Term 2 - The MSK Essentials: Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Certificate Program

December 16, 2024 to May 31, 2025

TERM 2 - The MSK Essentials: Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Certificate Program

Unlock Your Potential with the Musculoskeletal Essentials Mastery Certification

December 16, 2024 - May 26, 2025

Program Overview:

Dive into a transformative journey that equips clinicians with specialized knowledge and skills to prevent, evaluate and manage musculoskeletal conditions across the lifespan.

Musculoskeletal issues are prevalent, with 15-30% of primary care visits and 20% of emergency room visits in the USA attributed to these conditions. They are also a leading cause of long-term disability, highlighting the critical need for effective management and treatment.

Our comprehensive program offers a holistic approach to musculoskeletal health and orthopedic to bridge the gap in medical training and address unmet educational needs.

Onsite Workshop:

Students will come together in Boston for an enriching onsite workshop, where students will immerse themselves in a dynamic event featuring renowned clinicians in orthopedics and sports medicine. This hands-on experience offers attendees the chance to refine their expertise in physical examination techniques, advanced diagnostics, casting, splinting, and the administration of joint and bursal injections and aspirations.

Discussion Board:

Purpose: To assist students in mastering orthopedic and sports medicine concepts, and to provide feedback on performance in mastery.

Assignment Guidelines: Discussion prompts will be posed each week that there is no exam. You should enter the discussion a minimum of 2 days each week. Post one initial and individual response to the discussion per module. Try to respond to different individuals during the course. You must comment about what you found surprising, new, provocative, confusing, etc. It is not sufficient to say “good job”, or “interesting” without further explanation.” The initial post is due Wednesday and the response is due by Friday.

Illustrate your point with examples and relate personal experiences. Link to articles and your resources that support the information you put forth. Be concise and develop your idea in 200 words or less.

Weekly Case Study Calls:

Case studies will be posted each week that there is no exam. Provide your response to the prompts in the case study and support your work with citations. References should be in APA format and robust. Provide links to articles and resources that support your work. Case study responses should be between 200 and 800 words.

Course Pathway:

Delineated Musculoskeletal Essentials I, II, III 

Online Format

Faculty: Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAAN

  • Musculoskeletal Essentials I: Lay the foundation with this introductory course, designed to prepare clinicians to evaluate and manage acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Gain expertise in outpatient, inpatient, and operative care to enhance patient outcomes.
    • Faculty: Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAAN
  • Musculoskeletal Essentials II: Build on Essentials I and elevate your skills with specialized knowledge to prevent, evaluate, and manage musculoskeletal conditions. Master advanced assessment techniques and health maintenance strategies.
    • Pre-requisites: Musculoskeletal Essentials I
  • Musculoskeletal Essentials III: Take your expertise to the next level in this culminating course, focusing on advanced skills such as casting, splinting, suturing, and joint injections. Refine your practice models and collaborative approaches for improved patient outcomes.
    • Pre-requisites: Musculoskeletal Essentials II

Why Choose Us:

  • Learn from experienced faculty members renowned in the field of musculoskeletal health and orthopedics.
  • Rigorous curriculum designed to meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals.
  • Flexible online format allows you to balance your education with your professional commitments.
  • Engage in hands-on workshops and interactive discussions for practical, real-world insights.
  • Join a supportive community of clinicians dedicated to advancing musculoskeletal care.

Criteria & Pre-Requisites:

Graduate of an accredited APRN or PA program.

Alternatively: While still enrolled in an NP or PA program: Advanced Health Assessment completed.


Tuition Cost: $17,500

Option 1:

Pay in Full $17,500 – 10% Discount  

Option 2:

1st Payment $8,750 Due By – September 2, 2024

2nd Payment $8,750 Due By – December 9, 2025 

Please contact InstituteForOrthoEducation@mgh.harvard.edu if you have questions regarding tuition.

Cancellation Policy (prior to course start date):

A refund minus a $100.00 administrative fee will be issued for refund requests received by August 26, 2024.

Below is the refund schedule for FULL TERMS once the program begins:

  • Week one of a semester - 100% (9/9-9/15) minus a $100.00 administrative fee
  • Week two of a semester - 80% (9/16 – 9/22)
  • Week three of a semester - 60% (9/23-9/29)
  • Week four of a semester - 40% (9/30-10/6)
  • Week five of a semester - 20% (10/7-10/13)
  • After week five - NO REFUNDS (10/14-10/20)

There are no exceptions to these policies.

