What is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
Definition of an FNP
Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are APRNs who specialize in primary care for patients of all ages—children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Like other nurse practitioners, FNPs are equipped to diagnose and treat acute illnesses & chronic conditions. They conduct physical & diagnostic tests, prescribe medications (in some states), and counsel families on disease prevention & healthy living. What’s more, FNPs often act as fierce patient advocates and trusted medical advisers.
You’ll find plenty of FNPs working under the supervision of physicians in doctor’s offices, but this isn’t your only avenue. Some FNPs end up running their own private practices. Others work in community-based health services, helping underserved and high-risk populations. You will also see FNPs in hospital administration, health research, and healthcare policy settings. Common work venues include:
- Family practices
- Nurse-managed clinics
- Outpatient/ambulatory settings
- Internal medicine clinics
- Women’s health clinics
- Community & rural health clinics
- Home health agencies
- Urgent care clinics
- Health departments
Note: Thanks to its flexibility, FNP is the most popular NP specialty. According to AANP’s 2018 NP Fact Sheet, a whopping 60.6% of existing NPs have been certified as family nurse practitioners.
Family Nurse Practitioner vs. Other Specialties
FNP vs. ACNP (Acute Care NP Specialties)
The FNP specialty is focused on primary care. Although FNPs deal with acute illnesses, they are not involved in life-threatening ones. If you’re interested in working as an NP in an acute care setting (e.g. ICU), check out our guides to Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP (AGACNP) or Acute Care Pediatric NP (ACPNP) programs instead.
You can also think about a two for one deal! Our directory contains dual focus RN to MSN programs that combine training for FNP and AGACNP certification. Aspiring ER nurse practitioners often choose to go down this route, since a dual program gives them exposure to pediatrics (through the FNP) that they wouldn’t receive otherwise.
FNP vs. PNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)
Can’t imagine a day without caring for children? You’re probably going hear a lot of opinions about whether the FNP or the PNP is a better graduate program. We take a detailed look at both choices in our guide to RN to MSN Pediatric Health Nurse Practitioner Programs.
FNP vs. PMHNP (Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner)
Do you enjoy psychiatry? You may be wondering whether to become a PMHNP or an FNP. We cover the entire debate in our guide to RN to MSN Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs. Once you’ve had a look at the job responsibilities and career paths of a PMHNP, the decision should get a lot easier.
FNP vs. WHNP (Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner)
Are you an RN currently working in the field of OB-GYN? Do you love women’s health? You have a choice between becoming an FNP or a WHNP. Our guide to RN to MSN Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Programs goes into detail about the pros & cons of each specialty.
RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Programs
RN to MSN Family NP: Overview
RN to MSN FNP programs are designed for working RNs who have a diploma or an associate’s degree (e.g. ASN/ADN) and want to pursue an MSN or MS to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). In addition, there are RN to MSN FNP programs for RNs with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.
Our directory includes:
- Concentration/Track: RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs with a concentration or track in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty. This is a common offering and you’ll have plenty of choice between on-campus and online degrees.
- Dual Concentration: Dual focus RN to MSN programs that allow you to tackle two NP specialties (e.g. Nurse Midwifery & FNP; Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP & FNP). These can be great if you have specific career goal in mind (e.g. working in an ED).
- Sub-Specialty: A small number of RN to MSN FNP programs that include specific sub-specialties (e.g. oncology, emergency nurse, etc.).
We’ve found a lot of variation in RN to MSN FNP programs (even ones with the exact same title), so examine the coursework & clinical components carefully to find the perfect fit.
RN to MSN Family NP: Admissions
All RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner programs—regardless of the specialty—share the same general prerequisites: a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing (unless you have a bachelor’s in another field), a current RN license, at least one year of RN clinical experience, a baseline undergraduate GPA (usually 2.75-3.0), and letters of professional reference. See our guide to RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner Programs for details.
For the FNP, schools will be pleased if your RN experience includes nursing patients across the age spectrum, especially in primary care settings. Community work, participation in professional organizations, and volunteer service are also valued!
RN to MSN Family NP: Undergraduate Phase
It’s worth remembering that you must earn good grades on prerequisite undergraduate courses (e.g. community nursing) before the university will allow you to tackle the master’s degree. The length of this phase will vary (e.g. 6 months – 2 years), but you may be able to transfer course credits from previous undergraduate work.
Check out our guide to RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner Programs for more info.
RN to MSN Family NP: MSN Curriculum
Once you’ve made it to the graduate level, standard MSN or MS degrees take around 1-3 years to complete. Approximately 70% of this degree is going to involve didactic coursework (i.e. traditional classroom learning).
- Foundation Courses: Almost every FNP program contains a “Nursing Core”—i.e. mandatory courses in leadership, evidence-based practice, physical/healthcare assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. These are usually required for certification.
- Concentration Courses: The remaining courses will be in your FNP concentration. Universities sometimes split these courses into patient categories (e.g. prenatal care, advanced primary care of children, women, adults, and geriatric adults) or stages of life (e.g. childbearing, reproductive health, and common healthcare problems of older adults). A few schools will offer a minor/focus (e.g. rural community).
- Family Practice Courses: Some nursing schools also like to include courses with direct relevance to family practice (e.g. informatics, biostatistics, health promotion, finance in healthcare systems, and community/public healthcare policy, etc.)
Finally, be sure the program meets the education prerequisites & covers the exam topics for FNP certification.
RN to MSN Family NP: MSN Clinical Hours / Practicums
Here’s where your MS or MSN degree really gets interesting! On top of being required for state licensure & certification, clinical practicums (a.k.a. clinical rotations) are an excellent way to test your skills, build a reputation for nursing excellence, and find employment contacts. Schools will often aim to give you 600-800 total hours of direct patient care.
In order to expose you to the full range of family care, FNP clinical rotations often include work in settings that involve:
- Family practice
- Women’s health
- Internal medicine
In fact, you’ll frequently see FNP practicums divided into categories. For example:
- Practicum in Infants, Children, and Adolescent Primary Care
- Practicum in Women’s Primary Care
- Practicum in Adult Primary Care
- Practicum in Older Adult Primary Care
Online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Programs
Are Online RN to MSN FNP Programs Available?
Yes. An outstanding number of schools in our directory offer Online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degrees—too many for us to list. Some of these are Online RN-BSN-MSN FNP programs, meaning you can earn a BSN on the way toward a master’s degree.
- Undergraduate Phase: Just like an on-campus program, you’ll be expected to earn credits in upper-level undergraduate courses from the university before you can proceed to the MS or MSN. These courses are usually offered online, making it easy to work while you study!
- Graduate Phase: This is the tricky part. It’s possible to take standard MS or MSN courses online, but remember that you must participate in clinical practicums in order to graduate. Practicums can be completed in your own community area. However, you may be expected to find the site and a clinical preceptor who is willing to supervise you.
Be wary of any RN to MSN FNP program that says it’s 100% online. A number of universities will expect you to come to campus (at least once) for training & assessment. For example:
- At Loyola University New Orleans, students attend an on-campus conference each spring and defend their scholarly project on-campus prior to graduation.
- At Simmons College, students participate in an campus immersion weekend prior to beginning clinical hours.
- At West Coast University, students tackle six on-site intensive weekend workshops over the course of the program (e.g. Advanced Health Assessment, Primary Care: Pediatrics and Advanced Health Care Residency, etc.)
We favor online programs with on-campus components—the hands-on training and networking opportunities are invaluable—but they will involve extra costs (e.g. travel expenses). Budget for every part of the degree, and review our rankings of the nation’s cheapest online RN to FNP programs for reputable options at a great price.
Online RN to MSN FNP Programs & State Licensure
We sound this warning for every aspiring NP—before you commit to an Online RN to MSN FNP program, check with your State Board of Nursing and the program coordinator about APRN state licensure. State Boards have specific rules and regulations regarding clinical learning experiences for students enrolled in distance education programs. You need to ensure your degree components will meet licensure requirements in your state.
- On its State Authorization & Licensure Information, Clarkson College provides up-to-date listings of states where it is currently authorized to offer online education.
