Family Nurse Practitioner

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Overview

This specialty prepares advanced practice nurses to be primary health care providers for individuals of all ages and their families. With more than 700 precepted clinical hours, students develop expertise in the management of care for individuals across the life span, emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention, as well as diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases. Graduates of this specialty are eligible for certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Sample Plans of Study

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (Three-Year) Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits 
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits 
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
Total: 10 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-Based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NDNP 840: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 841: Diagnosis and Management 1: Introduction to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NRSG 780: Population Health and Promotion 3 Credits
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
NDNP 725: Advanced Pediatric Pathophysiology, Developmental Assessment and Health Promotion 2 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
NDNP 842: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits
NDNP 843: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 13 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NURS 810: Evidence-Based Health Policy 3 Credits
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
NDNP 844: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits
NDNP 845: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 14 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
NDNP 846: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 847: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 7 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 848: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Immersion: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 849: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (Four-Year) Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
Total: 6 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
Total: 6 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
Total: 4 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits 
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NDNP 840: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits
NDNP 841: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 7 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NDNP 725: Advanced Pediatric Pathophysiology, Developmental Assessment, and Health Promotion 2 Credits 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NDNP 842: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits 
NDNP 843: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
NDNP 844: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits 
NDNP 845: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 3
NDNP 846: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 847: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 848: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Immersion: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 4
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 849: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 9 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (Five-Year) Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits 
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits 
Total: 6 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
Total: 7 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits 
Total: 3 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
ELECTIVE or Necessary Specialty Course 3 Credits
Total: 6 Credits
Summer Year 2 
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits 
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 5 Credits
Fall Year 3 
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits 
NURS 723: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Life Span 3 Credits
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
Total: 10 Credits
Spring Year 3 
NDNP 840: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning 2 Credits 
NDNP 841: Diagnosis and Management 1: Intro to Diagnostic Reasoning Clinical 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Summer Year 3
NDNP 725: Advanced Pediatric Pathophysiology, Developmental Assessment and Health Promotion 2 Credits
Total: 2 Credits
Fall Year 4
NDNP 842: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic 4 Credits
NDNP 843: Diagnosis and Management 2: Common Health Conditions, Episodic and Chronic Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
Total: 7 Credits
Spring Year 4
NDNP 844: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions 4 Credits
NDNP 845: Diagnosis and Management 3: Acute and Chronic Complex Conditions Clinical Practicum/Seminar 3 Credits (135 Hours)
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
Total: 8 Credits
Summer Year 4
NDNP 846: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes 2 Credits
NDNP 847: Diagnosis and Management 4: Integration of Multiple Health Problems and Complex Clinical Syndromes: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 2 Credits (90 Hours)
Total: 4 Credits
Fall Year 5
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 848: Diagnosis and Management 5: Professional Practice Integration: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 4 Credits (180 Hours)
Total: 5 Credits
Spring Year 5
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit (45 Hours)
NDNP 849: Diagnosis and Management 6: Integration of Practice and Leadership: Clinical Practicum/Seminar 5 Credits (225 Hours)
Total: 6 Credits
TOTAL 79 CREDITS (55 Didactic/24 Clinical Credits [1,080 Clinical Hours]) 

Faculty

Specialty Director:

Bridgitte Gourley, DNP, CRNP, assistant professor

Faculty Members:

Elaine Bundy, DNP, CRNP, assistant professor
Bridgitte Gourley, DNP, CRNP, assistant professor and specialty director
Hazel Jones-Parker, DNP, MSN, AP, RN, BC, FNP, affiliate assistant professor
Kristen Rawlett, FNP-BC, clinical instructor
Gina Rowe, PhD, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC, CNE, assistant professor
Karen Scheu, DNP, FNP-BC, assistant professor
Debra Scrandis, PhD, CRNP, BC, assistant professor

FAQs

Click here for general FAQs regarding the DNP.

How long does it take to complete the specialty?

Students can choose from several options for completing their studies. Click the Sample Plans of Study tab to view each of the different options.

What type of nursing experience should applicants have?

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) enrolls all types of nurses in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty, and number of years of experience range from minimal to more than 20 years. Our most successful students have demonstrated excellent clinical skills and are highly adaptable. Applicants should have experience in caring for people across the lifespan as well as the family unit either through their employment or through volunteer work.

Where can graduates work? What is the job market like for graduates of this specialty?

FNPs provide primary care in a variety of settings such as clinics, private physician and nurse practitioner practices, nursing homes, schools, institutes of higher education, urgent care centers and public health departments in both urban and rural areas. Nurse practitioners help ease the primary care provider shortage in the United States, especially given the emphasis on health care reform measures and the patient-centered medical home.

How much hands-on clinical time will need to be completed?

The minimum number of practicum hours required for the DNP degree is 1,000 hours. For UMSON graduates to be eligible for their respective board certification exams, they must complete the DNP degree. Refer to the plans of study for the number of clinical hours required each semester.

Do students have to find their own preceptor or clinical site? Can they do their clinical rotations where they work?

Students are not required to find their own preceptor or clinical site. UMSON faculty members are committed to assigning students to clinical sites that are appropriate for course and program objectives. We are fortunate to have contacts with many nurse practitioner alumni and other providers who serve as preceptors. UMSON has clinical contracts with agencies in a variety of settings across the state of Maryland and in Washington, D.C. Students with a particular clinical site/preceptor of interest may forward the contact information to the course faculty member so the faculty member can determine whether the site is appropriate to meet the course objectives. Students should not complete their clinical rotations in the specific environments where they are employed due to a potential conflict of interest. Final approval of clinical site placement is at the faculty member’s discretion.

Clinical practicum settings are outpatient and community-based, such as in a family practice, primary care office, public and private clinics, and urgent care centers. Students will practice with nurse practitioners and physicians and will complete clinical practicum hours in women’s health, adult, geriatric, and pediatric populations. Clinical hours are generally obtained Monday through Friday during routine office hours. It is not uncommon for students to commute 1-2 hours one way to clinical sites.

Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application?

Many variables are taken into consideration when reviewing a student’s application for admission. A strong foundation in courses such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment is one key to success. Writing and grammar skills are also critically important for graduate-level education. Taking a writing course, particularly a technical writing course, may be of assistance. You may take these courses at a university of your preference. In addition, an applicant’s involvement in professional and organizational activities, as well as other scholarly activities, is evidence of leadership capabilities and interests. Current clinical experience is ideal and completion of certification in your specialty area is strongly recommended. We highly recommend that you spend several hours shadowing an advanced practice nurse in the specialty you wish to pursue.

How can I get additional information?

For more information regarding admissions to this specialty, please contact the UMSON Admissions Office at: 410-706-0501, option #2 or admissions@son.umaryland.edu.