Post-master's certificate

Overview:

  • Two years (full-time) to complete
  • Graduates are eligible for the adult-gerontology acute care CNS certification exam administered by AACN or ANCC
  • Application deadline: November 1 for entry the following fall

The AGCNS is an advanced practice nurse prepared to manage adult patients in acute, critical and specialty care units. UVA's program emphasizes the advanced theoretical knowledge, practice and skills needed to manage acutely ill patients through all phases of their hospitalization and follow-up. AGCNS students also develop exceptional diagnostic and clinical decision-making skills, strategies to communicate and collaborate with clinicians and health care team members, and the ability to manage and monitor clinical outcomes. A keen focus on evidenced-based practice, quality improvement through system based leadership, teaching and clinical research are also hallmarks.

Who should apply?

Nurses seeking preparation for the care of acute and chronically ill adults at the master’s or post-master's level. Applicants should have at least one year of full-time RN experience before entering the program.

Our Approach

  • Intimate—classes are small, dynamic and filled with like-minded learners
  • Mentorship—access to world-class nursing faculty, exceptional mentors, cutting-edge research and top-of-the-line clinical facilities
  • Hands-on experience—more than 500 hours of clinical experience
  • Specialize—a chance to specialize as part of the extended clinical practicum

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the post-master's certificate, applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Have a master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate and graduate study
  • Hold an unencumbered RN license in the US at the time of application.  All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes.
  • Have at least 1 year of full-time RN practice
  • Submit three satisfactory recommendations (academic, professional, and clinical), one of which should be from an APRN
  • Submit a resume or CV
  • Be available for an interview, if requested
  • International applicants have additional admissions requirements

Submission of GRE scores is optional. If you wish to submit your scores, UVA's institutional code is R-5820. The School of Nursing accepts GRE scores that are more than five years old (please submit a copy of the student report).

Financial Aid

Click here for tuition information.

Students in the post-master's certificate programs at UVA are ineligible for scholarship assistance or student loans. University aid is restricted to those who are enrolled in degree programs (MSN, DNP, PhD, etc).

Classes

Plans of study

Class schedule

Full-time students begin study in the fall, and complete the post-master's certificate in AGCNS in two years, including summer session in year 1. In the first year, the student has didactic classes on Thursdays and Fridays (in the fall) and Wednesday-Friday (in the spring). In the second year, the didactic component is on Thursday, and clinical practica are generally Monday to Wednesday or as the individual's schedule allows.

Transfer Credit

Applicants who are master’s prepared and currently certified as a nurse practitioner will not be required to re-take advanced pharmacology (GNUR 6020), advanced pathophysiology (GNUR 6010), and advanced health assessment (GNUR 6025)—the “3 Ps”—or APRN Roles (GNUR 6031). The academic history of other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Any of the 3 Ps not showing on the applicant’s transcript will need to be completed in order to receive a post-master’s certificate.

Clinicals

Students complete over 500 clinical hours in the AGCNS track in two semester-long preceptorships (GNUR 7311 AND GNUR 7313). The first clinical course (GNUR 7311) is typically completed at the top-ranked UVA Medical Center, which adjoins the School of Nursing. The UVA Medical Center—a 590-bed, Level I trauma center with 6 adult ICUs—provides an excellent clinical site with a wealth of professional and technological resources. The second practicum (GNUR 7313) may be completed at another facility in Virginia with prior arrangement of the program coordinator. Clinical placement sites are assigned based upon optimal learning experiences, students' requests, interagency contracts, and availability.

The individual student determines his or her specialization focus (e.g., cardiology, digestive health, nephrology, neurology or neuro-surgery, general surgery, pulmonary, transplant, oncology, surgical-trauma, etc.) and learns to provide care across the lifespan and care settings within this specialty.

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted outside Virginia if the University is authorized to place students in that state and pending faculty approval.

Palliative care

The UVA School of Nursing is a leader in integrating compassionate care and the central precepts of palliative care into the education of future nurses and advanced practice nurses. Students who attend UVA can be mentored by a growing faculty of over 15 national and international experts in palliative care—educators, clinicians, researchers. Great opportunity awaits the student to develop palliative care as a specialty in their practice—across the lifespan and all care settings. This experience is enriched by the student's access to other disciplinary programs across the University such as religion, ethics, contemplative sciences, mindfulness, and medicine.

Technology requirements

All graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop; Information about these requirements will be sent to enrolling students before classes begin.