MSN to FNP Online Bridge Pathway

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

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Advance Your Career as a Primary Care Provider Through an MSN to FNP Bridge Pathway

The bridge pathway (Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner) from GCU makes it possible for experienced RNs to pursue their educational and career goals. This MSN to FNP online bridge pathway, offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another field who seek to take on advanced nursing studies and pursue a career as a family nurse practitioner. The pre-requisite courses that comprise the pathway provide an essential foundation for master’s-level nursing studies.

MSN to FNP Bridge Pathway Course Topics

In the MSN to nurse practitioner bridge pathway, you will complete 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
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Career Paths for Family Nurse Practitioners

The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN to FNP) pathway can prepare professional nurses for advanced practice as primary care providers. In a nurse practitioner pathway, you will study 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 online 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.

Take FNP Courses From an Accredited University

GCU is an institutionally accredited university that has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. Accreditation reflects the quality of an institution’s programs. For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university approvals, please visit our University Accreditation and Regulations page.

Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Pathway FAQs

Read through some of the most frequently asked questions to learn more about completing an MSN to FNP bridge pathway and pursuing a career as an FNP.

In order to become a nurse practitioner (NP), you must hold a bachelor’s degree, 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.

Yes, there are a few different ways you can bridge from an associate degree in nursing (ADN) to a master’s in nursing (MSN). This option offers graduates two valuable credentials in less time and at a lower cost than other traditional programs.

Time of completion can vary for students depending on several factors. You may graduate from a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program sooner if you have existing credits. 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.

To learn more and get starting on your FNP journey and enroll in an MSN to FNP bridge pathway, fill out the form on this page to get in contact with a university counselor.

Total Credits: 24
Online: 5 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $340 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

24 credits
Degree Requirements:
24 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education, the role of the professional nurse, and the importance of effective nursing leadership. Standards of practice, differentiated nursing practice, professional accountability, interprofessional collaboration, and quality improvement are emphasized with importance placed on the application of leadership styles and management skills.

Course Description

This course focuses on methods of health history taking, physical examination skills, and documentation. Students integrate assessment skills and clinical judgment/reasoning in identifying actual or potential health problems and needs across the life span. Health promotion strategies are incorporated to provide for the unique needs of the individual, ensuring person-centered care. The course emphasizes the importance of providing compassionate care dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students design plans of care based on evidence-based research and practice.

Course Description

This course focuses on the community as the patient taking into account varying cultures, spiritual values, geographic norms, and economic conditions. The course examines social determinants of health, including social, legal, and political variables impacting individual, community, and population health across the life span. Students use epidemiological data, functional health pattern assessments, and nursing theories to plan and intervene in areas of health promotion and disease prevention across the life span.

Course Description

This course is designed to build upon existing knowledge of the pathophysiological processes of disease as they affect patients across the life span, recognizing the nurse's multidimensional role in health promotion and disease management and prevention, which include biological, environmental, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. Integration of nutritional and pharmacological concepts encourages critical thinking and application of nursing interventions. Prerequisite: NRS-420.

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 analyzed with an emphasis on the critical review of research studies and their application to clinical practice. Students develop evidence-based practice recommendations from the critical analysis of available literature guided by a PICOT question. Prerequisite: HLT-362V.

Course Description

The final course in the program is writing-intensive. It will integrate the academic and practical knowledge students have acquired throughout the program’s curriculum. Students participate in planned clinical experiences that refine professional competencies at the baccalaureate level and enable them to integrate new knowledge and enhanced skills to advance nursing practice. Clinical practice hours are dedicated to learning objectives in leadership and community health. The evidence-based project provides students an opportunity to identify a clinical nursing practice issue and propose a possible solution. Students, under the guidance of faculty and approved preceptors, identify and analyze a nurse practice issue, develop a change project, and propose an evidence-based solution that reflects synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. The evidence-based project development is guided by the baccalaureate program learning outcomes. Clinical hours: 100. 50 hours in leadership and 50 hours in community health. Prerequisite: NRS-415, NRS-420, NRS-425, HLT-362V, NRS-445, PHI-413V, NRS-450, NRS-455, NRS-460.


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.