USAHS Online Post-Graduate Certificates & MSN-to-DNP Program | University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers post-graduate certificates with nurse executive and nurse educator role specialties. USAHS also offers a master of science in nursing to doctor of nursing practice (MSN-to-DNP) program. The coursework is fully online with optional campus or virtual immersions and local role practicums for the MSN-to-DNP program.

The post-graduate certificates are designed for nurses who have earned an MSN or DNP degree and wish to add a specialty or second specialty to their degree. Current University of St. Augustine MSN or DNP students may also add a certificate to their current program. The certificates can be completed in two trimesters at two courses per term.

A distinct benefit to the USAHS MSN-to-DNP program is the number of acceleration options offered in order to finish the degree sooner. Options may include transfer credits, competency-based self-paced courses, optional campus or virtual immersions for certain courses, credit for previous professional nursing work experience, and stacking courses each trimester. On a part-time basis, the MSN-to-DNP degree may be completed in about two years and four months.

The post-graduate certificates begin three times per year in September, January, and May, with the MSN-to-DNP adding three additional midterm start dates. Online courses may include optional live sessions for more peer and faculty collaboration. The optional campus and virtual immersion weekends allow for face-to-face interaction, skills practice, and networking with healthcare professionals and USAHS alumni.

Nurse executives work as leaders and mentors, creating and refining healthcare processes, leading teams, improving patient care through policy change and process analysis, and managing the financial side of healthcare operations. They also affect the workplace culture.

Graduates of the post-graduate nurse executive certificate program are eligible to take the Nurse Executive, Advanced (NEA-BC) certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). A Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) exam may also be an option through the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL).

Nurse educators play an important role in educating the next generations of nurses through the analysis and improvement of healthcare education, delivery, and teaching models.

Graduates of the post-graduate nurse educator certificate program are eligible to take the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam through the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the Nursing Professional Development (RN-BC) exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences MSN-to-DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). USAHS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What to Expect from the USAHS Online MSN-to-DNP & Post-Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online MSN-to-DNP programs must have earned an MSN with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Post-graduate certificate applicants must hold an MSN or DNP degree with the same minimum GPA requirement. All applicants must have at least one year of full-time RN work experience before the beginning of any role or DNP practicums. No GRE is required for admission.

Application materials include an application, a professional resume or CV, a nursing career goals essay, proof of an unrestricted RN license, official transcripts, and two professional references with specifications. A criminal background check and drug screen must also be completed, and applicants may be asked to participate in an interview. Transcript evaluation and proof of English language proficiency may be required for students who completed their degrees outside the United States.

Study Plan: Start dates for the post-graduate certificate programs fall in September, January, and May. The MSN-to-DNP begins six times per year with three midterm entry dates also available. The nurse educator and nurse executive certificates can be earned in two trimesters. The MSN-to-DNP program is designed to be completed in two years and four months.

Accelerated options are available for the MSN-to-DNP program as mentioned previously. Optional campus and virtual intensives are also offered to accelerate course completion, gain hands-on skills practice, and meet peers, faculty, alumni, and healthcare professionals. Coursework is fully online and DNP students complete 540 to 1,000 practicum hours locally.

Post-Graduate Certificate Curriculum: The nurse executive and nurse educator certificate programs comprise 12 credits and are fully online with optional campus/virtual course immersion weekends.

Courses for the nurse executive certificate include foundations of healthcare administration; human resource management and organizational behavior for healthcare administration; strategic planning in healthcare administration; and accounting, finance, and economics for the healthcare leader.

Courses for the nurse educator certificate include pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology for nurse educators; foundational theories in education; program and curricular design for health science education; and teaching methods in higher education.

MSN-to-DNP Curriculum: The MSN-to-DNP program comprises 42 to 52 credits, depending on prior education and transfer credits, plus completion of 540 to 1,000 practicum hours. USAHS graduates of the MSN with a nurse educator or nurse executive specialization are only required to complete 30 credits to earn the DNP degree.

Courses include interprofessional education and collaborative practice; organizational leadership and policy in healthcare; evidence-based practice for nurse leaders; interprofessional approaches to regional and global population health; theoretical and scientific underpinning for nursing practice; healthcare informatics and technology management; program/project planning and management for evidence-based practice and policy change; data-driven evaluation and clinical analytics for outcomes improvement; DNP practicum I-III; operations and quality management in healthcare; and accounting, finance, and economics for the healthcare leader.

Online Experience: Courses are delivered with a mix of optional synchronous live sessions for virtual face-to-face contact and asynchronous components. USAHS utilizes the Blackboard online learning platform for course delivery. Faculty/peer interaction may also take place through discussion boards, online chat, and email. Online student services may include academic advising, student success advisors, faculty office hours, library and bookstore services, clinical placement services, career counseling, and technical support.

On-Site Requirements: The post-graduate nurse executive and nurse educator certificates and the MSN-to-DNP programs offer optional weekend immersions both on campus or virtually. Campus immersions may take place at the San Marcos, CA campus. All other coursework is delivered online while any practicums are completed locally in approved states.

Paying for the University of St. Augustine Online Certificate and DNP Programs

The online certificate programs cost approximately $715 per credit plus fees. The MSN-to-DNP program costs approximately $927 per credit plus fees. There may be additional costs for optional campus visits. Tuition is the same for both residents and non-residents. Prospective students may wish to contact the USAHS School of Nursing for full tuition and fees information.

There are a variety of funding options for post-graduate nursing programs including but not limited to unsubsidized federal student loans private loans, employer tuition reimbursement programs, tuition discounts, and community and organizational scholarships and grants.

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Post-Graduate (PG) Certificate - Nurse Executive

Program Essentials
Degree Level Post-Master's Certificate
Program Start Dates September, January, May
Credits Needed to Graduate 12
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2 trimesters.
100% Online? Yes
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Masters degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of full-time RN work experience before the start of clinicals
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 12
Average Cost Per Credit $715.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $8,580.00

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Post-Graduate (PG) Certificate - Nurse Educator

Program Essentials
Degree Level Post-Master's Certificate
Program Start Dates September, January, May
Credits Needed to Graduate 12
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2 trimesters.
100% Online? Yes
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Masters degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of full-time RN work experience before the start of clinicals
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 12
Average Cost Per Credit $715.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $8,580.00

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences MSN to DNP

Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates 6 Start Dates - September, January, May + midterm starts
Credits Needed to Graduate 42
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2 years and four months.
100% Online? Yes, plus role practicums and DNP hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Masters of science in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of full-time RN work experience before the start of clinicals
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 42
Average Cost Per Credit $927.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $38,934.00

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.