Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education

The Nursing Education Graduate Certificate is available for nurses who are already have a graduate 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.

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.

Scheduling of Courses

All courses for the Nursing Education Graduate Certificate are offered using distance delivery technologies, in a synchronous or asynchronous format. Whenever possible teaching practica may be completed in the student’s community, or in the event the type of practica needed is not available in the student’s home community,  travel to a larger community may be necessary.   Faculty are able to validate teaching competencies through site visits, video and/or conference calls. 

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificates.

School of Nursing Admission Requirements

The following School of Nursing (SON) application submission deadlines are required to ensure full processing of the application:

  • December 1 for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education

Additional information and the application forms are on the SON website.

Graduate certificate applicants must:

  1. Submit the SON application form.
  2. Turn in resume (specific directions can be found in the application packet and should be followed carefully).
  3. Submit documentation of the following requirements:
    • Graduate  degree in nursing (master’s or doctoral) from a school of nursing accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.
    • Active unencumbered license as a professional registered nurse (RN) in the state of Alaska. License must remain active and unencumbered while in the graduate certificate program. There are different reasons for a license to be encumbered and some may preclude admission to the program. Students with encumbered licenses should meet with the graduate program chair to determine program eligibility.
  4. Provide three letters of professional recommendation (see form in application packet). Letters must be submitted directly to the SON from the person writing the reference. References may be contacted by a member of the admissions committee.
  5. Provide academic plan of study based on a gap analysis done by faculty advisor.
  6. Schedule interview once the above material is submitted and it is determined the candidate meets minimum program requirements. Accommodations will be made for distance students.
    • Interviews are scheduled for the first Tuesday and Wednesday of March.
    • Candidates should contact the SON (786-4537) to schedule a time for the interview.

Applicants are considered for program admission on a competitive basis. Meeting all admission criteria does not guarantee admission. Nor does prior acceptance into graduate study status guarantee admission into the clinical nursing tracks. Special consideration may be given to candidates with clinical expertise, proficiency in other languages, knowledge of other cultures, and a proven record of professional contributions. This information should be put in the resume as part of the SON application. To the extent that there are limited seats available in the program, preference may be given to residents of the state of Alaska as defined by the university’s policy on residency for tuition purposes.

Additional School of Nursing Requirements

All students enrolled in the Nursing Education Graduate Certificate program must provide*:

  • Documentation of continuous current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults, infants, and children;
  • Evidence of satisfactory health status, including immunity to chicken pox, rubella, rubeola, and hepatitis A and B (by titer); documentation of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) immunization within the past 10 years; annual PPD skin test or health examination indicating freedom from active tuberculosis; documentation of an annual HIV test (results not required); and
  • The results of the SON-sanctioned national level criminal background check.

*The above requirements may change based on the demands of clinical facilities. Please check with the SON for the most recent list of requirements.

Students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical sites. They are also responsible for their portion of the cost of audio conferencing. Students must have access to a personal computer and reasonable Internet connectivity. All students are expected to have graduate-level writing and American Psychological Association (APA) referencing skills, as well as basic computer and typing skills prior to entry into the nursing program, for example:

  • Word processing,
  • Sending and receiving e-mail with attachments,
  • Accessing and navigating the Internet/World Wide Web, and
  • Basic understanding of hardware, software, and operating systems.

Academic Requirements

Students enrolled in the Nursing Education Graduate Certificate program must make continuous progress toward completion of the certificate and remain in good standing with the SON. Noncompliance with the good standing policy and academic progress expectations will result in probation and possible dismissal from the program. A detailed schematic of the SON academic good standing policy can be found in the SON Graduate Handbook. In order to remain in good standing, students must:

  • Maintain professional and academic standards at all times.
  • Maintain continuous registration each fall and spring semester until certificate is granted.
  • Earn a minimum grade of 3.00 (B) in all required coursework.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

NS A640Teaching and Learning in the Professional Context3
NS A641Developing Curriculum for Nursing and Other Professions3
NS A643Course and Curriculum Evaluation for Professionals4
NS A644Technology for Learning and Collaboration2
NS A647Evidence-Based Practicum for Nursing3
Total Credits15

A total of 15 credits is required for the certificate.*


Students need to have had an advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology and health assessment course in their original nursing master’s program; if their program did not include some or all of these courses, they may need to be taken for the graduate certificate.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The graduate is prepared to:

  • Engage in scholarly inquiry, including evaluation and application of evidence-based research to advanced nursing practice or nursing leadership.
  • Practice in a manner that incorporates ethical, legal and professional standards for advanced nursing practice or nursing leadership.
  • Collaborate across disciplines and in partnership with communities, groups, families and individuals through culturally sensitive practice.
  • Demonstrate competence and caring in the professional nurse role to serve as a leader, provider and educator in the health care system.
  • Articulate a plan for self-directed, lifelong learning and professional development.