Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Post-Master’s of Science in Nursing Certificate

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Patricia Deane, DNP, DSL, PMHNP-BC, CTMH MSN, Graduate Program Director


Post-master’s programs are available to students who have an earned BSN and MSN and seek specialized knowledge and skills as a nurse practitioner or nurse educator. Graduates of the programs will be qualified to take the certification examination for their specialty.

MSN Philosophy

The MSN program is guided by the missions of Northern Kentucky University and College of Health & Human Services.  The MSN curriculum is grounded in the Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education, QSEN, and the Future of Nursing report. The MSN program prepares graduates to be a stewards of the discipline. Masters education originates from the student’s practice experiences, advances through individualized, student-centered and transformational opportunities, and culminates in the graduate assuming the nursing expert role. Masters learning includes opportunities for the improvement of health outcomes across diverse populations utilizing the best evidence and clinical judgement. Students and faculty promote academic excellence, professionalism, integrity, and inclusiveness within the advanced nursing community through shared responsibility, interprofessional collaboration, communication, teamwork, and mentoring relationships. This individualized student-centered learning takes place in a scholarly community grounded in standards for rigor, the nursing imperative of caring, and recognition of a plurality of voices.

Online Program

All MSN classes are offered in an accelerated online format of 7-week terms. Each accelerated course contains the same content found in typical 16-week semester courses.  While we appreciate that most students work full time and have family responsibilities the student must acknowledge that these responsibilities may have an impact on successful completion of the program. We cannot alter academic standards/expectations of the program due to these responsibilities. The rigor of the School of Nursing and successful progression requires one’s full attention. We highly recommend that students consider the number of hours required for study relative to these responsibilities.

Student Advising

Students are expected to maintain close contact with their advisor throughout the program of study.  Students are cautioned not to rely on the advice of other students regarding applicability of courses.

The MSN program reserves the right to determine the applicability of graduate transfer credit.  A maximum of 33% of your program may consist of transfer work that can be applied toward the program of study.  To transfer a course in to NKU, a grade of B or better must have been earned.

The MSN program is a year round program (including summers) designed to be completed in a particular sequence, and may be lockstep fashion and in part-time progression.  Please give consideration to managing work and family while completing a rigorous academic program.

MSN students must achieve a “C” or better in non-nursing courses (specifically BIO 669 and PSY 550) and a “B” or better in all MSN nursing courses in the MSN graduate program (including MSN/CHP/DNP). The “B-” is not considered a passing grade in a MSN graduate nursing course. If a grade of “B-” or less is earned the student is required to retake the course,

Post-Master’s Admission Requirements

Admission to the Post-MSN certificate program is highly competitive.  Completed applications with all required accompanying materials are reviewed according to the posted deadline for each session listed on the Office of Graduate Education website, http://inside.nku.edu/graduate/admission-process.html. 

  1. Submit a complete application for graduate admission to Northern Kentucky University.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (undergraduate and Graduate).
  3. Master of Science in Nursing degree from an ACEN, CCNE or CNEA accredited program of nursing.  Students who have earned a MSN degree from a non-US institution will be considered for an exception to the requirement that the MSN come from ACEN, CCNE or CNEA accredited program of nursing, where applicable.
  4. Applicants should have a Master of Science in Nursing program GPA of at least 3.0.
  5. Verification of your current, unencumbered RN license with expiration date in the state(s) you are licensed and practice.
  6. Verification of certification and current license as nurse practitioner, if you are a nurse practitioner.
  7. Proof of 1,000 clinical hours of practice over the previous year for all Post-MSN certificates.  Download the Employment Verification Form on the Office of Graduate Education website http://www.nku.edu/admissions/graduate/admission-process/additional-forms.html.
  8. The Adult Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner applicants must have 1-year experience in critical care.  Download the Critical Care Verification Form on the Office of Graduate Education website, http://www.nku.edu/admissions/graduate/admission-process/additional-forms.html.  
  9. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program requires 2000 hours of RN clinical experience in a psychiatric setting.Download the Employment Verification Form on the Office of Graduate Education website, http://www.nku.edu/admissions/graduate/admission-process/additional-forms.html
  10. A criminal background check (state and federal) is required for admission to the program. Applicants are required to use PreCheck StudentCheck to purchase the background check.Costs associated with background check are the responsibility of the applicant.Follow the linkto complete the background check on the Office of Graduate Education website, http://www.nku.edu/admissions/graduate/admission-process/additional-forms.html

Courses transferred into Northern Kentucky University may or may not be accepted for board certification requirements with ANCC or AANP.   Faculty review transfer credit courses as outlined by the ANCC and AANP guidelines.  ANCC and AANP determine eligibility of course work for board certification and this is not determined by Northern Kentucky University. Courses accepted by Northern Kentucky University for transfer credit from another University are not a guarantee to be accepted by ANCC or AANP. 


Program Curriculum

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

To ensure a quality learning experience and maximize the likelihood of success on the certification exam, students should take no more than two didactic classes or one didactic and one clinical per seven-week session. Students should direct any questions to their academic advisor.

Post-Master’s Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Courses

Advanced Practice Core (12 credit hours)

This core is required for all Post MSN NP certification in addition to the specialty courses.

Total credit hours, Family (NP core + clinical): 35

Total credit hours, Adult-Gero Acute Care (plus Advanced Practice core): 34

Total credit hours, Psych Mental Health NP (plus Advanced Practice core): 34

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