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College of Nursing

  • Faculty and student

Certificates of Graduate Studies

If you have already earned an MSN degree, earning a Certificate of Graduate Studies from the College of Nursing allows you to gain certification in another clinical specialty, nursing administration or informatics.

Advanced practice nurses are in high demand, and you can expand your scope of practice or change your practice focus with additional training from the College of Nursing. 


As the health care field rapidly grows and becomes more complex, master’s-prepared nurses with specialized training in leadership or informatics are also sought after to improve team management and care delivery on a systemic level.

The certificate programs’ online course format allows you to earn while you learn and study with online flexibility.  your own schedule. If you are enrolled in an APRN specialty, you may be required to travel to the Columbia campus at least twice per semester during clinical rotations.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for national certification exams in your specialty area of study.

Each certificate program has separate application deadlines and program start dates.

  • Clinical specialty programs (AGACNP, FNP and PMHNP): Classes start in the summer semester.  Applications may be submitted July 1 – October 31. 
  • Nursing Administration program: Classes start during the fall, spring and summer semesters.  Applications may be submitted April1 – July 10 for fall 2020 entry, July 1 –  Oct. 31 for spring 2021 entry, November 1 - March 15 for summer 2021 entry and April 1 - June 30 for fall 2021 entry.
  • Nursing Informatics program: Classes start during the fall semester.  Applications may be submitted November 1 – July 10 for fall 2020 entry and November 1 - March 1 for fall 2021 entry.

Apply to Graduate School

The Graduate School coordinates online applications to our master's and doctoral programs. There may be supporting materials that are required along with your online application for graduate admission, so be sure to review the requirements before you apply.

When completing your application, please make sure to select the correct program name. Program names listed through the Graduate School and corresponding CON programs: Advanced Practice Nursing - Certificate (These include the concentrations of):

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) 
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) 
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Nursing Administration – CGS (This corresponds with the Nursing Administration – Organizational Leadership (NA) Program)
  • Nursing Informatics (NI)

Applicants for the AGACNP, FNP and PMHNP program should apply for summer admission and matriculation. If, after application review, the candidate qualifies for the advanced standing in the certificate program, the student may matriculate in the fall rather than the summer.

Accreditation

The Master of Science in Nursing Degree programs at the University of South Carolina are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education through 2021. Our programs also meet the standards for American Nurses Association Credentialing Center, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.

State Authorization

Although the University of South Carolina is a member of SARA, some state Boards of Nursing or state higher education commissions have recently started imposing restrictions for offering distance education courses within their state. Check to see if our online programs are open to residents in your state.

For the most up-to-date cost information, visit the Bursar’s Office Tuition and Fees website.

To be eligible for graduation, a candidate must

  • complete an approved program of study
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and earn a 3.0 or better in all required classes and courses number 700 or higher
  • complete the required clinical hours

Financial aid is available through the university’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the College of Nursing. You must complete the FAFSA form to be eligible for financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. The Graduate School provides these details about the College of Nursing’s Certificate of Graduate Studies programs.

 

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing degrees from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • AGACNP and FNP applicants: preferred clinical experience in an acute care setting (ICU, critical care, medical/surgical or emergency department). PMHNP applicants:  preferred clinical experience includes psych or related field.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe the advanced practice role (FNP, AGACNP, PMHNP) and scope for which you are seeking certification. Describe how this program will advance your professional goals.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Provide evidence of completion of graduate level courses in Health/Physical Assessment (across the lifespan), Physiology/Pathophysiology (across the lifespan) and pharmacology (broad categories of drugs). These must be three separate courses that meet current criteria for content based on the Consensus Model for APRN regulation (AACN, 2008).
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from master’s- or doctoral-prepared health care professionals.
  • AGACNP program applicants: current BLS and ACLS.
  • FNP and PMHNP program applicants: current BLS.
  • Copy of current APRN specialty certification.
  • Unencumbered, active advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all post-secondary school coursework are required).  Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • AGACNP and FNP applicants: preferred clinical experience in an acute care setting (ICU, critical care, medical/surgical or emergency department). PMHNP applicants:  preferred clinical experience includes psych or related field.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe the advanced practice role (FNP, AGACNP, PMHNP) and scope for which you are seeking certification. Describe how this program will advance your professional goals.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • AGACNP program applicants: current BLS and ACLS.
  • FNP and PMHNP program applicants: current BLS.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse license in state where clinical experiences will occur. This includes telehealth visits (South Carolina) for PMHNP Certificate of Graduate Studies.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe your plan for obtaining a preceptor and/or project site. In addition, describe your plan for your project.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Submit a personal statement that reflects certificate program outcomes.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.

