Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Available Online

The Post-Graduate FNP Certificate will prepare advanced practice nurses to manage the care of individuals and families across the lifespan. This program is designed for nurses who hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), who wish to advance their knowledge, education, and skills to practice in an advanced practice role as a FNP. Graduates are eligible to sit for the FNP national certification examinations offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The program emphasis is to foster the FNP’s abilities to critically think; make differential diagnoses; use evidence-based findings to improve healthcare outcomes; and be accountable for the provision of healthcare to diverse individuals and families in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, management of acute and chronic health conditions and primary care. The FNP provides clinical management of primary care conditions in a variety of clinics and community-based settings.

*This certificate program is a non-degree, graduate-level program. Upon completion of the program, participant receives a Post-Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate.

This program is approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admission Requirements
To be eligible for admission to the Post-Graduate FNP Certificate program at National University, candidates must:

  • Meet the University requirements for graduate study, listed in the General Catalog under admission requirements
  • Hold a Master’s or doctoral degree in nursing from a State Board of Nursing approved and/or regionally and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Provide proof of current, active, and unencumbered RN license in the State of residence
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in graduate course work, on a 4.0 scale
  • Have 1-year recent clinical practice as a professional nurse
  • Have completed the University Application for Graduate Admissions, including the application fee
  • Have completed the Post-Graduate Certificate application packet
  • Provide one official transcript from each college or university attended to the Department of Nursing
  • Provide evidence of current, active professional liability and malpractice insurance coverage throughout the program.
  • Have three professional recommendation forms, preferably from individuals who hold graduate or doctoral degrees
  • Provide evidence of specified immunizations, a report of a recent physical clearance, a clear drug screen and background check, and current BLS-AED certification
  • Mandatory Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Forum: View the a Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Program Information Forum which will describe the process for applying to and acceptance into the Nursing Program. The specifics described are: number of Nursing courses, sequence of courses, requirements for progression in the Program. Note: Prospective Students must have viewed the Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Forum before submitting the application packet.

Additional pre-requisite requirements
Students should be proficient in operating a personal computer, including: demonstrated competency in standard computer operating systems and electronic filing systems, basic keyboarding skills, organizing and sorting electronic documents; demonstrated knowledge of standard computer applications to include Microsoft Word and Excel; familiarity with using internet browsers and standard email systems such as MS Outlook.

This is a hybrid program that includes both online, onsite and clinical preceptored learning activities. It is offered at an accelerated pace of full-time study using an executive weekend format once per month (e.g. Thursday - Saturday). All accepted applicants must attend all orientation activities, including virtual online meetings and a one-day mandatory campus orientation. Students in the FNP and PMHNP specializations are required to attend once every three months onsite Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). In addition, FNP and PMHNP practicum courses are offered as immersion practicum experiences, conducted in faculty approved, in-person, preceptored clinical settings.

Additional Information
Students who request a change in specialization after they have been admitted to a prior specialization must re-submit an application packet including a new goal statement, and one recommendation form completed addressing the new specialization area. A new resume is not required. All prerequisites must be met prior to admissions into the new specialization. The new application will be re-submitted via the Graduate Nursing E-form Application in SOAR by the admissions advisor.

Students who withdraw from the program or withdraw their application prior to beginning the program will not need to re-apply if the point of initial application occurred within one year of re-application. Students requesting to be re-admitted after one year of initial application for admissions will need to resubmit a new application packet including all required items needed for the application packet and drug screening, background check, immunizations and physical examination. Re-application to the program does not guarantee acceptance or provide an advantage to being accepted.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge derived from the physical and behavioral sciences and humanities as a basis for professional advanced clinical nursing practice.
  • Devise evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention strategies at the patient, family, organizational, community, and population levels for the purpose of improving healthcare outcomes.
  • Utilize current technologies to deliver, enhance, and document care across multiple settings to achieve optimal outcomes.
  • Advocate for culturally sensitive health care systems and policies that meet ethical and legal standards as a means to improve outcomes and reduce disparity.
  • Model collaboration with interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary teams in healthcare systems delivering care to complex, multi-need patients, families, and communities.
  • Analyze the impact of national and global health policy on the cost, quality, and access to care in diverse patient populations.


The Post-Graduate FNP Certificate Program of Study includes 46.5 quarter units. Refer to the General Catalog section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. Students must obtain 645 hours at an approved practicum site with a designated approved preceptor during the practicum courses. Student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and must maintain a B average (84%) in all core and specialty courses. NOTE: Program Fees...............................................$10,125
Students must take courses in sequence.
Requirements for the Certification (10 courses; 46.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Experienced, practicing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) can waive NSG 641, NSG 681, and NSG 682. All others can waive NSG 641 and NSG 681 if taken less than five (5) years prior to application to the Certificate Program, and NSG 682 if taken less than seven (7) years prior to application to the Certificate Program. Doctoral level courses may be used to waive these courses.