- In 2018, Washington D.C. students in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Online FNP program were required to do their clinical rotations in Virginia.
- In 2018, East Tennessee State University’s Online FNP program would not accept applications from residents of certain states (e.g. California) due to restrictions imposed on distance education programs by boards of nursing.
Best Online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Programs (RN to FNP)
Use our rankings of the best online RN to FNP programs and RN to FNP specialty rankings to choose an accredited degree that works for you! We’ve analyzed scores of schools to find online RN to FNP programs that are convenient, affordable, and well-respected by employers.
1. University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Required: Yes
- BSN Included: No
- State Authorization: View
Already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree? Be sure to apply to UAB! Aspiring APRNs in the Online RN to MSN (Second Degree) pathway only have to take 3 bridge courses before getting stuck into the Online MSN-FNP. This is a part-time, 45-credit MSN that takes 6-7 semesters to complete. Although most of the coursework is online, there are 4 campus intensives in the last 4 semesters of the program. Students with a GPA of less than 3.2 are required to take the GRE, GMAT, or MAT, but waivers are available.
UAB is easily our #1 best pick for the FNP. The School of Nursing is an NLN Center of Excellence and a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center. It earns excellent U.S. News & World Report rankings in NP specialties. It offers plenty of graduate scholarships. And it’s affordable. All MSN FNP students—in-state & out-of-state—pay the same reasonable tuition rates. We might also mention that UAB is affiliated with tons of useful clinical partners, including UAB Medicine, the national Nurse Family Partnership program, and the Graduate Nursing Education Primary Care Scholars (GNEPCS) pathway for rural NPs.
2. University of Texas at Arlington
- Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Required: No
- BSN Included: Yes
- State Authorization: View
Need a BSN for employment purposes? Put UTA’s Online RN to MSN-FNP on your shortlist. This 3.5 year program includes 9 BSN-level courses and 22 MSN-level courses. Coursework is 100% online and clinicals can be arranged in your local area. In addition to the usual roster of advanced nursing & primary care credits, you’ll explore topics in holistic care, nursing informatics, nursing education, and more. GRE scores are required by the Graduate School.
UTA is a big player in the world of healthcare—the College of Nursing and Health Innovation is the largest public college of nursing in the country. It’s an NLN Center of Excellence, a National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) member, and a hub of research. Online FNP students have access to plenty of support services, including individual appointments with MSN academic advisors and on-call tech assistance. And tuition can be paid by the course. All-in-all, it’s an excellent deal!
3. Duke University
- Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Required: Yes
- BSN Included: No
- State Authorization: View
RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree are welcome to apply for Duke’s Online MSN-FNP—talk to the program coordinator to learn if you’ll need to make up any prerequisite credits. This 49-credit MSN is primarily online, but there will be 2-5 day campus intensives for a few APRN courses at least once per semester. You can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis, as long as you finish within 5 years. GRE scores are not required.
Duke is our top pick for FNPs who wish to customize their degree plan. The School of Nursing has come up with an MSN that’s packed with unique FNP clinicals (e.g. perinatal care), a Nurse Practitioner Intensive, and options for choosing an area of specialization (e.g. cardiology, HIV, oncology, etc.). You may even decide to participate in clinical work at international sites. Duke has a top-notch reputation, with excellent nursing rankings and superb name recognition, but it is expensive. You get what you pay for here!
Specialty Online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Program Rankings
Best Online RN to BSN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Programs
You may wish to earn an online BSN along the way to an online MSN-FNP for a number of reasons. It’s an employment requirement. It gives you the option to “opt out” with a BSN and complete your MSN later down the track. Or it contains valuable coursework. Here are a few schools that fit the bill.
- University of Texas at Arlington: UTA’s all-in-one Online RN to MSN-FNP is convenient, highly ranked, and relatively affordable. You can’t ask much more from a RN to BSN to MSN distance learning program!
- Concordia University-Wisconsin: CUW’s well-regarded Online RN-BSN-MSN pathway is available for the Online MSN FNP—just check the licensure section to make sure you’re eligible to apply. You may also want to investigate whether you qualify for any Uncommon Scholarships.
- Clarkson College: If money is a key priority, Clarkson’s affordable Online RN to MSN-FNP could be just the ticket. You’ll emerge with a BSN and an Online MSN-FNP from a college that’s affiliated with Nebraska Medicine. To compare it with other options, have a look at its FNP certification pass rates & graduation statistics.
Best Accelerated RN to FNP Programs Online
Our definition of “Accelerated” for online RN to MSN-FNP programs includes any pathway that takes less than 8 semesters to complete. Keep in mind that you will need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to apply for these options.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham: UAB’s Online RN to MSN (Second Degree) fits the bill for a speedy program, with ~1 semester of bridge coursework and ~6 semesters of MSN studies.
- Loyola University New Orleans: LOYNO’s Online Accelerated RN to MSN has a similar calendar to UAB. RNs will be expected to complete at least 6 bridge credits (i.e. 1 semester) before they tackle their master’s degree. The affordable Online MSN-FNP can be finished in 6 full-time semesters.
Best Online RN to FNP Programs with No GRE Requirement
Many online RN to FNP programs no longer expect candidates to take the GRE. Instead, schools will be interested in your RN work experience, your letters of recommendation, and your GPA. If you can’t bear the thought of taking another exam, consider the following schools.
- Duke University: RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree don’t have to take the GRE for Duke’s top-ranked Online MSN-FNP. However, you’re welcome to submit test scores to improve your chances of admission. Check the state authorization section to ensure you’re eligible to apply.
- Saint Xavier University: SXU’s Online Special Entry Option MSN-FNP is open to RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. GRE scores are not required, but applicants from states outside of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin will only be considered for admission based on their state board requirements.
- Ball State University: BSU’s Online RN to MS-FNP is designed for RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. You’ll complete 3 semesters of BSN-level work and at least 6 semesters in the FNP. Visit the State Authorizations section before applying.
Best Hybrid RN to FNP Programs
Hybrid RN to MSN programs are very common in clinical/NP specialties—even FNP pathways that are labeled “online” will usually contain campus intensives and labs. Here are some of the best options for RNs who live in these relevant regional areas.
- Georgia State University: We’ve placed Georgia State Hybrid RN to MS Bridge Program for FNPs in the blended category because NP specialty courses are held on-site, approximately 4 times per semester. If you can manage the campus trips, you’ll be earning a degree from an excellent school with superb FNP certification pass rates.
- University of Mississippi Medical Center: UMMC’s Hybrid RN to MSN-FNP is a good choice for locals who are happy to attend face-to-face meetings & intensives on campus in Jackson and clinicals in Mississippi. As you might expect, the School of Nursing has useful connections to UMMC hospitals.
- University of New Hampshire: UNH’s Hybrid RN to MSN-FNP for RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree is best-suited to New Hampshire or New England residents—the program is taught in Durham, but selected courses are available in an online or hybrid format.
- East Tennessee State University: Tennessee & border county RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree should take a look at ETSU’s Hybrid RN/MSN Bridge Program – FNP. The majority of coursework is online, but students visit the campus for certain classes or assessments, including clinical competencies.
- South Dakota State University: SDSU’s Hybrid RN to MSN-FNP pathway contains a blend of online and face-to-face course delivery in Sioux Falls or Rapid City. Local students can earn a BSN and an MSN in this scenario.
For our Best Online RN to MSN-FNP rankings, we wanted to consider all the major quality factors that go into making a top-tier clinical program.
- Data Sources: For our data sources, we researched APRN certification pass rates, national FNP rankings from U.S. News & World Report, tuition costs, student debt, employment rates, graduation rates, and more.
- Rankings Formula: Then we created a formula that’s based on weighted averages—all data sources are considered equally. That’s why a relatively affordable school like UAB might rank a little higher than a big FNP name like Duke.
You’ll notice that only a few “All Stars” made it into our Best rankings! Many of the other RN to MSN programs in our initial list of the best 20 universities were either a) hybrid/blended options; or b) not in the top tier of nursing schools.
So we decided to make a separate Specialty Online RN to MSN-FNP Rankings section. These schools still follow the order of our overall FNP rankings—we’ve just highlighted special aspects that might help you make a decision.
