Nursing Post-Doctoral Certificates

Enhance your advanced nursing career and build upon your nursing doctoral experience with a post-doctoral certificate in either nursing education or nursing research. 

Program Overview

Widener's post-doctoral certificate programs in nursing education and nursing research are the first of their kind in the United States—offering licensed nursing professionals that hold a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) or research-focused doctoral degree in nursing (PhD, DNS, etc.), like you, an opportunity to elevate their credentials even further.

The certificate programs will compliment your advanced nursing experiences to help you pivot or expand into roles where confidently conducting meritorious research or teaching in an academic setting are required.

Built with you in mind, our flexible certificate programs are offered in a hybrid format combining in-person and online coursework and can be completed part- or full-time on our Main Campus in Chester, PA as well as our Central PA campus in Harrisburg, PA. Here, you'll get the best of both worlds—in-person collaboration and the flexibility and agility of online study.

Post-Doctoral Certificate Options

If you would like to develop or enhance your pedagogical knowledge and skills in nursing education, you can enroll in the nursing education certificate. In this program, you will learn to:

  • Synthesize knowledge of the theoretical foundations of nursing education, and related fields, within the context of higher education.
  • Integrate acquired knowledge into a philosophical and intellectual frame of reference that can be applied to nursing education.
  • Evaluate curricular designs and outcomes based on internal and external contextual analysis.
  • Engage in scholarly discourse with colleagues, nurse scholars, and leaders. 

View the Loading... in the academic catalog.

The nursing research certificate is available if you would like to develop or enhance your research knowledge and skills. You will learn to: 

  • Apply the rigorous methods of disciplined scientific inquiry to develop new knowledge.
  • Independently conduct and communicate research that advances and extends nursing knowledge and scholarship.
  • Engage in scholarly discourse with colleagues, nurse scholars, and leaders. 
  • Disseminate new knowledge gained from disciplined inquiry of concern to nursing and nursing education.

View the Loading... in the academic catalog.

Admissions Information

  • August 15—for matriculation in the fall semester
  • December 15—for matriculation in the spring semester
  • April 15—for matriculation in summer sessions

Registered nurses with a doctoral degree in nursing from an accredited program are eligible to apply for the post-doctoral certificate programs.

  • Completed online application.
  • Valid U.S. license as a registered nurse.
  • Transcripts from previously attended higher education institutions, including your nursing doctoral degree program (DNP, PhD, DNS, etc.), and master's degree program, if in a major other than nursing. 
  • A minimum of 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in your doctoral program.
  • Two references–one from an educator and one from an employer with a graduate degree. One of these must have a research doctoral degree.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Statement explaining goals for advanced work in nursing with emphasis on proposed area of specialization.
  • Interview with a School of Nursing faculty member (this is arranged after a preliminary review of application materials). 

Transfer credits are not accepted for the certificate programs.

Additional Requirements for International Students

  • International applicants, immigrants to the U.S., and U.S. permanent residents are required to submit the results of an English proficiency test taken with 2 years, unless they are from a TOEFL-exempt country.
    View English Proficiency Requirements
  • International applicants who will be seeking licensure in the U.S. should work with Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to utilize their credentials evaluation service

Many area health care systems offer their employees discounted tuition rates for Widener's graduate nursing programs. If you don't see your organization listed, reach out to your HR department to advocate for a partnership.

View our educational partners

Post-Doc Certificate Program Highlights

Be prepared for any role in your advanced nursing career by pursuing a post-doctoral certificate.

Nursing Leadership Experience

Leadership Development

Our program emphasizes personal leadership development. Your student experience will be enriched with a specialized leadership course focused on the behaviors required as a leader and the necessary skills to overcome the challenges that face higher education and health care settings.

Nursing education faculty mentor

Faculty Mentorship

Thrive in a learning community that provides close mentorship and one-on-one support. Our full-time faculty members bring active clinical and academic research experience to the classroom. Here, you'll build a network that will follow you long after graduation.

Two health care professionals presenting research in front of a large projection screen

Research Opportunities

You'll have opportunities to collaborate with Widener's Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research whose mission is to advance the science of nursing education through rigorous educational and educational-clinical research. Expert research consulting services for constituents within the nursing and nursing education community and professional development are available. 

Take the Next Steps


We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.