Post-Graduate Certificate

The Online Post-Graduate Certificate program offers students the opportunity to complete the specialty courses for a concentration. These programs are for students who have already earned an MSN or doctoral degree in nursing, post-licensure. Generalist MSN coursework will not be approved for transfer credit. 

The University of South Alabama offers a variety of specialty options, the newest of which is in emergency care.

Each concentration offers support courses, specialty courses and clinical hours. All coursework is presented online so that students may continue to work while completing the curriculum requirements. Clinical hours may be earned in the student’s home community or at another site selected.

Specific specialty options also require intensive clinical training at the University of South Alabama campus.

Post-Graduate Certificate students who enroll in a direct care advanced practice nursing specialty (NP or CNS roles only) are required to attend on-campus Clinical Skills Intensive (CSI). CSIs may be required in the first semester of matriculation.  See NP Clinical Skills Intensive tab on the specialty website.

Post-graduate certificates are available in these fields:

Post-graduate subspecialty is available in these fields:

Application Procedures


▼   Requirements for Admission to the Online Post-Graduate Certificate Pathways
  1. Graduate of an approved regionally accredited master’s or doctoral program with a major in nursing.
  2. Current registered nurse licensure with no restrictions. Nurses with any restrictions on their license, including participation in a voluntary disciplinary alternative program, cannot be admitted.
  3. A grade-point average of 3.0 on all graduate work (A=4.00). 
  4. Submission of a resume which documents clinical experience. (Note: Prior to enrolling in nurse practitioner clinical course, students are required to have at least 2 years of experience in an area appropriate to the specialty track.)
  5. After acceptance into the program, admission is contingent upon a negative drug screen, results of an acceptable background check, submission of Health Data Forms, evidence of Health Insurance, and completion of Certified Profile Medical Records Manager. Instructions provided in acceptance letter.
▼   Post-Graduate Certificate Program Learning Outcomes
  • Integrate advanced knowledge and theories from nursing and related disciplines into a specialized area of advanced nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate competence in advanced nursing roles to meet current and emerging health needs of a specific population or system.
  • Use scientific inquiry to identify problems within an organization or specific patient population to improve care outcomes.
  • Apply advanced knowledge of leadership and management to transform care delivery systems in a specialized area of advanced nursing practice.
  • Contribute to the focus and direction of the nursing profession within a specialized area of advanced nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate professional skills through collecting, organizing, and communicating information in professional writing and presentations.
▼   NP Clinical Skills Intensive

All courses are offered completely in the online format, for the convenience of working nurses. Students log on anytime and anywhere to complete web-based courses that are expertly designed and highly interactive. Students may be required to come to campus  before they begin the clinical portion of their program for intensive classroom and evaluation sessions and possibly again during the program. Currently, all Nurse Practitioner specialties require students to come to campus for the NP Clinical Skills Intensive experience which is scheduled by the USA Simulation Lab. The scheduled dates may be located on the “NP Clinical Skills Intensive” tab available on each Specialty Tracks’ webpage.  To learn more about each specialty and the required NP Clinical Skills Intensive offering, please select the appropriate Specialty link below.

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Adult-Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinical Skills Intensive

Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) Clinical Skills Intensive

Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP) Clinical Skills Intensive

Emergency NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Family NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Neonatal NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Pediatric Acute Care NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Pediatric Primary Care NP Clinical Skills Intensive

Psychiatric Mental Health NP Clinical Skills Intensive

▼   Clinical Requirements

Students complete the clinical requirements for the degree in their home communities or they may choose to travel to Mobile to complete clinicals through the USA Health System. All specialty tracks within the College of Nursing’s graduate programs require a practice component.  Students are encouraged to secure a clinical site and preceptor, however, faculty and College of Nursing administration assist students in locating appropriate practice/clinical sites if warranted. Students who are unsuccessful in being accepted by an agency in their home community may have to travel to another area to complete practice requirements.. Once students are admitted and enrolled in the programs, they will have access to the Clinical Affairs placement site and may review the list of Clinical Affiliations. If there is not a clinical site listed near you or you are interested in a site not listed, negotiations should be initiated as soon as you begin the program through the Track.


Admission is contingent upon the college's ability to secure an approved clinical site by the end of the first semester of program enrollment. Students are encouraged to secure their own clinical placement within an acceptable geographical area if desired. Submission of a formal letter of commitment will be required to verify guaranteed placement for future clinical rotations. If a student is unable to secure an acceptable site within their own geographical area, the college will work to identify an appropriate clinical placement which must be accepted by the student. Initial course registration is contingent upon the student's acceptable completion and results of the following requirements: Acceptance Packet, Drug and Background Screen, and Required Documents and Attestations within the Medical Documents Manager. If a student is unable to meet the initial registration requirements, they may transfer their first semester of enrollment to a future semester.

▼   Applications for Post-Graduate Certificates


Some specialties have limited availability due to high enrollment.

Please go to the MSN Application Web Page for instructions regarding how to apply to the Post-Graduate Certificate program.

▼   Policy for Pathophysiology/Pharmacology/Physical Assessment Courses

The APRN accreditation standards and certifying bodies require students to have three separate courses that include: Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Physical Assessment.  

The University of South Alabama College of Nursing requires students to complete the following courses for completion of their MSN degree or Postgraduate Certificate at the University of South Alabama:

  • NU 545 Physio-Pathological Basis of Advanced Nursing
  • NU 578 Pharmacology Advanced Practice Nurses
  • NU 518 Advanced Nursing Assessment

For each of the 3Ps courses to be approved for transfer credit, evidence must be provided to show that the courses completed were three (3) separate courses of at least three (3) semester credit hours or five (5) quarter hours each. For applicants that are unable to demonstrate completion of three separate courses for a minimum of three (3) credit hours each or five (5) quarter hours each, the courses will be added to the applicant’s curriculum plan for completion at the USA in order to receive a graduate degree or Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC). Courses taken in a Generalist Entry-to-Practice BSN or MSN program will not be approved for graduate transfer credit. 

All students who are admitted to the USA College of Nursing are personally responsible for understanding the requirements set forth by their individual state board of nursing for licensure or certifying body as an advanced practice nurse.  Some states and certifying bodies require, and only accept, pathophysiology, pharmacology, or physical assessment courses taken within a certain timeframe.  Applicants are responsible for checking with the state board of nursing for the state in which future practice is intended and the specialty certifying body to make sure that any courses transferred into a USA CON program meets the state’s requirements for licensure, or the certifying body’s requirements for certification.

If a state board of nursing or a certifying body will not approve courses transferred into the USA CON after graduation or receipt of a PGC, based on the date completed or content contained therein, the graduate will be offered to register and complete these courses after graduation at the graduate’s expense. Courses may also be added to a current student’s curriculum plan upon written request to an advisor and subsequent approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. 

▼   Program Completion Requirements for the Post-MSN Certificate Pathways
Students are required to complete all specialty courses and any support courses not previously completed. Post-Graduate Certificate students are not required to complete graduate core or research courses.
▼   MSN-DNP Adding a New Specialization

Students who have completed their MSN degree and are interested in completing a new specialization, along with the DNP degree, may apply for admission to the MSN-DNP Adding a New Specialization program. Please go to MSN to DNP Adding New Specialty Certification for additional information on this program. Applications for this program should be submitted to the DNP Office by following application procedures on the DNP Application page since the applicant is applying for admission to the doctoral program. Curriculum schedules for these programs are found under each specialty page listed below.

Contact Information

For all inquiries related to the admissions process:

For all current and continuing students: