Online Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program Overview

Your nurse practitioner title is waiting. Find a flexible online program designed to help busy nurses move from MSN to the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Gerontology (AGNP), or the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) role. The fully online Post-Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), offered by the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, offers multiple tracks to help you pursue your next career move without leaving your current role.

If you have already earned your Master of Science in Nursing degree, but a nurse practitioner role is in your future, this post-master’s certificate helps you prepare to sit for the national certification exam appropriate for the track you have chosen. Nurse practitioners play a critical role in meeting primary care and behavioral health needs and improving patient outcomes and public health. Our graduates move on to work in clinical settings in family practice, internal medicine, senior clinics, mental health, and college health, to name a few.

The Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate program will teach you to: 

  • Provide holistic care to each patient using theories and scientific evidence 
  • Promote health and prevent disease for individuals, families, and communities 
  • Provide leadership that leads to high quality, safe patient care and optimal outcomes 
  • Evaluate emerging trends, policy issues and problems in healthcare 
  • Collaborate with other healthcare teams to provided patient-centered, culturally competent and ethical patient care  

Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Specialty Tracks

Manage the unique needs of people as they age.

Care for people across their entire lifespan, including preventing and managing acute and chronic health conditions.  

Help patients manage psychiatric disorders and substance abuse both in primary and acute care settings. 

All three tracks prepare students to meet the requirements for national certification and prescriptive authority.  

Program at a Glance

Degree Program:

Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate: Adult/Gerontology, Family, or Psychiatric Mental Health

Offered By:

Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences


Cost Per Credit:


*Approximate tuition per credit hour based on the number of credits taken

Cost Per Credit:


*Approximate tuition per credit hour based on the number of credits taken

Priority Application Deadline:

Credit Hours:


Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program Details

The Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate program is designed to build upon and expand your knowledge, values, and skills developed in a master’s program to become a nurse practitioner in a specific clinical specialty. 

You will build knowledge and sharpen your skills as a nursing leader as you prepare for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles as a nurse practitioner in your specialty track. The certificate program offers both synchronous and asynchronous sessions, along with videos, group activities and discussions, online exams, case studies and simulation opportunities, which you can attend either in-person or remotely. 

This certificate is offered fully online, plus 630 required clinical hours. UCCS provides placement oversight and guidance; however, you will be responsible for identifying preceptors in your area. Preceptors can be an NP, PA, MD, or DO, or for the psychiatric mental health track, preceptors can be psychologists, licensed counselors, and psychiatric social workers.  

Curriculum Overview

Five specialty clinical courses are required as part of the post-master’s certificate program. Additional courses may be required after your previous master’s work is assessed. The Adult/Gerontology and Family tracks require 25 credits to graduate, whereas the Psychiatric Mental Health track requires 26 credits for completion. Courses during the fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long, and summer courses last 8 to 11 weeks. 

This online certificate program is taught by faculty who also teach at the Colorado Springs campus. That means you are receiving the same high quality curriculum and instruction as students on campus. 

You will learn from doctorate-prepared faculty members who are knowledgeable, experienced, and attentive. Most of our graduate nurse practitioner faculty maintain active APRN practices, which means you’re expanding your network of professional connections while you study. Our program also boasts high certification pass rates:

  • Adult/Gerontology: 100% pass rate 
  • Family: > 90% pass rate  
  • Psychiatric Mental Health: 100% pass rate 

The program concludes with a final evidence-based practice project where you will have the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills to work. All of the certificate program’s requirements must be completed within six (6) years.  

Example Courses

The following are a sample of the courses for each specialty track of the Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate program at UCCS.

NURS 6950 Primary Care of Geriatric Patients and Families
Provides foundational knowledge and explores common physical and psychosocial clinical syndromes that impact primary care of the older adult across health care settings.

NURS 6960 Gender Health in Primary Care 
Explores the diversity of gender expression and the influence of gender on health. Focuses on the unique health needs of women, men, and transgender people. Special attention to reproductive health care, contraception/family planning, and sexual health. 

NURS 6900 Primary Care of Pediatric Patients and Families
Explores acute and chronic health care of children and families. Focuses on comprehensive assessment, intervention, and preventive care. This course requires completion of 90 contact hours of practicum.

NURS 6925 Primary Care of Chronic Health Conditions
Provides a foundation for exploration of chronic health conditions of adults and families across the life span. Focuses on assessment, prevention, and management, incorporating concepts from pathophysiology, psycho/social, culture, political, theory, evidence-based practice, and spiritual framework. 

