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MASTER OF SCIENCE Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN-to-MSN program)

Becoming a nurse practitioner is possible—earn your degree mostly online, even with your busy schedule.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse with specialized educational and clinical training in family practice. They evaluate patients, diagnose them, write prescriptions, and bring a comprehensive element to healthcare. Nurse practitioners have a higher degree of classroom and clinical training than registered nurses do, although becoming an RN is a prerequisite to becoming an FNP.

NOTE: Due to the clinical requirements of this degree program, the FNP is currently limited to students who have a permanent residence in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Students must have a permanent and active license from that same state, must complete the internships in that state, and intend to obtain initial APRN licensure in that state. 

The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN is not WGU's only online degree designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. If this degree program isn't the right fit for you, you may also be interested in our Master of Health Leadership program or our MBA Healthcare Management. Compare our health leadership degrees here.

States where WGU's FNP is available States where WGU's FNP degree program is available are marked in green.

Family nurse practitioners are the chosen providers of millions of Americans. And they are in extremely high demand. If you live in an available state and want to begin the application process, we’re here to help. Submit this form to get started.

Apply Now

Most students will earn this degree in

2½ years

While you may move more quickly through core coursework, the duration of the clinical components of this program are set.

See how it works

Tuition per 6-month term is

$5,395

This includes tuition and all associated program fee costs. Tuition and fees charged per 6-month term—rather than pay per credit—helps students control the ultimate cost of their degree. Finish faster, pay less!

See how time is money

This is a highly competitive program.

Admission into the MSN-FNP program is not guaranteed and is highly selective. You will work closely with your Enrollment Counselor to satisfy requirements for admission consideration. A number of factors are reviewed when a selection is made.

See requirements

Master the skills of advanced nursing.

Family nurse practitioners (FNP) provide high-quality healthcare to people of all ages, combining their technical nursing know-how with strong people skills, organizational prowess, and business knowledge to help patients and transform lives. FNP education prepares the graduate to work independently in delivering healthcare to individuals and families. Similar to primary care physicians, FNPs:

  • Perform yearly physicals
  • Deliver holistic health promotion and wellness care
  • Diagnose chronic and acute health conditions
  • Create patient-centered treatment plans
  • Order and evaluate lab and diagnostic tests
  • Perform in-office surgical procedures
  • Make referrals when necessary

An innovative program developed by healthcare industry experts.

The WGU MSN-FNP curriculum is evidence-based. It's designed to make you an effective nurse practitioner and healthcare provider. Competencies you will master as you earn this online nursing degree are consistent with the NONPF (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties) standards for nurse practitioners.

This is not an acute or emergency care practitioner program. WGU's mostly online program provides the knowledge and competencies needed to sit for the national FNP certification exam and obtain state licensure. Learn more about nurse licensure and certification.

MSN Core

Nursing courses that are core to your MSN degree work include:

  • Professional Presence and Influence
  • Essentials of Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Practice
  • Quality Outcomes in a Culture of Value-Based Nursing Care
  • Informatics for Transforming Nursing Care
  • Leadership and Management in Complex Healthcare Systems
  • Advancing Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing Practice

FNP Specialization

Courses specific to your FNP specialty include:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Adult Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Pediatric Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Special Populations Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Health Promotion of Patients and Populations Across the Lifespan
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Internship

The WGU Difference

We reimagined the path to a degree. How it works for you:

  • It’s doable. Efficient, flexible, individualized, and supportive, WGU puts you in the driver’s seat—allowing you to advance through your MSN Core as quickly as you’re able.
  • It’s surprisingly affordable. Low, flat-rate tuition and the opportunity to speed up courses in your MSN Core allow you to control the cost of your education.
  • It’s worth it. Employers love WGU graduates. And grads report greater satisfaction, career advancement, and income growth after earning a WGU degree.

A supported, personalized experience.

