Jun 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 

Nursing Education (11-13)

Post Master’s Certificates of Graduate Study in Nursing

Two post-master’s certificates of graduate study in nursing are offered: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education. 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. Graduate School policy mandates that all course work toward a graduate certificate program is completed at NIU.

Prerequisite courses for admission

The following courses (or a course equivalent to these) must have been completed within the past three years with an earned grade of B or higher:


Eligibility to Apply

Current licensure with no encumbrance as a registered nurse in the U.S. (Prior to beginning course work, students must hold or have applied for licensure in Illinois.)

Completion of a nursing master’s degree program accredited by an accrediting agency officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Application Components

Completion of a special application available from the nursing program.

A two-page, double-spaced Goal Statement to address: Professional goals, desired family nurse practitioner or nursing education specialization how a post-master’s certificate in the desired area will promote goal achievement. This statement should also include a paragraph regarding clinical practice experience in the past three years and the area(s) of practice.

Three professional letters of reference from persons who are familiar with the individual’s clinical expertise, ability to function in an independent role, and motivation to complete a post-master’s certificate course of study.

At least one reference should be from a professor or graduate level-prepared 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 or preceptor) who can address the applicant’s professional qualifications as a licensed professional registered nurse. References should be provided on the Graduate School reference form and indicate the credentials and professional title of the person providing the reference. Ratings and comments should be included. Family members and personal friends are not considered professional references.

The approval of the nursing program Graduate Admissions Committee after review of the application.

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 23 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.


This Nursing Education certificate requires 11-13 semester hours of post-master’s study. Course work includes classes, simulated laboratory experiences, and two internships focused on supervised teaching experiences. The purpose of the course of study is to provide the course work and the teaching experiences to function as a nurse educator in a variety of educational and clinical settings.

If not taken within the past three years, students are required to take an advanced direct care course equivalent to NURS 603 - Education Practicum: Direct Care (2).