The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner degree is an advanced practice degree that prepares experienced professional nurses for advanced practice as primary care providers. The family nurse practitioner (FNP) makes independent critical judgments in all levels of prevention, including health promotion; illness prevention; and diagnosis and management of health conditions for individuals, families, communities, and populations. The FNP, as an advanced practice nurse, may be prepared to provide primary health care to individuals of all ages from infants through adulthood. Historically, the FNP has significantly contributed to the health care of the underserved populations in both urban and rural areas.
The family nurse practitioner performs comprehensive health assessments, diagnoses illness, and prescribes pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments to manage acute and chronic health problems to achieve quality cost-effective outcomes in a culturally sensitive context. The role of the nurse practitioner includes educating, consulting and collaborating, using research to make practice decisions, and influencing professional and public policies. Within various practice settings, the family nurse practitioner provides health care for clients across the lifespan. This family nurse practitioner degree program includes an exploration of the following topics: nursing and health care research; ethics, policy and finance in the health care system; advanced physiology and pathophysiology; advanced pharmacology; advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning; health promotion; management of adult health care problems; management of pediatric and adolescent health care problems; management of women's health care issues; and the management of geriatric issues in primary care.
This program also includes a 650-hour practicum experience, in which students collaborate with faculty members to select a community-based primary or family health-focused clinical site. This clinical practicum affords students the opportunity to apply clinical-decision management of primary health problems for diverse clients across the life span. Students analyze case studies in accordance with the guidelines of evidence-based practice and current standards of care.The family nurse practitioner degree program culminates in a capstone course which provides an opportunity for students to develop an evidence-based practice project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in professional practice. Students identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention; search literature; propose a solution; and develop a plan to implement the solution, evaluate its outcome(s), and disseminate the findings.
A post-master's certificate program is available to those nurses who already have a Master of Science in Nursing degree and are looking to advance their career as a family nurse practitioner.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.