Webinar: Guide to Your Online Post-Master’s NP Certificate at Regis

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Looking to add more dimension to your MSN as a nurse practitioner? This webinar will explore everything you’ll need to know about the online Post-Master’s NP Certificate program at Regis, including curriculum overview, transfer credit process, clinical placements and more.

Students enrolled in our online graduate nursing certificate program can benefit from:

  • 100% online coursework
  • 2 entry points designed for MSN-prepared RNs and MSN-prepared NPs
  • Complete in as few as 12-24 months, depending on entry point
  • Choose from five NP specializations and qualify to sit for board certification exams
  • Transfer maximum credit hours from prior MSN

The hosts Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE, Associate Dean of Graduate Online Nursing Programs, and Senior Admissions Advisor Vanessa Margarit will walk you through the details of the program and highlight how attainment of an advanced credential uniquely equips the mid-career nurse to join an area of advanced nursing practice that is revolutionizing the delivery of health care.

Watch the webinar video below to learn more.


Vanessa Margarit, Regis College Admissions Advisor:

Welcome everyone to a guide to your online Post-Master’s NP Certificate program. We’re going to talk about all the details of the program, clinical experiences, curriculum and everything you need to know about learning, to become an NP and expanding your practice. My name is Vanessa. I’m an enrollment advisor at Regis College and here with me is Cassie Godzik the associate Dean of graduate online nursing programs to walk you through the presentation. I’ll now hand it over to Cassie to introduce herself and share more about her experiences and education.

Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE:

Thanks Vanessa. Hi everyone. I’m Cassie Godzik. I am the associate Dean of the graduate online nursing programs here at Regis College. I oversee the post-master’s certificate programs, the masters and the doctoral programs here at Regis. As you can see, here’s a little bit of my education background. I did receive my degree in neuroscience and psychology at the University of Vermont and then moved into the bachelor’s of nursing and master’s of nursing here at Regis College with a specialty in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track and since that time I’ve been practicing as a psych NP while also going on to earn my PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School of Nursing, where I studied clinical nursing research, focusing in psychiatry and sleep medicine for my dissertation and some post-graduate work. I do maintain my board certification in psychiatric nursing across the lifespan and do practice in a few New England facilities in inpatient, outpatient and residential settings. I’m so happy to be here with you today.

Vanessa Margarit, Regis College Admissions Advisor:

Again, my name is Vanessa and I am a graduate admissions advisor at Regis College. I’ve been working with the nursing and health sciences programs for the past three and a half years, helping students like yourself take the next step in their academic career. It is my role to make sure that Regis is a great fit for you and to partner with you to build a strong application. Here’s a few ways that you can get in touch with me. You can either email, text or call me, or if you prefer to schedule an appointment, please click on the link.

Regis College is a leading Catholic university although we do have students from different types of faith backgrounds in Western Massachusetts. We have been preparing our students for success since 1927 to keep up with an evolving world we offer a variety of online nursing and health sciences programs. Our nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or ACEN and our institution is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Why choose Regis?

Here at Regis, we educate the whole person with our high pass rates our students are well-prepared to achieve nursing excellence and have a positive impact on their communities. Our supportive program offers a robust and focused curriculum that integrates holistic patient-centered care and evidence-based practice. Students will be able to learn from high-touch faculty who are licensed and are doctorally prepared. Our supportive faculty will provide insider perspectives on leadership qualities in the field. We offer five high demand specialization options, psychiatric mental health, the primary care Adult-Gerontology, pediatrics, women’s health and family. Our programs are designed with you in mind with economical tuition costs and less time to complete.

Let’s go over some fast facts about our program. Our NP programs prepare students to sit for the NP board exams. Our program is 100% online with no campus requirements. Clinicals are also completed in your own state. We offer two entry points for MSN prepared nurses, which we will get into a bit later. Again, we offer five NP specializations to advance your practice. This program can be completed in as few as 12 to 24 months. We do consider your transfer credits from your previous degree where you’re able to transfer up to 18 credits. Our program team takes an asynchronous approach to learning where students are not logging on at a specific time of the week. As long as deadlines for prerecorded activities, readings and other assessments are met. This program was designed for the working professional and is considered part-time. We do not charge technology fees or student services fees. We also do not require any entry exams such as the GRE or GMAT. I will now pass it back to Cassie to speak about some benefits of becoming an NP.

Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE:

There are so many benefits to becoming a nurse practitioner and earning your nurse practitioner certificate. This will allow you to join a highly skilled group of advanced practice nurses who are changing the face of modern healthcare. So with this certificate, you’re going to advance your career as a nurse practitioner or potentially expand your practice by specializing in a population you’re passionate about. So many of our students in this program are either coming in with a master’s degree that is not a nurse practitioner or coming back for their second nurse practitioner certificate. So we do have a number of students who are family nurse practitioners and are coming back for their psych NP, so that they’re able to treat the patient more holistically with the medical model as well as the psychiatric health. More and more states are allowing for practice autonomously of the nurse practitioner.

