Nurses working at a computer
Graduate Certificate in
Nurse Administrator


The Graduate Certificate in Nurse Administrator requires successful completion of three 3-credit graduate-level nursing administrator courses. The program also includes an optional 4-credit practicum course designed to give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you gained in the three required courses.

Courses in the 9-credit certificate can help prepare you for nurse administrator roles by covering main topics including:

  • health care economics and policy 
  • nurse leadership roles, concepts, and theories
  • human resources in health care organizations

In addition to the certificate being an excellent stand-alone credential, all of the required courses in the Graduate Certificate in Nurse Administrator can be applied toward the requirements for the Nurse Administrator option of the Master of Science in Nursing degree also offered online through Penn State's World Campus.

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • 3

    Concepts of health care economics and policy for nurse administrators.

  • 3

    This course provides a foundation in nurse leadership roles, concepts, and theories. Students will explore the theoretical basis of leadership and change, as well as analyze organizational structure, power, and politics. This course is intended to provide students with a theoretical and evidence-based foundation for leadership roles in health care organizations. Discussion of communication, decision-making, and problem-solving strategies for nurse administrators is included throughout the course.

  • 3

    This course provides a foundation in human resources within health care organizations. Students will examine ethical and legal issues related to collective bargaining, unions, and staffing. This course is intended to prepare students to utilize leadership strategies for recruiting, retaining, developing, and evaluating a diverse, multidisciplinary workforce in complex health care environments. Discussion of evidence-based strategies for conflict resolution will be included throughout the course.

Optional Course (4 credits)

  • 4

    This course involves the practical application of knowledge acquired in previously completed courses related to nurse administration. Students will work with a preceptor in a health care setting to demonstrate multiple aspects of the nurse administrator role. The practicum experience will be developed to fulfill mutually agreed-upon objectives based on students' previous experiences and identified learning needs.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Penn State World Campus Student

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