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Nursing Certificates

Apply ButtonPlease note, when you click the Apply button for the Nursing Certificate program, you will be taken to a third-party application site,

The American Academy for Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has identified a national need to fill established and emerging nursing roles requiring educational preparation at the master’s level. According to AACN (2019), enrollment in master’s nursing programs continues to increase. Additionally, there is an urgent need for advanced nursing education and leadership skills across the United States.

Trine University's online continuing education certificate is a way to build upon current experience, enhance your skills, advance your career and prepare you for higher education or specialty certification. 

The Experience

Trine University nursing program offers two specialty certificates: Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership.  Each of these online nursing certificates consists of four specialized courses at three credit hours each.  The selected certificate can be completed in two semesters with full-time enrollment. Additionally, you can accelerate progress toward an Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) by transferring these within three years of start.

The Results

Registered nurses who earn a Certificate in Nursing Education can advance their careers with targeted knowledge that assists with designing, implementing and communicating learning outcomes.  The certificate covers educational standards and frameworks as well as roles and professional expectations. The Certificate in Nursing Education prepares nurses with a master’s degree for the Certified Nurse Educator CNE® exam, which is administered through the National League for Nursing (NLN).

Registered nurses who earn a Certificate in Nursing Leadership can advance their career with targeted knowledge that assists in communication, collaboration, problem-solving, strategic planning and team building. The certificate covers leadership standards, quality improvement processes as well as roles and professional expectations. The Certificate in Nursing Leadership prepares nurses with a master’s degree for the Executive Nursing Practice CENP® exam, which is administered through the American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL).

Additional Information

Trine University accepts an online application only. It can be accessed at or by clicking on the apply button on this webpage. The MSN program follows the university’s graduate admission policy outlined in the Trine University Student Handbook as well as the following criteria:

  1. A 3.0 GPA
  2. A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from an institutionally accredited college or university.
  3. Official transcripts from each previous undergraduate and graduate institution attended (except for Trine University).
  4. Completed application.
  5. Have a current, unrestricted RN license in the state where you plan to complete your practicum requirements. If licensed in more than one state, all must be unencumbered.
  6. Personal narrative that explains the student’s interest in pursuing a graduate level education.
  7. The applicant’s resume or vita indicating positions held that demonstrate task commitment, knowledge and skill relevant to the applicable course of study.
  8. If an applicant's GPA is below 3.0, the student may be admitted conditionally, as established by the guidelines of the university.

Nurse Educator Specialization Track (12 credits)

NRS 6213 Curriculum Design in Nursing                         3 cr
NRS 6223 Nursing Course Development                         3 cr
NRS 6233 Teaching Strategies in Nursing                       3 cr
NRS 6243 Assessment & Evaluation                                 3 cr          

Nurse Leadership Specialization Track (12 credits)

NRS 6403 Organizational Leadership in NRS                3 cr
NRS 6413 Healthcare Finance                                             3 cr
NRS 6423 Healthcare Quality Improvement                 3 cr
NRS 6433 Human Resources for Healthcare                 3 cr

TrineOnline delivers the convenience and accessibility of an online degree program with classes starting every eight weeks. Our asynchronous classes mean there are no set class times, so you can log in whenever is best for you. Learn more about the benefits of Trine’s online degree programs.



MSN tuition

$575 - per credit hour

**Textbooks are purchased separately and vary per course.

In support of the university’s mission and vision and the College of Health Profession’s mission and vision, the nursing program further defines the commitment to excellence: 





Trine University promotes intellectual and personal development through professionally focused and formative learning opportunities, preparing students to succeed, lead and serve.

Trine University will be recognized as a premier private university, characterized as engaged, dynamic, growing and adding value.

College of Health Professions

The College of Health Professions at Trine University, by providing high-quality, professionally focused and formative undergraduate and graduate science learning opportunities, enables its students, graduates and faculty to make a positive impact on the community through service, leadership and scholarship.

The College of Health Professions at Trine University will be recognized as a premier provider of undergraduate and graduate science education, adding value to the lives of its graduates and community.

MSN Program

The MSN Program at Trine University will provide a quality, innovative educational experience that produces graduate nurses capable of delivering safe, culturally and contextually relevant, evidence-based care in a variety of environments, while also preparing them to positively impact individuals, groups and communities through teaching, scholarship, leadership and service.



The MSN Program at Trine University will be recognized as a premier provider of graduate nursing education characterized by dynamic and engaging learning experiences, improving the lives of its graduates and community.