All requests must be made in writing prior to the end of the week of cancellation. Please contact institutefororthoeducation@mgb.org  for any questions.

Target Audience:

The target audience for a specialty certificate in orthopedics and sports medicine for advanced practice providers (NPs and PAs) includes individuals who possess a strong interest and commitment to advancing their skills and knowledge in the specialized areas of orthopedics and sports medicine.

  • Advanced Practice Providers (NPs and PAs): The primary audience consists of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) who have already completed their basic training or are in an NP or PA program and are actively practicing in the field of healthcare. They are looking to further specialize in orthopedics and sports medicine to enhance their clinical expertise and provide more comprehensive care to their patients.
  • Healthcare Professionals Seeking Specialization: This certificate program would attract NPs and PAs who are passionate about orthopedic and sports medicine and are seeking opportunities to specialize in these areas. They may already be working in orthopedic clinics, sports medicine practices, primary care settings, or other relevant healthcare environments.
  • Career Advancers: Individuals who aim to advance their careers in orthopedics and sports medicine would be drawn to this certificate program. They may see it as a pathway to career advancement, increased job opportunities, higher earning potential, and greater professional recognition within the healthcare industry.
  • Continuing Education Participants: Healthcare professionals committed to lifelong learning and staying current with the latest advancements in their field would find value in this certificate program. They seek opportunities to expand their knowledge base, learn new techniques, and integrate evidence-based practices into their clinical work.
  • Passionate about Orthopedics and Sports Medicine: The target audience includes individuals who have a genuine passion for orthopedic conditions, musculoskeletal health, and sports-related injuries. They are motivated to deepen their understanding of these specialized areas and develop the skills necessary to provide effective, patient-centered care.
  • Diverse Backgrounds and Experience Levels: The audience may include NPs and PAs with varying levels of experience in orthopedics and sports medicine, ranging from those who are relatively new to the field to seasoned practitioners looking to refine their expertise.
  • Commitment to Patient Care Excellence: Above all, the target audience is characterized by its dedication to delivering high-quality care to patients with orthopedic injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and sports-related ailments. They prioritize patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction in their professional practice.

Overall, the target audience for a specialty certificate in orthopedics and sports medicine for NPs and PAs encompasses individuals who are driven, passionate, and committed to advancing their careers and delivering exceptional care in these specialized areas of healthcare.

Program Outcomes & Learning Objectives:

  • Prepare the graduate to work in a wide variety of settings, from primary care, to orthopedic and sports medicine in and outpatient settings.
  • Learn advanced assessment of the musculoskeletal system, including special tests.
  • Prepare clinicians to diagnose a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries across the life span.
  • Prepare clinicians to manage a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries across the life span.
  • Prepare clinicians to provide health maintenance and prevention of injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Educate the clinician to perform skills necessary for clinical practice in orthopedics and sports medicine, such as splinting and casting, joint and bursal injections and aspirations, suturing and reduction of dislocations and fractures.
  • Identify practice models for advanced practice clinicians within orthopedics and sports medicine.


AAOS Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care: Enhanced 5th Edition (Textbook)

AAOS, April Armstrong, Mark C. Hubbard ISBN 10: 1284166856 / ISBN 13: 9781284166859

Cost $183.95

Textbook Purchase Here

Application Process:

This is a 38-week specialty certificate program.

Requirements for admission include graduation from, or current enrollment in an NP or PA program.

If currently enrolled in an AGNP, FNP or PA program, you must have completed Advanced Physical Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology and Advanced Pathophysiology prior to the fall start date. Transcripts need to be uploaded for review.

There are no clinical hours included with this certificate.

Two letters of recommendation and a personal statement that describes your motivation to complete the program and your professional aspirations with the specialty certificate are required.

Ready to Advance Your Career?

Enroll today and embark on your journey to becoming a certified expert in musculoskeletal health and orthopedics!

Elevate your expertise in musculoskeletal health – apply now!