How to Pick the Best Online RN to FNP
Finding the ideal online RN to MSN-FNP program will take a little bit of research. The program has to suit you, not the other way around! As you’re browsing through the rankings, here are a few key questions to ask yourself.
- Do I Have the Right Qualifications? Some online RN to MSN programs are happy to consider ADN or diploma in nursing graduates. Others will only be open to RNs with a non-nursing baccalaureate (e.g. BA or BS).
- Do I Meet the Admissions Requirements? Schools will be interested in your GPA, RN work experience (often 1 year for FNP programs), and more. Remember that you may also need to complete additional coursework & prerequisites.
- Does the FNP Coursework Match My Interests? There isn’t a huge amount of wiggle room in RN to MSN-FNP pathways—programs have to meet a lot of certification & licensure requirements. But every degree will have a slightly different slant. Dig into the curriculum section to find out what makes the MSN unique.
- Can I Make it to the Campus Intensives? Almost all online RN to MSN-FNP programs will require at least one visit to campus, especially for any clinical training involved in APRN coursework. When in doubt, contact the MSN program coordinator.
- What Are the FNP Certification Pass Rates? Always ask for the most recent statistics from the past few years—some Nursing Schools post outdated numbers on their websites.
- Does the Nursing School Have Good Career Connections? If you’re interested in rural nursing, look for a school that has community outreach programs. If you want to open your own practice, see if the school runs its own nurse-managed clinics. Choose a school that will impress your future employers.
If you’d like even more choice, visit our Cheapest Online RN to FNP Programs section. That’s where we rank the most affordable online and hybrid RN to MSN-FNP programs in the country.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification
Overview of FNP Certification
To become an FNP, start with the first four steps outlined in How to Become a Nurse Practitioner. Once you have decided to pursue your graduate degree in Family NP and looked into state licensure (Steps 3 & 4), you can tackle national certification.
In the field of family nursing practice, there are 2 major FNP certifications: the ANCC’s Family Nurse Practitioner – Board Certified (FNP-BC) credential and the AANP’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) credential.
ANCC is probably more established, but both certifications are well-regarded in the marketplace. In fact, lots of FNP nurses say that it makes no difference which letters you have after your name—as long as you have the letters. If you’re worried about the choice, talk to your mentors/employers and consult your State Board of Nursing for advice.
Strong accredited RN to MSN FNP programs will prepare you for both FNP certifications. Be sure to ask about certification exam pass rates!
The FNP-BC is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To gain it, you must:
- Hold a current, active RN license.
- Earn a master’s (e.g. MS or MSN), postgraduate, or doctoral degree (e.g. DNP) from an FNP program accredited by the CCNE or ACEN.
- Tackle graduate-level coursework in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology, including content in health promotion/maintenance, differential diagnosis, and disease management.
- Complete a minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours during your FNP program.
- Take & pass the national FNP-BC exam.
- Keep your certification & licensure up-to-date through continuing education. The certification period lasts 5 years.
The FNP is offered by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). To gain it, you must:
- Hold a current, active RN license.
- Earn a master’s (e.g. MS or MSN), post-master’s, or doctoral degree (e.g. DNP) from an FNP program accredited by the CCNE or ACEN.
- Tackle APRN core courses in advanced physical assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology.
- Complete a minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours during your FNP program.
- Take & pass the national FNP exam. The exam tests clinical knowledge in families/individuals across the life span (prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, elderly, and frail elderly primary care).
- Keep your certification & licensure up-to-date through continuing education. The certification period lasts 5 years.
Subspecialty FNP Certifications
The ENP is a specialty certification for current FNPs that is offered by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The ENP is aimed at nurses working in hospital-based or free-standing emergency departments (EDs), but FNPs who work in other emergency care settings (e.g. urgent care) may wish to look into it. To gain it, you must:
- Hold a current, active RN license.
- Hold current national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
- Have a completed at least one of the following options:
- Option 1 – CE and Practice: A minimum of 2,000 direct, emergency care practice hours in the past five (5) years as an FNP (not an RN) and evidence of 100 hours of continuing emergency care education with a minimum of 30 of those hours in emergency care procedural skills within those 5 years.
- Option 2 – Academic Program: An academic emergency care graduate or post-graduate NP program.
- Option 3 – Fellowship: An approved emergency fellowship program.
- Take & pass the national ENP exam.
- Keep your certification & licensure up-to-date through continuing education. ENPs must maintain active certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner in order to recertify as an ENP. The certification period lasts 5 years.
Family Nurse Practitioner Jobs
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers
Here’s the Catch-22 for newly qualified family nurse practitioners:
- Because it’s such a versatile specialty, many nurses become FNPs.
- Because there are so many FNPs on the market, competition for jobs is tough.
- And because the market is saturated, salary offerings may be lowballed.
To make yourself stand out in a crowded primary care job market, think about focusing on a sub-specialty or area of care (e.g. HIV clinics) during your degree. Opt for RN to MSN FNP programs with relevant clinical rotations & targeted coursework.
You can also avoid disappointment by securing a job during your RN to MSN FNP program. Look for Schools of Nursing that offer career counseling, organize professional & career development workshops, post job openings, set up job fairs, and connect you to employers. Solid RN to MSN FNP programs love to boast about their alumni employment rates!
Finally, it pays to consider geography. For example, city-based Schools of Nursing with strong ties to local health partners (e.g. hospitals, clinics, university medical centers, etc.) may have job openings lined up for graduates.
Family Nurse Practitioner Job Openings
- AANP Job Center: Filter by job setting (e.g. Primary Care, Family Medicine, General, Urgent Care, etc.) for the best results.
- Indeed: Family Nurse Practitioner Jobs; Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Jobs; Outpatient Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Jobs; Medical Office Nurse Practitioner Jobs.
- Linkedin: Family Nurse Practitioner Jobs.
Family Nurse Practitioner Salaries
Glassdoor’s page on Family Nurse Practitioner Salaries, Indeed’s page on Family Nurse Practitioner Salaries, and Payscale’s page on Family Nurse Practitioner Salaries will give you ballpark salary figures for FNPs. In 2018, the average annual salary ranged from $90,000-$117,000.
Another resource is the AANP National NP Compensation Survey report. This report is free for AANP members and available for purchase by non-members.
You can match these numbers against the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides annual occupational statistics for Nurse Practitioners. Unfortunately, the BLS does not go into NP specialties, but it does include NP salary data for different work settings. For example:
- In 2017, the average mean wage for NPs in Outpatient Care Centers was $111,690 ($53.70 per hour).
- In 2017, the average mean wage for NPs in Offices of Physicians was $105,730 ($50.83 per hour).
The BLS also has handy national maps that show you states & metro areas with the highest level of employment and the best wages for nurse practitioners. Big cities pay better, often to account for higher living costs.
Family Nurse Practitioner Resources
FNP Certification Bodies
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review
FNP Professional Associations
- Association of Family Practice PAs & NPs (AFPPANP)
- Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE)
- International Family Nursing Association (IFNA)
- National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC)
- National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF)
FNP Conferences & Events
FNP Useful Resources
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a distance-accessible pathway to the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner specialty. The part-time program combines online classes with on-campus intensives. During their final four semesters, students must take part in four on-campus intensives where they master skills through laboratory and simulation experiences. The FNP specialty requires students to complete 45 credits, including 10 credits in clinical practicum experiences. The UAB School of Nursing has a $10 million endowed fund to support nursing scholarships, and it awards several scholarships for graduate-level nurses. Students who fill out the scholarship application are considered for all available scholarships. Scholarships are awarded in the spring and fall semester. The Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham ranked #9 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The University of South Alabama offers a Psychiatric (Family) Nurse Practitioner master's degree that prepares nurses to provide care to children, adolescents, and adults experiencing a continuum of psychiatric illnesses. Students who enter this program should be prepared to work with children as well as adults while completing their degree. The coursework for this degree is delivered online. However, students in the psychiatric track are required to attend a two-day clinical orientation in Mobile, Alabama, when they take their first specialty classes. The orientation event includes clinical skills workshops. The curriculum for this degree requires 45 credits. Students complete three clinical practicums and accumulate at least 600 clinical hours working with a preceptor in their home community. Graduates are eligible to take the certification exam for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan). Students should have two years of psychiatric nursing experience before they begin the clinical courses.
