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

The Nursing DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Emphasis 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 part-time hybrid program is designed to fit the schedules of practicing BSN RNs who are interested in a practice-focused doctorate. Some courses incorporate online activities to supplement your learning and reduce the amount of time you must meet for class. It is a five-year, part-time program with the first eight semesters delivered on campus one day per week (Thursdays) or online – plus clinical hours starting in the sixth semester – and the remaining six semesters delivered online only.

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. A minimum of 1,245 clinical/simulation/lab hours are completed while enrolled in the clinical/practicum courses (see the Clinical Hours section under the Course of Study tab below).

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 and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. 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 in 2017 was $70,000.

However, the median salary for a Nurse Practitioner (a role supported by this program) was $103,880 and NP employment is projected to grow 36% from 2016-2026.

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

This program is 95 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. You will attend one day per week (Thursdays) on campus in Greeley. Additional face-to-face hours are required for your scheduled clinical and practicum work.

Required Coursework

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

See the planned course sequence (listing which courses will be delivered each term of your program).


Clinical Hours (1,245 Hours)

A minimum of 1,245 clinical/simulation/lab/practicum hours are completed while enrolled in the program courses as follows:

  • 540 minimum total clinical hours in NURS 675, 677, and 689. At least 140 of the total 540 clinical hours must be with a nurse practitioner and part of these hours can be with a nurse midwife.
  • 120 minimum total simulation/lab hours in NURS 613, 654, 656, 674.
  • 585 minimum total practicum hours in NURS 678 (45 hrs) and 798 (540 hrs).

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.


DNP Scholarly Project

Because of the clinical focus of this degree, rigorous academic standards are maintained throughout the program rather than completion of a dissertation. As part of the research core coursework, you will complete an evidence-based scholarly project designed by the student in collaboration with a faculty.


For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

— Jump Back "Up" to the Program Information Tabs