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Section VIII: Post Graduate Certificate Specific Program Option Information

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Post Graduate Certificate Option is to prepare nurses for advanced practice in leadership, education and clinical practice (APRN-C).

Program Outcomes

  1. Apply knowledge of evidence-based practice,
  2. Engage in life-long learning, and
  3. Serve South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world in urban, rural and frontier health care settings.

Student Learning outcomes

  1. Display competence within the legal scope of practice for chosen specialization.
  2. Evaluate and utilize research within advanced nursing practice.
  3. Integrate cultural learning into nursing practice to effectively tailor health care to the diverse lifeways of clients.

Academic Advisor

Each student admitted to the MS or Post Graduate Certificate program is assigned to the Assistant Director of Nursing Student Services, Graduate Nursing, for academic guidance. The student and advisor should meet (in person, by telephone, or by e- mail) at least once each semester.

Faculty Advisor

Each student will also receive guidance from the Masters' Specialization Coordinator. The Coordinator will assist with student inquiries specific to the area of specialty.

Challenge Exams

The College of Nursing does not offer challenge exams for graduate nursing courses

Program Options and Graduation Requirements

The Post Graduate Certificate specializations include three options, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner (APRN-C).

Requirements for each specialization differ – contact your Academic Advisor for more information.

Program Length and Course Requirements

Post Graduate Certificate programs are usually completed in 2-3 years depending on credit load.

For Clinical Nurse Leader and Nurse Educator Certificate applicants:

Pre-requisite coursework or equivalent courses (NURS 631/L - Advanced Physical Assessment, NURS 623 - Advanced Pathophysiology and PHA 645 - Advanced Pharmacology) must have been completed within 5 years prior to admission to the program or the applicant will be required to complete prior to beginning the certificate program coursework.

For Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate applicants:

Students who have not previously completed either NURS 623 (Pathophysiology-Lifespan), PHA 645 (Pharmacotherapeutics - Lifespan) or NURS 631 (Advanced Assessment - Lifespan) OR have completed equivalent coursework greater than 5 years from the first practicum course (NURS 765), will be required to complete those courses as part of this program (GraduateNursingpolicyG4380).

All previous coursework taken at SDSU or non-SDSU institutions will be reviewed and evaluated for equivalency by the Graduate Nursing Program in accordance with the SDSU Graduate School and Graduate Nursing Program guidelines/policies. Only courses approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Nursing will be allowed on the student’s Plan of Study.

Plan of Study Requirements

The nursing graduate student will work with the academic and faculty advisors to review and complete the Plan of Study. The Post

Graduate Certificate Plan of Study will be individualized based on the student’s prior Masters' Degree program completion.

The Plan of Study should be submitted to the student’s academic advisor at the start of the second year of the program or sooner, if applicable. Upon approval by the academic advisor, the Plan of Study is sent to the Graduate School for approval.

Students who have filed an official Plan of Study with the SDSU Graduate School are bound by the approved plan. Any changes to the Plan of Study must be approved.

Plan of Study Changes

If a student has not filed a Plan of Study and changes are made to the program and/or specialization curriculum plan, the student must file a Plan of Study that adheres to the new requirements. Students who have already filed a Plan of Study may choose to adhere to the existing approved Plan of Study or may choose to file a Change of Plan of Study that reflects the program and/or specialization curriculum plan.

Obsolete Coursework

Courses completed more than six (6) years prior to completion of the requirements of the master’s degree are regarded as obsolete coursework. Such courses may be used in the master’s degree program if validated. Validation is allowed at the discretion of the department involved and can be accomplished by passing validation requirements in the subject matter area and submitting the validation form to the Graduate School.

Validated coursework cannot exceed fifty (50) percent of the total coursework (excluding thesis and research paper credits) listed on the plan of study and must be certified by the advisory committee.

Course validation may be subject to a processing fee.

NOTE: Only courses taken at South Dakota State University may be validated. Therefore, if a course taken at another institution was originally approved at the time of admission to the program and outdates prior to completion of the student’s program, the SDSU course equivalent will need to be completed since courses from other institutions are not eligible for validation.

Procedure for Updating/Validating Outdated Course Work

The following guidelines are designed to assist the student, advisor, and instructor in completing the update process:

  1. During the semester preceding the semester of the update, the student initiates the process with her or his academic advisor. The advisor will notify the current instructor of the course needing updating of the student's request.
  2. The advisor will notify the student of the name of the instructor who has agreed to complete the update. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor. The student must complete arrangements the semester preceding the update. Delay in arrangements may result in delaying the updating process, as the agreement is based on time and faculty assignment in that particular semester.

It is the responsibility of the instructor to determine the requirements for a successful update, based on the current course requirements. Copies of updated exams are filed with the Graduate School.

In consideration of faculty guidance, should a student’s behavior continue to be unsafe in a clinical course and the student has chosen not to drop the course, the faculty member can choose to remove the student from the clinical area. The faculty should advise the student that they will fail the course; however, the student has ultimate responsibility to drop the course.

Payment of a fee is required by the Graduate School and additional documentation may also be required.