The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner program at Grand Canyon University includes 675 hours of supervised clinical practice that gives nurses experience in providing primary health care to individuals of all ages. For the clinical experiences, students work in a community-based or family-focused health care facility, filling roles such as care provider and patient educator. The FNP is a 53-credit program with classes available online. Students gain skills in areas such as preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment and they learn to manage common, acute, and chronic conditions. Students in this specialty are also required to attend two on-campus educational events. One is a three-day meeting where students practice skills such as health assessments and wound care and receive instruction in topics like chronic disease management. The other event is a one-day meeting where students review and practice for the certification exam.
The Family Nurse Practitioner MN program at Northern Arizona University has a focus on training nurses who are needed to provide primary care to families in a rural setting. Graduates are eligible to seek national and state certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The master's degree requires students to complete 48 credits. Didactic classes include rural theory and health policy, family nursing theory and practice, advanced principles in evidence-based practice, and three semesters of family primary health care. Students are required to complete three semesters of clinical practicums. During their final practicum, they are also required to complete an evidence-based practice capstone. This program is designed for RNs who have a broad base of experience. Key learning goals include gaining the skills necessary to design patient-centered and culturally responsive ways to deliver interventions. Nurses also develop the communication skills needed to collaborate with interprofessional teams and advance patient education.
Nurses in the RN bridge program offered by the University of Phoenix can earn an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner. This is a 48-credit program, and students complete clinical hours in five courses, working with a preceptor. Four classes require 45 preceptor hours each and a fifth requires 420 preceptor hours, for a total of 600 clinical hours in the program. Classes with clinical components include managing pediatric and adolescent populations, adult and geriatric management, and management of women's health issues. Online students are also required to attend a five-day intensive residency in Arizona while taking a class in advanced health assessment and clinical procedures. The University of Phoenix delivers online courses in six-week terms, and students take one course per term. Graduate students can complete the degree in as little as two years. Graduates are eligible to take either certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioner.
Nurses who want to provide care across the lifespan can prepare for the Family Nurse Practitioner role by entering the FNP concentration at California Baptist University. Students in this program complete 31 credits in core classes and 24 credits in the NP specialty. Each NP didactic course has a corresponding practicum. In these classes and practicum, students cover topics such as women's health care, providing primary care for pediatric patients, and treating adult patients. One course focuses on acute, episodic conditions of the adult population and another emphasizes chronic conditions in the adult population. Each practicum builds on what the student learned in previous classes and practicum experiences, with a focus on assessing, diagnosing and managing patients in a primary care setting. Each practicum requires at least 135 clock hours of supervised practice, so students graduate with well over 500 hours of hands-on experience in the FNP role.
RNs in the MSN Pathway at California State University Dominguez Hills can choose to earn the Master of Science Family Nurse Practitioner. Students in this graduate program take 15 credits in core MSN classes, nine credits in advanced practice classes, and 24 credits in FNP courses. One of the advanced practice courses requires students to come to campus to use the skills lab and be assessed on their skills. Courses in the FNP major cover primary care of the family, pediatric health, and women's health. While core courses are mainly online, the FNP-specific courses use a hybrid format with meetings on campus. Students also complete their four role performance practicum experiences in California, so they must have a California RN license. Graduates are prepared to provide primary care to patients of all ages and to work in a doctor's office or an ambulatory clinic.
At West Coast University, students in the RN to MSN-FNP program can earn their master's degree in 10 trimesters or 40 months. Including RN-MSN bridge classes, the program requires 68 credits, and students reach master's level classes by the third trimester. For FNP-specific courses, students take a theory class and related practicum in the same term. These courses include primary care for adult and geriatric patients, primary care in women's health, and primary care for the pediatric patient. They also learn about care management and coordination and complete advanced care residencies. The MSN core classes are delivered online, and the FNP specialty courses are delivered online with six onsite intensives, each lasting two or three days, that are held at the Los Angeles Center for Graduate Studies. Students complete 650 clinical hours with a preceptor.
Students in the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Southern Connecticut University complete 660 clinical hours, gaining experience in pediatrics, women's health, family practice, internal medicine, and caring for older adults. The curriculum requires nurses to take 24 credits in core courses and 18 credits in the FNP specialization. While taking the specialization courses over three semesters, students are required to complete 16 hours of clinical practice each week. The faculty assists students in finding an appropriate clinic and preceptor. To earn the MSN, students must also complete either a thesis or a special project. They can complete the requirement before, during, or after taking their specialization classes. The MSN program admits students in the fall and spring semester. Classes meet in person on Tuesdays.
Nurses with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field can enter the MSN-FNP program at Nova Southeastern University and take one bridge course before starting graduate-level work. Students applying to this program must live within 150 miles of the campus where they are enrolled. The FNP program is offered at the campuses in Palm Beach and Tampa Bay, Florida. Students must have a current Florida RN license. Including the bridge course, RNs complete 57 credits to earn the degree. Courses in the specialization cover primary care for children, adults, and women. Over the course of their studies, candidates complete more than 500 practicum hours treating patients of all ages. The final practicum is a primary care integration. For the clinical experiences, students work with an assigned faculty advisor treating a specific population in their home community. The specialization also requires a course in behavioral health.
The University of Tampa offers a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner in its MSN program. Students in this program take 22 credits in core nursing classes and 27 credits in the FNP concentration. Courses in the concentration cover primary care for adults, older adults, women, infants, children, and adolescents. Students also complete at least 224 hours of supervised practicum experience for each population - adult, older adult, women, and children. FNP students complete their practicums in ambulatory care sites that see patients with acute and chronic illness, such as family and internal medicine practices, rural clinics, and some specialty care clinics. Students are responsible for securing a practicum site, and the Department of Nursing has a clinical placement coordinator who can help with the process. Practicum sites may be within 80 miles of the university.
Nurses who earn an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of South Florida are prepared to treat individuals and families across the health continuum and throughout the lifespan. The FNP role is comprehensive, and graduates are prepared to participate in and use research, implement health policy, manage cases, and serve in leadership roles. The curriculum for this concentration includes 52 credits and 720 clinical hours. Some of the classes include health assessment, reproductive health, health management of adults and older adults, primary care of children and adolescents, and special topics in family health management. All MSN students must complete a comprehensive exam. USF allows students to take a full-time or part-time plan of study. Part-time students can complete the degree in eight semesters. Classes for this degree are offered in a standardized sequence, and students need prior permission to deviate from the predetermined class sequence.
Students in the RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Brenau University can choose from a standard or accelerated pace. In the standard program, students complete 31 undergraduate credits as full-time students over a calendar year. For the master's portion of the program, they earn 44 graduate credits over three years as part-time students. In the accelerated program, they complete all the undergraduate requirements in one semester. The undergraduate classes are online, and the graduate courses are offered in a hybrid format that combines online classes with meetings at Brenau's North Atlanta campus one Saturday a month. The FNP requires students to complete several practicum experiences, including separate clinical rotations focused on treating adults through the lifespan, women, and children. Candidates also complete a practicum in skills and advanced role. Brenau uses small cohorts so students can collaborate with faculty and fellow students.
The Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University uses a hybrid format for the courses in its MSN program. Core classes meet onsite in Atlanta on the first day of class. The specialty courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration meet onsite about four times per semester. Online classes may have synchronous and asynchronous elements. Once RNs complete the required bridge courses, the MSN-FNP degree requires 48 credits, and students may attend on a full-time or part-time basis. Courses and practicum in the track include common health problems of adults, common health problems of children and adolescents, and ambulatory health care of women. Students also complete an advanced practicum where they integrate what they have learned in the clinical area they choose. The MSN-FNP program accepts students for the fall and spring semester.
