Earn Your MSN FNP Online
- Affordable tuition: $627/credit x 51 credits
- 52% projected growth for nurse practitioners through 20291
- Complete in under 2 years (full time; 2 courses per term)
- Learn from experts: 100% full-time faculty are doctorally-prepared
- Modern curriculum: Aligned with latest AACN Essentials
- Program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)2
Online MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner Overview
Earn the degree you need to enter one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation with our affordable online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track from Southern New Hampshire University.
In the wake of a global pandemic, the healthcare system is faced with the challenge of providing truly equitable care. This is especially true for underserved populations, where quality primary care providers are needed to treat populations with limited healthcare access.
Based on professional nursing standards and guidelines, this track is perfect for those looking to answer the call. As an FNP, you'll have the skills you need to step into a role as a primary care provider. You'll also be able to provide care in environments as diverse as family medicine, private practice, community health clinics and more.
Combining hundreds of hours of clinical practice and an immersion experience, this 51-credit program is built to prepare you for future success. This MSN track promotes advanced practice knowledge across the lifespan and is grounded in evidence-based practice, interprofessional leadership and global health awareness – helping you deliver quality care to diverse patient populations.
In this FNP track, you'll develop the skills you need to assess, diagnose, create treatment plans and manage the health of individuals across the lifespan with a variety of health needs.
Upon successful completion of the family nurse practitioner track, you'll have met the educational requirements to sit for a family nurse practitioner national certification examination.
You'll also learn to employ various clinical technological tools and applications, collaborate with a diverse group of healthcare professionals and provide primary care services to individuals, families and populations across the lifespan, consistent with independent practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
Learn how to:
- Apply evidence-based practice, informatics, and healthcare technologies to support continuous quality improvement in complex health systems
- Lead and collaborate within interprofessional teams and organizational structures to manage change, improve nursing practice, and coordinate care across populations
- Develop advanced communication and advocacy strategies to improve health outcomes across the four spheres of care
- Advance equitable health policies and regulations that reduce health risk and promote financial stewardship, in alignment with ethical and legal standards
- Integrate person-centered health promotion and disease prevention strategies to address actual and potential problems through the role of change agent and patient advocate
- Integrate an advanced level of scientific knowledge in the role of an advanced practice registered nurse to independently assess, diagnose, and manage the health outcomes of individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan in primary care settings
- Collaborate interprofessionally to provide high quality, ethical, and safe care to diverse populations
In addition to the online coursework, the FNP track requires 650 clinical practicum hours in a variety of primary care settings. You'll also participate in a multi-day, in-person immersion experience to demonstrate your skills.
Fast Track Your MSN
Ready for the next phase of your career? With SNHU's 5 MSN program tracks — updated to align with today’s healthcare standards — you'll be on your way to earn your degree faster, for less.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioners are the 2nd fastest growing occupation in the country – with 52% projected growth through 2029.2 This accounts for 110,700 new jobs.2
In May 2020, nurse practitioners reportedly earned a median annual salary of $111,680.2
According to the 2021 report, ''The Future of Nursing: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity," published by the National Academy of Medicine, NPs will play an important role in the future of healthcare.3
"Nurse practitioners (NPs) working in primary care are often the only providers caring for low-income or uninsured people, Medicaid beneficiaries, and historically disadvantaged groups in both rural and urban populations... who cannot always easily access a physician," the report noted. "These interactions give nurses opportunities to get to know and engage meaningfully with people and families on matters related to health and well-being, health care, and the social factors that influence health."
In a post-pandemic world, the skills you build as an FNP help position you to communicate effectively with patients via virtual visits for acute and wellness care, in addition to office care. You may also pursue roles precepting nurse practitioner students.
Top occupations and settings for graduates of the MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner track include:
- Primary care provider
- Teach/preceptor FNP students
- Telehealth provider
- Urgent care clinic
- Private practice
- Public health departments
- Outpatient settings
Start Your Journey Toward an Online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Degree
Why SNHU for your Master's in Nursing Family Nursing Practitioner
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.4 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your admission counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application and providing undergraduate transcripts.
MSN admission requirements for family nurse practitioner track:
- Must maintain an active unencumbered registered nurse license. Licensure exam must be equivalent to NCLEX-RN examination. (If a student holds active licenses in more than one state/jurisdiction, all licenses must be unencumbered.)