WGU is unlike any university you’ve experienced before—in the best possible way! Take a look at what we mean:

Faculty

Supporting you:

An entire team of faculty members has one goal in mind: your success. Your Program Mentor is your individually assigned faculty member, providing regular program guidance and instruction from the day you start, to the day you graduate. In addition, Course Instructors provide regular, subject-matter instruction and support, typically one-on-one, throughout each course you take.

Learn more about faculty

Learning

Personalized learning plan.

Your journey toward subject mastery is made up of a series of courses, with flexibility built-in. Preassessments help you determine your level of competency. As you move into coursework, you can focus effort where you need it, using online resources available 24/7.

Learn more about degree plans

Assessment

Prove your understanding.

WGU measures learning, not time, so each course culminates in an assessment—a test, paper, project, or presentation that allows you to prove what you know. You control when assessments occur—as soon as you’re ready, any time of day!

Learn more about assessments

Experience

Real-world application.

Health and nursing programs have field experience. Teaching programs have demonstration teaching. All other programs have a capstone project. Each experience will test your abilities and build your confidence.

Learn more about resources

Alumni

Forever a Night Owl.

Continued support after you graduate includes many opportunities for professional development and enrichment, career support, and networking. WGU Night Owls may be independent learners, but they also become highly engaged in our active alumni community through apps, groups, and events.

Learn more about alumni services
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The accreditation you need, plus respect and recognition.

Healthcare and nursing employers want employees with the credentials that prove they can help improve patient care while streamlining facilities and strengthening their reputations. An important measure of a health degree’s value is whether it comes from an accredited university with programs recognized for excellence by leading healthcare organizations. WGU’s commitment to quality has been recognized:

Accredited

Bachelor's and Master's Nursing degrees and programs are accredited by CCNE, the university is accredited by NWCCU

In addition to WGU's regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791).

Respected

“What we need are people who are truly versatile, able to learn efficiently and effectively. ... Those are the kind of people [who] represent graduates of Western Governors University.”

John Steele
Senior Vice President of Human Relations
HCA Healthcare

Recognized

Best Value School badge

Value is a combination of low cost and high quality. University Research & Review has named WGU a Best Value School several years running—a strong measure of return on investment!

Accredited

Respected

Recognized


When we say affordable, we mean it.

$4,000

Tuition per 6-month term

+

+ $1,395

Resource and program fees, per term

=

= $5,395

TOTAL PER TERM

+$65

One-time application fee

Control the cost of your program: Our tuition links cost to time.

By charging per term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn and master quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. For the family nurse practitioner MSN degree, students can accelerate through the MSN core courses, cutting down their overall cost, before moving forward to the specific time-set FNP coursework.

There's help if you need it.

FAFSA logo
WGU recognized by Top Colleges & Universities for military students

Financial aid is available.

WGU is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits. 
View more about Financial Aid

National average versus WGU borrowing chart WGU students borrow less than half the national average.

Our goal: You graduate with little or no debt.

The average student loan debt of WGU graduates in 2019 (among those who borrowed) was less than half the national average. WGU’s three-pronged approach to keeping your debt low and your return on investment quick: One, provide useful information and advice on responsible borrowing before enrollment. Two, keep tuition low while you're enrolled. And three, offer degree programs that lead to better-paying jobs after graduation.

Read about our Responsible Borrowing Initiative. 

Degree Cost Comparison*

Online For-Profit University

Other Online Nonprofit University

WGU

Become an FNP for about half what you’d pay elsewhere.

Low tuition and the ability to accelerate through the MSN Core make WGU a more affordable option for your master's degree than most other schools. When you compare us with other programs, WGU’s MSN-FNP program offers rigorous curriculum with competitive post-graduation results, but at as little as half the cost—or even less!

*Estimates based on July 2017 WGU and comparable universities' tuition data. Learn more about WGU's tuition and how it compares.


An online FNP curriculum that ensures you master the skills employers are looking for.

Program consists of:

16 Courses

Download Program Guide

At WGU, we design our nursing programs to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your nursing degree is proof you really know your stuff.

