Family Nurse Practitioner Masters Online

Online Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner

This online graduate nursing degree prepares RNs with an undergraduate degree in nursing for a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

FNP Program Summary

Required Credits: 46

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty is a CCNE-accredited online graduate program intended to prepare those RNs with an undergraduate degree in nursing, or those who have successfully completed the equivalent undergraduate foundation in nursing, for a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

This program prepares the graduate to sit for the National FNP certification exam to allow for employment in all states. This integrated MSN curriculum includes course work in Informatics, Organizational and Systems Leadership, Research, Policy, Population Health and Inter-professional Collaboration in addition to advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced physical and health assessment.


  • Courses blend student’s professional experience with the course content, allowing for immediate application in the work setting.
  • All theory and clinical courses are 12 weeks in length
  • A minimum of 600 clinical hours are required, with at least on NP preceptor.
  • 28 hour Credit Post MSN-FNP Certificate is available
  • Saint Joseph’s nursing degrees are fully accredited by the CCNE
  • Students’ progress through courses simultaneously with their peers, allowing the opportunity to have interaction and collaboration among students and faculty in the courses.

Admission Requirements

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialization has a competitive admissions process. In order to gain a clear sense of the applicant’s fit within our primary care focused FNP program, the following processes and eligibility criteria have been developed. Desired applicants should be problem solvers and potential health leaders in their communities. For full acceptance into the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialization, applicants must meet other additional requirements.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, accredited at the time of graduation by CCNE or ACEN with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • An active unrestricted U.S. RN license that can be verified and is recognized by the State Board of Nursing where the applicant is licensed. Experienced RNs must hold an active unrestricted RN license at the time of application, and provide their license number to SJC for verification. RNs that have been licensed for less than two years must hold an active and unrestricted RN license since the time of licensure.
  • Proficiency in English (SJC/GPS requirements for TOEFL).
  • Ability to meet clinical agency requirements for health status verification, malpractice insurance and background checks.

Course Terms

Courses are 12-week cohort classes offered online four terms each year in January, April, July and October. Students must enroll in courses 30 days prior to the start of the course. All courses are online and the student will complete a minimum of 600 clinical hours with per-approved catalog preceptors in their own geographic areas. This is to ensure students have met various skill and role competencies at different levels throughout their program.


Primary Care FNP: The MSN-FNP specialization prepares the nurse for an advance practice RN (APRN) role as a primary care provider in all levels of prevention including health promotion, illness prevention and health optimization for individuals, families, communities, and populations. The FNP performs comprehensive health assessments, develops diagnoses, and prescribes pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments to manage acute and chronic health problems for the highest quality cost effective outcomes in a culturally sensitive context. The role of the nurse practitioner includes educating, consulting, collaborating, using research to make practice decisions, and influencing professional and public policies. The FNP provides health care across the life span in a variety of settings.

Graduate Certificate

Post MSN-FNP Certificate: The Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate is a 28-credit post-graduate program designed to prepare RNs with an undergraduate and graduate degree in nursing for a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. This certificate program prepares the graduate to sit for the National FNP certification exam. To ensure students have met various skills and role competencies, a minimum of 600 supervised clinical hours will be completed in the student’s geographical location. After completion of Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology and Advanced Pathophysiology, only Nurse Practitioner specific courses are needed for post MSN FNP certificate completion.

Clinical Hours

Nurse practitioner programs require at least 500 clinical hours and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty recommends that FNP programs meet higher than minimum standards because FNPs are responsible for the broadest population age range. This program, therefore, requires a minimum of 600 clinical hours. NP preceptors are desired, but as long as each student has one NP preceptor during their program, physicians and physician assistants can also be utilized as preceptors.

Career Opportunities

The FNP-Primary care prepares a RN for an advanced clinical role and to sit for the national NP board certification exams.

In addition, the Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum meets criteria for the DNP programs for articulation.

FNP's most often practice in clinics outside of the hospital-especially given our primary care role focus. Depending on their experiences, they can also practice inside of the hospital in urgent/quick care areas of Emergency or as house officers.