Course summary
Registration opens: 
Course closes: 
Event starts: 
12/16/2024 - 8:00am EST
Event ends: 
05/31/2025 - 11:59pm EDT


Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopedic and Sports Medicine

Specialty Certificate Program

September 2024 - May 2025

TERM 1 – NURS 602 Musculoskeletal Essentials I

TERM 2 - NURS 604 Musculoskeletal Essentials II

TERM 3 – NURS 606 Musculoskeletal Essentials III

Date Topics/Readings Outcomes/TopicsTopics Assignments/Readings 
WEEK 1IntroductionUnderstand the course structure/syllabusElbow and Forearm – Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomyEssentials of Musculoskeletal Care
9/9/2024 Musculoskeletal anatomy – Focus on upper extremitiesDemonstrate knowledge of the anatomy of the upper extremitiesSection 2, pages 322-329
  Hand and Wrist- Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomySection 3, pages
    Section 4, 496-504
WEEK 2 Musculoskeletal anatomy- focus on lower extremities and spineDetermine the anatomy of the lower extremities and spineHip and thigh - Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomySection 5 pages 628-636
9/16/2024   Knee and Lower Leg – Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomySection 6-Pages 720-732
   Foot and Ankle – Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomySection 7 - Pages 858-866
   Spine - Overview, Pain Diagrams, AnatomySection 8 - Pages 1018-1032
WEEK 3Musculoskeletal physiologyDemonstrate an understanding of muscle, bone, ligament and cartilage physiology. Article posted in: Readings & Resources
WEEK 4Physical assessment of the musculoskeletal system – focus on the history and mechanism of injuryDemonstrate methods to perform an accurate and thorough history from a patient with a musculoskeletal complaintOverview of General Orthopedics and Principles of Musculoskeletal Evaluation Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care
9/30/2024 Sports Medicine Evaluation and Management PrincipalsSection 1 Pages 7-14 
    Section 9 – pages 1272-1274
WEEK 5 Physical assessment of the musculoskeletal system – focus on the upper extremitiesExhibit methods for assessing the upper extremitiesPhysical Examination of the ShoulderSection 2 - Pages 324-329
10/7/2024  Physical Examination of the Elbow and Forearm336-346
   Physical Examination of the Wrist and HandSection 3 – Pages 434-445
    Section 4 – Pages 498-516
WEEK 6 Physical assessment of the musculoskeletal system – focus on the lower extremitiesLearn methods for assessing the lower extremitiesPhysical Examination of the Hip and ThighSection 5 - Pages 630-636
10/14/2024  Physical Examination of the Knee and Lower Leg644-650
    Section 6- 724-732 and 738-748
WEEK 7 Midterm Exam   
WEEK 8 Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system – focus on congenital factors and the pediatric patientUse critical thinking and inductive and deductive reasoning to diagnose congenital conditions of the musculoskeletal systemPediatric OrthopedicsSection 9 - Pages 1120-1133
WEEK 9Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system- focus on overuse injuries and conditionsAppropriately use subjective and objective information to diagnose overuse injuries and conditions.Overuse, overtraining syndromeArticle posted in: Readings & Resources.
11/4/2024   Throwing InjuriesSection 1 200-213
   Dance Injuries to the foot and ankleSection 2 Pages 392-398
    Section 7 Pages 923-927
WEEK 10 Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system- focus on traumatic upper extremity injuriesDemonstrate the ability to accurately diagnose upper extremity traumatic injuries and conditions.ShoulderSection 2 – Pages 323-329, 336-346, 347-349, 356-357, 363-364, 367-369, 370, 373-374, 376-378, 380-381, 383-384, 399-401, 406-407, 409-411, 418-419, 423-424
11/11/2024  Elbow and ForearmSection 3
    434-445, 446-448, 452-453, 455-456, 458, 461-462, 464-466, 474-475, 479-481, 486-487, 488-490
WEEK 11Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system- focus on lower extremity injuriesDefine the diagnoses for lower extremity traumatic injuries and conditions.Hip and ThighSection 5 – Pages 630-636, 644-650, 651-652, 655-656, 658-660, 662-663, 666-668, 670-672, 676-677, 679-680, 703-704, 706, 708-710 
11/18/2024  Knee and Lower LegSection 6- Pages 722-732, 738-748, 749-751, 760-763, 767-770, 776-779, 783-786, 789-791, 799-801, 806-808, 818-819, 821-823, 826-828, 838-839, 841-843
WEEK 12 Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system- focus on spinal injuriesIdentify the conditions and injuries to the spineSpineSection 8 – Pages
11/25/22024Wrist and hand and foot and ankle Hand and Wrist1020-1032, 1038-1054, 1055-1056, 1057-1059, 1060-1061,1065-1067, 1070-1071, 1073-1074, 1076-1077,1082-1083, 1088-1090, 1092-1094, 10-96-1097, 1099-1100, 1107-1108, 1109-1110
   Foot and AnkleSection 4 Pages 498-516, 521-523, 527-528, 532-533, 536-537, 539-541, 547, 550-551, 571-572, 573-574, 576-577, 580-582, 585-586, 588-590, 
    445-447, 450-452, 455-456, 459-465, 470-471, 474-476, 483-489,493-514, 517-527, 531-539, 542-547, 560-562, 563-566, 597-598, 599-600, 608-610, 614-615, 
    Section 7 Pages 
    861-866, 873-887, 892, 898-899, 906-908, 912-913, 915-916, 935-936, 938-939, 941. 944-945, 947, 949-950, 953-955, 956-957, 963-964, 968-969, 975-977, 990-992, 994-995, 1001-1002, 1004-1006, 1013
WEEK 13 Diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system – focusing on infectionsDemonstrate diagnosis of infections of the musculoskeletal systemOsteomyelitis Section 1- Pages 119-119, and 122-124
12/2/2024  Septic ArthritisPages 38-40
   Lyme DiseasePages 553-556
   Fingertip InfectionsPages 568-569 
   Flexor Tendon Sheath InfectionsSection 4. Pages 517-520 and 594-596
   Bite wounds 
WEEK 14Final Exam   
WEEK 15 IntroductionUnderstand the course structure/syllabus 

