Earning an advanced nursing degree is an exciting step to take in your career. It’s an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. For nurses interested in earning their Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty track, there are some key things to be aware of before entering the program.
The FNP Curriculum
As a part of the FNP curriculum, after you complete your core master’s courses, you will progress to the FNP specific courses. These include:
- Population Health, Epidemiology and Statistical Principles
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Advanced Physical Assessment
- Leadership and the Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse
Download the MSN FNP curriculum plan.
The program is designed to be completed over two and a half years, with students taking one course every eight weeks.
Once you have completed the above courses, you are ready to begin your clinical courses. These include:
- Differential Diagnosis and Primary Care Practicum
- Primary Care of the Maturing and Aged Family Practicum
- Primary Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family Practicum
- Advanced Clinical Diagnosis and Practice Across the Lifespan Practicum
- Capstone Practicum
You’ll get a taste of the practicum experience when you take the Advanced Physical Assessment course.
This course is designed to prepare you for your first practicum course where you will be seeing patients with your preceptor at an outpatient primary care site. The Advanced Physical Assessment course culminates with the Immersion experience where you will go to a designated location to work directly with faculty to hone your assessment skills.
After completing the Immersion experience, you are ready to begin fulfilling your clinical hours. Each of the five consecutive practicum courses has a 125-hour clinical component in addition to the online didactic part of the course. These hours must be completed over the seven and a half weeks of the course.
A Matter of Time
It’s important to understand the impact that the clinical hours component will have in terms of scheduling your time for work and family. Most students will not be able to maintain their full work schedule unless they receive support in other aspects of their life.
The 125 clinical hours equate to about 16 hours per week. This time can be worked out according to the student and preceptor’s schedules so the actual hours per week can vary depending upon individual circumstances.
Once you have completed the MSN-FNP program you will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination as a Family Nurse Practitioner from either the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). After successfully passing the exam, you will then be eligible for licensure in your state.
Always remember, our faculty are here to ensure your success and help you gain the necessary skills to treat patients of all ages. I encourage you to communicate with them as you progress through the program.
By John Distler
Request More Information
To receive the Chamberlain University Program Guide, including associated career paths, please select a program of study.