The Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track is designed for the working registered nurse who is seeking education and clinical skills as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a program that is a mix of in-person and online.
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)- Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) – Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (FNP) tracks were developed in accordance with the National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education (2016), the APRN Consensus Model (2008), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Masters’ Education in Nursing (2011); the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2013), and according to the Pennsylvania State Board* of Nursing Rules and Regulations for Nurse Practitioner Licensure and Practice (Pennsylvania Code 21.369).
*Out of state students will need to visit their state’s Board of Nursing for Rules and Regulations for Nurse Practitioner Licensure and Practice.
The MSN-FNP and PMC-FNP tracks are designed to prepare students in the advanced practice role of the family nurse practitioner caring for families and individuals across the lifespan in a primary care setting. Graduates of the MSN-FNP program and post master’s students who complete program requirements of the PMC-FNP tracks are qualified to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination in order to apply for licensure as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Links to the two organizations that offer national certification for FNPs and the Certification Requirements Link- can be found at:
Courses vary in length from 7 to 15 weeks and will be offered in an online format.
The Department of Nursing faculty members are committed to quality and excellence in all Nursing programs. While the coursework is offered online, in order to maintain quality in our programs, residency requirements are essential to student success.
There are four residency requirements (a total of 11 days) for the students admitted to both of the FNP tracks. Attendance is mandatory for all four residencies in order to meet the program requirements. Students admitted to the MSN-FNP and PMC-FNP tracks are required to attend (in addition to the required two-day orientation upon admission to the MSN-FNP and PMC-FNP tracks), two three-day on campus residencies that are practice simulation labs. The first campus lab requirement will be three consecutive days during the Advanced Physical Assessment course prior to the required clinical experience with an assigned preceptor. The second three-day campus lab requirement will be three consecutive days during the next to the last clinical management course. The dates of these required residencies will be posted a year to 6 months in advance. These dates will fall approximately mid-semester in the first clinical course and the next one approximately mid-semester the next to the last clinical management course. The last required residency will be a three-day, face-to-face Live Review Course (off-campus) during the last clinical management course. The date and location of this course will be depend on when and where this review course is offered in this semester.
*Costs of travel and lodging related to residency requirements and clinical requirements to complete the program are in addition to the fees and the responsibility of the student.
Course Catalog Major Requirements
P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA, 17105; (717) 783-7142; https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Nursing/Pages/Board-Approved-Nursing-Education-Programs.aspx
Following successful completion of the master’s or post-master’s certificate program, students may be eligible to sit for the family nurse practitioner national certification examination from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB).
Students may be eligible for certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing or in any state in which the program is available for enrollment. We are working hard to expand the number of states in which each program is authorized. Refer to the University’s State Authorization web page for additional information and program availability.
Since this program leads to a professional license or certification, authorization may or may not be required of the University from the state professional licensing board prior to the student beginning a clinical or field experience in a state other than Pennsylvania. Check with your program clinical coordinator with questions about state professional licensure board requirements prior to enrollment. Any changes in state of residence after enrollment could affect eligibility to complete the program.
The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing requires that the Pharmacy course must be taken within 5 years of intended completion of the MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner program for the applicant for CRNP licensure to be eligible for prescriptive licensure. Students living outside of Pennsylvania should investigate the requirements of the State Boards of Nursing in their respective home state.
Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified and to have completed an accredited graduate nursing program in order to obtain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse. Each national certification provider and state Board of Nursing will have eligibility requirements in addition to these educational requirements, such as passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they are eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as an advanced practice registered nurse in their state. Students can obtain additional information from their state's Board of Nursing, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing website [https://www.ncsbn.org/contact-bon.htm] provides contact information for each state Board of Nursing.
For more information regarding authorization and licensure, visit the University’s State Authorization web page [https://www.francis.edu/State-Authorization/].
Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or local where student will complete clinical requirements. Licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required for clinical coursework completed in Pennsylvania.
Official transcripts verifying the conferral of a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree in nursing from an ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accredited program
BSN GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
Evidence of qualification and capacity for graduate study as reflected in the following:
Application essay that includes career goals
Two professional references (These letters should be completed by two people who can attest to your aptitude for graduate work and leadership in the profession.)
Experience/employment history/professional activity (e.g. community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments)
Minimum of one year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is required prior to registration in clinical or specialty courses
Interview with program faculty (in person, online, or by phone)
Ability to attend the required program residencies (and review course for FNP students).
Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission
Proficiency in English
All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org)
The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (Internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score
Applicants must meet the following prerequisites:
Completion of an introductory college-level course in statistics (200 level preferred)
Completion of an undergraduate physical assessment course
Demonstrated computer literacy (including the ability to send and download attachments) or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics
A maximum of six (6) graduate-level credits from a regionally accredited university and approved program may be transferred toward completion of the requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Transfer credit will only be accepted for courses in which a grade of “B” (GPA = 3.0 on 4.0 scale) or its equivalent has been received. These credits cannot have been applied to a previous degree. Courses taken over five years prior to admission will not be accepted. Official transcripts certifying graduate-level courses completed at another institution prior to admission to Saint Francis University are to be submitted at the time of application and will be evaluated for transfer of credits.
Contact MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Program Director for transfer credit evaluation.
Students will also be required to purchase course text books.
These estimated costs do not include any costs associated with travel/lodging to and from residency days and clinical experiences, required clinical clearances and background checks.
Please contact Financial Aid for student loan options at FinAid@francis.edu or (814) 472-3010.
View all Graduate Tuition and Fees
Grades in Prerequisite Courses: A graduate student is required to achieve a passing grade in a pre-requisite course in order to progress to the next course.
Grades in Required Courses: To progress toward the graduate degree in nursing, students must pass the clinical component of all clinical courses in order to pass the course regardless of the theory grade in the course. Students must also earn a minimum grade of “B” or 82% course average in all courses required in the program. Grades of B-, or below 82% course average, are not acceptable.
If a student receives a grade below a “B” or course average less than 82% in any course in the approved program of studies, this course must be repeated the next time it is offered.
All clinical experiences with the preceptor will be graded on a pass/fail basis by course faculty. A student must pass the clinical component of clinical courses in order to pass the course regardless of the theory grade earned in the course. Students who are not successful in passing the clinical portion of the clinical management course will receive a failure grade in the course regardless of the grade earned in the didactic portion of the course. The clinical evaluation scores cannot be rated lower than a “2” (letter grade C) on a 5-point scale to pass the clinical portion of a clinical course.
Clinical Remediation: Students who are evaluated as preforming unsatisfactory during clinical experiences will have an informal conference scheduled by the clinical preceptor with the student to provide the student with constructive feedback on how to improve clinical practice. If the student performance does not improve after this conference, the clinical preceptor will notify the FNP faculty member who together with the preceptor will construct a plan for remediation. This plan will be completed by the middle of the semester in order for the student to have time to improve the performance in clinical. The FNP faculty will notify the FNP Director and will issue the student an “academic warning“ to acknowledge the clinical preceptors concern along with the written clinical remediation plan to be placed in the student’s record. If the goals of the academic warning are not met by the student by the end of the clinical rotation, the clinical performance will be rated as unsatisfactory on the final clinical evaluation and the student will receive a failing clinical grade for the course.
If the student cannot perform at a safe level of practice and/or in a professional manner in clinical practice, the FNP faculty member and the FNP Director will be notified and the student will receive a failing clinical grade and the student will not be able to continue in the course
A course may be repeated only once.
If any graduate student receives two grades below a course average of 82% in the same course or in more than one course, he or she will be dismissed from the program.
If a student receives a cumulative course grade lower than an 82%, the student will receive an academic warning. A student may be placed on academic warning/probation only once during the program of study.
Graduate students with “F” grades on their SFU graduate transcripts will not be eligible for graduation, regardless of whether the failed course is part of the program degree requirements. In order to graduate, the student must retake the course or an equivalent course.
Students enrolled in the both FNP Tracks at SFU will be assigned a preceptor for a clinical course by the course faculty. It is the responsibility of the student to read and be familiar with the FNP Preceptor Handbook prior to beginning the clinical course. This information will be reviewed in detail during the campus orientation as well as the semester prior to beginning the clinical course.
Health requirements and clinical requirements must be completed the semester prior to registering for any FNP clinical course. This required information must be completed and submitted to the appropriate departments at Saint Francis University (as indicated on the cover sheet you will be receiving at the required orientation to the MSN Program). Failure to complete all requirements and be cleared by the given date (prior to registration for a clinical course) will prevent participation in any clinical experience. Costs related to the health/clinical requirements of school and agency as well as the travel related costs involved are in addition to the fees and the responsibility of the student. If you have prior felony convictions, you may be denied the opportunity to take professional licensing, certification, or registration exams, or may be denied a license or certification to practice in some states even if the exam is taken and successfully completed.
*All health services are offered at Saint Francis University in the Student Health Center. The physical exam may be completed at the Student Health Center or by your family medical provider. The student will incur the cost of these services. Saint Francis University’s Student Health Center determines the cost of these services, immunization titers, urine drug screen, and PPD.