Every course focuses on a set of clearly defined competencies that you must prove you’ve learned—through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so helping you master what it takes to be outstanding in your career in nursing administration is at the heart of WGU’s curriculum.

That means what you learn is often directly applicable the next day at work—and it means what you’re doing at work frequently informs the work you’re doing in your degree program. It’s all about real-world applicability so every moment spent studying is time well spent.

Courses in this program.

This program consists of the following courses, which you will typically complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. 

You will complete your MSN FNP degree mostly online. The first part of your program consists of six online core courses that are part of all WGU MSN programs. We call this our “MSN Core”. 

Next, you will complete specialty online courses comprised of different clinical requirements for the FNP program. During your term before you start your internship courses, you’ll participate in an in-person, multi-day clinical intensives. The intensives are where students learn ambulatory skills (e.g., suturing, casting, splinting, biopsies, etc.) and participate in evaluation of clinical skills. Your program will culminate with internship courses involving 650 direct patient care clinical hours in your home community, as available.

Professional Presence and Influence

Professional Presence and Influence is a masters-level course designed to guide students towards an enhanced state of presence, where therapeutic relationships are built between nurse and patient. Students will learn techniques for self-care practices that result in enhanced mental and physical wellbeing and that ensure ethically-generated patient care. Presence is an intrapersonal and interpersonal quality that allows the nurse to relate to others and to be aware of the world around them. The characteristics of presence, which include holism, intimacy, sensitivity and adaptability, create a heightened sense of awareness that fosters therapeutic relationships between the nurse and patient. Developing a mindful, authentic presence is central to health and spiritual practices in several cultures and a major element of leadership. Students will intentionally develop a focused mindfulness practice that will influence patient outcomes and lead to conditions that create joy in the workplace.

Essentials of Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Practice

Essentials of Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Practice explores the essential characteristics needed as an advanced practice leader, educator, practitioner, or informatics specialist. Students will develop social and emotional intelligence skills to facilitate interprofessional collaboration and effectively manage change. Continuous quality improvement initiatives and the importance of making data-based decisions that are grounded in the evidence are introduced. The integral role of technology in supporting the workflow of nurses and improving healthcare outcomes is explored. Students will learn the elements of project management, including oversight of interdepartmental projects and managing risk, scope, and the project team. This course will prepare nurses to advocate for policy changes designed to improve patient and population health.

Quality Outcomes in a Culture of Value-Based Nursing Care

Quality Outcomes in a Culture of Value-Based Nursing Care incorporates current standards of quality and safety within the context of value-based care. In a value-based healthcare system, the benefits are derived from measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes. These benefits are then extended to patients, providers, payers, suppliers, and society as a whole. This course introduces new healthcare delivery models, which stress a team-oriented approach to patient care and sharing of patient data so that care is coordinated, and outcomes can be measured easily. Emphasis is placed on performance and quality improvement methods that underlie value-based nursing care. The nurse in advanced practice today must exemplify the standards of quality and safety and be prepared to lead the delivery of value-based patient-centered care.

Informatics for Transforming Nursing Care

Informatics for Transforming Nursing Care integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Students will acquire knowledge and skills to apply informatics concepts, communications, and data that are critical to facilitating interprofessional data-driven decision-making. It is designed to build competence in the use of patient- and population-based applications that inform and support the transformation of nursing care delivery toward a future of value-based quality nursing care that improves health outcomes. This course aligns theoretical concepts with practical applications of informatics and is consistent with the functional areas and responsibilities of informatics nurses as defined by American Nurses Association Scope and Standards for nursing informatics.

Leadership and Management in Complex Healthcare Systems

Leadership and Management in Complex Healthcare Systems prepares graduate nurses to be thoughtful strategists and informed decision makers who serve as strong leaders in high performing healthcare systems. Students develop competencies for managing diverse teams in complex systems, monitoring and measuring organizational performance, allocating financial and human resources, and leading change towards a transformed healthcare system. Additionally, students acquire the knowledge and skills to become full partners with other healthcare professionals by demonstrating nurse contributions toward high-quality care to patients and populations, while working collaboratively with interprofessional teams.

