Post-Doctoral Nurse Practitioner Certificates

These certificates are designed for the APRN with a Ph.D. or DNP who wants to obtain a new specialty in one of two nurse practitioner specialty options. 

Students may need to reduce work hours to accommodate completion of the specialty clinical practicum (510 hours).

Course Delivery

The Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions program blends three instructional strategies to produce an engaged learning curriculum. The first strategy is Immersion: our programs include a blend of virtual and hybrid Immersion meetings in 1-4 day sessions. Immersion sessions are conducted 2 times during the program. During these Immersion sessions, students may receive orientation instruction; work as teams with peers and mentors and participate in demonstrations, simulation exercises, assessments or evaluations. The second is practicum experience: our programs include clinical and DNP Project rotations conducted where the student lives or works. The third is self-directed study: courses include online lectures, discussions, social networking, demonstrations, tutorials, readings, or other homework. Most courses include additional real-time instruction via web conferencing, phone conferencing, and/or live chat sessions. Students may need to reduce work hours to accommodate completion of the specialty clinical practicum (510 hours).

Attendance: Students may be dismissed from the program at the Dean’s discretion due to absence from required meetings.

Admission to the Program

Admission into the Post-Doctoral certificate programs is once a year in January (Spring I).

2023-2024 Application Deadlines: Post-doctoral Certificates

  • Final completed application deadline for Spring I, 2024 admission is October 15, 2023

2024-2025 Application Deadlines: Post-doctoral Certificates

  • Final completed application deadline for Spring I, 2025 admission is October 15, 2024

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete a Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions application available online at
  2. DNP or Ph.D. degree from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or a National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accredited program.
  3. National certification as an APRN or CNS.
  4. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions where post-baccalaureate coursework was completed or attempted. 
  5. Current and detailed resume or curriculum vitae.
  6. *Unencumbered RN license in the State where the student plans to do their precepted clinical practicum hours.
  7. *Unencumbered APRN license in the student's current specialty.
  8. Personal interview with the specialty Program Director(s).

CastleBranch Requirements 

All requirements are due by the end of the first session and are required to stay in compliance (current and updated) throughout your program. Students who do not start their specialty clinical practicum courses due to incomplete CastleBranch requirements will require a modified education plan, which may result in a program completion delay.

Immunization and Health Screening Requirements:

  • Proof of annual negative Tuberculosis (TB) screening:
    • TB blood test (IGRA) OR
    • Negative chest x-ray AND a provider signed negative symptom checklist.
  • Proof of completion of Hepatitis A and B immunization series or titer demonstrating immunity.
  • Proof of two doses of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) immunization or titer demonstrating immunity.
  • Proof of one Tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunization (after 19 years of age) and boosters per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s adult vaccination schedule.
  • Proof of Chicken Pox (Varicella) immunization or titer demonstrating immunity.
  • Proof of annual influenza immunization.
  • Additional laboratory tests, immunizations, and/or documentation may be required for specific practicum sites.

Additional Requirements:

  • Annual Background Check.
  • Annual negative 10-panel Drug Screen.
  • Annual CastleBranch Elearning (HIPAA/OSHA trainings)
  • Copy of current CPR “Level C” Certification (Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider) that will not be expiring in the next 12 months.
    • Certification MUST be an American Heart Association approved course.
    • Approved courses must have a didactic component and skills verification component.
      • Online only courses, where skills are not validated by an instructor will not be approved. Skills must be validated by an instructor using a feedback device that measures and provides real-time audio feedback or visual feedback (or both) on compression rate and depth.
  • Proof of unencumbered RN license
  • Proof of STUDENT NP Malpractice Insurance ($1 million per occurrence/$3 million in aggregate)
  • Any additional laboratory tests, immunizations, and/or documentation required by specific clinical practicum or DNP Project residency sites (e.g., proof of physical examination, proof of health insurance, etc.).

Catalog Year

Students admitted to the Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions are admitted to the catalog year that is in effect on the date when they begin the program (Spring I).

As part of the application process, the Program Director of the chosen specialty will interview the applicant for admission into the specialty.  If approved for admission, an academic advisor will create a specialty education plan based on the required specialty courses and additional courses determined as needed by the GAP analysis.  Additional courses may be transferred up to a maximum of 12 semester graduate credits per the Transfer Credit policy (see Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures). 

National certifying bodies require that all students applying for a new specialty must successfully complete three courses:

Advanced Lifespan Physical Health Assessment3
Advanced Lifespan Pathophysiology3
Advanced Lifespan Pharmacology Courses3
Total Credits9

Students are required to earn 3 credits in each of the 3 core courses to meet degree credit requirements.  If a student has earned only 1-2 credits in an approved program, additional credit(s) will be taken from University of Massachusetts Global to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree.  These courses are embedded within the education plan.  Upon completion of the DNP, including all courses required for the additional specialty, a student will be eligible to take the national certification exam for their chosen specialty: the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and/or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) to apply for licensure as an APRN in the state where they plan to practice.

All courses must be passed with a grade of “B-” or higher.  Clinical practicum and residency courses are graded Pass/No Pass.  A Pass is equivalent to a “B-” grade.