Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN to FNP) Bridge Pathway

Bridge (Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner)

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Enroll in GCU’s MSN to FNP Bridge Pathway to Advance Your Career as a Primary Care Provider

For experienced and ambitious RN’s ready to advance to the role of primary care provider, the bridge pathway (Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner) from GCU makes it possible to pursue your educational and career goals. This online MSN bridge pathway, offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another field. The pre-requisite courses that comprise the pathway provide an essential foundation for master’s-level nursing studies.

Deepen Your Knowledge With Courses Focused on Family Nursing

In the family nurse practitioner bridge pathway, you will be immersed in seven pre-requisite courses covering:

  • Foundations of professional nursing
  • Health assessment
  • Interpretation and evaluation of statistics and statistical methods
  • Nursing and healthcare industry research
  • Caring for diverse populations
  • Advances in assessment and pathophysiology
  • Reviewing current research and application of evidence-based practices to patient care

Gain Specialized Nursing Skills for Your Nurse Practitioner Career

The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree prepares professional nurses for advanced practice as primary care providers. Gain the skills necessary to manage all phases of preventive care, including health promotion, diagnosis, and management for individuals, families and communities. Learn evidence-based practices in health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, while building key competency in culturally intelligent patient care.

This MSN to FNP bridge pathway includes two on-campus experiences designed to provide hands-on skill development in key areas, collaboration with peers and in-depth preparation for national certification exams.

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Total Credits: 24
Online: 5 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $340 per credit [More Info]

Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Pathway FAQs

In order to become a nurse practitioner (NP), you must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), have an active license as a registered nurse (RN), complete a master’s or doctoral-level program designed specifically for NPs and successfully pass a national NP board certification exam to obtain NP licensure.

Nursing bridge pathways are designed for individuals who already work as nurses and hold a nursing degree but want to achieve the next level in their careers. Bridge pathways for nurses build upon existing skills and knowledge and make it easier, faster and often more affordable to earn a higher nursing degree. Nursing bridge pathways exist at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

Yes, there are a few different ways students can bridge from an associate degree in nursing (ADN) to a master’s in nursing (MSN). Also called an “RN to NP” or “RN to MSN” program, these nurse practitioner bridge pathways allow nurses to advance in their careers by augmenting existing skills with the application of theory to real-world practice. At GCU, RN to BSN candidates have the unique opportunity to accelerate their nursing education by earning both the BSN and MSN degrees in as little as 30 months.1 This fast-track option offers graduates two valuable credentials in less time and at a lower cost than other traditional programs.

Traditional Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs generally take three to four years to complete for full-time students. Students may graduate more quickly if they have existing credits or are enrolled in an accelerated program. In the MSN programs at GCU, students can expect to take online courses, complete 675 hours of supervised clinicals and participate in two on-campus experiences at GCU.

1 Transfer of 90 credits that apply to your degree, and continuous enrollment required

Course List

24 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
24 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a bridge course for the RN who is returning to formal education for the baccalaureate degree in nursing. The course focuses on differentiated nursing practice competencies, nursing conceptual models, professional accountability, integrating spirituality into practice, group dynamics, and critical thinking. The course also emphasizes writing and oral presentation skills.

Course Description

This course focuses on methods of health history taking, physical examination skills, documentation, and health promotion strategies. The course emphasizes the individual as the client, health patterns across the life span, community resources, and the teaching-learning process.

Course Description

This course focuses on the community as a large system of people of varying cultures, spiritual values, geographic norms, and economic conditions, all influenced by social-legal-political variables that impact individual and community health. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable subgroups in the community. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis, using epidemiological data and functional health pattern assessments to plan and intervene in areas of health promotion and disease prevention. Students are required to document 25 indirect clinical practice hours in association with this course.

Course Description

This course is designed to enhance the working RN’s existing understanding of the pathophysiological processes of disease as they affect clients across the lifespan. The interrelationship of structural and functional reactions of cells and tissues to genetic alterations and injurious agents provide the foundation for comprehending clinical manifestations and treatment protocols. Critical thinking and nursing management are enhanced through the use of case studies that integrate nutritional and pharmacological concepts. The understanding of environmental and biological risk factors provides the nurse with the knowledge to provide health promotion and prevention education.

Course Description

This is an introductory course on concepts of statistics, emphasizing applications to health care professions. The course is designed to prepare learners to understand concepts of statistics and the appropriateness of statistical methods used in published research papers and a variety of settings. Areas of emphasis include an introduction to the statistical analysis concepts of variable/reliability factors; P values; experimental design; descriptive statistics, including mean, median, and mode; sampling methods; and power analysis.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course promotes the use of research findings as a basis for improving clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are presented. Emphasis is on the critical review of research studies and their applications to clinical practice. An overview of evidence-based practice is provided. Prerequisite: HLT-362V.

Course Description

This is a writing-intensive course. The course combines scholarly activities with clinical practice experiences designed to synthesize learning into the practice environment and impact health outcomes. Learners participate in planned, clinical experiences that refine professional competencies at the baccalaureate level and enable learners to integrate new knowledge and higher level skills to advance nursing practice. Clinical practice hours will be dedicated to learning objectives in leadership and in community health. The professional capstone project offers learners the opportunity to propose a resolution to an issue or problem significant to nursing practice within a clinical environment. Learners identify, design, and propose an evidence-based solution within a health care organization with guidance from faculty and a preceptor in the field. The proposal must reflect synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. Development of the capstone project is guided by the baccalaureate program learner learning outcomes. Clinical hours: 100. Combined ; 50 hours in leadership and 50 hours in community health. Prerequisites: NRS-430V, NRS-429VN, NRS-434VN, NRS-428VN, HLT-362V, NRS-433V, PHI-413V, NRS-451VN, NRS-410V, and NRS-440VN.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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