2013–2014 Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Mission | Program Outcomes | Admission | Progression in the Program | Probation and Dismissal | Graduation | Program Requirements | FNP Option | 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. Students develop attributes essential to provide excellent, balanced healthcare across the lifespan. Students integrate clinical judgment and critical thinking into the provision of culturally appropriate patient-centered care. They 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 students 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 Admission to the College section for admission requirements.

Progression in the FNP Program

The student must:

Maintain a background check free of arrest and a negative drug screen Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

See Grading and Academic Standards 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:

Appeals for Readmission

See Grading and Academic Standards 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 43 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 is 546 hours.

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 43  

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     Master’s Project (3)                                                         
MSN       639     Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar (6)            
MSN      670      Synthesis: Practice in Context (2)  



MSNFNP Program Plan of Study


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 (0/6)
MSN 699 (0) [if needed]

MSN 650 (0) [if needed]
MSN 699 (0) [if needed]

Note: one clinical hour equals a minimum of 43 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.