Online Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Updated November 4, 2022

By earning an online nurse practitioner post-master's certificate, FNPs and other specialists can change their focus or add a specialization and increase their expertise.
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Post-master's certificate nurse practitioner online programs can lead to specialty area credentials for nurse practitioners (NPs) who hold a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. NPs who already practice in one specialty area may want to switch or supplement their focus with certification in another, such as acute care, family practice, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, or women's health.

This guide and program listings provide admission and certification information, along with information to help you choose the best program for your professional goals.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best post-master's NP certificate programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about post-master's NP certificate programs, or go straight to our list of the best post-master's NP certificate programs.

How Do Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs Work?

Online learners can earn their NP post-master's certificate in 1-2 years of part-time study. Designed for working NPs, the curriculum typically includes 20 credits and 650 supervised practicum hours in their specialty focus.

Programs may offer scheduled synchronous online classes or asynchronous courses, along with on-campus immersions. Clinical nursing rotations take place at local healthcare sites.

Nursing schools offer post-master's certificate NP programs in specialties, such as:

Once NPs earn their post-master's certificates, they can apply to become board certified nationally in their new specialization. NPs must still maintain their registered nurse (RN) license. They should also maintain their advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license and any previous board certification for specialty areas in which they plan to continue practicing.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Applying to an Online Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Program

Applicants to an NP post-master's certificate program typically need active, unencumbered RN and APRN licensure, an MSN or a DNP from an accredited program, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and at least one year of NP experience. Some programs accept applications from graduate degree-holders in healthcare fields with prerequisite nursing courses, such as statistics.

Required submission materials usually include transcripts, goal statements, three reference letters, and a resume. Most programs evaluate potential transfer credits and many invite candidates to interview.

Why Is Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program Accreditation Important?

Nursing school accreditation means that a team of academics and nurses has reviewed the post-master's certificate NP program to ensure that graduates can practice safely in their specialty.

In addition, most boards only certify graduates of accredited programs, and accredited programs almost never accept transfer credits from programs not accredited.

While programs that are not accredited may promise you a faster or cheaper education option, attending an unaccredited program is a risk to your time and money. This guide only includes accredited programs.

Online Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs 2022

#1 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Stony Brook University

  • Stony Brook, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Stony Brook University's post-master's certificate nurse practitioner program takes place primarily online but includes some on-campus learning. The program requires a minimum of 22 credits, depending on the student's previous education and assists students with clinical placement. Students must obtain malpractice insurance once admitted.

Details:

  • Program(s): Advanced certificate - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Stony Brook, NY
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $471 per credit for in-state residents; $963 per credit for out-of-state residents
  • Admission Requirements: Master's or doctoral degree from accredited nursing program, RN license, 3.0 GPA, courses in health assessment and statistics, one year of professional experience (recommended)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some on-campus requirements.
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $105,660 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$24,740
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
26,814
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

George Washington University offers four post-master's certificate nurse practitioner programs and two non-advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certificate programs. Most of the program is offered online, but some components require on-campus work. Students receive guidance and mentoring for clinical placement.

Details:

  • Program(s): Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; family nurse practitioner; psychiatric mental nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,480 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, RN license, 3.0 GPA (recommended). Some certificates have additional requirements.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes.
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $101,260 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$54,453
Out-of-state
$54,453
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
27,814
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Frontier Nursing University

  • Hyden, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

Frontier Nursing University's four post-master's certificate nurse practitioner programs are available in a hybrid format. The program helps students find clinical placement in their communities. Graduates of the certificate programs can proceed to the university's doctor of nursing practice program without having to apply. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Nurse-midwife; family nurse practitioner; women's healthcare nurse practitioner; psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Versailles, KY
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $636 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: MSN in an APRN specialty, essay, three professional references, transcripts 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months (varies by program)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Orientation and a pre-clinical program
Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,237
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Maryville University of Saint Louis offers a post-master's certificate nurse practitioner program that does not include any on-campus components. Students learn in an asynchronous format and can continue working throughout their education. 

The program assists students in finding clinical placement in their home communities. Students can choose from five nurse practitioner specialties.

