The Post-Master’s Certificate programs provide additional preparation in an advanced area that the applicant’s original MSN program did not include. Currently, our Post-Master’s track offerings respond to the increased need for Health Care System specialists and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in rural and underserved areas in North Carolina.

Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examinations associated with their respective populations or specialty area of practice.

Today’s health care system requires new skills of nurses to transform the delivery of health care. The Post-Master’s Certificate Programs in Health Care Systems (HCS) are designed for nurses who have earned a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) and desire to expand their advanced nursing knowledge and skills into the areas of Nursing Leadership or Informatics.

The Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Leadership prepares nurses who have earned an advanced graduate degree in nursing for clinical leadership roles in complex health care systems by combining knowledge and skills from both clinical and health care systems practice.  The graduate is prepared to provide and manage care for individuals and groups of patients, with emphasis on understanding patients’ clinical progression, care transitions and processes, evidence-base practice, quality improvement and patient safety.

Graduates will be eligible to sit for national certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). The program of study is individualized for students based upon their prior education and clinical experiences.  The Health Care Systems Advanced Practice Coordinator or designated faculty advisor will review submitted materials to determine an applicant’s specific plan of study.

The Post-Master’s Certificate in Informatics is designed to prepare nurses for clinical leadership roles in the design, selection, implementation and utilization of information technology (IT) systems in support of improved quality, safety and outcomes of care. Students will also apply knowledge in real-world situations during a practicum (residency) in a clinical informatics setting.

The program is 15-18 credits in length and can be completed in 2-4 academic semesters (1-2 years). The curriculum combines content in health care informatics, systems analysis, database management and outcomes. Students take courses from the School of Nursing and the School of Information and Library Science.

The plan of study for the Post-Master’s Certificate in Informatics is individualized, based upon a student’s prior education and work experiences. The Health Care Systems Advanced Practice Coordinator or designated faculty advisor will review submitted materials to determine an appliant’s specific plan of study.

Limited scholarship support is available.

Who May Apply?

To be eligible, applicants must have the following:

Registered Nurse Licensure: All applicants must hold a current unencumbered license as a registered nurse. NC License or compact state equivalent is required by matriculation.

Educational Background: An earned Master’s degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program conferred prior to the application deadline.

GPA Requirement: PMSN applicants are expected to have an earned 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in MSN coursework. If your MSN GPA does not meet the 3.0 minimum, you should address this in your Professional Statement.

Readmissibility: All applicants must be admissible to all previously attended colleges/universities. If you have been declared academically ineligible and as such are unable to return to any previous institutions, you must contact that institution and seek documentation that reinstates your eligibility or your application cannot undergo review. Copies of ALL correspondence regarding your reinstatement request must be submitted in the application. Additionally, if your final institutional cumulative GPA at any previously attended college/university is below 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale), please provide documentation of your eligibility to return to that particular institution.

Work experience as a Registered Nurse: Within the past three years, applicants must have obtained a minimum of one year of recent, full-time, paid clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse by the application deadline. The following specialties have additional requirements.

Leadership experience within a health care setting (e.g., committee member, leading a service/QI project).

Application Materials

You will be asked to submit the following documents with your application:

  • One employee letter of recommendation from a current, immediate supervisor
  • Curriculum vita or resume, detailing experience since completion of entry nursing degree
  • Cogently written professional statement (3-5 pages) addressing all elements requested as detailed in Application Instruction
  • Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the state in which the student will do clinical course work. Note: an “unencumbered license” means neither the license, the licensee’s practice, nor the licensee is associated with any type of restriction, encumbrance, or probationary limitations imposed by the applicable Board of Nursing or any judicial entity.
How Does the Program Work?

Students in both of these Post-Master’s program areas take courses with Health Care Systems graduate students in the Master of Science in Nursing program. Transcripts of Post-Master’s candidates are reviewed by the Lead Faculty of the in the selected area of study. Additional or alternative coursework may be recommended based on this evaluation.

Students are expected to complete the program as planned. Students who drop out are generally not eligible to return in the following year and must reapply.

Health Care Systems faculty members are sensitive to students’ learning needs by employing a variety of instructional modalities including seminar or classroom settings, on-line and/or Web-enhanced instruction. As a result, the courses may be offered in traditional classroom settings and/or via distance technologies.

The final residency course (NURS878) has a preceptored practicum requirement. There are many excellent clinical sites and residency preceptors in the Triangle area including hospital, home health, long-term care and ambulatory care settings. Learners may also suggest sites and preceptors in their local area, which will be evaluated by the faculty to assure that course objectives can be met. The classes you will attend are courses offered in the Health Care Systems Advanced Practice Area of our Master’s program.