Advancing Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing Practice

Advancing Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing Practice introduces students to the dynamic union of healthcare innovation and evidence. Core competencies and behaviors required to be a nurse innovator are discussed. Strategies for measuring innovation at various system levels are presented, as well as techniques for synthesizing and disseminating evidence to advance innovation in healthcare. The skills needed to appraise the quality of diverse sources of evidence are presented within the framework of evidence-based practice. This course focuses on identifying new and emerging sources of evidence that can inform, translate, and scale the complexity of leading innovation in healthcare organizations. Students will experience building communities of practice for collaboratively developing innovative practices and policies designed to improve the health of populations and enhance the patient experience of care.

Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse prepares the graduate nursing student for the role of an advanced practice nurse with the competencies and skills needed to recognize disease states, identify disease progression, and assess and evaluate symptoms for patients across the lifespan. This course will help the graduate nursing student gain a deeper understanding of pathophysiology from the cellular to the systems level and will provide graduate nursing students with the knowledge and skills to determine the etiology, underlying physiological changes, and the human affective responses to alterations in health. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to communicate the pathophysiology of disease processes to providers and patients. All MSN Core courses must be completed before taking this course.

Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse prepares the graduate nursing student for the role of an advanced practice nurse with the competencies and skills for prescribing and monitoring medication safely and effectively. This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to apply pharmacotherapeutics in primary care settings by utilizing the pivotal basis of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to select the correct medication, describe the rationale for that selection to the patient, family, and other providers, and to effectively monitor the patient to promote positive drug outcomes. All MSN Core courses must be completed before taking this course.

Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Advanced Health Assessment prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies necessary to provide primary health care to patients and families of diverse populations. Students will develop the skills needed for systematically collecting and analyzing subjective and objective patient data. Through simulation and clinical experiences, students will use data to determine current and ongoing patient health status, predict health risks, and identify health-promoting activities for patients across the lifespan. Advanced Health Assessment will prepare the nursing graduate with the critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and advanced diagnostic skills required for advanced practice nursing. Upon completion of Advanced Health Assessment, the graduate will be able to synthesize individual and systems level subjective and objective data to facilitate the differential diagnosis processes. Also, the graduate will be able to clearly describe to patients and providers the pertinent health assessment findings and rationale supporting the diagnostic process.

Adult Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Adult Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to provide primary healthcare to adult patients and families. This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to demonstrate competence in leading health promotion and disease prevention activities; diagnosing, managing, and coordinating care for patients with acute and chronic conditions; and empowering patients to pursue positive health outcomes. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to collaborate with adult patients to develop effective plans of care that build patient self-efficacy in the process of preventing and treating disease. All MSN Core courses, Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse must be completed before taking this course.

Pediatric Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Pediatric Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to provide primary healthcare to pediatric patients, from infancy through adolescence, and their families in an outpatient setting. This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to demonstrate competence in leading health promotion and disease prevention activities; in diagnosing, managing, and coordinating care for pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions; and in empowering patients and their families in pursuing positive health outcomes. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to collaborate with pediatric patients and their families in developing effective plans of care that build patient and family self-efficacy in the process of preventing and treating disease. All MSN Core courses, Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse must be completed before taking this course.

Special Populations Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse

Special Populations Primary Care for the Advanced Practice Nurse prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to provide primary healthcare to unique patient populations in the outpatient setting. This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to demonstrate competence in leading health promotion and disease prevention activities; in diagnosing, managing, and coordinating care for patients with specific disease processes; and in empowering patients and their families in pursuing positive health outcomes. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to collaborate with unique patient populations and their families in developing effective plans of care that build self-efficacy in the process of preventing and treating specific disease processes. All MSN Core courses, Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse must be completed before taking this course.

Health Promotion of Patients and Populations Across the Lifespan

Health Promotion of Patients and Populations Across the Lifespan prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to provide health promotion activities to individuals and populations. This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to incorporate individual characteristics, population factors, and social determinants of health (SDOH) in determining the most efficient use of finite resources in leading health promotion activities. This course will also prepare the graduate nursing student to lead health promotion activities for individuals and specific populations across the lifespan. All MSN Core courses, as well as Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Advanced Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse must be completed before taking this course.