- Must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program (ACEN, CCNE and CNEA) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Must complete the MSN Program Acknowledgement Form
- Two years of fulltime work experience as a licensed registered nurse
- Identification of one potential preceptor for a clinical practicum
- Availability for one week-long in-person immersion experience
- No Provisional acceptance policy for this track
SNHU nursing programs are not authorized in the state of Washington or US territories and we are not accepting students residing in Washington state or US territories into nursing programs at this time. Currently enrolled students who move into the state of Washington or a US territory will not be able to continue in nursing courses until they move out of the state of Washington or the US territory. Prospective students are encouraged to contact admission, and current students should contact their advisor, for more information.
Please note that we are currently only accepting students in the family nurse practitioner track living in the following states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. Students must reside in one of these states while taking FNP courses at SNHU, and all practicum experiences must be completed in one of these states. Please note that the family nurse practitioner track is accepting applications from a limited number of students per term.
Applicants and students are advised that their success in their chosen program may be dependent on an ability to meet the Nursing Program Health and Technical Requirements (PDF).
Courses & Curriculum
The Online MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner track starts with online, innovative coursework, followed by a multi-day immersion experience before 650 practicum hours under the guidance of preceptors to help prepare for success as a practicing FNP.
Like all online master's in nursing tracks at SNHU, this program requires the following 5 core courses:
- Role Development and the Transformation of the MSN Nurse
- Interprofessional Leadership in Healthcare
- Epidemiological and Biostatistical Applications in Healthcare
- Global Health & Diversity
- Evidence-Based Practice & Scholarly Inquiry
Upon completing your core, you'll take the following FNP-specific courses:
- Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology. Build upon existing knowledge of physiology and pathologic aspects of human disease across the lifespan. Advanced clinical pathophysiology, pathobiology, immunology and genetics will all be analyzed. You'll gain knowledge to foster advanced clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. You'll then examine clinical manifestations of major health problems across the lifespan and explore the management of illness and health restoration.
- Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning. Build on previous clinical experience and prior knowledge to master health assessment skills and advanced communication strategies. You'll conduct comprehensive health assessments incorporating environmental, genetic, multicultural, ethnic and socioeconomic factors. You'll also gain mastery of the advanced history and physical exam, formulate plans to ensure effective patient-centered care and adapt your communication style to meet the specific needs of diverse individuals and families.
- Advanced Pharmacology for the Prescriber, Immersion. Apply the advanced principles of pharmacology for the nurse practitioner by analyzing drug classifications for the management of acute and chronic disease states across the lifespan. You'll use clinical reasoning to formulate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches for individuals within a primary care setting. Gain the foundational knowledge for prescribing medications across the lifespan, considering legal, ethical, quality, and regulatory implications. In this course, you'll participate in a required in-person immersion opportunity to demonstrate advanced principles of assessment, diagnostic skills, and pharmacotherapies in a simulated clinical environment. The immersion experience will also prepare you for an advanced practice role with prescriptive authority.
- Primary Care of Adults and Gerontological Patients. Apply evidence-based practice to the primary care of adult and gerontological populations. Concepts from pharmacology, pathophysiology and health assessment will be integrated with advanced practice nursing theory, process and research to assess, diagnose and manage patient care. You'll gain skills in clinical decision-making and management of adult and gerontological populations, using current clinical practice guidelines to help guide your decision-making process.
- Primary Care of Infants, Children and Adolescents. Examine the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, growth and developmental milestones from infancy through adolescence. Emphasis will be placed on the assessment and management of the child within the realm and context of cultural, environmental and social factors of growth and development. You'll gain knowledge of caring for well and sick children and adolescents. You'll also refer to and utilize current care protocols and guidelines in the primary care of children and adolescents to help guide your decision-making process.
- Primary Care for Women. Apply history and physical examination findings to the primary care of women throughout the lifespan. You'll synthesize professional best practices while providing comprehensive care and diagnosing common gynecologic conditions. You'll gain knowledge of health maintenance, education and counseling to women throughout all phases of the reproductive cycle, and use current care protocols and guidelines to help guide your decision-making process.
- Primary Care for Mental Health. Explore the mental and psychosocial conditions that are most commonly seen among individuals and families in a primary care setting. You'll evaluate evidence-based practices including cognitive-behavioral, psychopharmacological, collaborative and nontraditional approaches to manage mental and psychosocial conditions across the lifespan. You'll also use approaches that support holistic collaborative treatment of individuals and families living with mental health conditions. This course includes 30 hours of psychopharmacology content to help prepare you for the practice of prescribing psychiatric medications, including controlled substances, as well as addiction management principles.
