An APRN Master's Degree with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Concentration

PLEASE NOTE: this program is not currently accepting applications for admission.

FNP Programs Update and Q&A Forum Recording

In alignment with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) nurse practitioner competencies (2022) and the American Associate of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Curriculum Essentials (2021), the UNC School of Nursing is following their decision to move the level of preparation necessary for advanced nursing practice from the master’s degree to the doctorate for Fall 2024.

To align with the new standards, we have paused admission to our MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program for Fall 2024. Simultaneously, we are in the process of implementing curriculum changes for our Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner program, including...

  • Decreasing the total program credits.
  • Realigning the curriculum for maximum efficiency.
  • Redesigning the DNP scholarly project to shorten time to completion.

We are currently awaiting final approval for these changes. Additionally, in keeping with the Standards for Quality Nurse Practitioner Education (NTF, 2022), the FNP track of the the DNP program will now have a minimum of 750 direct patient care clinical hours (previously 540) to prepare you with competencies for the full scope of FNP population focused practice. 

We are excited about the changes to our Family Nurse Practitioner program, which we believe will prepare our graduates with the knowledge and skills to meet the ever-increasing complexity of advanced nursing practice and meet certification and licensure standards. We would love for you to consider applying to our hybrid Doctor in Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner focus program for Fall 2024.

School of Nursing provided an online question and answer forum to share more about the FNP programs and our planned DNP program changes.

View the FNP Programs Q&A Forum Recording.

Through the Nursing Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration program, you are prepared for advanced clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner (FNP). The FNP Concentration teaches primary care health promotion and disease management for patients with episodic or chronic illnesses across the life span.

This part-time graduate program is designed to fit the schedules of practicing BSN RNs. It is a three-year program with the coursework delivered on campus one day per week (Thursdays), plus the required clinical hours starting in the sixth semester. Some courses incorporate online activities to supplement your learning, which reduces the amount of time you meet in-person for class, and a few courses are completed fully online.

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.

Become an Advanced Practice Nurse

Through this convenient MSN program, you'll be prepared to engage in advanced clinical practice. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for national certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and for state licensure as an advanced practice nurse in the primary care of families.

Nurse Practitioner Job & Salary Growth

The median salary for a Registered Nurse as of 2021 is $73,300.

However, the median salary for a Nurse Practitioner (a role supported by this program) was $109,820 and NP employment is projected to grow 52% from 2019-2029.

Photo of FNP nurse visiting with a patient

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

Hybrid Delivery

This program is 58 credit hours, which includes clinical/simulation/ab hours.

  • You can complete the program in 3 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) in person. 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.
  • Comprehensive exam and thesis options are available. Most students fulfill the MSN requirements via successful completion of a comprehensive exam.

Coursework (58 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.

Clinical/Simulation/Lab Hours

A minimum of 855 clinical/simulation/lab hours are completed while enrolled in the program courses:

  • 765 minimum total 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 simulation/lab 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