Nurses in the RN to MSN program at South University can earn a BSN and MSN online in a streamlined process that allows them to take fewer classes than they would if they pursued the two degrees separately. The program combines fully online classes with hands-on clinical training. FNP students complete practicum experiences in gerontology, pediatrics, women's health, and primary care. Students who complete the Family Nurse Practitioner program are eligible to take the national certification exams for FNPs. Graduates can function as advanced clinicians, providing preventive care, diagnosing and managing common health problems for individuals of all ages, and promoting positive health behaviors. Students in the FNP program sometimes take classes with students in the adult/gerontology NP program, allowing them to take part in cross-specialty collaborations.
The College of Health and Society at Hawaii Pacific University allows nurses in the RN to MSN program to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner qualification. Once students complete undergraduate requirements, the MSN FNP is a 45-credit program that prepares nurses to work with patients of all ages and in a variety of settings. Generally, students take the core courses for this MSN during the first year, taking classes two afternoons per week if they are full-time students. Specialty courses for the FNP degree cover advanced care for a variety of specific populations, including children, women, adults, and older adults. Students complete a practicum caring for each of those populations and a fifth practicum of their choice. Students can complete practicum experiences in the summer, and the college helps students to secure a practicum site. Classes are offered in face-to-face and hybrid formats.
Northwest Nazarene University uses a cohort model for its MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program. The Nursing Department finds that grouping students in cohorts helps to create an interactive learning environment and promotes collegiality among students. The courses for this program must be taken in sequential order. The FNP program requires 48 credits, and RN to MSN students must take an additional nine to 15 credits. Classes are delivered online, and students are required to come to the campus in Nampa, Idaho, four times during the program for one-week residencies. Students can complete the required clinical rounds in their home state, making the program friendly to the needs of working professionals. Online classes last from five to 15 weeks and are considered intensive. The FNP program begins in the fall, so RNs with an associate degree must complete prerequisites during the prior spring and summer semesters.
The Family Nurse Practitioner track in DePaul University's RN to MSN program prepares nurses to provide primary care across the lifespan. Specific classes in the track cover the primary care of infants, children, and adolescents; the adult and older adult; and women's reproductive health and gynecology. The program also includes a class in the clinical management of acute and chronic illnesses in primary care. FNP students complete practicum experiences for three academic quarters, acquiring about 600 hours of hands-on experience under the supervision of a preceptor. Candidates are also required to complete a capstone project in which they synthesize nursing science to improve the quality of care to vulnerable populations. In addition to using analytical and research skills, the capstone encourages nurses to practice skills in leadership and advocacy by making policy recommendations to improve clinical practice. Graduates are eligible to take the national certification test to become an FNP.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Lewis University has an RN-MSN option for nurses who want to become Family Nurse Practitioners. Once nurses complete any required bridge courses, the Master of Science in Nursing with the FNP specialty track requires 48 credits. Students also complete at least 630 clinical hours. Coursework includes 18 credits in core courses, 13 credits in the specialty core, and 17 credits in the FNP specialty track. For the specialty, students take three courses and related practicums. One covers adults in community and primary care, another covers primary care of women, infants, and children, and the third covers adult/gerontology and adolescents. Lewis University has partnerships with a wide range of health care organizations in the region, with more than 50 sites available for clinical experiences. Examples of clincial sites include the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Loyola Medical Center, and La Rabida Children's Hospital.
Olivet Nazarene University offers an RN to MSN program that has a track in Family Nurse Practitioner. Students in this program complete 720 clinical hours where they apply what they are learning in the classroom. The practicum is taken concurrently with the required courses in this specialty. Those courses cover children's health, women's health, and adult and geriatric health. Students learn about acute, episodic, complex, and chronic therapeutics and management for different populations. Candidates work with a preceptor they selected to complete their clinical experiences. For the RN-MSN program, classes are delivered online, with undergraduate courses lasting six weeks and graduate-level courses lasting eight weeks. Students can enter the program in September or January.
Classes for the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program at St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing are delivered online, but FNP students must meet on campus one time for each practicum course they take. The curriculum requires three practicum courses. Online classes may be synchronous or asynchronous. Students in the FNP program gain experience with disease management, health education, and health promotion for patients across the lifespan. They are prepared to treat individuals for chronic or acute illnesses in settings such as clinics and physician offices. Graduates are eligible to take a certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioner. More than 90% of graduate students at St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing received financial aid last year.
The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Saint Xavier University has a special entry option for nurses with a non-nursing bachelor's degree that allows them to earn the MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner. The curriculum includes 18 credits in core classes, nine credits in supportive classes, and 20 credits in the FNP specialty. Three courses require a related practicum: primary care of women and children, common health problems in primary care, and complex problems in primary care. For their practicum, nurses work with primary care providers in a clinical setting and acquire clinical decision-making skills for the FNP role. Saint Xavier has several scholarships for nursing students. For example, the Lebold/Sigma Theta Tau/Alpha Omicron Scholarship is awarded to a student who shows a commitment to caring and compassionate nursing care. The Oesterle Scholarship and the Scholl Scholarship are awarded to full-time graduate nursing students who demonstrate financial need.
The Family Nurse Practitioner specialty is one of the concentrations open to students in the RN-BSN-MSN program at the University of Saint Francis. However, because of a shortage of sites for clinical placements, enrollment in this program is limited to residents of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. Once students enter the graduate portion of the program, they must complete 16 credits in the graduate core, 12 credits in the advanced practice core, and 19 credits in practica courses. The curriculum includes three courses in FNP theoretical principles and clinical management with practicum experiences and a final clinical residency. Students in the program may also take 12 credits in optional nursing education courses if desired. The education courses prepare students for a nurse educator role and make them eligible for the Certified Nurse Educator exam.
RNs with a bachelor's degree in another field can become a Family Nurse Practitioner through Ball State University's online RN to MS option. Once students complete the required bridge courses, the FNP degree requires 47 credits. Six credits are in the research core and eight credits are in the nursing core. FNP students complete 33 credits in primary core courses, including courses in primary care of adults, children, and women. They also complete 690 hours of supervised clinical work providing primary care to each of those populations. The Ball State University School of Nursing employs graduate nursing students as teaching and research assistants, and several departmental scholarships are available. Ball State's online graduate nursing program was ranked #13 by U.S. News and World Report.
The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN at IUPUI School of Nursing uses a unique, narrative-centered curriculum. Students and faculty view the family as the identified unit of care. The FNP track requires 43 credits and 600 clinical hours. The 22 credits in core MSN classes use an online delivery format, although some classes have synchronous sessions that students can attend in person or through videoconferencing. For the required class in physical assessments, students must come to campus five times. For the FNP track, classes use a hybrid format that combines online work with in-person meetings. Generally, in-person sessions are held once every two weeks or less frequently than that. Students can complete their clinical hours anywhere in Indiana. Graduates are prepared to take a national certification exam for FNP and may find employment in health care facilities ranging from nurse-managed clinics and emergency rooms to schools and prisons.
RNs who complete the two-semester RN-to-MSN transition sequence at the University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne can enter the Family Nurse Practitioner program. This program uses a blended format with classes meeting on campus on alternate Tuesdays. The rest of the coursework is delivered online, and students may choose a full-time or part-time option. Once they reach the graduate level, students complete 600 clinical hours at sites in the region, including Dekalb Medical Group, Lutheran Medical Group, Parkview Physician Group, and Franciscan Health Physicians. Candidates complete clinical rotations providing primary care to children, women, adults, and older adults. They also complete an advanced practice residency. FNP graduates from the University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne have a 97% pass rate on the AANP certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioners, compared to the national average of 77%.
Students in the Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program at Allen College focus on primary care for patients across the lifespan. As a college based in Iowa, Allen's program also has an emphasis on providing health care in rural communities. FNP graduates are prepared to work with patients of all ages in settings such as primary care clinics. This 45-credit program has 19 credits in core MSN requirements and 26 FNP credits. Students gain experience in caring for adult and older adult patients, women, children, and in providing complex care of the family. Theory courses are delivered in a hybrid format. Students also complete 600 practicum hours, gaining hands-on experience with different populations. Students may select their own preceptor so that they can concentrate on the kinds of experiences they most want. Before starting practicum classes, a student must have at least 800 hours of clinical nursing experience as an RN.
