How To Expand Your Nursing Expertise With a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies


Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) offer professional nurses a chance to further their education and expand their knowledge in a relatively inexpensive and efficient way. A nursing certificate can help you add to your skills and credentials, augment your advanced-level practice, change specialties and quickly boost your nursing career into advanced leadership roles at the executive level.

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CAGS in nursing are designed for working nurses who have already earned a Bachelor of Nursing Science (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Certificate programs focus on a specific area of nursing, providing the practical knowledge needed to gain expertise in said area.

Messiah University offers nursing CAGS in both nursing administration and nursing education. These predominantly online certificate programs were designed with working professionals in mind, offering flexibility to complete work while still working full-time and attending to other responsibilities. 

Benefits of Earning Graduate Certificates

An advanced graduate studies nursing certificate provides nurses with many advantages, including:

  1. A New Level of Competence

    By earning a nursing certificate, nurses show they have reached a new level of competence. It also shows a deep commitment to providing patients the best care possible and signifies that a nurse has mastered specialized knowledge in a chosen area of expertise.


  2. Affordable and Efficient Education

    Nurses lead busy lives and have demanding professional schedules. Earning a certificate through an online program gives them an affordable and efficient way to pursue education in a specialized area of nursing. Certificate programs also provide nurses practical knowledge that they can immediately apply in their current roles.


  3. Better Career Advancement

    Earning a graduate certificate opens the door to more rewarding and challenging positions in the nursing field, including work as a nurse administrator or nurse educator. Studies have also shown that earning a certificate can increase job satisfaction, which is a win for the nurse, the employer and their patients.


  4. More Confidence in Nursing Abilities

    Making a commitment to furthering their education can lead to nurses becoming more confident in their skills and overall work experience. It also can lead to higher levels of self-worth and a sense of empowerment. All these traits help nurses increase job satisfaction and secure higher-level leadership positions.

Messiah University Graduate Certificates in Nursing

Both nursing CAGS from Messiah University have a curriculum designed to prepare nurses for leadership positions in nursing administration or nursing education. Both 12-credit tracks are offered predominantly online with no-fee tuition and no application fee.

Nursing Administration

In CAGS: nursing administration, students learn the skills needed to take on executive-level nursing jobs. This typically includes managing large staff at a private practice or within a department at a hospital or other large medical facility.  Nursing administrators oversee scheduling, evaluation and promotion. They also have input into developing training and personnel procedures for their department.

Messiah University students in the CAGS: nursing administration certificate program take courses in:

  • Nursing administration and executive leadership
  • Collaboration in inter-professional teams
  • Economics of healthcare
  • Organizational effectiveness

Nursing Education

Earning a CAGS: nursing education from Messiah University prepares graduates to teach the next generation of nurses in a variety of healthcare settings. Jobs for graduates from this program include clinical nurse educator, undergraduate nursing educator and clinical or classroom nursing instructor.

Completion of the program prepares nurses to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam once they meet eligibility requirements. Courses in the certificate program include:

  • Curriculum in nursing education
  • Principles of measurement and evaluation
  • Teaching methods for clinical practice in nursing education

Earning a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in nursing opens the door for jobs at the pinnacle of the nursing profession. For those who have earned an MSN but still want to expand their knowledge and skills and increase their opportunities to excel in their careers, these programs offer an efficient and effective way of reaching their goals.

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