Continuing Education

Patient Advocacy Certificate Program - Nursing and Health/Human Services

Patient Advocacy Certificate Program.  Helping

Welcome to Cleveland State University’s Patient
Advocacy Certificate Program!

Conducted entirely online, the Cleveland State
Patient Advocacy Certificate Program (CSU PACP) supports
the work of advocates across the country by providing
a convenient, economical path to a fundamental knowledge
base in the field
. The Web-based platform also
provides a forum for participants to share experiences
and discuss issues critical to patient advocacy.

The certificate represents completion of ten 6-week
courses, each one focusing on a particular area of
knowledge or skills critical to the profession of
patient/health care consumer advocacy. Courses may be
taken individually, with no commitment to complete all
ten; however, only students who complete all ten will
earn the Cleveland State University Patient Advocacy

Launched in 2004 by CSU, this pioneering program was
the first of its kind nationwide. It resulted from
conversations with the
Society for
Healthcare Consumer Advocacy
personal membership group of the American Hospital
Association, is the national association representing
the patient/consumer advocacy profession.

Cleveland State University’s Patient Advocacy
Certificate Program

Each of the ten component courses of the CSU PACP
focuses on a core competency of the profession.

See detailed information regarding each course by
clicking on the title. 
For courses currently
open for registration,
click here

Course Title and


Legal Rights/Issues

(HCHS 538402)

Complaint Management

(HCHS 538403)

Measuring Patient
(HCHS 538409)

(HCHS 538404)

Customer Service
(HCHS 538402)

Conflict Resolution
(HCHS 538406)

Crisis Intervention

(HCHS 538408)

Data Management
(HCHS 538410)

Healthcare Management
(HCHS 538405)

CSU PACP: Program and Course Structure

CSU Patient Advocacy courses are conducted in 6-week
time frames, with class sizes limited to 25
participants. You can participate when it is convenient
for you, whether at midnight or during the work day.
While there are no specified meeting times, you still
get the benefit of interaction with colleagues and
faculty through facilitated discussions. You and your
classmates discuss the content of five weekly lessons by
posting comments and responses to questions posed by the
instructor about the material.

Each course represents ten (10) contact hours of
work, or 1 CEU, averaging about two hours per week. A
6th week is built in as a grace period for completion.
The courses are not academic credit-bearing courses and
you do not receive a letter grade or degree. You do earn
continuing education units and professional development
contact hours; a certificate of completion from CSU CE
is provided after successful completion of each course
(based on logging in, participating in discussions for
each lesson, and completing applicable assignments).
Once you complete all ten courses, you receive a special
certificate and letter documenting your successful
completion of the Cleveland State Patient Advocacy
Certificate Program. Cleveland State’s Division of
Continuing Education also maintains a transcript of
courses completed. While there is no commitment required
to take all ten courses, only those who do so will
receive the final PACP certificate.

CSU PACP: Registration, Pricing, Requirements, and
Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition for each PACP course is still only $149! The
tuition has not increased since the launch of the
program in 2004.

Information regarding requirements, the technical
needs for the Blackboard Learning Management System
used, registration and answers to most of your questions
can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page. If
you do not find the answer to your question, or need
additional information please contact Jeanine Carroll at

Careers in Patient Advocacy and the CSU PACP

Many individuals inquire about the prospects for
entering the field of patient advocacy through
participation in the CSU Patient Advocacy Program. This
program was not designed as a career entry program, and
there is currently no national credential to become a
patient advocate. However, earning the certificate
provides critical, fundamental knowledge and can enhance
your resume/portfolio. Advocates work in a variety of
healthcare settings, although most work in hospitals.
They perform varied roles, have different titles, and
diverse types of education and experience. Advocates may
come from nursing, social work, pastoral care or
customer relations backgrounds, but most have
significant understanding and experience with health
care organizations and environments. The scope of work
and competencies most requested of patient/consumer
advocates are covered in the PACP courses offered by CSU.