Armstrong and Hubbard Section 1 Pages 109-117
12/16/2024RadiographyOverview of Imaging Principles and Techniques Readings and/or viewings posted IN Readings & Resources.
  Demonstrate knowledge of xray/radiographs.  
WEEK 16 RadiographyDemonstrate understanding of magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) and magnetic resonance imagery with arthrogram(MRA) Readings and/or viewings posted IN Readings & Resources. 
WEEK 17 RadiographyDemonstrate an understanding computed tomography (CT) Readings and/or viewings posted IN Readings & Resources.
WEEK 18RadiographyDemonstrate an understanding ultrasound (US). Readings and/or viewings posted IN Readings & Resources.
WEEK 19 RadiographyDetermine when other studies are necessary, including Bone Scan, DEXA scan and PET scan Readings and/or viewings posted IN Readings & Resources.
WEEK 20 Midterm Exam   
WEEK 21ManagementLearn how to manage upper extremity (shoulder and elbow) injuries and conditions. Section 2 Armstrong and Hubbard
2/10/2025   Pages 347-350,356-358, 363-386, 399-402, 406-414,418-420,423-425
    Section 3
    446-449, 452-468,474-476, 479-482,486-490
WEEK 22ManagementDescribe how to manage lower extremity (hip and knee) injuries and conditions. Section 5
2/17/2025   651-684, 688-690, 694-696, 701-710, 
    Section 6
    749-753,760-763, 767-771,776-779, 783-796, 799-804,806-814, 818-829, 833-835, 838-844
WEEK 23ManagementIdentify the management strategies for general musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Section 1
2/24/2025 CAM for Osteoarthritis Pages 25-68,80-87
WEEK 24ManagementLearn how to manage acute and chronic spine injuries and conditions. Section 8
3/3/2025 Management of hand and wrist injuries and conditions. 1055-1068, 1070-1079, 1082-1085,1088-1101, 1107-1111
  Management of foot and ankle injuries and conditions. Section 4
    521-524,527-529,532-533, 536-542,547-548,550-552, 563-567, 571-591
    892-894, 898-901, 906-909, 912-913, 914-918, 935-958963-0965,968-969, 975-978,985-987,1004-1006,1013-1014
WEEK 25 ManagementManagement and treatment for pediatric congenital and traumatic injuries and conditions Section 9 
3/10/2025   Pages:  
    1134-1159, 1172-1196,1201-1271
WEEK 26 Health MaintenancePrescribe and recommend the best practices for Diet and nutrition in prevention or health maintenance for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Section 1 Pages:  
3/17/2025  Osteoporosis Readings posted in Readings & Resources. 
    Section 1 Pages:  189-198
WEEK 27 On-Campus Workshop Day   
WEEK 28 Health Maintenance/ Injury PreventionDescribe the mechanisms to prevent overuse injuries – throwing programs, return to running or return to play Section 1 Pages: 
3/24/2025  Sports related Concussion 200-213
    Section 2 
    Section 1
    Page 275
    Section 1 pages 69-78
WEEK 29 Health MaintenanceIdentify safety for patients to avoid musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, and recommend physical activity Section 1 Pages: 
3/31/2025    127-135 and 165-176
WEEK 30 Final Exam   
WEEK 31 Introduction to MSK III andUnderstand the course structure/syllabus Weekly discussion board post and case study.
4/14/2025 Practice models overviewDemonstrate knowledge practice models.  
WEEK 32Soft tissue injections/ joint aspirations and injectionsDescribe the process of joint injections and aspirations and indications and contraindications for these interventions Corticosteroids Pages 92-94 and 454
4/21/2025    Adverse effects 688-689
    Adhesive capsulitis 312
    Subacromial bursa 325-326
    Rheumatoid arthritis 52
    Knee arthritis 680
    Viscosummplementation 680
    Shoulder impingement 3320
    Thumb CMC joint 453-454
    AC joint injections Pages 289-290
    Ankle 812-813
    Carpal tunnel 468-469
    Knee 675-677
    MCP/PIP  448-449
    Pes anserine bursa 690-691
    Shoulder 316-317
    Wrist 457-458
    Weekly discussion board post and case study
WEEK 33 Casting, splintingDescribe the process of joint and fracture reduction and patient indications.  Review complications. Weekly discussion board post and case study.
4/28/2025 Fracture and dislocation reductionIdentify principles of casting and techniques for applying immobilization.  
  Determine best practices for suturing, immobilization  
WEEK 34SuturingReview for some, new information for others on suturing Weekly discussion board post and case study.
WEEK 35Scope of practiceDemonstrate a keen knowledge of the scope of practice for the NP, PA and MD/DO, PT, ATC Weekly discussion board post and case study.
5/12/2025  Discuss the role of first assisting in the operating room, including review of sterile technique. View voiced over ppt and material posted in Readings & Resources.
WEEK 36CertificationIdentify certifying bodies for the specialty of orthopedics Weekly discussion board post and case study.
5/19/2025    View voiced over ppt and material posted in Readings & Resources.
WEEK 37Final ExamTake 3 times, the highest of the 3 scores will be recorded.  

