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Certificate for Leadership & Innovation in Health + Design

The School of Nursing and the Graduate Program in Architecture + Health at Clemson University is collaborating on an online, distance education certificate program to educate nurses and design professionals in the art and science of healthcare design. One of the domains of nursing care is the environment, which originated with the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. Nurses have long understood that good design leads to good health. The purpose of this certificate program is to shape nursing, allied health and architecture scholars in architecture design + health for a positive impact on the environment in which patients receive care.  Post-baccalaureate, masters', and doctoral graduates are encouraged to apply.

The goals of the certificate program are to:

  1. Improve and prepare nurses, design, and allied health professionals’ education and advocacy for better quality settings and the delivery of health care within the health care environment.

  2. Understand the role of the nurse and allied health leaders in health systems science as it relates to interdisciplinary collaboration and the health care built environment.

  3. Understand the theoretical framework of the impact of the built environment onhealth care and improved outcomes.

  4. Apply and disseminate knowledge on the impact of the built environment on healthcare acquired in a clinical, industry or academic setting.

  5. Prepare design professionals to interact and work with clinical healthcare providers in collaborative cross-disciplinary design and design decision-making.

Why enroll in this program?

While there are many certificate programs to choose from, we offer a few reasons to select this one:

  • We offer courses led by internationally recognized leaders in nursing and healthcare architecture research, education and design.
  • This is a blended program, suited for working professionals and recent graduates with a passion for the design of healthcare environments

Clemson University Program Leaders:

  • Susan O’Hara, PhD, MPH, RN, Assistant Professor School of Nursing and School of Architecture
  • David Allison, FAIA, FACHA, Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture + Health


  • Course information

    Plan of Study

    Prefix & Number


    Credit hours


    ARCH 8860

    Health Facilities Planning and Design


    Fall Year 1

    ARCH 8650

    Topics in Health Policy, Planning & Administration


    Spring Year 1

    NURS 8070

    Nursing Research Design & Methods


    Summer Year 1

    NURS 9060

    DNP Outcomes Management + Practicum (45 hours)


    Spring Year 2


    The courses would be taken in sequence:

    1. Arch 8860: Current planning and design considerations for healthcare facilities. Conducted as a series of professional seminars examining overall infrastructure planning and design consideration and detailed considerations for specific areas in hospitals. Topics are covered by Architecture + Health faculty and national recognized practitioners
    2. Arch 8650: Provides a general overview of the context for the planning and design of healthcare organizations and health care facilities in the United States. Major current trends and issues in public policy, planning and the business of health care organizations are covered
    3. Nurs 8070: Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies useful and appropriate to clinical nursing practice and for the development of nursing knowledge; ethics with human subject; does not include thesis advisement.
    4. Nurs 9060 as each course content builds on the other: Examines the science of systems improvement, including the models, methods, and tools of process improvement applied to healthcare. Emphasis is on designing outcomes and evidence-based, safe and efficient processes and workflows to achieve customer satisfaction and targeted outcomes. A practicum component with quality experts permits guided application of classroom content.
  • Application information

    Dates and Deadlines:

    1. Apply on or before May 1st for Fall admission
    2. Decision for acceptance on or before June 15th
    3. Acceptance to enroll on or before July 1st

    Do you qualify for entry?

    1. Masters’ Degree in related field (i.e Nursing/Allied Health/Architecture) GPA 3.0 or higher
    2. Post-baccalaureate graduates are encouraged to apply and will be considered.
    3. PhD in related field GPA 3.0 or higher
    4. In the case of international students, TOEFL score of 90 or greater (within past 2 years)

    You will need these application documents:

    1. Personal Statement: What are your reasons for pursuing this certificate program? What are your reasons for choosing Clemson University?
    2. References: 3 total (Academic and Professional)
    3. Licensure: In appropriate disciplines
    4. Clemson University Graduate School Application forms
    5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
    6. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions

     Click here to apply.

    For students who have successfully completed the certificate program and want to return for degree seeking in either school, you’ll have to re-apply to the appropriate degree program, and you may only transfer up to 6 credit hours of the coursework completed.

    Anticipated Costs of the Program

    TOTAL Program Tuition

    • Resident SC $8,586
    • Non-Resident $13,356