Please submit all medical records to the Student Health Office at SFU. If the physical examination is done outside of the St Francis Student Health Center, students should keep a copy for their records before submitting to the Health Center. Copies of all health requirements must be submitted to Student Health Center, P. O. Box 600, Loretto, Pennsylvania 15940 or hand carried to Student Health Center, 108 Franciscan Way, Loretto, Pennsylvania. Student Health Center requests that all information be placed in a sealed envelope with your name clearly visible. PLEASE SUBMIT ALL INFORMATION AT THE SAME TIME.
As part of the faculty’s commitment to provide individualized support for continued success throughout the program, progression testing is done prior to starting the first clinical management course (Clinical Qualifying Exam) and in the last clinical management course (Comprehensive FNP Program Exam) prior to graduation.
The Clinical Qualifying Exam
(Given during approximately the 12th week of Advanced Physical Assessment course)
In order to determine the ability of students to synthesize the knowledge gained through the first three clinical core courses (The 3 P's), Advanced Pathophysiology, Pharmacology for the Family (Individual Across the Life Span) Nurse Practitioner Prescriber, and Physical Assessment/Differential Diagnosis, and the potential success in the clinical management courses that follow as well as national certification, students are required to pass a clinical qualifying examination. This examination is offered during the last weeks of the Physical Assessment course and before starting the first clinical management course that follows. The date for this online examination will be listed in the Physical Assessment/Differential Diagnosis course schedule at the beginning of the semester. All students enrolled in this course are required to complete this qualifying exam. The cost of this exam is part of the clinical fees. The passing score is determined by national data and the testing organization in conjunction with the University faculty. Students who achieve the passing score are considered to have synthesized the knowledge gained through completion of the first three FNP core courses (the 3 P’s) and are likely to meet the requirements to progress through the clinical management courses that follow. The qualifying exam is a national examination prepared through Advanced Practice Education Associates and used in many FNP programs nationally for many years.
Students who are not able to meet the passing score will receive individualized remediation with course faculty to assist them in increasing their knowledge and understanding in the identified content areas. The cost of the remediation materials will be the responsibility of the student as well as the cost of the second and third exam attempt. To be able to repeat the clinical qualifying examination, students must produce evidence of engagement in a remediation process. The second attempt at the examination will be within 3 weeks of the first exam attempt. If the student is not successful on the second attempt, the student will be permitted a third attempt after further remediation and evidence of remediation. This third exam will be within 3 weeks of the second attempt.
If the student does not pass the exam at the third attempt, the student is not permitted to progress to the clinical management course. To remain in the Program, the student will be required to register for an Independent Study (as an additional cost to the student) with required remediation in the next semester. The type of remediation will be based on the identified learning needs of the student. This can take many forms depending on the needs of the student. In the following term a fourth attempt of the qualifying exam can be scheduled. If the student is not able to achieve a passing score after four attempts on the clinical qualifying exam, the student will be dismissed from the program.
The Comprehensive FNP Exam
(Given in two parts [before the required Live Review course and after the Live Review course] during the last clinical management course in the program).
The Pre-Predictor Exam
This examination is administered to determine the ability of students who are about to graduate to synthesize the knowledge gained through the Family (Individual across the Lifespan) Program, and the student’s potential to successfully pass the national FNP Certification Examination to practice as an FNP. The qualifying exam is a national examination prepared through Advanced Practice Education Associates and used in many FNP programs nationally for many years. The cost of this exam is paid by the University as part of the clinical fee. This examination is given during the last clinical management course in the FNP program. This examination will be listed in the course schedule of the last clinical management course and given approximately 3 -4 weeks into the course and prior to the required Live Review Course offered in the Spring in a location off campus. The exam will be administered online. The results of this exam will be used to guide the student in knowing how to focus study for the Live Review Course material.
Live Review Course
As part of the preparation for FNP students to take the national certification board examination to be licensed to practice as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, SFU Master of Science in Nursing – Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner and Post-Master’s Certificate – Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner students are required to attend a live review course in the last clinical management course prior to graduation. The course will be taught off campus and attended by nurse practitioner students and practicing nurse practitioners from various schools of nursing and agencies. Costs for travel and lodging (if necessary) are the responsibility of the student).
The Post-Predictor Exam
The Post-Predictor Exam is administered at the end of the last semester in preparation for the certification exam. The passing score is determined by national data and the testing organization in conjunction with the University faculty. This exam is given 3 weeks after attendance at the FNP Live Review Course. The student has two more attempts to pass. If the student fails after the second attempt of the post-predictor exam, the student receives an “Incomplete” grade and is required to register for a Independent Study with an FNP faculty member. The student has a third attempt after this Independent Study. If not successful, student receives a failure for the course and must repeat the last clinical management course the next time it is offered. The student is responsible for any cost not covered by the clinical fee.
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