Skip to main
Close Search

Graduate Certificate in Professional Nursing

For those who already have an advanced practice graduate degree in nursing, this program expands your knowledge to a new population foci to support a role change in your career.

This program prepares post graduate APRN's in the specialty areas of:

  • Adult Geriatric Acute Care
  • Family Care
  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatric Acute Care
  • Pediatric Primary Care


  • Students may select the track in Executive Leadership, which focuses on competencies required for middle management and executive leaders. 

This program features course work online with required in-person clinical rotations and required visits to UK's Lexington campus for immersion activities twice each semester.

Apply now

At a Glance

Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024, Full-time rate $8,817 per semester)

Credits Required: 16
Cost Per Credit: $981.00


Online with In-person Requirements

Request Information

Learn more about the Professional Nursing online program.
We launch critical & innovative thinkers, creators, and doers.
Fill out this form to be sent information specific to your program of interest, including deadlines, tuition, application requirements and more!

Graduate Certificate in Professional Nursing overview

Program format
Online with In-person Requirements
Total credits
Total Credits
Program level

Hear from Program Leaders

Sign up for a Virtual Open House

What You'll Learn

  • Apply scientific principles as you diagnose, manage, treat, and evaluate patients
  • Employ advanced practice nursing specialty competencies and evidence-based treatment with specific populations
  • Collaborate with interprofessional teams in order to optimize care for diverse populations.

Students are educated for licensure as a Nurse Practitioner by the Board of Nursing in your state and you may apply to take the national certification for your population foci in which you were educated. Graduates of the Executive Leadership specialty may be eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive - Advanced certification exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice exam with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). Eligibility for certification also requires meeting practice requirements for the respective agency.

How You'll Learn

• Class are completed online.
• Students must also attend in-person immersion blocks (1-3 days) twice each semester.
   - During the immersion blocks you will attend orientation and networking events and complete various degree-related activities, including testing, skill assessments, simulation, and standardized patient modules.
• Students complete 16 to 31 credit hours, depending on specialty track and previously completed coursework.

student image

How to Apply

Application Requirements

The application fee is $80.00, payable through NursingCAS. For information on application fee waivers, visit the NursingCAS website. There is no additional application fee to the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.  Applicants to the DNP program must select one specialty in their application.

Please upload the following with your application in NursingCAS:

  • Current CV/Resume - You should have your current/updated Curriculum Vitae or resume in hand prior to beginning the application. This will provide you with needed information regarding prior schools attended, dates, prior employment and dates, etc. needed for the application. Applicants are required to upload current CV/resume. See sample format.
  • Recommendations - You will need current contact information on each of your two references (full name, employer name and email address) before beginning the application. These individuals will be required to upload a letter of recommendation to NursingCAS.  References attesting to the applicant's expertise in nursing or health care are preferred from the following:
    1. A current supervisor
    2. No more than one peer 
      • Identifying your selected references and initiating the recommendation request is part of the NursingCAS application.  Hard copy or electronic versions of recommendations sent directly to the school will not be accepted
  • Personal Statement/Goal Statement - Please write a one to two double-spaced page essay describing what you as a person would bring to our educational community, the advanced practice nursing profession, and the community you seek to serve.
    1. Include your short- and long-term professional goals. Identify a system or population you are interested in working with and discuss a problem in that system/population that you wish to expand your knowledge on during your certificate program.
  • Licensure - Applicants must upload copy of the State Board of Nursing validation of their current, unencumbered RN license(s), and APRN license if applicable. 

Personal Interview(s) are required

Admissions Criteria

  • Graduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale 
  • MSN, DNP or PHD in nursing degree from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program

Program Contact

Kathy Collins
Student Services Officer


Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

NC-SARA logo
University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online

One tuition rate

Pay the same online tuition rate, no matter where you live.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.

Be Supported

Access supporting services and success coaches to help you succeed.


The University of Kentucky’s acute care post-master's certificate program allowed me to continue working in a busy electrophysiology practice while completing my certificate.
Melissa Czarapata
Follow On Social Facebook Icon YouTube Icon LinkedIn Icon Instagram Icon Network Icon
Find the Degree that Fits Explore Now