Two nursing students discussing a research poster

Those who complete the certificate are recognized for their specialized skills, knowledge, and abilities in the nurse educator role. The certification of nurse educators provides a means for faculty members to demonstrate their expertise in the science of nursing education. Obtaining the certificate signifies a commitment to professional development and to continuously improve the methods of teaching needed in the field of nursing.

Students who complete the certificate are eligible to sit for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator Examination. NLN recognizes the nurse educator role as a specialty area of practice.

This program offers two pathways:

  1. Nurse Educator Certificate Program for students currently enrolled in a nursing doctoral program (DNP or PhD)
  2. Nurse Educator Capstone Certificate Program for master's- or doctoral-prepared nurses who are not currently enrolled in a nursing doctoral program



Students are admitted to the certificate to begin in the spring session only. The important dates are:

  • Application Opens: Early September
  • Application Deadline: November 1.
    • All materials (including transcripts) must be received by the deadline.
  • Review of Applications: November
  • Notification of Decision: Early December

Application Process

If you are in a doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, communicate your interest in the certificate to your program director or graduate academic services coordinator and use the online declaration form. If you are not currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the same curricula is also offered as a capstone certificate for Special students. More information can be found here.

Submit All Materials To:

NECP Coordinator/Graduate Admissions
UW–Madison School of Nursing
Suite 1100 Cooper Hall
701 Highland Avenue
Madison WI 53705

All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any graduate/professional certificate. To apply to this certificate, log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs. Select the information for the certificate for which you are applying. Professional students in the careers of Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary cannot add the certificate in the Graduate Student Portal, and should contact the program for more information.


To be eligible to complete the Nurse Educator Certificate, students must have:

  1. A master's degree from an accredited nursing program or be currently enrolled in a DNP or PhD in nursing program,
  2. An RN license,
  3. An MS GPA of at least 3.0


The certificate is a 9-credit program of study that includes graduate-level foundational and practicum work. The three required courses cover the foundation of teaching/learning and curriculum in nursing education, with an emphasis on evidence-based teaching. Courses are delivered in a blended learning format—coursework is completed primarily online, with regularly scheduled class sessions on campus.

The program can be completed in one year, January–December, during spring, summer and fall terms.

The curriculum and requirements for the Nurse Educator Certificate Program are prescribed. Few exceptions or course substitutions are permitted. Exceptions must be approved by the certificate program director.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following courses.
NURSING 785 Foundations of Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NURSING 786 Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing3
NURSING 787 Nursing Education Practicum3
Total Credits9

Learning Outcomes

  1. Implement and modify a variety of teaching strategies based on educational theory and student needs. Use informational technologies to support the teaching process.
  2. Practice effective communications skills, reflective thinking, create opportunities for learners within the learning environment.
  3. Model enthusiasm, personal attributes that facilitate learning, respond to unexpected events, develop collegial working relationships within clinical agencies, use knowledge of evidence based practice and evidence based teaching, and foster a safe learning environment.
  4. Identify individual learning needs, provide resources, advise learners, create learning environments, and foster the development of learners in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.
  5. Provide input to the development and enforcement of nursing program standards. Incorporate current research in assessment and evaluation strategies, analyze available resources, create and use assessment instruments to evaluate outcomes.
  6. Implement evaluation strategies that are appropriate to the learner and learning outcome, analyze data, and use date to enhance the teaching/learning process.
  7. Advise learners regarding assessment and evaluation criteria and provide timely, constructive and thoughtful feedback to learners.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of curriculum development, actively participate and lead curriculum and course design.
  9. Analyze and revise curriculum based on program evaluation, implement curricular revisions using change theories and strategies, collaborate with community and clinical partners. Design, implement and evaluate program assessment plans.
  10. Promote one's socialization to the educator role; maintain professional memberships and activity in professional organizations.
  11. Demonstrate lifelong learning, participate in professional development, manage the teaching, scholarship and service demands. Use feedback from self, peers, learner and administration.
  12. Practice according to legal and ethical standards, mentor and support faculty colleagues, and engage in self-reflection to improve teaching practices.