DNP Family Nurse Practitioner

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Congratulations to our 2021 Spring DNP graduates for achieving a 100% first-time pass rate on the Family Nurse Practitioner National Certification Exam!


Available Pathways

BSN to FNP DNP (Full-time and Part-time)

Post-Master’s FNP to DNP (may require additional courses if original NP population foci was in another track)

Post-MSN (non-NP) to FNP DNP

Post-Master’s/DNP to FNP certificate

What is an FNP?

An FNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who provides a broad range of family-focused health care services to patients of all ages, including infants, adolescents, adults, and seniors. FNPs keep and maintain patient records; perform physical exams; order/perform and interpret diagnostic tests; prescribe medications and other therapies; develop treatment plans; and treat acute and chronic illnesses, conditions and injuries that fall under primary care. FNPs practice in a variety of health care settings, including community health centers, private practice, health care systems and schools/universities.

Why Choose FNP?

Students should choose the FNP track if they enjoy working with diverse communities and focusing on health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan. As an FNP, the learner will learn how to deliver family-focused care in diverse, non-hospital settings to patients from different backgrounds, including underserved and vulnerable populations. FNPs encourage preventative care and support the treatment of acute and chronic conditions in the context of the family unit. Our FNP track strongly emphasizes the broad, comprehensive preparation necessary for primary care practice throughout the life cycle.

Our FNP students are prepared to:

  • Utilize developmental, patient and family-centered approaches;
  • Partner with patients and families for health promotion and disease prevention;
  • Perform comprehensive health assessments, including ordering and interpreting diagnostic procedures;
  • Make differential diagnoses and manage acute and chronic health problems; based on a robust foundation in the biological sciences;
  • Prescribe and evaluate therapies (medication and non-medication based); and
  • Serve as leaders in healthcare systems and advocate for nursing and the role of the Family Nurse Practitioner.

Sites of Practice

Graduates from our FNP track practice independently and serve as valued members of larger health care teams. Our graduates practice in a range of settings and with diverse populations, including:

  • Primary care (adults and children)
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Urgent care (generally not in Emergency Rooms without additional training)
  • Veteran’s Health


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP Role

Our DNP program prepares the learner for an advanced practice role and to capably apply evidence to nursing practice consistent with improved patient outcomes.

The DNP program’s academic (didactic) curriculum and required clinical hours provide each student with a solid foundation to become a leader in the advanced practice nursing profession. Each student will have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized faculty for their clinical practice, research, and health advocacy work. Additionally, students will gain hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical experience within diverse organizations with expert clinical preceptors across the country (but local to the student).

By combining advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge in evaluating evidence-based research, students are empowered to become more capable and effective practitioners.

All Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks are offered online as full-time and part-time study tracks, with minimal on-campus skill practice and testing -The majority of our courses do have a synchronous [real-time] component and are delivered via Zoom.

Year One

Year one of the DNP program is offered online and requires no campus visits. Students will complete core DNP academic classwork with peers across all DNP tracks in the College of Nursing, along with the three pillars of advanced practice care delivery- Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment & Advanced Pharmacology. Content of year one courses includes:

  • Leadership and DNP role transition;
  • Appraisal and application of evidence to advance practice;
  • Health equity, health systems, and policy;
  • Wellness and health promotion; and
  • The 3 P’s.

Year Two

The second year includes track-focused classes, seminars, and clinical experiences. The DNP courses are comprised of distance learning methods, but now also include more intensive clinical experiences and three on-campus visits to complete Objective Clinical Skills Exams (OSCE). 

Year Three

In year three, students will work with faculty to complete an Evidence-based Quality Improvement DNP project/product based on AACN’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practicein collaboration with a clinical agency or organization local to the student.

In the final year of the program, students will continue clinical training and complete online course content. Learners will come to the FSU campus for an evaluative OSCE and final Project Exposition; students will also complete a comprehensive exit exam prior to graduation (HESI).


Post Master’s Certificate students complete all population-specific specialty courses for FNP certification within 26 credit hours and 750 clinical hours (the required 750 population-specific hours is a new national quality standard by NONPF* as of Fall 2022).

Students must have successfully completed Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment & Advanced Pharmacology (the 3 P’s) before being accepted into the program.

Appropriate Clinical Sites for Student Clinical Experiences

For FNP students, clinical experience hours will be completed at clinical sites that provide primary care, pediatrics and women’s health. A portion of hours can be completed in Urgent Care facilities and will include some clinical simulation for our DNP students.

National Certifications

After completing the FNP track, FNP students are eligible to sit for the FNP certification exams through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP).  


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Florida State University College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (



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Graduate Student Handbook




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