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Graduate Certificate Programs

Thank you for your interest in our Graduate Programs in Nursing. Below is information for the Graduate Certificate Program.

Student Learning Outcomes

The graduate certificate programs are designed so that each student will be able to:

  • Employ evidence-based practice when planning, implementing, and evaluating health care for individuals, families, aggregates, systems, and organizations.
  • Integrate nursing theory, research, ethics and related sciences into the delivery of culturally competent advanced nursing care for diverse populations and health care systems.
  • Demonstrate professionalism within an advanced nursing role.
  • Demonstrate leadership with inter-professional teams to analyze complex practice and organizational issues.
  • Apply knowledge and skills to enhance the quality and safety of health care in a variety of settings and for a variety of populations.

Application Deadlines

The priority deadline for Fall 2022 admittance is Oct. 1, 2021. Final deadlines are listed below. Interested applicants should apply through NursingCAS, an online application for nursing programs.

The application deadline for Fall 2022 admittance is as follows.

Graduate Certificate Program Information

Admission criteria for the Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing include:

  1. Graduate degree from a nationally accredited graduate program in nursing;
  2. Computer literacy with knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and data base programs; ability to meet minimum computer hardware and software for accessing coursework;
  3. Transcripts of past education with GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (1 official transcript from
    each institution attended);
  4. Applicants with GPA less than 3.0, but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool, will be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis*;
  5. Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  6. Minimum of one year clinical nursing experience (recommended);
  7. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) applicants need to meet additional requirements:
    1. One year critical care experience strongly preferred (e.g., ICU, ER, ICU/CUU, unit providing high acuity care with fast-paced decision making and complex procedures);
    2. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification;
    3. ECG interpretation course required prior to beginning clinical courses;
  8. Evidence of current, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse. Minnesota licensure typically required for all clinical courses. Other state license may also be required for clinical experiences in those states according to state statute;
  9. Applicants submit three (3) references from persons who can comment competently on the applicant’s background and suitability for nursing masters/doctoral study. At least one professional reference from a professional who occupies the student’s chosen advanced practice nursing role (e.g. nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, nurse administrator/leader); one professional reference; and one academic or professional reference;
  10. Statement of professional goals;
  11. Clinical paperwork including a background check required after admission (clinical requirement, fees assessed);
  12. Applicants seeking admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing may be required to have a personal interview with program faculty;
  13. Applicants for Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS), Nurse Educator (NE) and Psychiatric-mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) programs must have evidence of completion of advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment (60 hours faculty supervised and includes diagnostic reasoning), advanced health promotion and advanced pharmacology (within last three years required in some states for credentialing);
  14. Any applicant seeking to change or add a different population focus, who has graduated from an accredited MS-NP program and in active practice, will be presumed to have met all post MS certificate prerequisites (advanced assessment and diagnostic reasoning, advanced health promotion, advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology);
  15. Graduate Programs in Nursing tuition rates apply;
  16. Admission may be conditional based upon Minnesota State Board of Nursing and Department of Education Higher Education regulations.

*Provisional Admittance - Provisional admittance may be granted to applicants who have an Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) below 3.0, but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool. Students accepted provisionally must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA for their first 12 semester credits, during which time they must take at least one of the following courses: NURS 600 - Scientific and Ethical Foundations; NURS 606 - Nursing Information Management and Decision Making; or STATS 601 - Statistical Methods.

Applications may be obtained from:

Graduate Programs in Nursing
Winona State University - Rochester
859 30th Avenue, SE, Suite EA 129
Rochester, MN  55904
507.285.7473 or 800.366.5418 
   OR    Office of School of Graduate Studies
Winona State University
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN  55987
507.457.5038 or 800.342.5978

Applications are also available online, please visit Graduate Programs in Nursing.

International students must also contact the International Student & Scholar Services office at 507.457.5303.

Plans of study for Graduate Certificates at Winona State University provide detailed outlines of courses students will take.

Graduate Certificate Plans of Study

  • The number of first-time takers of national certification examinations will be at or above the national average (if certification is required for practice).
  • The majority of graduates will be employed within one year of graduation from WSU.
  • The majority of graduates will be satisfied with their graduate nursing education within one year of graduation.
  • Employers will be satisfied with graduates.
  • The majority of students admitted to a graduate certificate program will complete the certificate within four years

It is possible to take selected courses as a Graduate Special Study Student before being admitted into the University.

Transcripts are not required for admittance into the graduate special study program. The Certification of Baccalaureate Degree form is used in place of transcripts.

There is no deadline to apply for graduate special status; however, you are required to have the certificate of Baccalaureate submitted with the application before it can be processed.

An Online Graduate Special Application is available online for your convenience.


The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities that have any financial aid eligible programs that “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to disclose certain information, such as program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; and the number of students who have completed the program.

View the Gainful Employment Disclosure for the following graduate certificate programs:

Winona State University Website Information

Please feel free to call or e-mail your questions to us if we can be of any further assistance.

You may also request to meet with a faculty advisor who can meet with you to establish an individualized plan of study. Our office may be reached at 507.285.7473 or email gradnursing@winona.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you!