There may be no nobler calling than that of tending to the sick and injured. If you want to dedicate your career to shaping the future of healthcare and helping others in their time of need, pursue a Master of Science in Nursing. University of the Cumberlands' online Master's in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program is designed to develop nursing leaders by teaching them skills in informatics, data management, healthcare technologies, and more.
- What is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)?
- What Does a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Do?
- How to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Why Should You Earn a Master's in Nursing Degree?
- Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Admission Requirements
A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse, one with the additional healthcare training and credentials needed to provide primary healthcare services to the whole family. A family nurse practitioner's scope of practice is serving the healthcare needs of adults and children, treating each individual family member to maintain health and wellness for the long haul.
There are key differences between a registered nurse (RN), family nurse practitioner, and doctor. A registered nurse is often the first medical professional that patients interact with in a healthcare setting. Under the direction of a doctor, RNs serve as a part of a medical team to take vitals, explain procedures, administer medication and be there for emotional support. These nursing professionals have undergone medical training, received a nursing education, and earned the certifications required to become a registered nurse.
The doctors that RNs help are often primary care physicians, specializing in different fields or becoming general practitioners for private practices. The doctors diagnose issues and develop treatment plans while working with nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide the lifelong care that patients have come to rely on for everyday ailments, chronic diseases, accidents, and more.
Family nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have furthered their educations, typically with a master’s in nursing, to earn the certifications and gain the expertise necessary to diagnose and treat patient families as the primary care provider. Like the family doctor, FNPs develop long-term, trusted relationships with families and provide preventative care and annual checkups. These skilled healthcare practitioners step up to fill a critical need in our healthcare system.
Before you can legally practice as an FNP, you must meet certain requirements. Requirements and licensing differ depending on the state you're wanting to practice in, but the following steps are typically standard in every state:
- Earn a BSN
- Pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain RN status
- Gain clinical experience
- Earn an MSN
- Obtain certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center
- Acquire a nurse practitioner state license
At University of the Cumberlands, we developed our Master of Science in Nursing programs, including our online MSN FNP programs, to help registered nurses take the next step on the path toward becoming an FNP. As a student in this online master’s in nursing program, you’ll gain the skills you need to be successful as an FNP with coursework that covers everything from epidemiology, advanced pharmacology, and healthcare technologies to issues involved in advanced practice.
A master's in nursing degree allows nursing professionals to further their knowledge and expertise in the medical field. Additionally, a master's degree makes you more hireable and increases your earning potential throughout your career. Two popular job options for someone with a master's in nursing include:
- Nurse Practitioner: From acute care to women’s health, the demand for nurses at this educational level is up – this profession is projected to add more than 250,000 new FNP positions in the workforce by 2029. Additionally, in 2019, this career path offered a salary that averaged over 115,000 annually.
- Nursing Instructor: Use your online MSN-FNP degree to lead others to a better healthcare career as a Nursing Instructor. The need for qualified postsecondary instructors is also projected to see double-digit growth – up 11 percent by 2028.
One of the primary benefits of University of the Cumberlands' online family nurse practitioner program is that throughout the degree program, students have the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and provide feedback for future MSN students. This knowledge-sharing aspect of our online nursing master’s program is what lead to UC students receiving a 91% pass rate on their board exams, well above the national average of 85%. Most state boards of nursing do not regulate post-licensure degrees in which no new license is granted upon completion, however, there may be the occasional exception. Students should verify the master's program offering within their own state.
The family nurse practitioner online nursing master's program is comprised of a 48 credit hour curriculum (24 didactic and 18 credit hours blended learning didactic and clinical, and 6 hours for clinical practice internship). The total number of clinical hours upon completion of the program is 720. Prior to admission to clinical, students will need to complete their basic online nursing master's program FNP courses: NURS510, NURS520, NURS530, NURS532, NURS550, NURS590, NURS592, and NURS594 (all offered on an 8-week bi-term schedule).
Students will experience a blended learning approach with both didactic online classwork in the addition of completion of 120 clinical hours per course in the courses NURS670, NURS672, and NURS674. The course NURS690 will provide a 360 clinical hour concentrated clinical internship.
Upon successful completion of the online family nurse practitioner program, graduates from the online nursing master's program will be able to:
- Integrate nursing theory, concepts from humanities, and related sciences into the delivery of advanced nursing care for diverse populations and the advanced practice role
- Apply leadership skills and decision making in the provisions of culturally responsive, safe, high quality nursing care
- Implement evidence-based plans based on data to quantify the impact of quality and safety and improve health outcomes across the continuum of care, system, and organization
- Integrate theory, research, and interprofessional perspectives to improve practice, healthcare delivery and systems, and health outcomes for patient aggregates
- Use information and communication technologies to support the organization, integrate and coordinate care, and improve health outcomes
- Analyze how healthy policy and advocacy influence the structure of healthcare delivery, financing of health care, and health outcomes
- Use effective communication strategies to develop, participate, and lead interprofessional teams to improve healthcare delivery and advance nursing practice
- Integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts in the development of culturally competent care for improving health of patient aggregates
- Demonstrate the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct of the advanced practice role
- Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to improve systems of care and to optimize patient and population health outcomes
- Conceptualize and incorporate an evolving personal nursing philosophy based on professional advanced nursing standards, practice, accountability and life-long learning
Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.
Documentation for the following items must be received before an admission decision is made for the Family Nurse Practitioner - Online Nursing Master's Program:
- Official Transcripts must be received for all undergraduate and graduate coursework from accredited colleges or universities, including confer date of BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) which show a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all prior coursework is required for full admission. Conditional admission will be considered for applicants with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75. If conditional admittance is granted, a GPA of 3.0 is expected with the completion of 12 hours of coursework.
- Submit an online application and associated $30 application fee
- Submit a Planned Program
- Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are:
- Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550
- Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79
- IELTS - 6
- Duolingo - 100
- Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
Approved Evaluation Firms are:
- A 500-700 word Statement of Purpose for graduate study
- ESSAY: In 500-700 words, please describe your understanding of the role of the MSN prepared nurse, reasons for pursuing the degree, and how obtaining the degree will change your future practice. Also, please address what strengths and weaknesses you will bring to the program and your understanding of online learning.
- Submit two letters of reference from individuals commenting on the applicant's academic and professional potential
- Evidence of a current and unencumbered Registered Nurse license
- Completion of a three (3) hour graduate or undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of C or higher. Conditional admission may be granted if the applicant is unable to submit evidence of prior completion but this requirement must be met within the first 12 hours of coursework
All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:
University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions
649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.
In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above,the family nurse practitioner - online nursing master's program at University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education , 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
Click here to view a list of the nursing faculty.