Immersion experience: As part of the FNP track, you'll take NUR 600 Advanced Pharmacology for the Prescriber, Immersion. This course requires you to travel to New Hampshire for one in-person immersion experience where you'll participate in simulation activities and perform assessments with standardized patients. This multi-day experience will help prepare you for your clinical practicums and provide pivotal hands-on learning to supplement your educational journey. Please note that students have five years to complete their FNP track after completing NUR 600.
The cost of the Immersion Experience is $2,000 and is separate from course tuition. The fee covers items associated with the immersion, such as facility rentals, on-site faculty, training materials, and standardized patients. Travel including transportation costs, flights, lodging and meal costs are not included in this fee and are the responsibility of the student to pay for and secure. The Immersion Experience is scheduled in NUR-600 and will be held in New Hampshire.
After the Immersion Experience, you'll embark on your practicum experiences, which includes 650 clinical practicum hours across five courses in a variety of settings.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- Clinical practice experience (CPE): Clinical practice hours are incorporated into all graduate nursing programs accredited by CCNE. SNHU incorporates these authentic learning experiences into your MSN program through indirect and direct clinical experiences. You'll be able to achieve these CPE hours through coursework and assignments and time spent under the guidance of a preceptor, depending on your track choice. Please connect with our Student Experience team to learn more about clinical practice experiences by track.
- Practicum Experiences: Within the family nurse practitioner track, under the guidance of primary care providers, students will engage with patients across the lifespan in a variety of primary care settings. The 650 clinical practicum hours will be completed across five courses.
Students enrolled in the MSN program must comply with requirements of the organizations where their clinical practice experiences/practicum will be completed. These requirements may include (but are not limited to) a criminal background check, active and unencumbered license verification, immunization records, professional liability insurance. Students may incur additional costs to meet organizational requirements (ex. drug screening, physical examination co-pay, etc.). These requirements must be met prior to registering for the clinical practice experience courses.
It is a requirement that nursing students carry their own medical malpractice insurance while enrolled in practicum courses. At least two terms prior to the start of the clinical components, students will be required to demonstrate proof of having an active individual medical malpractice certificate.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MSN Family Nurse Practitioner|
|Courses May Include|
|MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner|
|IHP 501||Global Health and Diversity||In this interprofessional course learners will explore major global health challenges and their impact on healthcare delivery systems. Topics explored include determinants of health, multiple approaches to advance health, social justice principles, and strategies to advocate for social justice. Learners will gain knowledge to apply social justice and human rights principles to address global health and wellness.|
|NUR 508||Role Development and Transformation of the MSN Professional Nurse||In this course, learners will explore the roles of an MSN professional nurse. This includes the differentiation of the APRN role and scope of practice and development of a plan for career-long learning. Learners will evaluate practice experiences and explore the influence of healthcare systems, policy, and trends in shaping MSN professional practice. Learners will continue to form and cultivate their professional nursing identity, through critique, engagement and the development of interprofessional relationships.|
|NUR 555||Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology||In this course, students will build upon existing knowledge of physiology and pathologic aspects of human disease across the lifespan. Advanced clinical pathophysiology, pathobiology, immunology, and genetics will be analyzed. Students will gain knowledge to foster advanced clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Students will examine clinical manifestations of major health problems across the lifespan and explore the management of illness and health restoration.|
|NUR 616||Primary Care of Adults and Gerontological Patients||In this course, students will apply evidence-based practice to the primary care of adult and gerontological populations. Concepts from pharmacology, pathophysiology, and health assessment will be integrated with advanced practice nursing theory, process, and research to assess, diagnose, and manage patient care. Students will gain skills in clinical decision-making and management of adult and gerontological populations, utilizing current clinical practice guidelines to help guide their decision-making process.|
|NUR 636||Primary Care of Infants, Children and Adolescents||Students will examine the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, growth, and developmental milestones from infancy through adolescence. Emphasis will be placed on the assessment and management of the child within the realm and context of cultural, environmental, and social factors of growth and development. Students will gain knowledge of caring for well and sick children and adolescents. Students will refer to and utilize current care protocols and guidelines in the primary care of children and adolescents to help guide their decision-making process.|
|NUR 676||Primary Care for Mental Health||In this course, students will explore the mental and psychosocial conditions that are most commonly seen among individuals and families in a primary care setting. Students will evaluate evidence-based practices including cognitive-behavioral, psychopharmacological, collaborative, and non-traditional approaches to manage mental and psychosocial conditions across the lifespan. Students will use approaches that support holistic collaborative treatment of individuals and families living with mental health conditions. This course includes 30 hours of psychopharmacology content to prepare nurse practitioner students for the practice of prescribing psychiatric medications, including controlled substances, as well as addiction management principles.|
|Total Credits: 51|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Family Nurse Practitioner Technology Requirements
Students enrolled in the MSN program courses are responsible for ensuring they have the minimum system hardware, software and equipment. In addition to meeting the SNHU Technology requirements, this track does have Minimum Technology Requirements as follows:
- 20Mbps (download) and 5Mbps (upload)
- Ability to record (webcam and microphone are often built into laptop or computer
- Government-issued photo ID is required for proctored exams
- Browser plug-in for online proctored exams
- Assessment kit (tools specified in course syllabus)
- A laptop is required during NUR-600 and all practicum courses
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Students enrolled in the MSN program may be subject to ongoing licensure checks through a third party vendor, additional fees will apply and may vary by state.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do family nurse practitioners do?
