Certificate After Graduate Education in Nursing

The Certificate After Graduate Education in Nursing (CAGE) program allows individuals with a prior Master of Science in Nursing degree to add a different clinical emphasis. The program offers three options: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Educator. The program curriculum is individualized for each student based on their academic needs to meet their certification goals. A transcript review of previous MSN courses will be completed and a progression plan will be developed. This provides an opportunity to increase advanced practice nursing knowledge and clinical experience without duplicating coursework previously completed. Credit requirements for completion will vary based on prior academic work.

General Information

  1. The master’s degree program in nursing at Concordia University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
  2. All students must maintain an unencumbered RN license while in the program. As this is an online program, sometimes there are out of state requirements that apply to the clinical setting. If clinicals will take place outside the state of Wisconsin, it is the student's responsibility to make sure their program of study is eligible and meets all requirements within that state's Department of Licensing & Regulation.
  3. Students must earn a minimum of a B in all courses. Policies regarding progression and retention will be applied if the the student earns less than a B in any course.
  4. Students are expected to comply with the requirements as stated in the Student Responsibilities Agreement.
  5. The MSN FNP and AGPCNP clinical courses require a minimum of 750 hours. Based on their level of performance, a student may need to complete additional hours to be successful.
  6. Students will identify and secure clinical preceptors which then need to be approved for appropriateness by the graduate faculty. The Clinical Contract Coordinator is available for assistance.
  7. Students must complete all degree requirements within a five-year period from the time of taking the first course in the program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation the graduate student will be able to:

  1. Integrate liberal arts and sciences into advanced nursing roles and education.
  2. Analyze organizational and systems leadership principles to improve quality and patient safety in advanced nursing roles.
  3. Integrate evidence-based approaches into advanced nursing practice and education.
  4. Integrate healthcare technologies in the delivery, enhancement, and coordination of quality patient care.
  5. Analyze healthcare policies, finances, and regulations that impact healthcare systems.
  6. Integrate patient-centered care using interprofessional teams to improve health outcomes of individuals and populations.
  7. Integrate evidence-based, culturally appropriate knowledge in clinical prevention and population health at the individual and aggregate level.
  8. Assume accountability for advanced nursing practice and lifelong learning.
  9. Apply best evidence to assure competence in advanced nursing practice or nursing education with diverse populations.


Family and Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Required Core Courses
NURS 530Healthcare Policy & Issues in Advanced Nursing3
NURS 534Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Collaboration3
BIO 650Genetics, Immunology, & Microbiology for Advanced Nursing3
NURS 536Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan3
NURS 560Fundamentals of Health Care Informatics3
NURS 645Role Transition for the APN2
BIO 542Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 638Advanced Health Assessment3
Select one of the following specializations12
Specialization Courses (FNP)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical I - FNP (4 credits)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical II - FNP (4 credits)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical III - FNP (4 credits)
Specialization Courses (AGPCNP)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical I - AGPCNP (4 credits)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical II - AGPCNP (4 credits)
Advanced Primary Care Clinical III - AGPCNP (4 credits)
Total Hours35

Nurse Educator

Note: This 15-credit graduate certificate provides participants with a foundation in the knowledge and skills required to teach in a nursing education program. Those who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) exam through the National League for Nursing.

Core Courses
NURS 677Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education3
NURS 530Healthcare Policy & Issues in Advanced Nursing3
NURS 771NE I: Role Transition for the Nurse Educator3
NURS 772NE II: Instructional Design in Nursing Education - Didactic Teaching3
NURS 774NE III: Instructional Design In Nursing Education - Clinical Teaching3
Total Hours15

Entrance Requirements for the Graduate School of Nursing in Addition to Graduate School Requirements

  • MSN and/or DNP degree from an accredited nursing school
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Science GPA is evaluated as part of the admission process
  • Current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse in the USA
  • Actively working in practice.
  • Current CPR certification
  • Ability to perform Technical Standards for Registered Nurses

Application/Admission Process

Students may apply online through Concordia's direct online application at www.cuw.edu/apply. When applying directly, students will submit:

  • Application form available at www.cuw.edu/apply
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • All official college transcripts
  • An essay that addresses the following topics:
    • Rationale for choosing a career as a primary care Nurse Practitioner or as a Nurse Educator
    • Career goals as a primary care Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator
    • Personal compatibility with the CUW mission
    • Plans for academic success, including time management, stress management, and professional communication
    • Any previous academic issues
  • Professional resume
  • Current unencumbered RN license
  • Three letters of reference: two must be professional and/or academic and one must be from an individual who has worked with the applicant in a professional capacity and has a minimum of a Master's degree.
  • Applicants who have completed graduate level classes and wish to have them evaluated must submit these transcripts and the transfer credit form. GRE exams are not required.

The deadline for fall admission is May 1.

The deadline for spring admission is October 1.

In addition to the Graduate Admission Requirements, there may be a pre-admission telephone interview.

The admission committee will review applications and make recommendations for admission. After the recommendation for admission is approved, a formal letter of acceptance or denial is sent to the student.