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Overview of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Majors Overview January 12, 2018

This article talks about the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree program in family nurse practitioner and its education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program in Family Nurse Practitioner(FNP)

Master of Science (MS) in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree program can teach prospective family nurse practitioners the practical skills and education they would need to treat patients and families in the healthcare setting. Students can gain expertise in ordering x-rays, prescribing medication and performing numerous duties of a physician.

In the FNP master’s program, registered nurses (RNs) are taught ways of assessing and managing the health of families through risk reduction, health promotion, and health maintenance procedures. Participation in evidence-based practice and clinical placements can help nurse students gain hands-on experience in the primary healthcare nursing of women, children, families, and adults. Program graduates can expect to gain a strong grasp of the nursing theories and research, along with the practical experience necessary for transitioning to a primary healthcare provider.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require submission by applicants of transcripts of any undergraduate coursework. Requirements also include submitting curriculum vitae, copies of their current RN license and CPR certification, documentation of hours worked in a clinical environment, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores may also be necessary.


Program coursework may cover subject areas such as research design, nursing issues, and nursing theories. Students are expected to complete a thesis or clinical practicum. The program entails completion of about 700 hours of clinical study. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•End of life care
•Professional ethics
•Health promotion assessment

Career Options

Program graduates can expect to gain the practical knowledge and diagnostic skills they would need for providing acute, primary, and specialty care in various healthcare settings. They may also choose from career opportunities in:

•Women’s health
•Primary care
•Critical care
•Long-term care

Job and Wage Outlook

Nurse practitioners are expected to see a much-faster-than-average job growth of 31%, over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) along with over 203,000 jobs available in this field. In May 2016, nurse practitioners brought in an average annual wage of $107,460.

Continuing Education Options

Program graduates may seek entry-level careers or continuing education via a certificate or doctorate program. Students enrolled in postmaster’s certificate programs engage in the exploration of other areas of nursing, including community health or administration. Students may also opt for enrollment in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) that could lead to careers in academia or research.

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