There are some states that even allow nurse practitioners to start and maintain your own practice. There is a lot of career stability and ample job opportunities that are available for nurse practitioners, a quick Google search of positions for nurse practitioners and you’ll find positions in all different types of facilities, hospitals, residential facilities, and outpatient primary care offices. So there’s more and more need for nurse practitioners as organizations realize what we’re capable of. There are competitive wages and well deserved benefits to consider as you become a nurse practitioner.

You’re also going to position yourself as a leader within the healthcare system and potentially work flexible and conventional hours depending on what type of setting you’re planning on working in and gaining prescriptive authority as a nurse practitioner is possible depending on which state you’re planning to practice in. So I recommend taking a look at your state’s prescriptive authority guidelines to see if the certificate is going to allow you to prescribe medications in that state.

So at Regis College, we do have five high demand NP specializations that are available to you as a post-master’s certificate students there’s the family, pediatric, women’s health, psychiatric mental health, and the adult gerontology primary care tracks that are available. There are a number of popular NP specialization combinations that students come into our program requesting.

As I had mentioned previously, a lot of our students coming in with their family nurse practitioner that they’ve previously earned and are coming back to obtain their psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate so that they’re able to provide a more holistic health care experience for their patients. As you can see, there are a number of other combinations that have been popular with our students, students coming in with their nurse leadership and management master’s degree and they’re coming back for their family nurse practitioner. Another combination is the nurse leadership and management. I’m coming back for this mental health and the list goes on and on. So it can be depending on what you want your practice to look like moving forward and what your career goals are, it can make sense to combine a number of certificates to provide the best practice for your patients and for your organization.

So thinking about salary and job outlook for nurse practitioners, it is certainly a stable career. As you can see, we do have more than 89% of nurse practitioners are in at least one area of primary care. We do have the breakdown on the left hand side, we can see that many of the nurse practitioners, 65% are family practice followed by the adult gerontology primary care with the smallest currently being the psychiatric nurse practitioner at 1.8%, the salary does vary depending on where you’re located in the country, what type of practice you’re planning on working in, whether it’s the hospital setting or outpatient primary care setting but there are a number of statistics available when you do a Google search and you’ll see that the family nurse practitioner and psych mental health nurse practitioner are some of the highest paid within the nurse practitioner specialties, although all are very close to each other at above $90,000. The overall employment of nurse practitioners is definitely projected to grow. There’s figures stating that up to 50% job growth is expected over the next decade.

Vanessa Margarit, Regis College Admissions Advisor:

So we offer two entry points for MSN-prepared students. Entry number one is for students who have an MSN but no NP. These include those who have an MSN in education, nurse leadership, management and more. These students are looking to become NPs. Entry number two is for MSN students who are already NP prepared and are looking to add an additional specialization. These include FNPs looking to become psych mental health NPs or adult gerontology NPs looking to become family nurse practitioners.

Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE:

So there are a number of core courses that are required of our nurse practitioner students. As you can see listed here, there are six, including Advanced Pathophysiology, Concepts in Nursing Leadership, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology, Advanced Health Assessment and Roles and Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing. There might be depending on which track that you are specializing in, a number of additional courses that are required. All of our specialization tracks, no matter what NP specialty you’ve chosen do require the 664 clinical hours in order to complete the program. The industry standard or accrediting body standard is 500 hours in order to sit for the board certification. We do here at Regis prepare you a little bit more at the over 150 hours beyond that 500 hour requirement in order to ensure that you’re most prepared for practice as a nurse practitioner. This 664 hours is a bit less than some other schools, which you’ll see at 700-750, so it does vary school to school.

Vanessa Margarit, Regis College Admissions Advisor:

Our program includes 8 and 16 week courses which are completed across three semesters a year. I would like to mention that there is a range in credits, semesters and length because of transfer credits and specialization. Let’s break down our curriculum based on entry track. Entry number one has 31 to 40 credits for the adult gerontology primary care program, pediatrics, women’s health and family nurse practitioner. Where the psych mental health nurse practitioner program has a total of 34 to 40 credits. This entry point includes five to six courses completed over the span of 20 to 24 months. Entry number two has 19 to 37 credits for the adult gerontology and NP program, family nurse, pediatrics, and women’s health where the psych mental health NP program has a total of 22 to 40 credits.

