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

Through the Nursing Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis program, you are prepared for advanced clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner (FNP). The FNP emphasis 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. A minimum of 660 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).

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 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.

Photo of FNP nurse visiting with a patient

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

This program is 51 credit hours, which includes clinical/lab/simulation 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) on campus in Greeley. Additional face-to-face hours are required for your scheduled clinical and practicum work.

Post-Master's Certificate Option

Please note: no FNP certificate spots are available for the 2021 program start.

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

This post-master's certificate program features a personalized plan of study, based on a gap analysis of your previous coursework, that could range from 12-28 credit hours of the required courses. Contact the Program Coordinator for information about available start terms.

See an example course sequence.

Clinical Hours (660 Hours)

A minimum of 660 clinical/simulation/lab hours are completed while enrolled in the clinical/practicum 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.

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).

Choose Between Comprehensive Exam and Thesis Options

  • Most students fulfill the MSN requirements via successful completion of a comprehensive exam.
  • Completion of a master's thesis via NURS 699 Master's Thesis (6) is also an option.

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

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