Online Graduate Healthcare Certificate Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Develop Your Expertise With a Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

Designed for healthcare professionals who wish to possibly advance their expertise, this graduate-level online certificate program is 16 credits and comprised of four in-depth courses. It’s recommended for anyone in healthcare management, administration, public health, nursing and more. You will focus on one course at a time and cover specific skills and topics in healthcare quality and patient safety. Whether you are a nurse or a healthcare administrator, this Graduate Certificate of Completion in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety may add great value to your career by demonstrating your commitment to quality and safety.

By completing your graduate certificate in health care quality and patient safety online, you have the flexibility and convenience to study at any time, from anywhere. This program was created with working professionals in mind, and we strive to support you.

Our knowledgeable faculty and engaging online learning community will be with you every step of the way. When earning your online degree at GCU, you can look forward to various resources and expert feedback while you take the steps to potentially further your career.

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Study Advanced Topics During Your Graduate Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Certificate Program

During this certificate program, you will study various topics important to the understanding and implementation of healthcare quality and patient safety practices. These topics include:

  • Examine nationally recognized expectations and metrics for quality
  • Study different approaches to support quality improvement measures
  • Evaluate methods to track, assess, analyze and review patient safety data
  • Discuss project management models and approaches in healthcare
  • Gain skills to set expectations and identify ways to mitigate obstacles in healthcare project management and quality improvement
  • Learn about technologies that support clinical decision-making for patient safety

Certificate Completion Career Opportunities

While this program does not lead directly to a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) or other certifications, it can provide you with a specialized skillset in healthcare quality and patient safety. It can enhance your knowledge and hone your skills so that you can make a positive impact when it comes to quality and patient safety in healthcare.

This healthcare-focused certificate program may prove to be valuable for a range of professionals, including:

  • Facility managers
  • Medical and health services managers
  • Postsecondary business teachers

Graduate Health Care Certificate in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality FAQs

If you’re considering earning your quality and patient safety healthcare certificate, browse through our frequently asked questions to learn more about this career path.

Quality care is described in terms of how successful a healthcare institution is in providing care that meets its standards and expectations. The foundation of quality care includes care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.1

Patient safety refers to preventing harm to patients in a healthcare setting. This means establishing a system that prevents errors, learns from errors and promotes a culture of safety among healthcare professionals, organizations and patients.1

It’s imperative that a healthcare organization have individuals who are constantly analyzing, studying and working to improve patient safety and healthcare quality outcomes.

An online healthcare certificate program can provide you with the knowledge and skillset needed to pursue positions in healthcare.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers had a median annual wage of $104,830 in May 2022.2

These careers also expect growth and open job opportunities in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth for medical and health services managers to increase by about 28% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 144,700 jobs in the field.3

A CPHQ certification is the only accredited certification for healthcare quality and patient safety. To gain certification, you must pass the CPHQ examination that measures your knowledge and understanding of healthcare safety and quality practices. This exam is offered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).4

1 Retrieved from the National Library of Medicine, Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses, in October 2022.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Medical and Health Services Managers as of May 2022, retrieved on Sept. 29, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as medical and health services managers, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country, or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc. against a pool of candidates.

3 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, retrieved on Sept. 25, 2023.

4 Retrieved from National Association of Healthcare Quality, CPHQ Certification, in January 2023

Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course focuses on the critical analysis of health care research and its application to the administration and delivery of health care services. Emphasis is placed on strategies to access current and relevant data, synthesize the information, and translate new knowledge into practice. Learners are introduced to concepts of measurement, reliability, and validity, as well as ethical issues in the design and conduct of research through an evaluative process of health care initiatives and projects.

Course Description

This course provides foundational knowledge that will equip learners to make decisions regarding quality improvement and patient safety. Learners explore the quality improvement process and examine the most commonly used models and tools for improving health care quality. Learners will also evaluate methods to track, assess, analyze, and review data relating to patient safety issues. Prerequisite: NUR-590 & NUR-630 or HCA-540.

Course Description

This course examines the models and approaches of project management in health care settings. Learners demonstrate understanding of the project management process and its application to health care quality and safety initiatives. Learners gain skills to identify various stakeholders and roles, set goals and expectations, plan stakeholder engagement, and identify ways to mitigate obstacles in health care project management. Prerequisite: HQS-610.

Course Description

This course examines components of implementing health care quality and safety initiatives. Learners examine the elements of change management, identify criteria for success in change areas, and plan phases and goals for implementation. Learners also consider change sustainability and dissemination of successful implementations. Prerequisite: HQS-620.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.