This entry point includes 3 to 10 courses completed over the span of 12 to 20 months. The clinical hours for both entry tracks are always conducted at the last two semesters of the program. While you are in these clinical rotations, you are not doing any didactic coursework. This is because we want you to be dedicated to the role of the NP and bring in what you learned from the program into the real world.

Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE:

So tuition and transfer credits. So the cost per credit here at Regis College for graduate nursing is $990 per credit. The application fee for your application to the graduate program is $75. There are a number of ways to save on your tuition. There is the employee discount for partner organizations. So we do have a number of partner organizations that Regis has worked with to offer discounts. So it would be important for you to take a look, to see if your employer does and has partnered with Regis previously to see if there might be a discount. There’s also a federal and military discount at 15% off tuition, an alumni discount, so if you’ve taken courses at Regis and earned a degree previously, whether it was the Western Campus or our online programs, there is a 10% discount. We do have a number of graduate assistantship opportunities that are available for our grad students.

These graduate assistant opportunities do include a certain number of hours each week that graduate students complete in order to help contribute to the nursing department, different projects that you’d be expected to complete. So if this is of interest. There is a website at Regis College that will describe a little bit more about the graduate assistantship opportunities that are available as well as the application process for that. And then of course, we do have financial aid available through the financial aid office that you’ll be able to access. There is transfer of maximum credits. So transfer of up to 18 credits max from your prior MSN degree. So we do review all transfer credits that you are requesting. We do ask that you provide syllabi for the courses, as well as your transcripts, so that we’re able to see what letter grade was earned at those previous institutions.

And all of these are reviewed by an admissions team within the nursing faculty to ensure that the course meets the requirements of the Regis College graduate nursing program. So what can actually transfer over include six courses at a maximum three credits each that are from an accredited nursing program, do meet the approved syllabi requirements as determined by the admissions team, specifically a faculty member within the graduate nursing department and a final grade of B- or better from that previous institution. There is no student service fee, no tech fees or out of state tuition differences for our programs here at Regis.

In terms of clinical placements, the clinical requirement for all of our nurse practitioner specialties is a collaborative effort between the graduate clinical team here at Regis, as well as the incoming graduate students. So students will have a role in finding their own placements but can certainly obtain additional assistance from any of our clinical coordinators here in the clinical department. They’ll be able to provide you with options that previous students have used for clinical placements depending on where you’re located in the country. Again, there is that 600 specialization clinical hours and 64 clinical hours from the advanced health assessment course to total the 664 hours that are required to graduate from our nurse practitioner program here at Regis. The 600 specialization hours do need to be within the NP specialty track that you’re planning to study in so if it’s the psych nurse practitioner track, those 600 hours will be within a psych setting.

You’ll be trained by a psych nurse practitioner or psychiatrist or psychotherapist in order to gain that crucial experience needed to prepare you for your future role as an NP. The 64 clinical hours for the advanced health assessment course is completed either through simulation hours within the course or a hands on experience at a facility of your choosing.

There are a number of options for clinical hour extensions. There is a max of five semesters to complete these clinical hours. So a little over a year and a half to complete those 664 hours and that really is to allow students the opportunity to maintain their personal responsibilities. Some students are still working as nurses, RNs or nurse practitioners in another specialty so we do allow flexibility in terms of how long those 664 hours take.

The average length of clinical hour semesters is three. So most of our students will finish within three semesters. Clinical locations outside of your current workplace are encouraged. So there can be challenges associated with having a preceptor that is a direct supervisor so we do ask students to obtain preceptorships outside of their unit where they’ve been practicing as a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner. This can be certainly something that we discuss with the clinical team as there might be some exceptions to this rule.

Vanessa Margarit, Regis College Admissions Advisor:

What is needed to apply? So students must have an MSN from an accredited nursing institution, a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an active unencumbered RN license. Students who already hold an NP must also hold an NP board certification such as ANCC and AANP what is needed to apply is an online application, which is a one-time fee of $75. A transfer request form where you will highlight all the courses that you believe should transfer over into the Regis program. Each course listed on this form should have a course syllabi attached to it. This is for the committee to make sure that the course taken is equivalent to the Regis course. We also need proof of your license and up-to-date resume, a two page essay and two letters of recommendation.

Your letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can speak to your academic and or professional abilities. For students who are already NP prepared, we would also require copies of your DEA board certification and NP license. The entire process takes about two weeks to complete. Once your file is complete, the committee will come back with a decision within about two weeks. The transfer credit assessment will only be reviewed by the committee once the file is completed.

Thank you, Cassie, for sharing your thoughts and thank you all for attending this session. We look forward to you applying to Regis College, and we welcome any of your questions. Thank you.

Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE:

Thank you Vanessa. Thank you all for attending.