Substance Use and Addictions Nursing Certificate

a butterfly on a flower

Uplift, support, and transform lives. With advanced professional education in addiction prevention, evaluation, and treatment, you can make a difference for individuals and your community.

cover of the spring 2020 issue of nursing forum magazine

Read about how our faculty and alumni are:

  • contributing to new models of care
  • strengthening and expanding an addictions-focused curriculum
  • crafting new treatment strategies
  • conducting clinical research
  • building global alliances

Also from our faculty experts:

Prescription Drug Misuse High Among Nurses During Pandemic (login required)

The Substance Use and Addictions Nursing Certificate is an online 12-credit graduate certificate with a clinical practicum that can be completed in as little as two semesters.

Designed for RNs and APRNs, it is the only nursing certificate of its kind in the nation.

As a student, you'll receive evidence-based content to increase your understanding of:

  • addictions and prevention
  • screening and treatment
  • provision of quality care.

The certificate covers current and practical material, designed and taught by experienced, practicing faculty.

The Substance Use and Addictions Nursing Certificate was developed with assistance from a Nurse Support Program (NSP) II grant, funded through the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

How the Program Works

  • You’ll complete the certificate through four online courses.
  • Your final course includes a 90-hour practicum component.
  • You can complete the certificate in as little as one year (two 15-week semesters).
  • You can apply up to two of the four certificate courses toward a degree program at UMSON.

What You’ll Learn

The certificate will prepare you to:

  • care for individuals, families, and communities affected by addictions
  • take on leadership roles in addictions nursing
  • develop professionally, including building a career portfolio
  • take an addictions nursing certification exam:
    • Certified Addictions Registered Nursing (CARN)
    • Certified Addictions Registered Nurse Advanced Practice (CARN-AP)

What You’ll Do  

Addictions nurses practice in direct care, nurse education, leadership, and liaison services, including:

  • in-hospital addiction consultation teams
  • specialty addiction treatment centers
  • behavioral health clinics
  • primary care
  • any practice setting: screening, brief intervention, motivational interviewing, and promoting behavioral change

Program Snapshot


As little as 2 semesters


Online (includes an in-person practicum)

Tuition and Fees View overview

In State Tuition: $873.00/credit
Out of State Tuition: $1,549.00/credit



More Information:

Courses You'll Take

Substance Use and Addictions Nursing Certificate Courses:

  • NRSG 773* Addictions Nursing I: Foundations
  • NRSG 774* Motivational Interviewing for Addictions Nurses
  • NRSG 775 Addictions Nursing II: Special Topics
  • NRSG 776 Addictions Nursing III: Clinical Aspects

 *These courses are available as electives.

Course Descriptions:

To view course descriptions for upcoming courses, search the course catalog.

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your education.

Type of Aid Award
Federal Scholarships and Loan Opportunities various award amounts
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition, fees, and books
(based on in-state tuition)

Did you know? Our certificate programs are eligible for Federal Student Aid. If you are interested in learning more about how you can apply financial aid to this certificate, contact University Student Financial Assistance.

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships

All students receiving funds through the University must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline.

  • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
  • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.

Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 |

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 |

Sample Plans of Study

2-Semester Plan of Study

First Semester

NRSG 773* Addictions Nursing I: Foundations

NRSG 774* Motivational Interviewing for Addictions Nurses
Second Semester

NRSG 775 Addictions Nursing II: Special Topics

NRSG 776 Addictions Nursing III: Clinical Aspects 

4-Semester Plan of Study

First Semester NRSG 773* Addictions Nursing I: Foundations
Second Semester NRSG 775 Addictions Nursing II: Special Topics
Third Semester NRSG 774* Motivational Interviewing for Addictions Nurses 
Fourth Semester NRSG 776 Addictions Nursing III: Clinical Aspects  

 *These courses are available as electives.

Admission Requirements

In this section:


  • fall enrollment: rolling admissions review begins Feb. 1 
  • spring enrollment: rolling admissions review begins Sept. 1


To be eligible for the program, you must have:

  • a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing
  • an active, unrestricted U.S. registered nurse license for the state in which your practicum is located.

Application materials:


Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.

The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:

  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.

You can save your progress and return to your application at a later date. We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates.

One recommendation. Your recommendation must come from a mentor, teacher, employer, fellow student, or colleague who can speak about your potential to successfully complete the certificate program.

Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.

Essay. Please submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following: How will earning this certificate impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?

Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Returning students are not required to submit UMSON transcripts; we will upload a copy of your UMSON transcript to your application.

Have each institution submit electronically to

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Scholarships to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

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