2011 - 2012 Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Admission | Progression in the Program | Probation and Suspension | Graduation Requirements | Program Requirements | MSN Plan of Study | FNP Certificate | Course Descriptions

Sheryl Steadman, Dean
Robert Nicholes, Program Director

The Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program builds on a baccalaureate nursing degree to prepare advanced practice nurses in the areas of primary health care. FNP students will be prepared to provide holistic care with a health-promotion focus and address concerns in today's dynamic and complex health care environment.

After graduation, FNP students are eligible to take the American Nurse Credential Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) certification exam and apply for Utah licensure as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) with prescriptive authority.


The Master of Science in Nursing FNP program at Westminster College offers an education to prepare nursing professionals for the advanced practice role of family nurse practitioner (FNP). The FNP is grounded in a philosophy that identifies an excellent practitioner as one who thinks critically, communicates effectively, understands personal values, respects the values of others, and incorporates ethical principles into practice. The program enhances students' understanding of theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge related to advanced practice nursing.

Program Goals

The graduate of the FNP program will be prepared to:

  1. Establish therapeutic nurse/client relationships while providing primary care.
  2. Use a holistic approach to assess, diagnose, prescribe therapies, and consider ethical issues in managing the client's health over a period of time.
  3. Provide culturally sensitive care through the synthesis of a baccalaureate nursing education with advanced practice nursing knowledge.
  4. Articulate, integrate, evaluate and promote the advanced nurse practitioner role in the changing health care system.
  5. Collaborate on research projects and provide clinical expertise for research and theory development.
  6. Apply critical thinking skills in personal and professional transitional situations.
  7. Apply teaching skills in the area of health promotion and disease or injury prevention when in the teaching/coaching domains of practice.

Admission to the FNP Program

See the Admission to the College section for admission requirements.

Progression in the FNP Program

The student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  2. Receive a grade of B or higher in all courses.
  3. Cumulative test/quiz scores must average 80% or higher in all courses, or the student will not be able to progress. If a student does not achieve 80% or higher, the course grade will reflect only the average test/quiz scores achieved by the end of the course.
  4. Complete the program in 4 years from time of admission.
  5. Maintain current Utah RN license in good standing.
  6. Complete all scholarly paper requirements according to identified time schedules.
  7. Maintain no history of arrest and a negative drug screen.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

See the Grading and Academic Standards section for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a clinical or classroom experience if the faculty determines that the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from program probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student will be dismissed from the nursing program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Violations of the academic honesty policies.
  2. Violation of the American Nurses Association "Code for Nurses" guidelines for ethical practice, or the National Student Nurses' Association "Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct."
  3. Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) appropriate to the program.
  4. A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  5. Unsafe practice during the clinical experience.
  6. A grade of B- or below in a second nursing course OR a repeated nursing course during the entire program.
  7. Failure to notify the School of Nursing and Health Sciences of changes in a criminal arrest history.

Appeals for Readmission

See the Grading and Academic Standards section for information on appeals for readmission.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a master’s degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the student.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 42 semester hours is required for graduation. The acceptance of transfer credit, up to 9 hours, is individually evaluated. The minimum number of clinical practice hours for the program are 504 hours.

Requirement Description
Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 42
  MSN 500 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
MSN 501 Advanced Pathophysiology
MSN 532 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
MSN 540 Theoretical Found. of Advanced Practice Nursing
MSN 550 Health Care and Health Promotion of Adults And Older Adults/Clinical Seminar
MSN 570 Research in the Practice Setting
MSN 581 Health Care and Health Promotion of Young Adults/Clinical Seminar
MSN 582 Health Care and Health Promotion of Infants through Adolescents/Clinical Seminar
MSN 584 Ambulatory Care Procedures
MSN 601 Role and Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing
MSN 610 Masters Project
MSN 639 Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar
MSN 670 Synthesis: Practice in Context

MSNFNP Program Plan of Study

A full-time student may complete the program within 5 semesters, including one summer. A part-time plan of study may be available on request, with the exception of the first semester.

  Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Year 1 MSN 500 (3/1)
MSN 501 (3/0)
MSN 540 (3/0)
MSN 532 (3/0)
MSN 550 (2/2)
MSN 570 (2/0)
MSN 584 (3/0)
MSN 581 (2/2)
Year 2 MSN 582 (2/2)
MSN 601 (2/0)
MSN 610 (3/0)
MSN 670 (2/0)
MSN 639 (0/5)
MSN 699 (0) [if needed]
MSN 650 (0) [if needed]
MSN 699 (0) [if needed]

*Note: one clinical hour equals a minimum of 42 hours in a clinical setting.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Option

An FNP certificate is available to individuals with a Master of Science degree in nursing who are nationally certified as nurse practitioners. The focus of this certificate fulfills requirements to be able to become nationally certified as a family nurse practitioner.

Permission to complete an FNP certificate may be granted after evaluation of the previous course of study and development of a current educational plan. An individualized plan of study is developed based on previous advanced practice preparation. All certificate students are required to take MSN 639 (Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar) and MSN 670 (Synthesis; Practice in Context). In addition, other courses may be identified to insure competency in a family nurse practitioner focus.

The program director grants permission to complete an FNP certificate after evaluation of the previous course of study. An individualized plan of study is developed based on the evaluation of previous advanced practice preparation. All certificate students are required to take MSN 639 (Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar) and MSN 670 (Synthesis: Practice in Context).