How Long Does it Take to Complete the Program?

For students who begin during the fall semester, the HCS certificate options take up to two academic years to complete.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

Under revision. Please check back soon for updates.

When Should I Apply?

Admission to the Post-Master’s Certificate Program is offered only once per year in the fall. The deadline for applying is January 2018.

What Will I Gain From Completing the Program?

Upon satisfactory completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for national certification in their area of specialization.

Additional Information

This certificate program is designed to prepare nurses who are master’s- or DNP-prepared APRNs and wish to pursue education and training to be a clinically competent and culturally sensitive Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). The PMHNP is prepared to assess, facilitate and manage the psychiatric and mental health care needs of individuals, families, groups and communities in a variety of public, private, community, inpatient, and team-based, multidisciplinary practice settings.

The Post-Master’s Certificate curriculum is grounded in the PMHNP competencies and builds upon the 3 “P’s” necessary for advanced practice roles: Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology and Advanced Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning. The  Post-Master’s Certificate in PMHNP curriculum prepares students to be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Exam for the Family PMHNP, and includes courses embracing a lifespan perspective in psychiatric mental health diagnostic reasoning, psychopharmacology, individual, group and family psychotherapies and management of complex psychiatric illnesses. An emphasis on the interaction and integration of common mental and physical health problems gives the student an evidence-based framework for comprehensive psychiatric-mental health care. Emphasis on cultural sensitivity challenges students’ assumptions and value judgments, and promotes critical analysis of how racial and cultural biases in psychiatric diagnosis have led to disparities in care.

Graduates of the Post-Master’s Certificate PMHNP program are able to assume an expanded scope of practice that includes prescriptive authority, advanced comprehensive assessment, diagnostic reasoning and collaborative management of health problems across the lifespan.

Who May Apply?

To be eligible, applicants must have the following:

Registered Nurse Licensure: All applicants must hold a current unencumbered license as a registered nurse. NC License or compact state equivalent is required by matriculation.

Educational Background: An earned Master’s degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program conferred prior to the application deadline.

GPA Requirement: PMSN applicants are expected to have an earned 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in MSN coursework. If your MSN GPA does not meet the 3.0 minimum, you should address this in your Professional Statement.

Readmissibility: All applicants must be admissible to all previously attended colleges/universities. If you have been declared academically ineligible and as such are unable to return to any previous institutions, you must contact that institution and seek documentation that reinstates your eligibility or your application cannot undergo review. Copies of ALL correspondence regarding your reinstatement request must be submitted in the application. Additionally, if your final institutional cumulative GPA at any previously attended college/university is below 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale), please provide documentation of your eligibility to return to that particular institution.

Work experience as a Registered Nurse: Within the past three years, applicants must have obtained a minimum of one year of recent, full-time, paid clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse by the application deadline. The following specialties have additional requirements.

Individuals eligible to apply include those who have earned a MSN or DNP degree from an accredited program and are currently licensed as APRNs. In addition, it is strongly recommended (but not required) that applicants have the equivalent of 6 months of full-time clinical work experience within the past 3 years in a setting that serves psychiatric illness/substance abuse.

How Does the Program Work?

The PMH Advanced Practice Coordinator will review all coursework taken during the applicant’s previous graduate program. Additional coursework or alternative coursework may be required based on this evaluation. Courses are taken with graduate students in the Master of Science in Nursing Program. Student’s who drop out must competitively reapply for the next academic year. Clinical placements are planned with students according to their learning needs and career plans. Students pursue clinical experiences with persons across the life span.

Clinical sites are selected to meet course objectives and individual student learning needs. The PMHNP option promotes and encourages students to complete their clinical hours in their own communities and/or regions of the state of North Carolina and beyond, depending upon their learning objectives, interest and scholarship. Clinical experiences include obtaining a beginning level of competence in completing psychiatric assessment and comprehensive evaluations, documentation according to federal and state requirements, strategies for the implementation of individual, family and group therapy and medication initiation and management. Students receive intensive, clinical supervision by both faculty members and preceptors who are expert clinicians.

How Long Does it Take to Complete the Program?

The program takes up to two academic years plus one intervening semester to complete.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

Under revision. Please check back soon for updates.

When Should I Apply?

Admission to the Post-Master’s Certificate PMHNP program is offered only once per year (Fall). The deadline for applying for fall admission is December.

What Will I Gain From Completing the Program?

Upon satisfactory completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for national certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family) and apply for approval by the joint committee of the North Carolina Board of Nursing and North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners to practice as a nurse practitioner in North Carolina.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

School of Nursing
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Office of Student Affairs
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
(919) 966-4260
son_gradnursing@unc.edu

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