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship I

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship I prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to deliver primary care to individuals, families, and groups throughout the life span. Using the precepted clinical setting, this course will provide opportunities for the graduate nursing student to combine competencies developed in preparatory advanced practice coursework to deliver patient-centered healthcare. This course will also provide the graduate nursing student with opportunities to conduct advanced health assessments and use the competencies of advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health promotion for individuals and populations across the life span to build self-efficacy in individuals and groups, determine correct diagnoses, and establish plans of care that include patient and population preferences. All MSN Core courses and FNP Specialty courses must be completed before taking this course.

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship II

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship II prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to deliver primary care to individuals, families, and groups throughout the life span. Using the precepted clinical setting, this course will provide opportunities for the graduate nursing student to combine competencies developed in preparatory advanced practice coursework to deliver patient-centered healthcare. This course will also provide the graduate nursing student with opportunities to conduct advanced health assessments and use the competencies of advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health promotion for individuals and populations across the life span to build self-efficacy in patients and groups, determine correct diagnoses, and establish plans of care that include patient and population preferences. All MSN Core courses and FNP Specialty courses must be completed before taking this course.

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship III

Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Internship III prepares the graduate nursing student to perform the role of an advanced practice nurse with the essential competencies and skills necessary to deliver primary care to individuals, families, and groups across the lifespan. Using the precepted clinical setting, this course will provide opportunities for the graduate nursing student to combine competencies developed in preparatory advanced practice coursework to deliver patient-centered healthcare. This course will also provide the graduate nursing student with opportunities to conduct advanced health assessments and utilize the competencies of advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health promotion for individuals and populations across the life span to build self-efficacy in individuals and groups, determine correct diagnoses, and establish plans of care that include patient and population preferences. All MSN Core courses and FNP Specialty must be completed before taking this course.

Program requirements and expectations.

The M.S. Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) program is a mostly online program that you will complete by studying and working independently with support and instruction from WGU faculty. You will be expected to complete at least 8 competency units (WGU's equivalent of the credit hour) each 6-month term. (Each course is typically 3 or 4 units). 

The first person you speak with at WGU will be your Enrollment Counselor, who can explain requirements and expectations in more detail. You can also read more about each course in the Program Guide.

Download the complete Program Guide

Special requirements for this program:

While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nurse practitioner program includes some requirements—including clinical internships—that must be completed in a facility near you, and the university will work with you through the approval process.

Quality you can trust: Curriculum developed with guidance from healthcare employers and experts.

Program councils—teams of industry and academic experts—drive the development of our programs, providing input on the competencies a successful graduate needs to have mastered.


Your family nurse practitioner master's degree is attainable—start by enrolling today.

Next possible start

Varies

We have limited space. If admitted, WGU will grant a start date based on a variety of factors.

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Complete the interest form.

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Admission requirements unique to our Master of Science, Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program.

To be considered for this program, you must:

  • Possess a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) from an accredited institution.
  • Possess a current, active, unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license from AND a permanent residence in an applicable state (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah.). Students must complete the internships in their state of residence/license and intend to obtain initial APRN licensure in that state.
  • Submit to a criminal background check through American Databank. Additional fees may apply.
  • Submit a cover letter and professional resume or CV outlining your academic, professional, and service history.  
  • Submit a letter of intent. You must submit a 1-2-page student statement detailing your experience in nursing and explaining why you want to become an FNP. This document helps us understand your unique situation and personal goals.

Making an informed admission decision.

WGU seeks to admit individuals who have the capacity and determination to complete a rigorous WGU degree program … and graduate. The admission process is designed to help you and the university reach an informed decision about your likelihood of success.

At WGU we want you to graduate, not just enroll. Consequently, not every applicant is admitted because not every individual has the capacity and determination to complete a rigorous WGU degree program.