RNs who want to become Family Nurse Practitioners can earn both their BSN and MSN through Graceland University by enrolling in the RN-BSN-MSN FNP program. Classes in this program are offered online, although students must come to the campus in Independence, Missouri, for a two-day focus session. The MSN FNP degree requires students to complete 47 credits. Students complete clinicals in their home community. Required practicum experiences include 180 hours working with pediatric patients, and a separate 180-hour practicum working with adults. For their capstone, candidates complete a 240-hour Family Nurse Practitioner practicum where they manage acute and chronic illnesses across the lifespan. The capstone also requires students to coordinate care with an interdisciplinary approach and to incorporate patient education and health promotion. Practicum courses require students to spend about 16 to 24 hours a week in a clinic setting.
Students in either RN to MSN pathway at Loyola University New Orleans can enter the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner track. The FNP track is a 48-credit program that includes 720 hours of supervised clinical experiences. Courses are delivered online, and students can complete the clinical work in their home community. The practicum experiences include delivering primary care to pediatric patients, adults, and women's health patients. FNP students are required to attend a conference held on the Loyola campus each spring. Loyola offers optional electives in scientific writing and advanced statistics and data management for MSN candidates who want to strengthen their skills in those areas. Students work with an advisor to develop a course plan, and it is possible to complete the master's degree in eight semesters. U.S. News & World Report ranks Loyola's online nursing program #39.
The School of Nursing at Southern Maine University allows RN-MS students to enter the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialization. The concentration requires students to complete 50 credits and 600 clinical hours. The clinical requirements are spread over three semesters. Required courses within the specialty include behavioral and psychosocial health of the family, prenatal care, primary care of the child with episodic illness, and primary care of adults. Students may attend on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in four to six semesters. Part-time students generally complete the program in six to nine semesters. Graduate nursing students at Southern Maine University are eligible for many scholarships. For example, the Boyne Family Nursing Scholarship is for students who want to provide care for the elderly in underserved areas of Maine and the Kim Moody '82 and Family Scholarship is for students from underrepresented communities.
The School of Nursing at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers an RN to MSN Bridge program in Family Nurse Practitioner. This is a part-time program with classes delivered online in an asynchronous format. Students must attend four on-campus meetings during the program, with these events lasting from one to three days. Nurses can complete their clinical experiences in their home community so they can continue to work. Students can enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer term, and they complete the bridge coursework in the first year. Once they start the MSN portion of the program, candidates can complete the degree in six semesters. Including the bridge requirements, this is a 62-credit program. Students who take two courses per semester, including summers, can finish in three years.
Students in the RN to MSN pathways at Regis College can earn an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner. Students in the FNP track complete 24 credits in core classes and 22 credits in the FNP specialty. Courses for the specialty cover primary care of the family and students complete 600 hours of clinical experiences through two 300-hour practicums. Students may earn their degree entirely online with no campus residency requirements. The program is also available at the Weston campus of Regis College. Pi Epsilon, the nursing honor society at Regis College, awards scholarships annually to eligible chapter members and provides funding for student academic research. In 2017, graduates of the FNP program at Regis had an 85% first-time pass rate on the FNP certification exam, compared with a national average of 83 percent. Placement rates for role-specific jobs six months after graduation was about 84%.
RNs without a bachelor's degree can earn an MSN and become a Family Nurse Practitioner completely online through the [email protected] program at Simmons University. Students take all classes online and complete required clinical experiences in their home community working with a preceptor. To move from RN to FNP, students must complete 68 credits and 836 clinical hours. Full-time students can complete the program in eight terms or about 30 months. Part-time students can complete the program in 10 terms or as little as three years. The terms each last for 14 weeks. Clinical rotations provide students experience in providing chronic and acute care across a range of populations. The master's degree also requires a scholarly research project, such as a quality improvement proposal or a critique of existing medical literature. Students in the RN-MSN FNP class have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.13.
Spring Arbor University has an online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program that allows RNs to earn the FNP online by completing 92 credits. After finishing undergraduate and graduate-level core courses, students in the FNP track take courses such as advanced practice in primary care, health promotion across the lifespan, and family systems and clinical management of the childbearing family. Students complete at least 625 clinical hours working with a local preceptor in their home community. Students also communicate regularly with Spring Arbor clinical faculty who oversee the clinical experiences. For a capstone, FNP students complete an evidence-based project. Spring Arbor Online is designed for adults who want to keep working while they study. Aside from courses that have clinical requirements, students can take just one course at a time. Courses are delivered in seven-week terms, and there is always a week off between terms.
Nurses in the RN-MSN program at The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing can choose the Family Nurse Practitioner track, which is offered through a combination of online, on-campus, and hybrid course delivery systems. Most courses are either totally online or offered in a hybrid format, which requires students to come to campus up to four timers per semester. Some classes may be synchronous. FNP students must complete 630 hours of clinical experience, and they must complete all clinical work in Mississippi. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is the state's only academic health sciences center and it has access to four major hospitals, including Batson Children's Hospital and University Hospital, so students have access to a variety of learning environments. School of Nursing FNP graduating classes have a record of 100% pass rates on the certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioners.
Students in the RN-MSN Entry Point Option at Research College of Nursing can earn an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner. The program requires students to complete six bridge courses before starting work on the master's degree. All MSN students take core nursing courses and advanced practice nursing courses. FNP students also take seven courses in the specialty. Courses including primary care in pediatrics, primary care in women's health, and three primary care practicums where nurses get hands-on experience providing care across the lifespan. For their final practicum, students complete 300 hours in the Family Nurse Practitioner role as they provide care for patients from all age groups with chronic or acute conditions. Faculty members supervise the clinical experience and conduct seminars where students can discuss professional issues, effective change in the health care system, and other relevant topics.
RNs who enter the RN to MSN program at Clarkson College can complete the courses required to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Courses specific to the FNP major include primary health care, primary care of children and adolescents, and primary care of women. These courses require students to complete clinical experiences with a preceptor. Clarkson also requires graduate students to complete service experiences, and the FNP curriculum includes one of the service courses, advanced nutrition. For their service project, students work with a service agency to help the community. Students also complete an evidence-based research project. The program is delivered mostly online, with FNP majors required to come to campus four times. Students in the RN to MSN program may be eligible for the Nursing Workforce Educational Grant from Clarkson College, which allows students to take undergraduate nursing courses at a reduced tuition.
RNs who want to become an advanced practice nurse can earn a Master of Science in Nursing with an FNP concentration at Rivier University. This track is available on campus in Nashua, New Hampshire, or online. On-campus students can choose 7-week or 14-week classes, and online classes run for 14 weeks. Depending upon an RN's prior education, the program can require up to 49 credits and can be completed in three to five years. Over three practicum semesters, students get 600 clinical hours of hands-on experience and transition to the role of FNP under the guidance of preceptors. Students also complete a capstone project, such as a scholarly paper, that demonstrates their scholarship and critical thinking. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the certification exam for FNP. For the past three years, Rivier's graduates had a first-time pass rate of 100% on the exam.
RNs with a bachelor's degree in a different subject may enter the Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program at the University of New Hampshire. This track requires students to complete 45 credits, including classes covering families in health and illness, health policy, health care systems, and health promotion and risk reduction. Students also complete three practicum classes in the primary care of families where they diagnose and manage acute episodic and chronic illness in clients across the life span. Students work under the guidance of a preceptor while gaining valuable clinical experience. The final practicum is considered the capstone course for FNP candidates, but UNH also gives FNP students the option of producing a master's thesis. Graduates are eligible to take the credentialing exam to be certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Applicants with an RN license and a bachelor's degree in another field should have professional nursing experience.
The Family Nurse Practitioner track at Fairleigh Dickinson has a primary care focus. Students in the RN to BSN to MSN program complete 62 credits in nursing requirements for this major, with two classes fulfilling requirements for both the BSN and MSN. One course focuses specifically on the primary care of infants, children, and adolescents, including managing common health care problems. Another class focuses on women's health. While taking didactic classes in these areas, students also complete a practicum with a similar focus, so they are treating children while learning about primary care of children, for instance. FNP students are also required to take a course in family systems theory where they look at the family unit from a systems perspective and analyze how family characteristics are related to health and illness. Candidates for this degree are also required to complete a scholarly master's project.
