A BSN-to-DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) Degree with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Focus

The Nursing DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Concentration program is for working BSN nurses who are interested in a practice-focused doctorate. You will be prepared as a clinical expert with the critical thinking, leadership and political policy skills needed to advocate and create changes in healthcare practice at the individual, population and organizational systems levels. Graduates will provide primary care health promotion and disease management for patients with episodic or chronic illnesses across the life span, focusing on the underserved.

This five-year, part-time graduate program is designed to fit the schedules of practicing BSN RNs. Courses are delivered in a variety of formats. Some courses will incorporate online activities to supplement your learning, which reduces the amount of time you meet in-person for class. Other courses are completed fully online. See the Course of Study tab for details.

The program has been designed with advanced practice clinical simulations in addition to didactic coursework in order to prepare each student for the live clinical setting. Please see the Clinical Hours section under the Course of Study tab below for details about these hours.

Post-Master's Certificate Option: If you already have a Nursing master's degree you can obtain a post-master's certificate to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Please see the Course of Study tab below for information about taking this as a certificate-only FNP program, and contact the Program Coordinator for more details.

FNP Eligibility and a Nursing Doctoral Degree

This program meets the guidelines for nurse practitioner education as recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the National Task Force (NTF) for Quality Nurse Practitioner Education (2022). As a graduate of this DNP program, you will be qualified to be recognized as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) by your State Board of Nursing and apply for national certification.

Completing this program also means that you will have earned the terminal degree for advanced practice nurses (schools affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nurses have endorsed the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as the terminal degree).

Nurse Practitioner Job & Salary Growth

The median salary for a Registered Nurse as of 2022 was $81,220.

However, the median salary for a Nurse Practitioner (a role supported by this program) was $121,610 and NP employment is projected to grow 44.5% from 2022-2032.

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Hybrid Delivery

This program is 84 credit hours, which includes a DNP project and clinical/lab/simulation hours.

  • You can complete the program in 5 years, attending part-time (fewer than 9 credits per term).
  • This is a hybrid (partially face-to-face and online) delivery, with some courses delivered hybrid and some courses delivered fully online.
  • You will attend one day per week (Thursdays) in person for your hybrid courses. Most courses are delivered in Greeley on the UNC campus. Some courses will be at our Loveland Center at Centerra. Additional face-to-face hours are required for your scheduled clinical and practicum work.

Coursework (84 Credit Hours)

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.

For full program requirement details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog. Please note: the current graduate catalog shows 102 credit hours, but the program is updated in the coming 2024-25 catalog under which you will enter this program in the Fall. Please contact the Program Coordinator if you have any questions about requirements and coursework.

Clinical/Simulation/Lab/Practicum Hours

A minimum of 1,125 clinical/simulation/lab/practicum hours are completed while enrolled in the program courses:

  • 765 minimum total of FNP clinical hours. At least 180 of the total 765 clinical hours must be with a nurse practitioner and part of these hours can be with a nurse midwife.
  • 90 minimum total of FNP simulation/lab hours.
  • 270 minimum total DNP Scholarly Project practicum hours.

The clinical courses involve advanced skills labs, evidence-based practice simulations, and clinical decision-making competencies, as well as clinical hours in advanced practice skill acquisition.

Our clinical placement coordinator is dedicated to the Nurse Practitioner programs to assist Nurse Practitioner students in finding clinical placements and qualified preceptors, which include licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, or physician assistants.

Post-Master's Certificate Option

Nurses who already have a master's degree can pursue the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Graduate Certificate.

This post-master's certificate program features a personalized plan of study, based on a gap analysis of your previous coursework. Contact the Program Coordinator for information about available start terms.

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Additional Resources

Other FNP Programs

  • MSN degree: if you would prefer a master's degree only, learn about our Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (Master's).
  • If you already have an MSN degree, see the Course of Study section on this page to learn about our Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Graduate Certificate.