Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate Program

The Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate Program is an onlineinterdisciplinary program designed to foster understanding of the caregiving field through the exploration of the journey of a caregiver, evidenced-based caregiver support programs, vulnerable populations needing caregivers, and culturally appropriate approaches to caregiving. Estimates have consistently projected that the need for caregiving will escalate significantly in the coming decades. This increase in demand can be attributed to several key trends, including an aging demographic, increased longevity, and the growing burden of chronic illnesses. 

This certificate program is designed to inform both professionals in caregiving (i.e. business, health care, education, social services, public health, and psychology) and family caregivers about available resources, support programs, and research findings for caregivers of individuals across the lifespan. This certificate is the only one of its kind in the state and represents a unique commitment of Georgia Southwestern State University to prepare leaders in the field of caregiving. After completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Analyze a caregiver’s circumstances, needs, strengths, goals and cognitive abilities, cultural and spiritual situation.
  • Translate information across healthcare systems and healthcare providers.
  • Assist family caregivers in identifying and accessing community and regional services in healthcare settings.
  • Participate in an interdisciplinary team approach utilizing multiple healthcare and social service systems.
  • Integrate knowledge and values of caregiving in an individual’s career field, including, but not limited to business, healthcare, education, social work, social services, psychology, and public health.
  • Apply knowledge of evidenced-based caregiver programs to support diverse individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan.

Admission Requirements

The Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate Program requires acceptance at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Curriculum Content and Requirements

The Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate program includes 18 credits taken – three courses (3-hour credits each- total 9 credit hours) are lower division (1000-2000) and three courses (3-hour credits each- total 9 credit hours) are upper division (3000-4000). Recognizing that many individuals enrolling in this certificate program have various levels of knowledge, all courses stand alone and may be taken in any order. It is recommended that a beginning student be encouraged to enroll in the Introduction course first. Course substitutions must be approved in advance.


The program is built around a cadre of interdisciplinary courses which have evolved over a decade of caregiving research focused on caregiver needs, barriers, challenges, evidenced-based caregiver support programs, cultural support, caregiver health and more.

PSYC 2001: Introduction to Caregiving. Introduction of the concept of caregiving and the vital role(s) caregivers play in providing health care, utilizing a multicultural approach. Legal, economic, and policy issues related to caregiving are explored. (3-0-3)

NURS 2002: The Caregiving Journey. Explores the journey of the caregiver in a multicultural approach. The application of theoretical models, the exploration of health care costs, and the effects of caregiving on recipients as well as caregivers are included. (3-0-3)

NURS 2003: Best Practices in Supporting Caregivers. Presents caregiver support programs with an emphasis on research underpinnings. Strategies implementing, managing, and sustaining effective evidence-based caregiver support programs are explored. Additional focus is on critical skills including self-care, stress management, medication management, problem-solving, and communication strategies. (3-0-3)

NURS 3001 or PSYC 4395: Special Populations Requiring Care. Focuses on special caregiving issues for selected illnesses/disabilities. Addressed in this course are unique health care and social concerns encountered over the course of illnesses/disabilities. Illness trajectories, as a way to understand caregiver demands are investigated. (3-0-3)

PSYC 4395: Theory-Research in Caregiving. A research-based discussion of key issues in the study of caregiving, including similarities and differences among caregiving populations, cultural influences on caregiving, and the interplay between professional and family caregivers. (3-0-3) Prerequisites: PSYC 1101 or PSYC 1101H and PSYC 2000

NURS 3004. Cross-Cultural and Cross-National Issues in Caregiving. Targets cultural practices centered on family caregiving from areas around the world. Healing traditions and caregiving practices from various cultures are targeted and explored as the guiding influence on the health of individuals. (3-0-3)

NURS 3006. Advanced Practice Issues in Caregiving. Explores selected advanced practice topics in caregiving. These topics may include, but are not limited to, exploration of: 1) end-of-life issues; 2) caregiving burnout and coping strategies; 3) abuse and neglect in caregiving; 4) ethical and legal issues in caregiving; 5) managing caregiving transitions – hospital to home and home to hospital; and 6) institutional care. (3-0-3)