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Post-Master's Certificate

Nursing Leadership and Management


Become a Nurse Leader Who Can Impact Patient Lives and Influence Your Community


As a motivated registered nurse (RN) with an MSN degree, you have already established your career in caring. Now you're ready to take on new managerial challenges in nurse leadership and beyond. If your vision of your professional future includes a role in nursing administration and management, a Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management can be your next step. Improve healthcare systems, advance patient care, and create a positive environment for other employees as a nurse executive or clinical nurse leader.

Advance your nursing practice and become an effective transformational leader in healthcare. In this post-master's nurse leader certificate, we will empower you with the knowledge and skills to make it happen. 

Don't have an MSN? No problem! Check out the RN-to-MSN or the BSN-to-MSN nursing leadership and management degree programs offered by WGU. You can also compare post-master's certifications to MSN programs.

Expected time to completion  

12 Months

The program consists of 16 credits and is paced to be completed in two six-month terms. 

Tuition per six-month term is


Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps you control the ultimate cost of earning your teaching degree online. Finish faster, pay less!

Graduates who recommend WGU:


The vast majority of alumni say WGU delivered on its promises. In fact, over 50% of students found WGU thanks to a friend's recommendation.

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Nurse Manager Courses

Program consists of 8 courses

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.

The Nursing Leadership and Management courses in this program are consistent with the American Nurses Association (ANA) standards for nurse administrators and are designed to make you an effective nurse leader and manager. The nurse manager specialization will help you gain knowledge in topics like leadership theories, strategic planning, financial and HR management, and more. This program may help you prepare to sit for these valuable certification exams, if you choose:

  • AACN Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
  • ANCC Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC)
  • AONL Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) or Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)

The Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing –Leadership and Management consists of the courses listed below. You will typically complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Certificate Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you'll take your assessment, and once you pass, you'll complete the course and move on. This means you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.

Leadership and Management Specialty
Nursing Core

8 Courses

Program consists of 8 courses

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.

Field Experiences

Special requirements for this program

While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nursing program includes some requirements—including field experiences—that must be completed in a facility near you. And while most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work, some nursing programs begin with a cohort-based course that must be completed via five scheduled webcam sessions with faculty and fellow students.

Skills For Your Résumé

As part of this program, you will develop a range of valuable skills that employers are looking for. 

  • Leadership and Navigation: Successfully ensured accountability for the implementation of project plans and initiatives, leading to timely and successful project completion.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Developed key performance indicators (KPIs) that accurately measured critical process outputs, providing valuable insights.
  • Legal Knowledge:  Demonstrated comprehensive understanding of all relevant laws, policies, and regulations within the industry, ensuring compliance and mitigating potential risks.
  • Problem Solving: Expertly recommended multiple solutions for a variety of problems, showcasing problem-solving skills to address challenges.
  • Project Management: Skillfully determined the necessary resources required to execute projects, optimizing resource allocation and project efficiency.
  • Quality Control: Organized and analyzed data and inspections of products, services, or processes to determine their quality or performance, contributing to improved product/service quality and overall organizational effectiveness.

“I can't think of any other school that has made self learning so much fun and almost addictive. I am actually considering going for another degree—I just don't know which one yet.”

—Amaechi Ozor
M.S. Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN to MSN)

Why WGU?


Top accreditations mean that your certificate is respected by employers and peers. You will get a quality education that is valuable in the industry with this nursing leadership program.

On Your Schedule 

You can continue working at your full-time job or maintaining your responsibilities while earning your nursing leadership post-master's credential. You don't have to log in to classes and there aren't due dates. You are in charge of your program.

Strong Alumni Network

When you enroll in the nursing management certificate program at WGU, you join an impressive network of healthcare professionals.

Accredited, Respected,

One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized. 


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (


An Affordable Nursing Leadership Certificate

By charging per term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their programs. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.

Tuition Calculator
Pay less by completing your program faster

A Nursing Certificate Is Within Reach

There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:

The average student loan debt of WGU graduates in 2022 (among those who borrowed) was less than half* the national average.

Most WGU students qualify for financial aid, and WGU is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits. 

Many scholarship opportunities are available. Find out what you might be eligible for.