Note: Continuous Improvement:

The contents of this syllabus may be added to, deleted from, or altered if the faculty believes it is necessary to achieve the course objectives. New material appropriate to contemporary practice may be added by the instructor during the course.

Course Components:

  • Weekly Discussion Boards
  • Weekly Case Studies
  • Midterm Exam
  • Final Exam

Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAAN

Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAANP, FAAN, is a distinguished Professor of Nursing and Clinical Professor of Medicine, renowned for her unparalleled expertise in orthopedics and sports medicine. Serving as the track coordinator for a Post-Master's Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Certificate program for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, Dr. Myrick shapes the future of healthcare professionals with her extensive knowledge and experience.

In addition to her academic roles, Dr. Myrick maintains an active clinical practice as a nurse practitioner in an orthopedic urgent care setting, where she provides exceptional care to patients with various musculoskeletal injuries, including hip conditions.

With a profound commitment to advancing healthcare through research, Dr. Myrick's focus on athletes and sports medicine has garnered multiple grants, enabling her to pioneer innovative approaches in clinical health assessment. Notably, she has authored and edited several authoritative textbooks, solidifying her status as a thought leader in the field. Dr. Myrick's groundbreaking work includes the development, testing, and publication of a novel physical examination technique for diagnosing hip labral tears, revolutionizing diagnostic practices in orthopedic care.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Karen is a dedicated triathlete, martial artist, and runner, embodying the synergy between her personal interests and professional expertise. Her passion for an active lifestyle underscores her deep understanding of the biomechanics and rehabilitation of hip injuries, enriching her contributions to both research and clinical practice.

Accreditation Information has been submitted and is under review. Please check back soon.

Available Credit

  • X AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    • This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. McLean Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    • McLean Hospital designates this Live activity for a maximum of 6.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • X Nursing Contact Hours
    • Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 13, sections 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 15D and Chapter 112, sections 74 through 81C authorize the Board of Registration in Nursing to regulate nursing practice and education.
    • This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR 5.00) for 6.50 contact hours of nursing continuing education credit. Advance practice nurses, please note: Educational activities which meet the requirements of the ACCME (such as this activity) count towards 50% of the nursing requirement for ANCC accreditation.
  • X Participation
    • This course allows other providers to claim a Participation Certificate upon successful completion of this course.
    • Participation Certificates will specify the title, location, type of activity, date of activity, and number of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ associated with the activity. Providers should check with their regulatory agencies to determine ways in which AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ may or may not fulfill continuing education requirements. Providers should also consider saving copies of brochures, agenda, and other supporting documents.
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