DNP students presenting research findings to peers and faculty.

Nurse Educator Certificate

How to Get In

Eligibility Requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited nursing program or currently enrolled in a DNP or PhD in nursing program
  • RN license
  • MS GPA of 3.0

For Current UW–Madison Doctoral Students

Students enrolled in the PhD or DNP program at the School of Nursing can meet the requirements for certification during their course of study. Students pay for all credits at the tuition rate of the program in which they are enrolled.

Visit the Costs & Financial Aid page for full information about financial support for enrolled students.

For Capstone Certificate Applicants

Nurse Educator Capstone Certificate students follow the capstone certificate tuition schedule. To find the correct rates, select “Capstone Certificates” under the Student Career dropdown menu. Note: Wisconsin residents and non-residents are charged different rates.

Nurse Educator Capstone Certificate students are not eligible for School of Nursing assistantships or scholarships. Students may be eligible for scholarships through the Adult Career and Special Student Services Office within the Division of Continuing Studies.

Gainful Employment Act Disclosure

Admissions Timeline

We admit students to begin in the spring session only.

  • 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

Review of Applications

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To Apply—For Current UW–Madison Doctoral Students

If your are in a doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, communicate your interest in the certificate to your program director or student services coordinator. Then download the Application Form on this page, complete it, and submit it to the address below.

To Apply—For All Other Applicants

More guidance on application materials is available on the Frequently Asked Questions tab.

  1. Apply for the Capstone Certificate as a University Special Student through the Division of Continuing Studies.
    • Reason for Applying = Capstone Certificate
    • Program = Nurse Educator Capstone Certificate Program (UNCS 726)
  2. Seek three letters of recommendation, and have your references submit them directly to the address below.
  3. Submit the following materials (in one envelope):
    • Application Form (download from this page)
    • Nurse Educator Transcript Instruction Sheet (download from this page)
    • Postgraduate Education Statement (1,000 words or less)
    • Curriculum vitae or resume
    • Photocopy of nursing license from your current state of residence

Submit All Materials To:

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

Why is the Postgraduate Education Statement important?

This portion of the application is your opportunity to expand on your academic and professional background, as reflected in your transcript and CV, and to share your motivation and goals for pursuing postgraduate education. The statement also provides evidence of your ability to communicate your ideas in writing.

Your statement should address the following topics and be limited to 1,000 words or less.

  1. Your interest in postgraduate education. Questions you might address:
    1. Why is postgraduate education important to you at this point in your career?
    2. What do you hope to gain from this experience?
    3. Do you have past professional experiences that will motivate or frame this educational experience?
  2. Your preparation for successful achievement of our program learning outcomes. Questions you might address:
    1. How will your learning style impact your success in our program?
    2. Will distance be an important factor to you?
    3. Have you identified a support network?
  3. Your potential to make major contributions to the specialty.Questions you might address:
    1. How will your completion of this program affect your workplace and patient care?
    2. How will you interact with and support other psychiatric care providers?
    3. What is your anticipated scope of impact—for example, your home community, the academic community, or perhaps even the global community?

What do I need to know about getting letters of recommendation?

It is very important that you select appropriate recommenders.

  • Your recommenders should be qualified to comment on your ability to succeed academically in this program as well as professionally.
  • We advise that you seek recommendations from individuals who understand the demands and rigor of graduate education in nursing. At least one recommendation letter should be completed by a nurse with a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your references. Provide them with a copy of your resume and a draft of your Postgraduate Education Statement so they can better address your interests and background. Instruct your references to write the letters on letterhead, if possible.
  • Your references should mail the letters directly to the School of Nursing at the same address to which you send your other application materials.

Do you require the GRE?

No. We do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for this program.

Do you interview applicants?

No. Interviews are not a part of the admission process for this program.

Do I need to submit a transcript from UW–Madison?

No. We can obtain transcripts for all coursework completed at UW–Madison.

I have applied to the same program in the past. Do I need to submit transcripts again?

Yes. You need to submit a new set of official transcripts for each application to the School of Nursing.

My transfer credits from one institution show on my transcript from another school. Do I need to submit both transcripts?

Yes. You need to submit a transcript from each institution where you took college-level courses.

When do you need to receive my transcripts?

We need to receive your transcripts by the application deadline.



This 9-credit program of study 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 a spring, summer and fall terms.

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

Program Plan


N785 Foundations of Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education (3 credits)

Examination and application of knowledge and skills related to curriculum planning, implementation and evaluation for nursing education. Emphasis on history and philosophy of nursing curricula, models of curriculum and evaluation, and strategies for change and innovation.

N786 Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing (3 credits)

The focus of this course is the planning, implementation, and evaluation of teaching and learning strategies for nursing education within diverse settings and student populations.

N787 Nursing Education Practicum (3 credits)

Application of knowledge and skills in the nurse educator role in selected educational environments (classroom, clinical, laboratory and/or communities). Seminar component included for discussion of instructional experiences and issues. Course work is arranged and directed in collaboration with expert preceptors. Students are required to complete 250 clock hours.


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.

Distance Education State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Notice

All applicants are advised to determine whether this program meets requirements for licensure in the state where they live. See the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website for contact information for state licensing boards.


With a Nurse Educator Capstone Certificate, you’ll be recognized in the field for your specialized skills and knowledge. It signifies your commitment to professional development and to continuously improving the science of nursing education.

Connect with Program Staff

Please contact us to discuss your options for visiting our campus or ask additional questions about the program.