Trine University MSN program aspires to meet the following outcomes:

  1. Program Completion Rate: 70% of full-time MSN students will graduate within 7.5 semesters, beginning with enrollment in the first nursing (NRS) course, not including periods of non-continuous enrollment.
  2. Program Completion Rate: 70% of part-time MSN students will graduate within 15 semesters, beginning with enrollment in the first nursing (NRS) course, not including periods of non-continuous enrollment.
  3. Employment rate: 70% of MSN graduate respondents will be employed in nursing within six to twelve months following graduation.
  4. Graduate satisfaction: At least 70% of MSN graduate respondents will rate their overall level of preparedness, knowledge, skills and attitudes in the role of the graduate-level registered nurse as 3.0 or higher on a 5.0 scale.
  5. Employer satisfaction: At least 70% of employer respondents will rate MSN graduates’ overall level of preparedness, knowledge, skills and attitudes in the role of the graduate-level registered nurse as 3.0 or higher on a 5.0 scale.

By the end of the program the student will be able to meet the outcomes expected of the Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education Achievement and the competencies for the specialty track enrolled in. Accomplishment of such will enable graduates to practice within complex healthcare systems and assume the roles: provider of care; designer, manager, and coordinator of care; and member of a profession (AACN, 2021):

Domain 1: Knowledge for Nursing Practice

Descriptor: Integration, translation, and application of established and evolving disciplinary nursing knowledge and ways of knowing, as well as knowledge from other disciplines, including a foundation in liberal arts and natural and social sciences. This distinguishes the practice of professional nursing and forms the basis for clinical judgment and innovation in nursing practice.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the discipline of nursing’s distinct perspective and where shared perspectives exist with other disciplines.
  • Apply theory and research-based knowledge from nursing, the arts, humanities, and other sciences.
  • Demonstrate clinical judgement founded on a broad knowledge base.

Domain 2: Person‐Centered Care

Descriptor: Person‐centered care focuses on the individual within multiple complicated contexts, including family and/or important others. Person‐centered care is holistic, individualized, just, respectful, compassionate, coordinated, evidence‐based, and developmentally appropriate. Person‐centered care builds on a scientific body of knowledge that guides nursing practice regardless of specialty or functional area.


  • 2.1 Engage with the individual in establishing a caring relationship.
  • 2.2 Communicate effectively with individuals.
  • 2.3 Integrate assessment skills in practice.
  • 2.4 Diagnose actual or potential health problems and needs.
  • 2.5 Develop plans of care.
  • 2.6 Demonstrate accountability for care delivery.
  • 2.7 Evaluate outcomes of care.
  • 2.8 Promote self-care management.
  • 2.9 Provide care coordination.

Domain 3: Population Health

Descriptor: Population health spans the healthcare delivery continuum from public health prevention to disease management of populations and describes collaborative activities with both traditional and non‐traditional partnerships from affected communities, public health, industry, academia, health care, local government entities, and others for the improvement of equitable population health outcomes.


  • 3.1 Manage population health.
  • 3.2 Engage in effective partnerships.
  • 3.3 Consider the socioeconomical impact of the delivery of health care.
  • 3.4 Advance equitable population health policy.
  • 3.5 Demonstrate advocacy strategies.
  • 3.6 Advance preparedness to protect population health during disasters and public health emergencies.

Domain 4: Scholarship for Nursing Practice

Descriptor: The generation, synthesis, translation, application, and dissemination of nursing knowledge to improve health and transform health care.


  • 4.1 Advance the scholarship of nursing.
  • 4.2 Integrate best evidence into nursing practice.
  • 4.3 Promote the ethical conduct of scholarly activities.

Domain 5: Quality and Safety

Descriptor: Employment of established and emerging principles of safety and improvement science. Quality and safety, as core values of nursing practice, enhance quality and minimize risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance.


  • Apply quality improvement principles in care delivery.
  • Contribute to a culture of patient safety.
  • Contribute to a culture of provider and work environment safety.

Domain 6: Interprofessional Partnerships

Descriptor: Intentional collaboration across professions and with care team members, patients, families, communities, and other stakeholders to optimize care, enhance the healthcare experience, and strengthen outcomes.


  • 6.1 Communicate in a manner that facilitates a partnership approach to quality care delivery.
  • 6.2 Perform effectively inn different team roles, using principles and values of team dynamics.
  • 6.3 Use knowledge of nursing and other professions to address healthcare needs.
  • 6.4 Work with other professions to maintain a climate of mutual learning, respect, and shared values.

Domain 7: Systems‐Based Practice

Descriptor: Responding to and leading within complex systems of healthcare. Nurses effectively and proactively coordinate resources to provide safe, quality, equitable care to diverse populations.