NURS 6801 Adult Psychiatric Diagnosis and Management for the PMHNP
This course builds knowledge and skill development in the role of the PMHNP related to the mental health needs of adult patients. Emphasis is placed on case formulation, diagnosis, and management of adults with psychiatric conditions.

NURS 6803 Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Diagnosis and Management for the PMHNP
This course builds knowledge and skill development in the role of the PMHNP related to the mental health needs of pediatric patients. Emphasis is placed on case formulation, diagnosis, and management of children with psychiatric conditions. 

Nurse Practitioner Career Outlook

The median annual wage for nurse practitioners in the United States in 2022 was $125,900 or $60.53 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The outlook for this grouping of occupations—specifically advanced practice registered nurses like nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives—is good, projecting much faster than average growth from 2022 to 2032 at 38%.

The certificate program will prepare you to take a national certification exam for your specialty and, after passing, you can apply for licensure in your state of permanent residence. Nurse practitioners in these specialty tracks work in family practice, internal medicine, senior clinics, mental health, and college health. 

Continuing Your Education
If you want to continue your education in a terminal degree program, you can pursue a doctoral degree in nursing. There are two paths: a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D. in Nursing. A DNP degree prepares you for clinical practice roles and sometimes hospital and organizational leadership, whereas the Ph.D. in Nursing prepares you for teaching, academic, and research-related roles.  

Tuition and Fees

At UCCS Online, we strive to keep our tuition costs affordable so that you can get a world-class education that fits your budget. When you earn a degree, you are not simply getting a diploma — you’re making a lifelong investment in yourself and empowering your future career. We know affordability is an important factor, and that’s why we’re here to help you explore all the options available to fund your education.

We are here to answer your questions about tuition and financial aid, help you take care of the paperwork, and make sure you are able to focus on reaching your goals. From financial aid and scholarships to corporate tuition assistance programs, we will work with you to find the best way to finance your degree.

The application fee for this program is $60. Please contact an Enrollment Navigator for more information about any costs associated with your application.

You may be eligible to pursue scholarships. Each year, UCCS awards $100 million in financial aid, and you can explore options through the UCCS Financial Aid Office

Admissions Information

This program has a rolling admissions process, which means applications are reviewed as they are received. There are three program starts per year in the spring, summer, and fall semesters.

To be considered for this program, you must have: 

  • Completion of 25-34 credits at the graduate level and a completed Master of Science in Nursing degree 
  • A current unrestricted registered nurse license from the state where you practice during practicum rotations 
  • A passing score in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if your native language is not English 
  • A curriculum vitae or résumé  
  • A completed application submitted by the posted deadlines below plus a small application fee of $60 

Application Deadlines 

  • Spring Semester: January 5 
  • Summer Semester: May 5 
  • Fall Semester: August 5 

Due to individual state regulations, UCCS is only accepting students from the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona 
  • Colorado 
  • California 
  • Florida 
  • Idaho 
  • Kansas 
  • Montana 
  • Nevada 
  • New Mexico 
  • Oklahoma 
  • South Dakota 
  • Texas 
  • Utah 
  • Wyoming 

Completion Time

Online learning offers the benefit of flexibility, with the option of taking a course load that meets your needs. This program can be completed in 18-24 months if you take a full course load. Students can take up to three courses per semester.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re looking for more autonomy in your career or advanced roles in nursing, you will need the credentials employers are seeking, like licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). This post-master’s certificate is designed to prepare you for a nurse practitioner role, which will help you increase your earning potential and open doors to greater professional fulfillment in the years ahead.

During fall and spring terms, courses are typically 16 weeks long. During the summer term, classes range from 8-11 weeks long.

The student-to-faculty ratio for this program is 24:1. For clinical oversight, six students are assigned to one faculty member.

When you complete this program, you will receive a certificate, not a degree. Since you have already earned your master’s degree, this program is designed to help you finish preparing to sit for the national certification exam and work toward your nurse practitioner title.

It typically takes two weeks following receipt of your completed application for the committee to make an admissions decision and notify you. Because this is a rolling admissions process, applications are reviewed as soon as they are received, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive a notification about your admissions. 

No, our MSN and Post-Master’s programs are focused on primary care nurse practitioner roles. They are not intended to prepare you for emergency room or urgent care settings, so you will need to seek an acute care nurse practitioner program for those career goals. 

Online learning will offer you the flexibility to study at the best place and time for you. You can choose a sustainable pace for your lifestyle, which can help you consider your current career, family, and other commitments outside of school.

Additionally, at UCCS Online, our online programs are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, which means you are earning the same high quality degree as traditional students, and your diploma will not mention that your degree was earned online.