Top Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

14 Min Read Published May 28, 2024
Top Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

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.

Popular Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs

Sponsored
Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Sacred Heart University
Offering RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP Programs, the Sacred Heart College of Nursing is CCNE-accredited and regionally accredited by the NEASC. The school offers flexible online formats, ideal for working RNs.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Fast Facts About Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs)

Salary $124,330 per year per Salary.com
Program Length

 

2-3 Years (longer if part-time)
40-60 total credit hours + 500-750 in-person clinical hours

 

Requirements Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Minimum GPA of 3.0
Relevant bedside experience 

Find Nursing Programs

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 2024. 

Our ranking system 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, national certification exam rates, accreditation, and more to help you find the right nursing program for you.

>> Show Me Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

Top 10 Family Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

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 can have clinical placement at a variety of locations. 

  • Tuition: $1,298 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring: October 15th
    • Summer: February 15th
    • Fall: June 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 36 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options:  Hybrid - online and in-person
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (215) 951-2800
    • Email Address: enroll@jefferson.edu
    • Website

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.

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 FNP program in the country, Duke University offers students a top education with access to some of the best clinical rotations available. While enrolled in the FNP program, students have the opportunity to specialize in different nursing specialties including, cardiology, HIV, endocrinology, orthopedics, and palliative care. 

  • Tuition: $2,166 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Fall: December 1st 
    • Spring: May 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 49 credit hours and 728 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Yes, distance-based with in-person clinical experience 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (919) 684-2671 or (877) 415-3853
    • Email Address: SonAdmissions@dm.duke.edu
    • Website

3. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester faculty is 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 healthcare network — provides the ideal setting for in-depth clinical experience.

Ranked as one of the top NP programs in the nation, over 86% of the faculty are currently practicing providers. Students are not only learning from some of the best, but the faculty is up to date on current research and best practices.

  • Tuition: $1,740 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Fall: April 15th
    • Spring: September 15th
    • Summer: January 15th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 55 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Hybrid - In-person and online
  • Contact Information:
    • Phone Number: (585) 275-2375
    • Contact Email Address: SON_Admissions@urmc.rochester.edu
    • Website

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 various 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.

  • Tuition: 
    • Resident: $471 per credit hour
    • Non-resident: $1,020 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline: October 5th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 45 credits and 672 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Distance Education with On-Site Requirements
  • Contact Information:
    • Phone Number: (631) 444-3200
    • Email Address: fnp.nursing@stonybrook.edu
    • Website

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 and has recently changed its FNP program to a DNP degree. Students have access to the Innovative Simulation and Practice Center, accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, which offers students access to a wide range of additional training modalities. 

  • Tuition:
    • Resident: $27,590
    • Non-resident: $34,950
  • Application Deadline:  
    • Fall: Rolling - March 15th recommended
    • Spring: Rolling - October 15th recommended
  • Degree Awarded: DNP
  • Program Length:  48 credits and 540 to 660 clinical hours
  • Online Options: Distance Education with On-Site Requirements
  • Contact Information: 

6. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

 Ranked by U.S. News & World Report, UNC at Chapel Hill offers not only one of the top FNP programs in the country, but also one of the best nursing programs and DNP programs. This is a great option for undergraduate students interested in advancing their education. 

Students interested in focusing on community-oriented primary care or global health have multiple opportunities to work in these areas and complete clinical hours through an individualized study plan. 

  • Tuition: $1,019 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline:  August 15th 
  • Degree Awarded: MSN or DNP
  • Program Length:  Two years
  • Online Options: 
    • Phone Number: (919) 966-4260
    • Email Address: nursing@unc.edu
    • Website

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 and at three physical locations, this program prepares the graduate for advanced professional nursing practice with specific functional and clinical abilities.

The FNP program at Union University only admits once per year for a fall semester start date in August. Students can only enroll in this program full-time.

  • Tuition: $712 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline:
    • Priority: October 1st
    • Second priority: December 1st
    • Final: April 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN 
  • Program Length:  46 credits and 560 clinical hours
  • Location: Blended between online and the Jackson, Germantown, and Hendersonville campuses
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (731) 661-5156
    • Email Address: nursingadmissions@uu.edu
    • Website

8. Vanderbilt University

Students enrolled in the FNP program at Vanderbilt University have access to one of the top healthcare institutions, and most clinical hours are completed there. While part of each course is offered online, students are required to attend concentrated blocks of time on campus each semester. The specific number of days depends on the course but ranges from three to five. 

Students are required to complete clinical hours within a 150-mile radius of the campus. 

  • Tuition: $1,997 per credit hour
  • Application Deadline: October 15th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN 
  • Program Length:  2-3 years
  • Online Options: Hybrid with in-person clinical requirements
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (615) 322-3800
    • Email Address: vusn-admissions@vanderbilt.edu 
    • Website

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. FNP students are also eligible to work towards several minors, including Global Health. 

The coursework for the minor is completed during the clinical portion of the FNP program. 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. 

  • Tuition: 
    • Full-time: $56,262  per year
    • Part-time: $6,392  per course unit
  • Application Deadline:
    • Full-time Summer & Fall: November 1st
    • Part-time Spring: October 16th
    • Part-time Summer: March 15th
    • Part-time Fall: March 15th
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 14-course units and 600 clinical hours
  • Location: Combination of in-person and online learning
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (215) 898-4271
    • Email Address: admissions@nursing.upenn.edu
    • Website

10. Ohio State University

Ranked as the #2 FNP program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, OSU’s FNP program offers two specific tracks, an on-campus track is available to both students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and also students in the Graduate Entry Program. The online track is only available to students who already have a BSN. 

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $52,904.70 / year
    • Out-of-state: $53,904.70 / year
  • Application Deadline:
    • Round 1: October 31st 
    • Round 2: March 1st
  • Degree Awarded: MSN
  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Location: Combination of in-person and online learning
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone Number: (614) 292-4041 
    • Email Address: nursing@osu.edu
    • Website

Popular Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs

Sponsored
Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Sacred Heart University
Offering RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP Programs, the Sacred Heart College of Nursing is CCNE-accredited and regionally accredited by the NEASC. The school offers flexible online formats, ideal for working RNs.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

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 (AACN). The 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 Adults
  • 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

>> Show Me Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

FNP Program Tuition

Family Nurse Practitioner programs vary greatly in cost. Factors include school, location, online versus in-person, and ultimate degree (MSN vs. DNP). Tuition per credit hour can vary between $500 to $2,000, depending on the program. Programs that have brick-and-mortar locations tend also to have a higher tuition. 

Doctoral-level programs are 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. Don’t forget the additional fees involved in clinicals such as transportation and gas.

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation

There are two main accreditation bodies in the United States

  1. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  2. 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. Accreditation is important because you cannot sit for your national FNP certification exam unless you graduate from an approved program. 

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 and hybrid programs have given access to top-tier programs for those who 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. If you have any questions regarding state eligibility, contact the University’s Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs.

You can use our guide of NP schools by state to find a nurse practitioner program near you!

Popular Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs

Sponsored
Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Sacred Heart University
Offering RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP Programs, the Sacred Heart College of Nursing is CCNE-accredited and regionally accredited by the NEASC. The school offers flexible online formats, ideal for working RNs.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

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?
  • What is the graduation rate? Attrition rate?
  • Can the program be completed part-time?
  • Is working during the program possible?
  • What is the national certification exam pass rate?
  • 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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Kathleen Gaines
MSN, RN, BA, CBC
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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