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October 6, 2021

WGU’s College of Health Professions Launches Two Nursing Certificates

Post-master’s certificates for Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership & Management will help address shortages in nurse training programs and boost quality improvement initiatives

SALT LAKE CITY - The College of Health Professions at Western Governors University (WGU) today announced the launch of two post-master’s certificates for nurses seeking to expand their careers into nursing education or nursing administration and management. 

“More than ever, the value of nurses is evident in our society. These certificate programs will provide opportunities for nurses across the country to expand their impact by educating the next generation of nurses,” said Jan Jones-Schenk, Executive Dean and Senior Vice President of WGU’s College of Health Professions. “For nurses who have earned a master’s degrees, these certificate programs can provide cost-effective and timely pathways as they pursue the next chapters of their careers and guide their organizations to deliver better healthcare outcomes.”

Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s 2019–2020 report Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S.-based nursing schools turned away 80,521 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2020 due to shortfalls in the numbers of faculty members or clinical preceptors, classroom space or clinical sites, and/or budgetary resources. Most nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to faculty shortages as a top reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into their programs.

The College of Health Professions’ new Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education will prepare nurses to use their experience and knowledge to serve as educators and work in a variety of settings, including higher education, clinical education, or healthcare professional development. Graduates of the certificate program are eligible to sit for the National League for Nursing’s Certified Nurse Educator examination. 

“With consideration of recommendations made by the recent consensus study The Future of Nursing 2020–2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, WGU continues innovating to develop nurse leaders for the future of our nation,” said Eric Weaver, Executive Director of the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC) at WGU—a nonprofit, peer-learning, member organization focused on accelerating the transition to value-based care. “These nurse leaders will be instrumental in creating a culture of health, reducing health disparities, and improving population health in the communities they serve. Furthermore, the partnership with NAHQ will support organizations in accelerating nursing leadership with an industry-validated framework that advances quality competencies related to population health and patient safety.”

Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Leadership & Management

For nurses in supervisory or managerial roles, or those who aspire to those roles, the Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Leadership & Management is designed to develop individual leadership and management skills with a particular emphasis on quality improvement initiatives. WGU’s competency-based education format focuses on developing essential competencies needed for leaders in dynamic healthcare settings, including resource management, strategic planning, project management, communications, and quality improvement.

WGU’s Certificate in Nursing Leadership & Management is the only such program in the U.S. that, upon completion, grants students the National Association for Healthcare Quality’s (NAHQ) designation as “Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.”

In addition to the NAHQ recognition, students who successfully complete the program are also eligible to sit for a variety of external certification examinations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s “Clinical Nurse Leader,” the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s “Nurse Executive Certification,” and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders’ “Certified Nurse Manager and Leader” or “Certified in Executive Nursing Practice” credentials.

Current nurses and healthcare organizations can learn more about the Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education at More information on the Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Leadership & Management is available at

About WGU’s College of Health Professions

The College of Health Professions at WGU is one of nation’s largest schools of nursing, currently educating more than 28,000 bachelor’s- and master’s-level nursing and healthcare students. In 2020–21, more than 17 percent of all Bachelor of Science, Nursing graduates in the United States were educated by WGU’s College of Health Professions.

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