Family nurse practitioners serve as primary care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families.
As an FNP, you'll assess patients, determine how to improve or manage their health and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into their lives.
As an expert in family medicine, you'll also need to understand the unique needs of your patient population. This means understanding the social and economic factors that contribute to overall health, and may act as barriers to equitable care and outcomes.
Can you become a nurse practitioner online?
Yes – although not 100%. While you can earn your FNP online, it's important to note that immersion experiences and clinical practice hours are a requirement within the program.
At SNHU, students will complete the first portion of their program entirely online, then travel to New Hampshire for a multi-day immersion experience.
After successful completion of the immersion experience and NUR-600, students will then complete their 650 practicum hours over five courses that focus on treating patients across the lifespan. These hours must be completed under the guidance of preceptors within their program.
That said, even learning partly online can certainly help you earn your degree and advance your career faster, on a schedule that works for you. Not only does online learning offer more flexibility – these programs are generally more affordable, too. SNHU, for example, offers some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner online?
At SNHU, we know how important it is to reach your goals faster. That's why we offer optimal flexibility and choice, with the option of completing one or two courses per term.
A full-time student could complete the program in just under two years (98 weeks over 9 terms). A part-time student could finish in 3.5 years (186 weeks over 17 terms).
What is the fastest way to become a nurse practitioner?
The fastest way to become a nurse practitioner at SNHU is to take two courses per term. Whether or not that pace can fit your life is entirely up to you.
By taking two courses in just one or two terms, this can decrease your time to graduation and get you to your goals faster.
How much does an NP program cost?
SNHU is proud to offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. Our FNP program is only $627 per credit, or $1881 per course. Within 51 credits or 17 courses, this means you'll pay less than $32,000 in tuition for a profession with significant earning potential. At SNHU, we do not increase tuition for clinical courses and we do not have recurring fees by course.
Additional costs for students include books and resources to complete coursework, the immersion experience ($2,000) and travel-related expenses related to it as well as any additional costs (ex. drug screening, physical examination co-pay, etc.) to meet organizational requirements for clinical practice experiences/practicums.
Is becoming an NP worth it?
Becoming an NP provides career advancement and independent practice opportunities. There are other benefits as well – both personally and professionally – in terms of pay, schedule, responsibility and long-term career goals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners reported a median annual wage of $111,680 in May 2020.2 In that same year, registered nurses (RNs) received $75,330.2 This suggests much higher earning potential overall for those advancing their careers as NPs.
The BLS also reports promising career prospects for years to come. In fact, nurse practitioners are reportedly the 2nd fastest-growing occupation in the nation – and the fastest growing in healthcare and nursing.2
Finally, as a job that can improve lives, particularly for disadvantaged or low-income populations, a career as an NP can be fulfilling on a personal level. In a sense, these roles are the face of equitable care – and at a time when the industry is taking a closer look at how to expand access and improve outcomes for patients, this is arguably one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Licensure and Certification Disclosures
SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3, 4)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm (viewed June 7, 2021).
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm (viewed June 7, 2021).
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm (viewed June 7, 2021).
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at Southern New Hampshire University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202.887.6791.
3 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25982. (viewed June 7, 2021)
4 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.