  • Provide three letters of recommendation from: 
    1. A supervisor or manager who directly supervised you in a clinical setting.
    2. A professor, faculty member, or academic advisor who can provide meaningful input regarding your academic record.
    3. A practicing healthcare provider (APRN/NP, PA, MD, DO) who has served as a mentor or whom you have shadowed, preferably in the specialty to which you are applying.
    Note: Access the Letter of Recommendation request form through your enrollment portal. Please note, all letters of recommendation are kept confidential and are not shared with the applicant.
  • Have earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the following 5 courses OR hold a BSNU degree from WGU:
    - Anatomy / Physiology I  w/lab (equivalent to 4 semester hours)
    - Anatomy / Physiology II  w/lab (equivalent to 4 semester hours)
    - Statistics (equivalent to 3 semester hours)
    - Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan (equivalent to 3 semester hours)
    - Pharmacology (equivalent to 2 semester hours)
    Note: All courses must be awarded a C- or above to meet this requirement.


It is strongly preferred that applicants have one year of clinical experience and be actively working as an RN at the time of application as these will be competitive factors in the admission decision-making process. 

Details about WGU’s FNP clinical sites and preceptors.

Find answers to key questions about the FNP clinical experience below. 

The WGU FNP program culminates with three clinical internship courses that together consist of 650 precepted direct patient care clinical hours. 

You will work with preceptors in clinics in your local community, as available, to train in the provision of primary care. To do so, you will need to be in clinical sites that allow you access to patients across the lifespan, with sufficient experiences in treating the wide variety of conditions and full spectrum of complexity found in primary care.

No. You can only complete clinical hours within the states where WGU’s FNP program is currently offered and where you possess a current, unencumbered RN license. 

WGU’s FNP program is currently only offered in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Yes. Students will work with the Clinical Experience Team to submit potential clinical sites and preceptors for approval. WGU will evaluate the appropriateness of each clinical site and preceptor and provide approval as appropriate. 

Yes. The WGU FNP program prepares you to take the FNP national certification exam of your choice from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification Program.

The instructional cost of the multi-day clinical intensive workshop is included in your tuition. However, students are responsible for paying the travel, lodging, food, and other associated costs to attend and participate in the workshop as well as their clinical rotations.

Any clinical hours completed at your current place of employment must not be part of your regular employment responsibilities or schedule. While your current place of employment may be approved as a clinical site, your preceptor may not be your employment direct supervisor. 

The number of clinical sites that you need is based on how well each site prepares you to meet the core WGU FNP competencies. Collectively, the clinical sites must provide you with access to patients across the lifespan, with sufficient experiences in treating the wide variety of conditions and full spectrum of complexity found in primary care. 

The multi-day clinical intensives occur in the term just prior to starting the clinical internship courses (your final term). The clinical intensives allow you to practice and demonstrate competence in procedural and clinical skills prior to starting precepted clinical practice. The ambulatory skills that will be taught and evaluated as part of the clinical intensives include suturing, splinting and casting, skin biopsies, joint injections, foreign body removal, as well as other ambulatory care skills. After the multi-day clinical intensives, you will be ready to maximize the time with your clinical preceptors in perfecting your ambulatory skills in the clinical internship courses.

Have more questions? Talk with a WGU Enrollment Counselor.

Request info
“Enrollment was perfectly easy for me. I was able to submit online and somebody called me within a day to start the whole process. Within two or three weeks I was ready to go for my first term.” Bryon Denton
M.S. Nursing – Education

An online family nurse practitioner degree program built for a busy nurse’s schedule.

Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a degree program that's more than simply online—you need a nursing program that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience. At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you’ve learned. How—and how quickly—is largely up to you.

Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career as an effective nurse practitioner is at the heart of WGU’s M.S. Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum. Other universities' online M.S. programs may give you the convenience of distance learning; WGU's competency-based online programs take that flexibility further—many steps further!

Designed for working nurses.

