certificate Programs
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-0111


Graduate Certificate Programs
5724 Dunn Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5724
(207) 581-2592


Graduate Certificate Programs
291 Springfield Street
Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761

Graduate Certificate Programs
376 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915
(197) 892-7058 x5


Graduate Certificate Programs
7400 Bay Road University
Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4000


1104 7th Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56563
(180) 059-3724 x6


Graduate Certificate Programs
Highway 8 West
Cleveland, MS 38733
(180) 046-8637 x8


Graduate Certificate Programs
101 S. 42 Street
Omaha, NE 68131
(402) 552-3100

New Jersey

Graduate Certificate Programs
One Felician Way
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 559-6000

Graduate Certificate Programs
111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

New York

Graduate Certificate Programs
One South Ave, P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530
(800) 233-5744

Graduate Certificate Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300

North Carolina

Graduate Certificate Programs
110 S. Main St., P.O. Box 997
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-4000

Graduate Certificate Programs
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
(704) 687-8622


Graduate Certificate Programs
127 S Davis Ave
Columbus, OH 43222
(614) 234-5800


Graduate Certificate Programs
1100 N Stonewall Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
(405) 271-2428


250 University Avenue
California, PA 15419
(724) 938-4129

Graduate Certificate Programs
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141
(215) 951-1000

Graduate Certificate Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281

South Carolina

Graduate Certificate Programs
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412


Graduate Certificate Programs
365 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-4578

Graduate Certificate Programs
1 William L Jones Dr
Cookeville, TN 38505
(931) 372-3101

Graduate Certificate Programs
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545

Graduate Certificate Programs
Loewenberg College of Nursing
101 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152
(190) 167-8200 x3


2800 S University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76129
(817) 257-7000

Graduate Certificate Programs
3900 University Blvd
Tyler, TX 75799
(903) 566-7000


Graduate Certificate Programs
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT 84408
(801) 626-6000


Graduate Certificate Programs
1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-0724

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