The School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey has a bridge program for RNs who want to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Once students complete the bridge requirements, they can begin work on their MSN. The FNP requires students to complete 47 credits, with 25 credits in core classes and 22 credits in the specialty. FNP candidates complete three courses in primary care of all ages and a course covering primary care of the childbearing family. Future FNPs must complete 715 practicum hours. All courses for the FNP are delivered on campus, and students complete their clinical experiences during the daytime, usually on weekdays. Full-time students may be able to complete the master's portion of this degree in two full years, including summers. Part-time students are accepted, and they must complete all the requirements within six years of entering the program.
RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can earn an MSN in the Family Nurse Practitioner track after completing five prerequisites at LeMoyne College. Once accepted in the FNP track, students can complete the master's degree in two years of full-time study or three years as part-time students. The curriculum includes 45 credits, with 36 credits in classwork and nine credits in clinical coursework. Students complete more than 800 hours of clinical experience in this track, including 300 hours with adult populations, 110 hours with older adults, 200 hours with children and adolescents, 100 hours with women's health, and 100 hours of specialty care. Students complete their clinical rotations in a variety of acute care and community-based health care settings, and nurses are encouraged to locate a preceptor before entering the program. Students are also required to complete a capstone and a scholarly portfolio.
The School of Nursing at Stony Brook University offers the Family Nurse Practitioner program through distance education, and the program has some on-site requirements. The Master of Science in Nursing FNP track requires students to complete 45 credits, including core and research courses, advanced practice courses, and clinical courses. Students take four courses in advanced theory and clinical practice in family health nursing, along with requried clincial hours. Candidates complete the clinical hours with a preceptor in their region. FNP students begin their program in the summer. Graduates of this program are eligible to take either national FNP certification exam. The School of Nursing is part of the Health Sciences School at Stony Brook University.
The University of Rochester School of Nursing has a Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track for master's level nursing students. The curriculum requires 54 credits and 616 clinical hours. Courses cover topics such as psychopathology and psychiatric assessment, individual psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and group and family psychotherapy. Students in the Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program may be eligible for the Finger Lakes Regional Scholarship, which is a 50% scholarship for students who live or work in the Finger Lakes region. The region encompasses 18 counties, and the scholarship can be applied to the undergraduate and graduate portions of the RN to BS to MS program as long as the student is in the mental health track. The School of Nursing has three start dates a year: September, January, and May. The program is delivered online with short on-campus intensives that are usually two to four days long.
The College of Nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University has a Master of Science in Nursing track in Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Students must complete 53 credits, including three courses in clinical management for the psychiatric mental health nurse. The curriculum also includes classes in mental health theory, family nursing theory, and pharmacology. All students take a class in nursing education, and students who take an additional two nursing education classes can add a nursing education certificate to their credentials. The College of Nursing also offers a thesis option for nurses who want to conduct independent research and produce a thesis. Graduates of the program had a 100% pass rate on the PMHNP certification exam in 2016 and 2018 and a pass rate of more than 90 percent in 2017.
The RN to MSN program at Franklin University is offered in an online format and has an option in Family Nurse Practitioner. Nurses with an associate degree can be ready to start work on the MSN in just 12 weeks D the time it takes to complete the required bridge course, called essentials of professional nursing. Students must earn at least a B in the class to enter the MSN-FNP program. The FNP program prepares nurses to work in a primary care setting and manage the health of families and individuals. Students can complete the 41-credit master's degree in as few as 27 months. Classes are delivered online, but students must complete clinical practicum during their last year in the program. Graduates are eligible to take to the FNP national certification test, and the curriculum even includes a course designed to help students prepare for the certification exam.
The Family Nurse Practitioner program at Xavier University includes 17 credits of nursing core classes and 28 credits in the concentration. Classes meet on campus in Cincinnati once a week, usually in the late afternoon or early evening. Classes are scheduled so that students may be able to take two courses that meet on the same day. FNP students also complete 600 clinical hours. Students complete classes and practicum experiences that focus on the childbearing family, pediatric and adolescent care, and adult and geriatric care. At the end of the program, nurses complete an immersion practicum in the FNP role. Students are admitted into the FNP program in the fall term. Xavier University has received a $500,000 endowed scholarship from the Western-Southern Foundation to establish a nursing scholarship fund for minority and disadvantaged students at Xavier. The College of Nursing also has other scholarships for nursing students.
Bloomsburg University offers an RN-BSN-MSN program that leads to a master's degree in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. The program covers primary care for patients of all ages with acute or chronic conditions. The program also has a focus on meeting the needs of underserved and multicultural populations. The courses for this degree are offered in a hybrid format. Core classes are delivered online in an asynchronous format. The five clinical courses for the FNP are held on campus in Bloomsburg or at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinical courses include practice-based learning experiences where students apply the skills and theories they learned in class. Nurses may move through this program as full-time or part-time students. Graduates can take the exam for national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program at Widener University offers an accelerated RN to MSN option for nurses who want to care for individuals across the lifespan. Full-time students can complete the master's degree portion in 18 to 20 months. Part-time students can set their own pace as long as they complete it in five years. The courses are delivered in a hybrid format, with in-person classes meeting in Chester or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For their clinical rotations, students work at a variety of regional health care facilities and systems. The FNP is a 46-credit program, including 12 credits in core classes, 16 credits in support classes, and 18 credits in the specialty. Each specialty course requires students to perform a faculty-supervised clinical practice, and students complete at least 672 hours of clinical practice to earn their degree. Widener automatically considers all entering graduate students for merit-based scholarships.
Students in the RN-MSN bridge program at Wilkes University can complete the courses for the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialty track online. Students are required to come to campus while taking the course in advanced health assessment. Students complete nearly 600 hours of clinical experience in an approved location in their home community, although they may be required to complete a residency at the Wilkes University campus in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, during their clinical experiences. Clinical requirements include 500 hours in primary care and 84 clinical hours with children and families. The FNP curriculum requires 43 credits, and students in the RN to MSN program complete a total of 53 credits to earn the FNP, including bridge classes. The Passan School of Nursing enrolls students into this program in the spring and fall semester.
Nurses in the RN to MSN program at South Dakota State University can apply for priority consideration for the Family Nurse Practitioner program. The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program uses a combination of on-campus and online course delivery. The College of Nursing has four locations around South Dakota for nursing classes: Brookings, Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls. FNP students complete four integration practicum where they get hands-on experience using the skills and knowledge they have gained in the classroom. Students in the MSN may choose to complete a research project, thesis, or coursework only option. The project or thesis options require more credit hours than coursework only plan. The College of Nursing has about 170 graduate students enrolled, and in 2017 graduates had a 100% pass rate on the APRN tests. Additionally, 100% of graduates found jobs within three months.
The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program at East Tennessee State University has a rural focus. The College of Nursing offers full-time and part-time options for the FNP, and students may start in the spring or fall. The classes are delivered fully online, and the School of Nursing has seven nurse-managed health centers were students may complete clinical experiences. The FNP concentration requires 500 hours of clinical experiences, which are arranged so that students spend 60 hours on health assessments through the lifespan, and 110 hours each on primary care of young and middle adults, older adults, women's health, and children and adolescents. ETSU offers a range of scholarships for graduate students, such as the Dr. Paul Dishner Scholarship for a student with financial need. In 2018, ETSU graduates had a 98% pass rate on the first try for FNP certification exams.
At Southern Adventist University, the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track is open to students in the accelerated RN-MSN program. Students in the accelerated program take 25 credits in core classes and the MSN capstone. Those in the FNP emphasis complete another 22 credits with a focus on direct care across the lifespan, including courses covering care for adults and children. Students complete 600 hours of clinical practicum working with preceptors in various health care settings. For the capstone, students use research evidence to improve practice quality or outcomes. Students also compile a professional portfolio in their final semester. All graduate nursing classes meet on Tuesdays to aid students in planning for work, school, and home responsibilities. Southern Adventist has a 100% job placement rate for nursing graduates.