*WGU undergraduate students have approximately half the debt at graduation compared to the national average, according to the Institute for College Access and Success (2022).


A Certificate in Nursing Management Designed to Be Earned on a Nurse's Busy Schedule

Our education model puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a certificate program that's more than simply online—you need one that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience. At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you’ve learned. How quickly is largely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the material, you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s curriculum.

Other online certificate programs may give you the convenience of distance learning; WGU's online programs take that flexibility further—many steps further!

"Not only did my degree at WGU help me advance my career—it also helped save a rural hospital and the community's access to local, quality healthcare.”

—Sarah Aronack
M.S. Nursing – Leadership & Management


A Program That Prepares You to Lead Healthcare Teams

Once you have completed your Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management, you will have the knowledge and skills to be an outstanding nurse manager, leader, or administrator. You'll be in demand because you'll be prepared to translate your extensive nursing knowledge into strong, effective leadership, guidance, mentorship, and management that will change your team—and your facility—for the better.

Nurse leaders combine their technical nursing know-how with strong people skills, organizational prowess, and business knowledge to lead healthcare teams to success—success that transforms lives. As a nurse leader, you may increase your earning power. But beyond that, your daily work will improve the quality of life not only for patients, but for the nurses you lead. As a qualified and compassionate nurse leader, your expertise and human touch can make your healthcare facility a place of positivity and healing.

Return on Your Investment

On average, WGU graduates see an increase in income post-graduation

Average income increase from all degrees in annual salary vs. pre-enrollment salary. Source: 2023 Harris Poll Survey of 1,655 WGU graduates.

Survey was sent to a representative sample of WGU graduates from all colleges. Respondents received at least one WGU degree since 2017.


Projections indicate that employment of medical and health services managers will grow 32% by 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nursing Leadership Graduates Have Highly Rewarding Careers

Our 3,300-plus Nursing Leadership and Management alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:

Job Titles

  • Director of nursing
  • Chief nursing officer
  • Quality director
  • Clinical nurse leader
  • Project manager

Diverse Industries

  • Hospitals
  • Health systems
  • Cancer centers
  • Local, state, or federal government
  • Hospice providers

Major Employers

  • Anthem
  • Ascension Health
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • U.S. Army
  • UCLA Health System

WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers

Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a degree from WGU, so your healthcare degree is valuable.


Admissions Requirements Unique to This Program

To be considered for this post-master's certificate program in nursing, you must:

  • Possess an M.S. in Nursing from an accredited institution or state board of nursing approved program.
  • Possess an active, unencumbered RN license in your state of residence, or your state of employment. (Some license holders may be granted a waiver if they are not licensed in their state of residence or employment.) You must be licensed in the state in which you will complete your clinical experience. 

Safety Notice: WGU and the College of Health Professions (CHP) are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all patients, community members, and key stakeholders that interact with WGU students at various clinical/host sites. Interactions might include direct patient interaction, observation experiences, laboratory experiences, project development, or conducting research.  Standard compliance verification for students in applicable CHP programs is required to protect the public, meet CHP program expectations, reasonably assure compliance with state regulatory board requirements, meet WGU’s contractual and legal obligations with clinical partners, and support WGU’s mission to prepare students who will be qualified to enter their desired field. Compliance items may include, but are not limited to, background checks, immunizations, and drug screens as needed.

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Transfer Credits

More About the Nursing Leadership Certificate

In order to be eligible for this certificate program, you must be a registered nurse with an active, unencumbered RN license and hold a MSN degree from an accredited program.

Yes! WGU does offer scholarship opportunities for students in post-master's certificate programs. 

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our only focus. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, or other nonacademic programs.

A post-master's certificate in nursing is a great option for MSN graduates who are looking to change the trajectory of their careers. For example, MSN-educated nurses who want to become a nurse manager can benefit from a post-master's certificate in nursing leadership and management.

WGU is approved to offer federal student aid. You will need to apply using the FAFSA, which is used to determine your eligibility for aid. WGU’s FAFSA school code is 033394.

Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:

  • How to apply
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Examples of scholarships
  • What happens after you apply
  • FAQs
  • Other financial aid options

WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at most other schools. 

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