This 18-credit post graduate Clinical Nurse Specialist Post Graduate Certificate is designed to provide advanced practice nurses with preparation as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). The student will choose one of the following populations: adult/gerontology, pediatric, or maternal/infant/women’s health. Upon completing the certificate requirements, students will be eligible to sit for the population specific national certification exams offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Currently there is no national certification exam for the maternal/infant/women’s health CNS. Once nationally certified the CNS is eligible to apply for licensure in all fifty states.
Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.
The admission requirements of the Post Graduate CNS Certificate are consistent with those requirements specified by the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, students must also meet the following requirements for the College of Nursing:
- A master’s or doctoral degree in Nursing from an accredited program providing preparation as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist.
- Certification in their current advanced practice registered nurse specialty as applicable.
- Completion with a grade of B or better of a graduate-level course in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment. Evidence of current prescriptive authority in the state of Wisconsin will be accepted in place of advanced pharmacology.
- Current registration as a Registered Nurse in the state of Wisconsin.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation, two (2) of which are from persons most knowledgeable about the applicant's recent academic and work experiences.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV).
- Personal statement that includes rationale for certificate study and career goals.
- Personal interview with a faculty member may be requested.
- One year of clinical experience relevant to the chosen specialty.
- Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
- All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
- Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
- Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.
Credits and Courses
The CNS Post Graduate Certificate consists of 18 credit hours of coursework. All courses are 3 credits each and are offered in a 3-semester sequence so the program can be completed in 12 months. The three practicum courses vary by population focus and must be taken sequentially. The three theory courses vary by population focus and the plan for theory course work must be approved by the CNS option coordinator. The three courses must be graduate level (700 or above) and provide content across the continuum from wellness through acute care for the selected population.
|NURS 832||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum I-Adult/Gerontology||3|
|NURS 833||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum II-Adult/Gerontology||3|
|NURS 834||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum III-Adult/Gerontology||3|
|NURS 702||Advanced Practice Nursing Adult-Gerontology Chronic Illness||3|
|NURS 703||Advanced Practice Nursing Adult-Gerontology Acute Illness||3|
|Select one of the following two courses:||3|
|Advanced Practice Nursing Adult-Gerontology Critical Illness|
|Processes of Aging (Offered regularly during fall semester or NURS 704)|
|NURS 817||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum I-Pediatric||3|
|NURS 818||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum II-Pediatric||3|
|NURS 819||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum III-Pediatric||3|
|ED PSY 640||Human Development: Theory and Research||3|
|SOC WRK 771||Development of the Family Over the Life Span||3|
|NURS 766||Advanced Practice Nursing: Care of the Child and Family||3|
|NURS 814||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum I-Maternal/Infant||3|
|NURS 815||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum II-Maternal/Infant||3|
|NURS 816||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum III-Maternal/Infant||3|
|NURS 708||Global Maternal and Child Health: From Evidence to Action||3|
|NURS 763||Issues in Women's Health and Development||3|
|NURS 772||Advanced Practice Nursing: Maternal-Infant and Women's Health||3|
Psychiatric/Mental Health Track
|NURS 811||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum I-Psychiatric/Mental Health||3|
|NURS 812||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum II-Psychiatric/Mental Health||3|
|NURS 813||Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum III-Psychiatric/Mental Health||3|
|Trauma Counseling I: Theory and Research|
|Trauma Counseling II: Diagnosis and Treatment|
Recommended courses may include the courses listed under this heading.
Allowance for Transfer Credit
If approved by the CNS option coordinator, one 3-credit course from an institution other than UWM may be transferred in to meet requirements of the certificate program.
Certificate program progression requirements will be consistent with the College of Nursing requirements for progression in graduate level programs. Students must complete all courses with at least a B- or better and a cumulative GPA of a 3.00 or greater in order to progress in program.
It is expected that students will complete the certificate within one year from time of enrollment.
The certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the requirements (i.e. once all grades for the certificate courses are officially recorded with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater). Successful completion of the certificate program will be noted on the student’s transcript.
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.
Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.
Articulation with Degree Programs
- Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
- Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
- All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
- Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
- Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
- A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
- Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.
Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:
- 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
- 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.
Certification and Licensing
On completion of the CNS Certificate program, graduates with a population focus on adult/gerontology or pediatrics will be eligible to take the national CNS certification exams in adult/gerontology or pediatrics offered by American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC, 2013) or by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation (AACN, 2014). Upon successful completion of the CNS certification exam, graduates may choose to apply for prescriptive privileges in the state of Wisconsin as an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber or APNP (Wisconsin DSPS, 2013). Currently, CNS certification exams are not available for the maternal/infant or psychiatric/mental health populations.