The College of Nursing at Union University uses a cohort model for the Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track in its MSN program. Cohorts begin the program each year in August and students move through the program as a group. Only full-time students are allowed in this program, which students complete in four semesters. Classes are delivered in a blended format with online elements and in-person meetings on the campuses in Jackson, Germantown, and Hendersonville, Tennessee. The curriculum includes 46 credits and 560 clinical hours. Classes in the specialty include mental health assessment and psychopharmacology. Students also complete two practicum experiences in managing acute and chronic mental disorders. One practicum focuses on children and adolescents and the other on adults and geriatric populations. Students also complete a specialty focus practicum. Graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Nurses who complete the RN bridge program at the University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing can enter the Master of Science in Nursing track in Family Nurse Practitioner. This is a 46-credit program for advanced practice nurses who want to deliver primary care to patients of all ages, including health promotion, assessment, and management of chronic and acute conditions. Students complete four FNP practicum experiences. The first three are each focused on a specific population - women, adults and older adults, and children and adolescents. For the final practicum, the student completes a full-time immersion in the role of Family Nurse Practitioner in a primary care setting. The Loewenberg College of Nursing's online graduate nursing program ranked #17 by U.S. News & World Report, and graduates have a 100% job placement rate.
The psychiatric-mental health nursing program at Vanderbilt University is considered one of the best in the nation, ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report. The program takes a holistic approach, integrating psychological, biological, and social factors of mental health care. The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is delivered in a modified distance learning format that combines online classes with concentrated blocks of time when students come to the campus in Nashville. Students may be able to complete clinical requirements in their home community. The curriculum requires 41 credits, including core classes and specialty classes. Some of the specialized classes include individual and family psychotherapy, health assessment applications for the PMHNP, neuroscience for mental health practitioners, and psychopharmacology. Students also complete 620 clinical hours. Graduates are prepared to take the national certification exam for PMHNP, and Vanderbilt grads had a 100% first-time pass rate in 2018.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi delivers coursework for the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track completely online. The 49-credit program is designed for part-time study so that students can continue to work. Students enter the program in the fall and spend the first two semesters on core coursework. In the first summer, they begin FNP specialty courses, and by the spring semester they begin performing clinical rotations. By the time they graduate, future FNPs have completed at least 630 clinical hours. Half the students in a cohort are assigned to a modified sequence and begin clinical rotations earlier in the course sequence to maximize the number of students admitted to the program. Students are responsible for finding preceptors, and instructors must approve the clinical site for any practicum experience.
Texas Woman's University offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner track. This is a 46-credit program that students can finish in about three years. Students take 13 courses, each lasting for 13 weeks, and six of the courses require clinical hours. TWU has a placement coordinator who matches students with preceptors and helps students find a placement site close to their home. At the end of the program, students complete two immersion experiences in the FNP role. Students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer term. FNP graduates from Texas Woman's University have a 98% first-time pass rate on licensure exams. The Family Nurse Practitioner program is open to students who enter either RN to MSN pathway at TWU.
Registered nurses who want to enter the Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing must have two years of full-time clinical experience before applying to the program. Students gain skills in primary care across the lifespan and learn to manage common acute and chronic illnesses. They also learn about health promotion, disease prevention, and management skills for community health nursing. The curriculum requires 48 credits, and graduates are eligible to take the national credentialing exams to become a certified FNP. Required courses include 12 credits in MSN core classes, 9 credits in the advanced practice core, and 21 credits in the concentration. Students also complete 645 clinical hours. Full-time students can earn their Master of Science in Nursing in 1.5 to 2 years, but the program is also open to part-time students. All students begin the program in the fall.
The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston's Cizik School of Nursing has an RN to FNP program. The goal of this 54-credit program is to prepare practitioners who can deliver primary care services in underserved and diverse communities in Texas. Registered Nurses with an associate degree can gain the training necessary to be a Family Nurse Practitioner in six or seven semesters of full-time study. The program uses a cohort format, in which a group of students advances through the program together, developing a supportive network of colleagues. Cohorts are never larger than 10 students. The program is almost entirely online with on-campus requirements for some labs and simulation experiences during certain FNP classes. Students begin classes in the spring for this program, and there is no part-time option. Applicants should have a year of clinical RN experience by the time the program starts.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at West Texas A&M University delivers the coursework for the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track in a hybrid format. Clinical experiences are only available in Texas. Practicums in primary health care across the lifespan are arranged around specific processes, such as cardiology, gastroenterology, and neurology. Students complete three semesters of clinical experiences before entering their final capstone clinical working in the FNP role in a clinical setting. The curriculum requires 46 credits, and students choose whether to produce a thesis or take a research synthesis class to prepare for comprehensive exams. Students in the Accelerated RN to BSN/MSN program may apply for this specialization. The Department of Nursing awards a range of scholarships to graduate students, such as the Matt Vaughn Memorial Nursing Scholarship ($1,000) for RNs returning to school and the GENEX Services Scholarship ($1,000).
The George Mason University School of Nursing offers a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration in its Master of Science in Nursing degree program. To earn the degree, students must complete 15 credits in core MSN classes and 34 credits in the FNP specialty. Students complete three family primary care practicum experiences, assuming more responsibility in delivering primary care with each experience. Students must complete a minimum of 600 clinical hours for this degree. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Part-time students can finish in three years, depending on how many credits they take each term. Graduates are prepared to take either national FNP certification exam. The School of Nursing awards many scholarships to graduate students, such as the CVS Health Foundation Scholarship for nurse practitioner students and the Rosemarie C. Brenkus Endowed Scholarship, which is reserved for working RNs pursuing a BSN or MSN.
The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration for MSN students at James Madison University combines online delivery for core classes with in-person meetings for specialty classes. FNP specialty classes meet once a week at the JMU campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In total, the degree requires 49 credits and 650 clinical hours. Students are required to arrange their own clinical experiences, and they may arrange to work with preceptors in their home community. Students must meet specific hour requirements for certain experiences, such as 40 obstetrics hours and 80 pediatric hours. Generally, students select one site to complete their first semester (150 hours) of practicum and use multiple sites for their second or third practicums, which are each 250 hours. Graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioner. Applicants to this concentration must have relevant clinical experience and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
Students pursuing the RN to MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner from Shenandoah University can complete the degree in six semesters of full-time study or eight semesters as part-time students. Bridge courses are delivered online, and MSN classes are offered in a hybrid format that allows students to participate through an online live stream or by attending in the classroom. MSN courses meet at Shenandoah's Winchester, Virginia, campus and in Fairfax, Virginia. FNP students must complete 40 credits and 600 clinical hours, including 40 hours in women's health and 80 hours providing pediatric primary care. The university has agreements with several clinical sites but allows students to suggest alternate sites where they have a developed relationship. Many of Shenandoah's clinical site partners are in rural and medically underserved areas. All students enter the MSN program in the fall.
RNs pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing with the Family Nurse Practitioner specialization at Wheeling University take their classes online, and they are required to make one on-campus presentation in Wheeling, West Virginia. Students may be required to purchase specific software, such as Typhon, for use in some courses. Nurses can complete their clinical experiences near their home community at an approved clinical site. Coursework for this degree is divided into three cores: nursing, clinical, and FNP. The nursing core covers topics such as health care policy and nursing theories. The clinical core includes advanced practice courses such as pharmacology. The FNP core includes classes in primary care of infants, children and adolescents; reproductive health; adults; and aging adults. Each of those four classes requires 168 clinical hours.
The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN at Concordia University-Wisconsin is a 41-credit program. All the classes are delivered online, and students complete three clinical courses where they learn to assess and treat episodic and chronic health conditions in patients of all ages. During these clinical learning experiences, students gain hands-on experience working with pediatric, older adult, and women's health issues as well as common health problems across the lifespan. Once RN-BSN-MSN students complete their undergraduate work, they can choose how quickly to progress through the FNP program. Concordia offers plans that take three years, three and a half years, and four years. Students may start the program in the spring or fall, and they must attend a one-day orientation on campus before beginning coursework. FNP students are also required to take a two-week course in advanced health assessment on campus in Mequon, Wisconsin.