Nursing Cohort Class

Course Excellence Emphasized, Opportunities Provided

In the fast-paced world of medical care, Penn State Wilkes-Barre is giving registered nurses a leg up on the competition

By: Rachel Olszewski

On November 14th, Penn State Wilkes-Barre Continuing Education graduated their first Nursing Management Certificate cohort. Instructed by Lynne Miller, RN, MSN who has over 35 years of nursing and nursing management experience, five VA Medical Center nurses and two Commonwealth Health nurses completed the rigorous program.

Nurse managers are some of the most integral parts of a well-run medical staff. While mainly responsible for overseeing, recruiting, and the retention of nurses, they also hold the responsibility of collaborating with doctors on patient care. They wear many hats, acting as a liaison between the healthcare facility, physician groups, and the nursing staff.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Nurse Management Certificate Program prepares RNs with a curriculum that includes a series of four three-credit courses designed to enhance the career options for currently licensed RNs who have or aspire to hold nurse manager positions. Students have the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of basic health care organizations and administration; collection, analysis and management of nursing data; concepts and techniques for managing nursing personnel; and concepts and techniques for enhancing nursing managerial behaviors. All of the courses are aligned with the core curriculum and competencies for nurse managers developed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

“This certificate provides RNs in our community the opportunity to set themselves apart from other registered nurses on the career ladder by gaining the tools needed for nurse manager positions,” explains Director of Continuing Education, Jane Ashton. “We are so proud of our first graduating class who are employees at the VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre. We applaud the VA Medical Center for recognizing the value of this education for their workforce.”

Penn State Wilkes-Barre Continuing Education offers this certificate in partnership with the Penn State University College of Nursing, bringing all the resources of a world-class, Big Ten, research-oriented university to northeast Pennsylvania.  Instructors and syllabus for each course are approved by the College of Nursing at University Park. Recent graduates have emphasized the excellence of the courses and the opportunities they provided.

Susan Lewis MSN, APRN states, “The class is very relative to managing nursing staff in today’s challenging environment. I could immediately apply the concepts learned to the management of my current role and found the instructor’s personal insights to be tremendously helpful in making the class ‘come alive.’ I highly recommend this course.”

Cathy Kurtz, MSN, RN-BC concurs, "This course provided a range of information that could be applied to any work environment, I was encouraged to learn things about myself and was very inspired to take new challenges and utilize innovative skills as a mentor and a leader. We had an instructor with boundless skills who incorporated life experiences that encouraged and energized you." 

Admission is open to nurses in any and all stages of their career. If you are interested in building leadership skills, need help managing others consistently and effectively, or simply passionate about being an effective manager, this certificate program is an excellent choice. Even those with no formal background in management but aspire to this role can benefit and will be provided with the advantage needed to make that next step in their careers.

A new Nurse Management Certificate cohort for the Spring of 2018 will begin on February 6th. The program will be delivered on-site at the VA Medical Center but is open to RNs from all health care facilities.

In addition to the Nurse Management Certificate, a Nursing Leadership seminar will be held this spring. This program will help to understand the importance of nursing leadership in today’s healthcare climate, examine personal leadership abilities and goals, and learn the leadership tools necessary to promote effective teams and create positive work cultures.

For more information, please visit

Nurse Management Certificate: http://wilkesbarre.psu.edu/nursing-management-certificate

Nursing Leadership Seminar: http://wilkesbarre.psu.edu/ce/nursing-leadership-program