2012 - 2013 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

Dean: Sheryl Steadman
Program Director: Robert Nicholes

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, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program at Westminster College offers education that builds on a baccalaureate nursing education and provides students with the expertise required to engage in advanced nursing practice and leadership as a FNP. Graduates develop attributes essential to provide excellent, balanced healthcare across the lifespan. Graduates integrate clinical judgment and critical thinking into the provision of culturally appropriate patient-centered care. Students are also prepared to collaborate within interprofessional healthcare teams, integrate the evidence-based approach for practice decisions and apply quality improvement methods to provide safe, effective, patient-centered care. The program provides graduates with a deeper understanding of the discipline of nursing and encourages the integration of the art and science of nursing with other related disciplines in order to deliver holistic advanced nursing care.

Program Outcomes

The graduate of the FNP program will be educationally prepared to provide direct care to a diverse population of patients in clinical and community based systems. The graduate will be prepared to manage patient health promotion, health maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of health problems. The graduate will use his/her clinical competence and political efficacy to improve the health outcomes of populations and improve the quality of the healthcare system.

The FNP graduate will:

  1. Establish therapeutic relationships and use a holistic, culturally appropriate, evidence-based approach to assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatments for individuals, families, and clinical populations.
  2. Assume a leadership role in the development and implementation of health promotion interventions for individuals, families, and communities.
  3. Analyze healthcare policy and the effect of these policies on nursing practice and healthcare delivery in order to advocate for improved public healthcare outcomes and the profession of nursing.
  4. Integrate theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research, and interprofessional perspective to improve practice and associated health outcomes for patient populations.
  5. Employ interprofessional collaborative strategies utilizing information and communication technologies in the design, coordination, and evaluation of patient centered care.

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. If deemed necessary, program faculty may keep a student on probation for more than one semester. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student will be dismissed from the graduate 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

Applications for December graduation are due in March and applications for May and August graduation are due in September. 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 4
MSN 501 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
MSN 532 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice 3
MSN 540 Theoretical Found. of Advanced Practice Nursing 3
MSN 550 Health Care and Health Promotion of Adults And Older Adults/Clinical Seminar 4
MSN 570 Research in the Practice Setting 2
MSN 581 Health Care and Health Promotion of Young Adults/Clinical Seminar 4
MSN 582 Health Care and Health Promotion of Infants through Adolescents/Clinical Seminar 4
MSN 584 Ambulatory Care Procedures 3
MSN 601 Role and Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing 2
MSN 610 Masters Project 3
MSN 639 Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar 5
MSN 670 Synthesis: Practice in Context 2

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.

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). In addition, other courses may be identified to ensure competency in a family nurse practitioner focus.