Day shift, night shift, or on-call; flu season or the onslaught of summertime injuries; five-minute coffee breaks where you’re still on your feet… A nurse’s schedule is never predictable—and not very forgiving. That’s why our programs focus on making the best use of your time and experience and why we maximize the real-world impact of the competencies you master—so your years as a nurse can help you graduate faster, and the hours of study time you squeeze in actually pay off at work.

The standard pace of the program will take 2.5 years to complete. Students who successfully complete the standard 5-term pace are committing an average of 30 hours per week to their studies. Accelerating the program to two years may be an option for some students. 

Alternatively, you can choose to complete the clinical hours part time, finishing the program in 6 terms or a total of 3 years. 

Students must complete 650 direct patient care clinical hours. The standard pace of the program is to spend 3 to 4 days a week in clinical hours, until you total 650 hours. 

If you choose to complete the clinical hours on a part-time basis, then you will spend 1 to 2 days a week in clinicals, until you total 650 hours.  

The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN is not WGU's only degree designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. If this degree program isn't the right fit for you, you may also be interested in our Master of Health Leadership program or our MBA Healthcare Management. Compare our health leadership degrees here.

Finish courses by proving what you know, as soon as you’re ready.

With competency-based education at WGU, success is measured by actual learning, not class time. You advance by demonstrating that you've mastered the course subject matter—whether you learned it through your study at WGU or picked up that knowledge through years of work experience.

Your progress through a course is driven by you.
How quickly you learn

+

The time you devote to studying

+

How much previous knowledge you bring

A Family Nurse Practitioner MSN prepares you to delivery primary care with a comprehensive perspective.

Once you have completed this mostly online M.S. Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner degree program, you will have the knowledge and skills to be an outstanding nurse practitioner. You'll be in demand because you'll be prepared to take your extensive nursing experience and transform it into specific patient-care as a healthcare provider. Graduates of this program will be prepared to practice in primary care settings serving as primary care providers. This is not an acute or emergency care FNP program.

WGU's MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner grads can expect rewarding careers.

When you become a family nurse practitioner you can work in a variety of settings. This program can prepare you to work as a primary care FNP in:

Outpatient primary care and specialty clinics
Family practice clinics
Urgent care clinics
Women's health clinics
Pediatric clinics
Corporate wellness centers

Hospitals
Retail health centers
Telehealth clinics
Community health centers
Rural health centers
Federal qualified health centers

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WGU is a university committed to producing successful grads.

The ultimate test of your degree's value is whether it helps you become an outstanding employee and advance your career. Our happy grads—and their happy employers—confirm that WGU is the path to that kind of degree.

  • Happy employers
  • Happy grads

They're Prepared.

Blue colored circular bar graph that shows that 100% of employers that were surveyed felt that WGU grads were prepared for their jobs.

Employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They Perform.

Green colored circular bar graph that shows that 93% of employers that were surveyed rated WGU grads' job performance as very good or excellent.

Employers rated WGU graduates' job performance as very good or excellent.

They Wow.

Purple colored circular bar grap that shows that 94% of employers that were surveyed felt that WGU grads had exceeded their expectations.

Employers said their WGU graduates have exceeded their expectations.

They're Confident.

Blue double bar graph comparing how confident WGU grads were that their coursework related to their jobs WGU: 78%, U.S. avg: 68%

Graduates said the majority of their coursework was related to their jobs.

They're Working.

Green double bar graph comparing how many WGU grads are working full-time compared to grads from other universities. WGU: 88%, U.S. avg: 71%

Graduates are working full-time.

They're Satisfied.

Purple double bar graph comparing how many WGU grads felt satisfied that their degrees were worth paying for WGU: 91%, U.S. avg: 67%

Graduates said their degrees were worth the cost of their education.

Source: 2018 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers; 2018 Harris Poll Online survey of 1,374 new college graduates nationwide compared with survey of 1,147 WGU graduates; Gallup-Purdue Index 2018

“Our partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers.” John Steele, Senior Vice President of Human Resources,
HCA Healthcare