  • 7.1 Apply knowledge of systems to work effectively across the continuum of care.
  • 7.2 Incorporate consideration of cost-effectiveness of care.
  • 7.3 Optimize system effectiveness through application of innovation and evidence-based practice.

Domain 8: Information and Healthcare Technologies

Descriptor: Information and communication technologies and informatics processes are used to provide care, gather data, form information to drive decision making, and support professionals as they expand knowledge and wisdom for practice. Informatics processes and technologies are used to manage and improve the delivery of safe, high quality,  and efficient healthcare services in accordance with best practice and professional and regulatory standards.


  • 8.1 Describe the various information and communication technology tools used in the care of patients, communities, and populations.
  • 8.2 Use information and communication technology to gather data, create information, and generate knowledge.
  • 8.3 Use information and communication technologies and informatics processes to deliver safe nursing care to diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • 8.4 Use information and communication technology to support documentation of care and communication among providers, patients, an all system levels.
  • 8.5 Use information and communication technologies in accordance with ethical, legal, professional, and regulatory standards, and workplace policies in the delivery of care.

 Domain 9: Professionalism

Descriptor: Formation and cultivation of a sustainable professional nursing identity, accountability, perspective, collaborative disposition, and comportment that reflects nursing’s characteristics and values.


  • 9.1 Demonstrate an ethical comportment in one’s practice reflective of nursing’s mission to society.
  • 9.2 Employ participatory approach to nursing care.
  • 9.3 Demonstrate accountability to the individual, society, and the profession.
  • 9.4 Comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
  • 9.5 Demonstrate the professional identity of nursing.
  • 9.6 Integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion as core to one’s professional identity.

 Domain 10: Personal, Professional, and Leadership Development

Descriptor: Participation in activities and self‐reflection that foster personal health, resilience and well‐being, lifelong learning, and support the acquisition of nursing expertise and assertion of leadership.


  • 10.1 Demonstrate a commitment to personal health and well-being.
  • 10.2 Demonstrate a spirit of inquiry that fosters flexibility and professional maturity.
  • 10.3 Develop capacity for leadership.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], (2021). The essentials: Core competencies for professional nursing education. Washington, DC: Author.

Core competencies established by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) (2015):

Competency 1: Communication and Relationship Building

Nursing leaders are responsible for communicating effectively to diverse audiences, building collaborative relationships, possessing influencing behaviors, establishing cultural competency and serving as a resource and advocate for internal and external constituents.

Competency 2: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

Nursing leaders demonstrate knowledge of current nursing practice, patient care delivery systems, regulations, health care finance, outcome measurement and performance improvement that facilitates patient safety and minimizes liability.

Competency 3: Leadership

Nursing leaders use systems thinking for decision making and problem resolution that also considers research evidence and the diversity of others. Nursing leaders serve as a change agent by providing vision, reflective practice and succession plans.

Competency 4: Professionalism

Nursing leaders possess personal and professional accountability, uphold ethical principles, and serve as an advocate during the decision-making process. Nursing leaders seek feedback from others for career planning.

Competency 5: Business Skills

Nursing leaders apply knowledge in financial management, human resource management, strategic management and information management technology to establish and meet organizational outcomes.

Core competencies established by the National League for Nursing (NLN) for Academic Nurse Educators (2019):

Competency 1: Facilitate Learning

Nurse educators are responsible for creating an environment that facilitates learning and the achievement of desired cognitive, affective and psychomotor outcomes.

Competency 2: Facilitate Learner Development and Socialization

Nurse educators recognize their responsibility for helping students develop as nurses and integrate the values and behaviors expected of those who fulfill that role.

Competency 3: Use Assessment and Evaluation Strategies

Nurse educators use a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate student learning in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings, as well as in all domains of learning.

Competency 4: Participate in Curriculum Design and Evaluation of Program Outcomes

Nurse educators are responsible for formulating program outcomes and designing curricula that reflect contemporary health care trends and prepare graduates to function effectively in the healthcare environment.

Competency 5: Function as a Change Agent and Leader

Nurse educators function as change agents and leaders to create a preferred future for nursing education and nursing practice.

Competency 6: Pursue Continuous Quality Improvement in the Nurse Educator Role

Nurse educators recognize that their goal is multidimensional and that an ongoing commitment to develop and maintain competence in the role is essential.

Competency 7: Engage in Scholarship

Nurse educators acknowledge that scholarship is an integral component of the faculty role, and that teaching itself is a scholarly activity.

Competency 8: Function within the Educational Environment

Nurse educators are knowledgeable about the educational environment within which they practice and recognize how political, institutional, social and economic forces impact their role. 

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