Two post-master’s certificates of graduate study in nursing are offered in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The curriculum for each certificate is configured for part-time students and takes a minimum of three semesters to complete. Students may choose to complete the program more slowly or enroll full time if they have prerequisites to complete. Students who have deficiencies in prerequisite courses may be able to take them at the same time they are taking the series of courses. Students must earn a minimum grade of B in all classes taken for the certificate and their prerequisites and maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.00 to remain in the course of study.
Admission to pursue the certificate of graduate study program requires compliance with the following standards of the nursing program.
Completion of a special application available from the nursing program.
Written statement regarding personal goals for completing the certificate program. The statement should be on one single-spaced, typewritten page. It should address the applicant’s career goals, desired field of study, and rationale for how a post-master’s certificate in the desired program will fulfill desired career goals. This statement should also include a paragraph regarding clinical practice experience in the past three years and the area(s) of specialty.
Current licensure as a registered nurse in Illinois with no encumbrances.
Completion of an NLN or CCNE accredited nursing master’s degree program.
Three letters of recommendation from persons who are familiar with the individual’s clinical expertise, ability to function in an independent role, and motivation to complete a certificate of graduate study program of study. At least one reference should be from a professor or nursing colleague who can address the applicant’s potential for academic success. At least one reference must be from a current, professional nurse colleague (e.g., a supervisor) who can address the applicant’s professional qualifications as a licensed professional registered nurse. References should be provided on the Graduate School reference form. Ratings and comments should be included. Family members and personal friends are not considered professional references.
All students are admitted to the nursing graduate programs provisionally until they have provided proof of meeting the clinical requirements outlined in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook and then they will be fully admitted. Full admission to the nursing program is required to enroll in nursing courses.
The Family Nurse Practitioner certificate requires 29 semester hours of post-master’s study which includes class lectures, simulated laboratory experiences, and three clinical internships with designated preceptors. The purpose of the course of study is to provide the course work and clinical experience to become family nurse practitioners upon the successful completion of the nationally administered Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination.
Prerequisites for admission into the course of study leading toward the certificate include a master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League of Nursing (NLN) Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an introductory undergraduate health assessment course and a graduate-level pathophysiology course within the last ten years. Courses included in master’s degrees other than NIU’s will be evaluated on an individual basis. Graduate School policy mandates that all course work toward a graduate cerficate program is completed at NIU.