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SNHU graduate Jared Caron reviewing a patients chart. With the text Jared Caron '17

Certificate in Healthcare Quality & Safety Post-Master's Program

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Register By: July 27 Classes Start: July 29

Advance in Healthcare Quality and Safety

  • $637/credit (12 credits)
  • 4-course certificate program - complete in less than 1 year
  • Supplement your master's in health professions or nursing
  • Master a critical focus area in healthcare today
  • 24/7 online accessibility - attend class when it's convenient
  • No entrance exams required

Healthcare Quality & Safety Post-Graduate Certificate Program Overview

Enhance your nursing or healthcare career with Southern New Hampshire University's Healthcare Quality and Safety Post-Graduate Certificate.

This 12-credit program follows strategies for improving healthcare safety and quality, as aligned with today's industry standards. Students will identify ways to ensure the continuous improvement of the patient care process.

You'll specifically focus on healthcare quality improvement, risk assessment, communication, legal issues and strategies that contribute to building a culture of safety. You'll also explore ways to ensure accountability and reliability in care processes and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams.

In the online patient safety and quality post-graduate healthcare certificate, you'll learn how to:

  • Propose informatics technologies that help deliver and enhance patient care
  • Apply research practices to drive real-world improvement in healthcare
  • Use data to ensure excellence in healthcare across diverse settings
  • Develop continuous improvement of the patient care process

Career Outlook

Perfect for nurses and healthcare professionals who have already earned their master's degree online or on campus, our healthcare quality and safety post-graduate certificate program can help position you for advancement in various healthcare settings.

Nurses and medical professionals with advanced skills are highly sought after by employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.1

However, these numbers don't even reflect the more recent challenges confronted by today's healthcare system. Leaders and caregivers now have the impossible task of treating a high volume of patients in complex, often unpredictable, systems and conditions. Moreover, health leaders are needed to improve and enact procedural initiatives that could help save lives.

Dr. Karen Brooks"Given recent and ongoing health issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of Zika spread and transmission, healthcare workers need to be prepared," said Dr. Karen Brooks, graduate nursing faculty lead at SNHU. "The healthcare quality and safety certificate program exposes students to strategies for effective interdisciplinary interactions and problem solving through strategic data analysis."

Expertise in healthcare processes can help shape a better healthcare system for diverse patient populations. According to the National Academy of Medicine report, "The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity": "Care management, care coordination and transitional care are activities that nurses perform as members of a health care team to decrease fragmentation, bolster communication, and improve care quality and safety."2

"A care management approach is particularly important for people with complex health and social needs, who may require care from multiple providers, medical follow-up, medication management, and help in addressing their social needs," the report said.2

Those who earn the graduate certificate in healthcare safety and quality can build the skills they need to help protect the 1 in 10 patients harmed while receiving hospital care.3 This harm is reportedly caused by a range of adverse events, and nearly 50% of these cases are considered preventable.3

What's more, this 12-credit program can be completed in less than a year – helping you fast-track your goals and make an immediate impact in the industry.

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward a Patient Safety and Quality Post-Graduate Healthcare Certificate

Courses & Curriculum

In the online post graduate healthcare quality and safety certificate, you'll explore healthcare systems and processes that contribute to risk reduction, evidence-based practice, knowledge of the healthcare environment, leadership, accountability, professionalism and business skills.

Debra Sowell with the text Debra SowellAccording to Debra Sowell, clinical faculty of graduate nursing programs at SNHU, the healthcare quality and safety courses "focus on healthcare policies, regulation, economics and high reliability healthcare that is consistently excellent and safe over all services and settings for long periods of time."

As you progress through the content, you'll "apply best practices [and] evaluate system efficiencies, promote a culture of safety and identify resources needed for healthcare quality improvements," she said.

Building upon your technical aptitude, you'll gain a deep understanding of how cross-organizational teams work together within a complex healthcare system.

"The demands of patient and safety roles require interdisciplinary collaboration," Dr. Karen Brooks, graduate nursing faculty lead at SNHU. "This is why the four courses in this certificate program are interdisciplinary health professions (IHP) courses."

Delivery of care depends on a interdisciplinary approach and culture of safety across teams composed of providers, pharmacists and other skilled medical workers. Every touchpoint requires a set of processes built to ensure the safety of patients. Whether it's throughout the patient's admission process, or the multi-step process of administering medication to a patient, these practices are essential in reducing harm and risk.

Beyond that, cost is a major driver of quality care.

"The four interdisciplinary courses that comprise the certificate program are tailored to address the undeniable nexus between quality and cost," Brooks said. "This is through courses that focus on organizational strategies to improve and highlight quality while also considering value and cost containment aspects."

One such course is Healthcare Quality and Improvement. This interprofessional course will take learners through the process of healthcare delivery from a quality and safety lens. Learners can gain a deeper understanding of how quality is measured, tracked and improved in healthcare. Learners will focus on organizational assessments, commonly used tools, and the application of analytical frameworks to identify the root cause of an event and will gain knowledge of healthcare data relevance, use of change management principles and tools, and evaluation methods.

Healthcare Safety, Just Culture, and Regulation, on the other hand, allows learners to explore the impact of regulatory and accreditation standards on organizational compliance and liability. Topics include accreditation and regulatory standards, compliance, and advocating for a culture of safety. Learners can lead change by developing person-centered solutions that mitigate risks and promote quality and safety.

HEaRT Experiential Learning

Looking to gain professional healthcare experience, even before you graduate? Do it with HEaRT.

Specially designed for learners in healthcare and nursing, HEaRT (Higher Education and Real World Training) is a powerful experiential learning opportunity at SNHU. These online, asynchronous, voluntary experiences help connect students with employers to help solve real-world business problems – so you can be ready to make an impact in your field.

Tuition & Fees

At SNHU, we’re committed to making education more accessible, by making it more affordable.

Beyond low tuition rates, we help our students save through transfer credits, credit for prior learning, grants and scholarships, tuition assistance and more. U.S. service members, both full and part time, as well as the spouses of those on active duty are also eligible for a 25% tuition discount.

This certificate is not eligible for federal financial aid. Students seeking alternatives to federal financial aid can explore tuition assistance, grants and scholarships, as well as private loans. To learn more about private loans, visit our Funding Your Education with Student Loans page.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
No Application Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Licensure and Certification Disclosures

SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

ANCC Accredited Provider

At Southern New Hampshire University, we’re committed to your success — even beyond graduation. That’s why we’re committed to delivering accredited continuing education for nurses and healthcare professionals. From one-hour webinars to multi-day conferences and more, these opportunities are built to help you continue to meet the needs of communities across the globe.

Visit our SNHU continuing education page to learn more.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.