EDUCATION
March 15, 2022

Top Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

Top Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are currently the most in-demand nurse practitioner specialty. With a shift to preventative medicine versus sick medicine, the need for FNPs will only continue to grow. 

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP):

  • 70% of all NPs work in family medicine.
  • 89% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 70% of all NPs deliver primary care.
  • The majority of full-time NPs (59%) see three or more patients per hour.
  • The top practice settings for FNPs are hospital outpatient clinics, private group practices, and private physician practices.
  • The top diagnoses treated by FNPs are abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • The top clinical focus areas for FNPs are family, primary care, and urgent care.
  • On average, FNPs have 9.8 years of experience.

Fast Facts About Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs)

Salary $114,310 per year per Salary.com
Program Length

2-3 Years

40-60 total credit hours

Requirements High school diploma or GED with minimum GPA or GED score

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Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program Ranking Methodology

Choosing a Family Nurse Practitioner program is a very large decision. Nurse.org has compiled a list of some of the best online and in-person FNP programs for 2021. 

Our ranking algorithm uses the latest and most robust U.S. government data sets, specifically the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and College Scorecard. We take into consideration factors such as graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, program focus, and more to help you find the right nursing program for you.

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Top 10 Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

1. Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University’s FNP program is one of the top programs in the country and prepares students to deliver comprehensive primary care to patients from infancy to adulthood. The program integrates and utilizes online and in-person learning to help students achieve success. With top hospitals in the Philadelphia region, students are able to have clinical placement at a variety of locations. 

  • Tuition: $1,200 per credit hour
  • Admissions: Rolling
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 36 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options:  Hybrid - online and in-person
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: 215-951-2800
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: enroll@jefferson.edu

2. Duke University

Duke’s clinicals and state-of-the-art simulation techniques prepare students for clinical practice in a variety of primary care settings such as family practice, internal medicine, community health centers, rural health centers, and academic health care centers.

  • Tuition: $1,910 per credit hour
  • Admissions: December 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 49 credit hours and 728 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Yes, distance-based with in-person clinical experience 
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: 919-684-2671 or 877-415-3853
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: alison.edie@duke.edu or SonAdmissions@dm.duke.edu

3. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester faculty are a group of pioneering researchers and clinicians that set the standard for nurse practitioners specializing in fields like pediatrics and psychiatric/mental health. The University of Rochester Medical Center — an innovative and leading health care network — provides the ideal setting for in-depth clinical experience.

  • Tuition: $1,640 per credit hour
  • Admissions: April 15th or September 15th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 55 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Hybrid - In-person and online
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: (585) 275-2375
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: SON_Admissions@urmc.rochester.edu

4. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University’s FNP program prepares nurses as expert providers of primary health care to individuals across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings. The primary focus of the program is to prepare the graduate to manage common acute and chronic health problems through health promotion, maintenance, supervision, and restoration.

  • Admissions: December 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 45 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Distance Education with On-Site Requirements
  • Program Cost: $635.58 per credit hour
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: (631) 444-3200
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: fnp.nursing@stonybrook.edu

5. Binghamton University

Binghamton University’s FNP program repeatedly graduates top-tier FNPs from the program. The Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers students an affordable degree with either an MSN or DNP. 

  • Admissions: Rolling but March 15th or October 15th is recommended
  • Degree Awarded: MSN or DNP
  • Program Length:  48 credits and 540 to 660 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Distance Education with On-Site Requirements
  • Program Cost: $13,555 per academic year
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: 607-777-6184
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: ncowen@binghamton.edu

6. Fairfield University

Fairfield University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide holistic care to individuals of all ages from newborn babies to older adults, and to address issues associated with women’s health. Students work in all care settings with a focus on delivering patient care management, health promotion, and disease prevention to people with acute and chronic diseases. 

  • Admissions: August 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN 
  • Program Length:  51 credits and 12 credits of practicum experience.
  • Online Options: Distance Education with On-Site Requirements in In-person clinical experience
  • Program Cost: $900 per credit hour
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: (203) 254-4000, ext. 2757 or (203) 254-4184 
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: jconelius@fairfield.edu or gradadmis@fairfield.edu

7. Union University

Union University offers a 16-month graduate nursing education curriculum for professional nurses to gain academic preparation as a Nurse Practitioner. Available online as well as the three physical locations, this program prepares the graduate for advanced professional nursing practice with specific functional and clinical abilities.

  • Admissions: March 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN 
  • Program Length:  46 credits and 560 clinical hours
  • Location: Blended between online and the Jackson, Germantown, and Hendersonville campuses
  • Program Cost: $645 per credit hour; general student fees: $31 per hr
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: 731-661-5156
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: jjohnson@uu.edu

8. Mercer University

The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track at Mercer University prepares registered nurses to fulfill the role of a competent health care provider responsible for managing the care of families in the primary care setting. Its focus is to provide the knowledge and clinical skills necessary for health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses.