 

Projected Curriculum

Students pursuing the Certificate of Graduate Study in Advanced Practice Nursing who are certified, practicing and meet the LACE components as Advanced Practice Nurses may not be required to take one or all these courses. Determination will be done after admission via GAP Analysis.^

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide health care services to acutely ill adults and gerontology patients with complex health problems.

The AGACNP CGS program is a total of 18 credits (32 for non-APRNs) and takes six semesters to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Semester 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan ^
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses ^

Semester 2

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning  ^+ 
  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities ^

Semester 3

  • NURS 770 - Overview of Emergent Diagnostic Topics (APRN via GAP only)
  • NURS 772 - Introduction of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Health Problems

Semester 4

  • NURS 786 - Management of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Health Problems I *

Semester 5

  • NURS 787 - Management of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Health Problems II +*

Semester 6

  • NURS 778 - Advanced Practice Role:  Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP (AGACNP)
  • NURS 778A - Practicum of Advanced Practice Role:  Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP (AGACNP) ^

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total clinical hours required)

The Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide primary health care across the lifespan.

The FNP CGS program is a total of 18 credits (32 for non-APRNs) and takes four semesters (six semesters for non-APRNs) to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Semester 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan ^
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses ^

Semester 2

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning + 
  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities ^

Semester 3

  • NURS 756 - Advanced Primary Care of Children for the FNP
  • NURS 757 - Advanced Primary Care of Women for the FNP +

Semester 4

  • NURS 758 - Acute Problems in Primary Care for the FNP *

Semester 5

  • NURS 759 - Management of Common Chronic Health Problems for the FNP +* 

Semester 6

  • NURS 760 - Family Nurse Practitioner Legal, Ethical, and Role Transition
  • NURS 760A - Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum ^*

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total hours required)

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide psychiatric mental health services to clients/patients across the lifespan in various settings.

The PMHNP CGS program is a total of 18 credits (32 for non-APRNs) and takes three semesters (six semesters for non-APRNs) to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Semester 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan ^
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses ^

Semester 2

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning + 
  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities ^ 

Semester 3

  • NURS 761 - Neurological Basis of Behavior and Psychopharmacological Treatment

Semester 4

  • NURS 764 - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum II: Management of Complex Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions * 

Semester 5

  • NURS 763 - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum I: Management of Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions*

Semester 6

  • NURS 768 - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Legal, Ethical, and Role Transition* 
  • NURS 768A - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum III: Role Development ^*

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total hours required)

The Nursing Administration program prepares the nurse to be a key leader in health organizations.

The program can be completed within one year, either through full-time or part-time study.

  • Full-time: two courses per seven-week term; two terms per academic semester
  • Part-time: one course per seven-week term; two terms per academic semester 

Projected Curriculum

  • NURS 720 - Clinical Application of Population Analysis
  • NURS 734 - Conceptual Basis of Health Systems
  • NURS 738 - Financing Health Care
  • NURS 740 - Facilitative Processes in Nursing Administration (Pre-requisite to NURS 741)
  • NURS 741* - Coordinating Processes in Nursing Administration (Pre-requisite to NURS 742)
  • NURS 742* - Integrative Processes in Nursing Administration

* NURS 741 and NURS 742 require a precepted leadership experience of 112 hours each in an approved clinical or other healthcare organizational setting, for a total of 224 hours.

The Nursing Informatics program prepares the nurse to identify and manage health care data to support clinicians and patients in decision making and improve health outcomes.

The Certificate in Nursing Informatics CGS program is a total of 18 credits and takes four semesters to complete.

Fall Year 1

  • NURS 775 - Foundations in Nursing Informatics
  • ITEC 764 - Project Management for Health Information Systems

Spring Year 2

  • ITEC 770 - Health Database Systems
  • NURS 738 - Financing Health Care

Summer Year 2

  • NURS 734 - Conceptual Basis of Health Systems

Fall Year 2

  • NURS 777 - Nursing Informatics Practicum


Contact Us

Have additional questions about the graduate certificates programs?

Phone: 803-777-9173
Email: NURSGRAD@mailbox.sc.edu

Address:
Williams-Brice Building, Room 208
1601 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208


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