Four nurses in training lab

News Release

LC State to offer first graduate certificate this fall

LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College will begin to offer a graduate certificate in Nursing Management and Leadership this fall after the college was notified the program has received approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), LC State officials have announced.

The certificate is the first post-graduate offering in the college’s 128-year history.

“This is a historic milestone in LC State’s history, and especially important because it means we will be able to provide a solution for this critical health care need,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said. “I thank Gov. Little, the Idaho Legislature, the Idaho State Board of Education, LC State’s dedicated faculty and staff, and now the NWCCU for their roles in making this exciting new program a reality.”

The certificate addresses a regional need in the health care industry, according to Fred Chilson, LC State dean of Professional and Graduate Studies. Along with a shortage of nurses and other medical personnel, there is a need for more qualified mid- and top-level managers in the nursing profession. LC State collaborated with local and regional hospitals on development of the curriculum and learning outcomes.

The 13-credit fully online program is a collaboration between the Business and Nursing & Health Sciences Divisions at LC State. The certificate, the only one of its kind offered by a public institution in Idaho, will serve bachelor’s prepared nurses who wish to advance in their careers. The courses will provide a more in-depth understanding of human resource policy, personnel management, leadership styles and budgetary processes. The program is structured so current LC State Bachelor of Science in nursing students can begin taking courses in their final semester.

The certificate features classes on health care policy, health care economics, human resource management, and organization behavior and leadership. There will also be a specialized internship in nursing focused on leadership and management responsibilities above and beyond their current position. It is anticipated that nurses will enroll in the program on a part-time basis.

In March of 2020, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a bill that officially amended Idaho Code to allow LC State to offer graduate-level coursework. LC State officials immediately began to work on the certificate and last December, the Idaho State Board of Education gave its approval.

The final step of the approval process was approval from NWCCU officials. A three-person NWCCU panel reviewed LC State’s proposal and unanimously recommended approval “based on the relevance of the certificate as it addresses a critical need with an exceptional curriculum in the areas with demonstrated expertise. The curriculum and learning outcomes are appropriate and the faculty are well qualified,” the NWCCU panel wrote in its report.