  • Admissions: July 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 48 course units and 660 clinical hours
  • Location: Combination of in-person and online learning
  • Program Cost: $725 per credit
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: (678) 547-6700
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: anderson_j@mercer.edu

9. University of Pennsylvania

Established in 1973, this top-ranked FNP program offers diverse clinical experiences and rigorous coursework to prepare students to work with patients from all backgrounds and circumstances. The flexible FNP program offers full-time, part-time, and BSN/MSN study. The full-time program begins each August, is 16 months in length, and concludes the following December. 

  • Admissions: Full Time: November 1st Part Time: Rolling Admission
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 14 course units and 600 clinical hours
  • Location: Combination of in-person and online learning
  • Program Cost: $1,931 per credit hour
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: 215-898-4271
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: admissions@nursing.upenn.edu

10. Molloy College

Molloy College is a small, private college in Long Island, New York that Money magazine recently ranked one of the nation's top-three value colleges for the second consecutive year. Located less than an hour from Manhattan, Molloy is one of the most affordable private colleges on Long Island.

  • Admissions: April 17th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 45 credit hours and 690 clinical hours
  • Location: Combination of in-person and online learning
  • Program Cost: $1,195 per credit
  • College of Nursing - Contact Phone Number: (516) 323-4014
  • College of Nursing - Contact Email Address: admissions@molloy.edu

What to Expect in Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

FNP Curriculum & Coursework

FNP programs adhere to the Nurse Practitioner framework and core competencies established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for Nurse Practitioners. Those nine competencies are:

  • Ethics
  • Health Delivery System
  • Independent Practice
  • Leadership
  • Policy
  • Practice Inquiry
  • Quality
  • Scientific Foundation
  • Technology and Information Literacy

Specific courses in a Family NP program generally include, 

  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Physical Assessment
  • Child and Family Development
  • Clinical Practicums
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy, Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Practice
  • Leadership and Critical Decision Making
  • Management of Primary Care with Young Families
  • Primary Care Across the Life Span
  • Primary Care of Middle-Aged and Older Adult
  • Research Methods and Design

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Prerequisites

Though every Family  Nurse Practitioner degree program is different, most have similar entry requirements, which generally include:

  • At least one year of bedside nursing experience (ideally adult or gerontology nursing)
  • Completion of undergraduate statistics with a grade of C or better
  • GRE if applicable
  • Professional resume or curriculum vitae
  • Satisfactory completion of an accredited baccalaureate program with at least 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Submission of official transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended
  • Successful completion of a personal interview with the Nursing Admissions Committee
  • TOEFL test if applicable
  • Two or three professional references
  • Unencumbered, active RN license in the state of practice (Some programs will require an RN license in the state of the program)
  • Written statement of professional goals for graduate study and nursing career

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FNP Program Tuition

Family Nurse Practitioner programs vary greatly in cost. Factors include school, location, online versus in person, and ultimate degree. Tuition per credit hour can vary between $500 to $2,000 depending on the program. 

Doctoral-level programs tend to be more expensive than master's degree programs, in part because more credits are required overall. Tuition costs also include program fees, lab fees, course materials, and other associated expenses. 

Examples of credit cost include:

  • Carlow University - $891 / credit
  • Frontier University - $636 / credit
  • LaSalle University - $880 / credit
  • Simmons University - $1,210 / credit

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation

There are two main accreditation bodies in the United States

  • The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

When choosing a Family Nurse Practitioner program, you’ll want to ensure yours is accredited by one of these two bodies.

How to Pick the Right Family Nurse Practitioner Program for You

Picking the right Family NP program can be overwhelming especially with the increasing number of available programs throughout the country. Online programs have given access to top-tier programs for those that are unable to relocate. 

The most important factor when choosing a program is understanding if the state in which you reside allows students to enroll in distance education programs and therefore participate in clinical practicums within the state. 

It is important to check with your state board of nursing to see if your state allows this. Licensure requirements vary from state to state and by a professional organization. Any questions regarding state eligibility you can also contact the University’s Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs.

Questions to Ask Yourself  When Choosing an FNP Program

  • How will I pay for the degree? Loans? Scholarships? Tuition Reimbursement?
  • Does your current job have an affiliation with a specific Family NP program?
  • Online versus in person?
  • Do you prefer obtaining your MSN or DNP?
  • Consider the program’s accreditation and graduate certification rate.
  • Consider the entry prerequisites for which you qualify.
  • Do you want a program that will find your clinical placements?
  • What is the job placement rate?
  • Is there program flexibility?
  • What is your goal after graduation? Hospital? Private practice?
FNP Career Overview >> What’s the Difference Between FNP-C vs FNP-BC Certifications? >> Family Nurse Practitioner Salary >>

 

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