Understanding the difference between nursing certificate education and becoming certified in a nursing specialty is important as you determine the course of study and practice necessary to achieve your career and employment objectives.


Certificate Programs

A certificate education program is a defined program of study that demonstrates a progression of learning and mastery of a specific body of knowledge.  A certificate program is offered over a specified time period and upon successful completion results in a certificate of completion that builds on your nursing degree.

“Certificate education is a well-established nursing education strategy used when practicing nurses need to acquire specialized knowledge quickly and efficiently to better care for patients.”

Certificate programs differ from degree programs in that the curriculum focuses on one subject area, allowing you to effectively learn a specific skill or body of knowledge in a relatively short amount of time.  Registered Nurses build professional success by regularly updating their knowledge base and because certificate education programs build on professional education and experiences, many nurses find them useful throughout their careers.

Graduates of the Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Program include the Certificate of Completion as part of their professional portfolio or resume and use it to inform potential and current employers that they have prepared for practice by acquiring specialized knowledge as demonstrated by the Certificate of Completion. 

Specialty or Board Certification

Board Certification is a quality indicator for demonstrating knowledge, experience, and competence in a specific area of nursing practice.

“Board certification is awarded after successfully passing a national exam to acquire credentialing that reflects the specialty certification.”

Certification exams are offered through a national certifying organization such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Commission for Case Management Certification (CCMC).  For case management certification, practice experience is required prior to eligibility to test for national board certification with additional eligibility criteria varying by organization. In addition to your RN license, the specialty credentials that you achieve demonstrate your expertise to employers, members of the healthcare team and patients.

Graduates of the Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Program are board certification eligible meaning that upon meeting eligibility criteria, including required practice experience, you are eligible to sit for a national exam.

How This Comes Together

Registered Nurses preparing for roles in case management complete the Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Program to:

  • Acquire the essential knowledge and skills needed to fill emerging roles in case management, care management and advanced care coordination across patient care settings.
  • Be prepared to practice to their full potential as members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.
  • Gain confidence in ability to perform and implement Contemporary RN Case Manager roles.
  • Completion of the Certificate Program positions RNs to meet CE eligibility requirements for specialty credentialing through ANCC and for recertification with both ANCC, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and CCMC, the Commission for Case Managers Certification.