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Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN to MSN)

Your Next Career Move: Preparing to Become a Family Nurse Practitioner

Our CCNE-accredited RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner programs offer an efficient, streamlined path for learning how to provide leading-edge primary care across the lifespan. Get started by selecting from our flexible on-campus or online nurse practitioner programs, all led by experienced nurses.


A Streamlined Path to a MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Degree

Our RN to MSN program provides an intensive course of study that leads to earning both a BSN and MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degree, preparing you to practice preventive care, promote healthy behaviors, and diagnose and treat health problems at all developmental stages. Our classroom experiences blend nursing theory with advanced practice concepts, while the practicum courses offer in-depth clinical experiences, supervised by supportive, knowledgeable mentors. This family nurse practitioner education can also help you to strengthen your clinical judgment, critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills.

So how long does it take to become a nurse practitioner in our programs? Our RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degree program can be completed on campus in under 6 years or under 4 years online. As a graduate, you’ll meet the prerequisites for nurse practitioner examination* and be eligible to sit for certification through national certifying bodies (American Nurses Credentialing Center [ANCC]; American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP]).

RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Our RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program courses are carefully selected and designed to prepare you for a career as a family nurse practitioner. For your undergraduate nursing portion of the curriculum, your courses will cover topics such as:

  • Foundations for professional nursing
  • Foundations of nursing research
  • Information management and technology
  • Concepts of teaching and learning
  • Leadership in a diverse society
  • Illness and disease management across the life span
  • Gerontological nursing
  • Trends in healthcare policy
  • Health promotion and clinical prevention

During the graduate portion of your program, you will explore:

  • Role of the advanced practice nurse
  • Advanced theoretical perspectives for nursing
  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Health policy and health promotion in advanced nursing practice
  • Nursing research methods
  • Advanced nursing practice
  • Pharmacology
  • Advanced health and physical assessment

After passing pre-specialty and pre-clinical evaluations, you'll also be required to complete practicum courses in several areas, including:

  • Family health - adult and gerontology
  • Family health - women's health
  • Family health - pediatrics
  • Family health - primary care

General education and foundational RN to MSN requirements include courses in communications, professional development, math and statistics, anatomy and physiology, arts and humanities, and social and behavioral sciences.

Admissions: RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Requirements

Admissions requirements to our RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program include:

  • Completion of the application for admission
  • An associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited collegiate institution or a diploma in nursing from an accredited institution, with a minimum cumulative CGPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submission of official transcripts from every college or university attended (within 10 weeks after the initial start date)
  • A valid unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the U.S. state or territory in which the student completes all assignments for the program. (Note that military, federal, and foreign educated nurses must meet this state requirement for nursing licensure.) An unencumbered license must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Meet the Core Performance Standards and essential function related to the profession of nursing as described in the South University Academic Catalog
  • An interview with the Chair/Program Director or designated faculty for campus-based students
  • Submission of the following:
    • Three references using the Nursing Graduate School Appraisal Form. At least one of your references should hold a master's in Nursing or a higher degree in Nursing.
    • An essay (goal statement) of 1-2 pages (typed, double-spaced) explaining your career goals, reasons for your choice of specialization, and why you want to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.
    • A resume describing relevant work and professional and volunteer experiences.

For answers to questions about our RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner requirements, contact us at 1.800.688.0932. To help with the cost of a family nurse practitioner education, financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Nurses with a BSN can prepare to become a nurse practitioner in our MSN with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Nurses with an MSN that equipped them for another advanced practice role or nursing specialty may be better suited for our shorter Post Graduate Certificate - Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Adding Value to Your Community: The Family Nurse Practitioner Role

Exactly what does a nurse practitioner do? Nurse practitioners are a vital part of our nation’s healthcare system, known for providing primary care and health education to patients and families across the lifespan. Family nurse practitioners can help patients to manage acute or chronic illnesses, including conducting physical exams, performing diagnostic tests and procedures, and writing prescriptions, and may work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, or walk-in clinics. In some states, nurse practitioners may operate their own private family practices.

Becoming a nurse practitioner can allow you to not only enhance your patient care skills, but also may enable you to increase your earning potential and employment benefits. The standard family nurse practitioner salary varies by experience level, practice area, employment type, and geographic region. As for job outlook, the BLS predicts a 31% employment growth occurring between 2016 and 2026 for nurse practitioners.

*Note: South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

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