Details:

  • Program(s): Post-master's nurse practitioner certification - family nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; pediatric primary care nurse practitioner; psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Saint Louis, Mo
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $810 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, RN license, 3.0 GPA (preferred)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $93,720 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Georgia College & State University

  • Milledgeville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Georgia College offers four post-master's certificate nurse practitioner programs and a nurse educator certificate program. Coursework takes place primarily online with some on-campus requirements. Students must complete at least 11 credit hours at Georgia College. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Family nurse practitioner; psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; nurse midwife; women's health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Milledgeville, GA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $22,860 per year
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, 3.2 GPA, Georgia RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,508
Out-of-state
$26,688
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
7,031
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Purdue University Global-Indianapolis

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

Purdue Global's family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate program offers multiple start dates to accommodate working students. Most students dedicate 15-19 hours per week to coursework. Students must earn a minimum of a "B" in clinical courses and a "C" in all other courses. Participants identify their own local clinical placements.

Details:

  • Program(s): Family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate
  • Campus: Indianapolis, IN
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $420 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, RN license, 2.5 GPA, criminal background check
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$13,356
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
38,138
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Cincinnati's FNP post-master's certificate program gives each student a customized curriculum based on their needs. Most students continue to work while enrolled. Applicants must have a BSN and an MSN in an APRN specialty. Residents of certain states and in U.S. territories are not eligible to apply

Details:

  • Program(s): Family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate
  • Campus: Cincinnati, OH
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $740 per credit for in-state students; $760 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, MSN in an APRN specialty, statistics graduate coursework, 3.0 GPA, RN license. 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Varies, typically 18 months.
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $94,010 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$9,476
Out-of-state
$24,810
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
39,263
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Minnesota State University-Mankato

  • Mankato, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Minnesota State University - Mankato offers a family nurse practitioner DNP program and a BSN-to-DNP program. Both pathways require 80 credits for completion, and students participate in four clinical placements. Students can complete their education in two years.

Details:

  • Program(s): Family nurse practitioner DNP; family urse practitioner BSN-to-DNP
  • Campus: Mankato, MN
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $470 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, 3.0 GPA, RN and at least one year of experience as an RN
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.1%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $104,750 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard 
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,394
Out-of-state
$15,686
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
14,325
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Saint Louis University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Saint Louis University's FNP post-master's certificate program allows students to seek advanced standing in some courses and transfer up to six credits of graduate coursework. The program requires a minimum of 15 credits, making it one of the shorter curriculums available. Students from some states are not eligible to apply

Details:

  • Program(s): Family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate
  • Campus: Saint Louis, MO
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,190 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: MSN, 3.2 GPA, graduate-level physiology and beginning assessment courses, APRN experience preferred, completion of an American heart care provider course (may be completed after acceptance)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.8%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $108,650 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard 
Average Tuition
In-state
$44,700
Out-of-state
$44,700
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
12,799
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

University of Missouri-St Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Missouri - Saint Louis provides six different post-master's certificate nurse practitioner programs. Students may be able to transfer credits from other graduate nursing programs, and most part-time students complete the program in 12-24 months. Students from certain states are not eligible to apply. 

The program assists students to find clinical placement. Please note that applications are temporarily closed. Check the program page for updates. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Adult/geriatric nurse practitioner-primary care; family nurse practitioner-primary care; pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care; pediatric nurse practitioner-acute care; psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner-primary care; women's health nurse practitioner-primary care
  • Campus: Saint Louis, MO
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $520 per credit for Missouri or Illinois residents; $1,280 per credit for out-of-state residents
  • Admission Requirements: MSN or DNP, 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.4%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $79,390 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard 
Average Tuition
In-state
$11,079
Out-of-state
$29,295
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
15,988
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs


What are the highest-earning NP specialties?

The highest-paid NP specialties and median annual salaries are psychiatric mental health adult ($135,000), psychiatric mental health ($131,500), neonatal ($130,500), pediatric primary care mental health ($128,000), and acute care ($127,500), according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

What are the most popular post-master's NP certificate specialties?

The most popular NP specialization is family practice, according to the AANP Compensation Survey, with 65.4% of NPs certified in family practice. The next most popular specialty is adult nursing, at 12.6%, adult-gerontology at 7.8%, acute care at 5.5%, and pediatric primary care at 3.7%.

How long does it take to complete a post-master's nurse practitioner program?

Most NP post-master's online certificate program enrollees continue to work full time and study part time. The program typically lasts 1-2 years.

Full-time learners can finish sooner, particularly in self-paced programs. Specialty area time lines may differ, depending on clinical hours, course credit requirements, and transfer credit availability.

How hard is it to complete a post-master's NP certificate program?

Program difficulty depends on your academic background, experience, and individual program requirements. If you recently had graduate-level classes in that specialty or engaged in professional development, you may find it easier.

Program admission rates can help you measure a program's difficulty.

Related Nurse Practitioner Resources

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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