UMass Boston

Nursing Post-Master's Certificate

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Become a nurse practitioner on your schedule

UMass Boston’s Nursing Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) Program is open to you if you are a Master’s-prepared RN who wishes to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in Primary Care or a nurse practitioners (NPs) who wants to earn a second certification as an FNP. Take advantage of all online courses, do your clinical hours in eligible states, and save money with online tuition rates among the lowest in the field.

In this certificate program, you will:

  • Develop advanced clinical competence in providing comprehensive primary healthcare to individuals and families across the lifespan
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to assume the advanced practice role of a Family Nurse Practitioner, including health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic conditions
  • Integrate evidence-based practice, cultural sensitivity, and ethical decision-making into clinical practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner

Career Possibilities

Work in a primary care office or a family health clinic as a family nurse practitioner. Pursue careers in academia, working as a faculty member or a clinical instructor in a nursing school. Or, focus on a specialty such as pediatrics, women's health, geriatrics, or chronic disease management. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • General Nurse Practitioner
  • Telehealth Clinician
  • Faculty Member

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How to Apply


Prerequisites to the Post-Master’s Certificate program include evidence of graduate level coursework in an APRN program in the “3 P courses.” These courses are advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology.

To be recognized, the “3 P courses” must have been:

  • Taken in an APRN track program.
  • Earned a letter grade of a B or better, (pass/fail are not acceptable).
  • Completed within 5 years of application.
  • Equivalent in content and credits (3 credits) to UMass Boston courses.
  • Stand-alone courses (i.e., no combination courses, such as pathopharmacology).


Students have the opportunity to be granted a waiver of prerequisite courses in several ways.

  1. As noted above with courses taken in an APRN track program, earned a B or better within the past 5 years, 3 credit courses and stand alone.
  2. A practicing APRN in primary care (PNP, ANP, AGNP) will be granted a waiver as long as the courses were a primary care/internal medicine course (not specific to a population foci) and earned a B or better.
  3. The APEA test may be taken with a 67% passing grade which demonstrates competency in the 3 P’s and a waiver may then be granted for those prerequisites. If the student does not obtain 67% after three attempts the 3 P’s need to be taken by the student.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should indicate in their statement of interests and intent whether they are applying to the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Post Master’s Certificate program of study 12- or 21-credit options. We are currently not accepting applications for the Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) specialization. Only Master’s prepared currently certified adult, pediatric, or gerontology NPs can be considered for acceptance into the 12-credit option. 

In addition to the general admission requirements for all graduate studies programs listed in the "Admissions" section of the Graduate Admission Application, prospective students applying to the post master’s nurse practitioner certificate programs must meet the following requirements:

  1. Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  2. Personal statement: As a prompt, focus on the following: why you want to pursue graduate studies, why are you interested in pursuing the track (FNP) you are applying for and how will the degree help with your professional and personal goals
  3. Two professional references
  4. Current resume/CV
  5. Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from an accredited program; a GPA of 3.0 or better is recommended for admission to the program
  6. Masters in Nursing from an accredited nursing program
  7. Current RN license in the state the student lives and completing clinical
  8. Evidence of national certification for those applying to the 12-credit program
  9. One year of clinical practice as a nurse practitioner for those applying to the 12-credit program

*Please note that the Nursing PMC program is not available for residents in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas (on a case-by-case basis), Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: June 15 for fall, November 15 for spring

Other: Applicants must be residents of and hold nursing licenses in approved US states.

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website

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Program Requirements

Complete one of the following:

  • 21 credits from five required courses
  • 12 credits from three courses including one required course, one primary care course, and one practicum course.


  • NURSNG 614 - Advanced Pathophysiology 
  • NURSNG 615 - Advanced Health Assessment Practicum 
  • NURSNG 631 - The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse 
  • NURSNG 634 - Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse

These courses, taken within 7 years (5 years for Advanced Pharmacology), will be recognized if the student has earned a B or better, if the course is judged to be equivalent in content and credit, and if the course is at the graduate and APN level. Depending on their previous courses, some students may need to complete some or all of these prerequisite courses before advancing to the specialty area.
Clinical experience: All students in the 21-credit option must complete 600 hours of documented supervised clinical experience. Students in the 12-credit option must complete 300 hours of clinical experience. Students need to arrange their own clinical experiences. All practicum experiences are subject to the approval of the program directors. The agency must be under contract agreement with the UMass/Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences and that working agreement will be facilitated by the Placement Office prior to the start of the clinical course. Students are advised that preceptors must be either master’s-prepared NPs, physician assistants (PAs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs) or physicians (MDs or Docs) with evidence of current licensure and board specialty.

Grading basis: No courses taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory may be applied toward the program.
Statute of limitations: Four years.

Course Requirements

Complete three to five courses from one of the options below.

Graduation Criteria

Clinical Experiences

All students in the 21-credit option must complete 600 hours of documented supervised clinical experience. Students in the 12-credit option must complete 300 hours of clinical experience in the in the chosen specialty. All practicum experiences are subject to the approval of the certificate program director. The agency must be under contract agreement with the UMass Boston Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The working agreement will be facilitated by the PMC program assistant. Students are advised that preceptors must be either Master’s prepared NPs, or MDs with evidence of current licensure.

Note: Students need to arrange their own clinical experiences.

Graduate Program Director: 
Brenda Clausell-Rigsby

Nursing students in scrubs take a seminar.

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