Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Curriculum
This program of study lists the courses that you will be required to complete to meet graduation requirements.
Total for MS: FNP Program
Nurse as Educator
The focus of this course is on role development of the nurse as an educator. Emphasis is placed on preparing the student to perform effectively as a communicator of information which will enable the client to act as a responsible partner in his/her own health care. Recognizing teaching as an important clinical skill, this course engages students in formal inquiry into key components of patient education. Students have the opportunity to participate in the processes of needs assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of education programs. Students conduct critical analysis of educational materials, apply research findings to patient education, and conduct a cost analysis of educational programs. The impact of legal issues, ethical dilemmas, and changes in the health care delivery system on patient education is discussed.
Advanced Health Assessment
This is the first course in the clinical advanced practice nurse (APN) series with a focus on advanced physical assessment, enhanced communication skills, and the reinforcement of health promotion and disease prevention across the life span. The course work and clinical lab activities enhance the student’s history taking proficiency, physical assessment skills, critical thinking, and decision-making competency essential for planning, delivering, and evaluating health care in the population.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 621.
This course focuses on the development of nursing science through the use of nursing theoretical frameworks. Students are guided in the examination of the development of conceptualizations and in the critique of concepts, theories, and boundaries for nursing study, as well as the implications for using theories of nursing and theories in nursing. Emphasis is on critical thinking, via description, analysis, and evaluation of nursing theory for application to practice. The importance of research to the continuing development of nursing theory as a method of building nursing's unique knowledge base is emphasized throughout the course.
Pre/corequisite: Admission to Graduate Study or permission of course faculty.
Family Nursing Theory
This course examines the contemporary family’s structure, function and process. Various theoretical frameworks and models are explored and applied to nursing assessment of and intervention with the healthy and high-risk family system in a variety of clinical settings. Students utilize a wellness approach to optimize health within a developmental framework and promote family resilience and adaptation throughout the life span. Psychosocial, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual variables and their impact on family life are analyzed.
Innovation in Information, Quality and Safety
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to manage information, promote quality and maintain safety across healthcare settings. Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included. The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, organizational quality, and health care science in order to prepare clinicians to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on the nurse’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice.
Advanced Nursing Research
This graduate level course examines quantitative and qualitative nursing research methods, principles, and methods of measurement, as well as skills for critical evaluation of nursing research. Identification and analysis of research related to clinical practice and health care outcomes are included. Students develop skills and knowledge needed to review and recognize the strength of evidence and recommend practice changes if indicated. This course builds upon previous knowledge of the research process, critiquing of research, and understanding of the application of statistical findings.
This course focuses on the causality of alterations in human physiologic function across the lifespan. Normal physiology and pathological phenomena produced by altered states of health across the lifespan are contrasted. The human physiologic responses to these altered states are related to pertinent diagnostic values, tests, and methods. This course serves as a basis for subsequent courses that deal with the clinical diagnosis and management of health problems.
Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status.
Leadership for Advanced Practice Nurse
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed by the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) to function in the role of a leader in health care. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual APNs as informed and collaborative leaders within the health care system who use current research based evidence in their role. Utilizing the nursing process, and leadership theory and organizational theory, students analyze the effectiveness of health care organizations and develop interventions to improve the organizational effectiveness. Issues related to the APN's role as an active participant in the legislation of health care policy are explored.
Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
An integrative approach to pharmacology is emphasized. The principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology are presented. The characteristics of the major drug classifications and clinical practice implications are addressed as well as the legal and regulatory implications of drug administration and the essentials of prescription writing. The opportunity to explore related topics alone or in a group is provided, e.g., substance abuse, self-medication with over-the-counter drugs, drug therapy for pain management, drug therapy in a specialty area (maternal, pediatric, gerontologic health care), and alternatives to drug therapy.
Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status; NURS 621.
Clinical Management/FNP I
This is an entry level clinical course in which the student integrates basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and builds on advanced health assessment knowledge. Students develop an understanding of the pathologic changes and clinical manifestations that characterize common acute disorders. Students apply new understanding of pathophysiology and evolving clinical decision making skills to the interpretation of assessment data and the diagnosis and treatment of primary care clients and their families across the lifespan. Students perform complete health assessments and provide client care with supervision. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions and integrate research, teaching and consultation skills as a beginning basis for clinical practice.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 612, NURS 565, NURS 607, NURS 616
Clinical Management/FNP II
This course reflects a building of knowledge and skills from the previous clinical course, Clinical Management in Primary Health Care: Family NP I. Students continue to progress in the nurse practitioner role and in the delivery of health care to individuals with acute and chronic health care needs. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and the evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of patients across the lifespan. Effective use of skills required for clinical management, education, consultation, referral, and follow-up are emphasized. Therapeutic interventions based upon evidenced-based research are integrated along with complimentary and alternative healing approaches appropriate for individuals and their families with health care problems. Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance students' critical thinking and decision-making skills, specifically for complex health care problem evaluation.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 640, NURS 641.
Clinical Management/FNP III
This is a culminating clinical course in which students are managing client care with increasing independence. The collaborative model guides the student in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of the patients across the lifespan. Students further develop leadership, research, teaching, and consultation skills as a basis for clinical practice. Practice issues are identified and discussed in a structured environment that incorporates ethical concepts and effective use of resources for beginning autonomous practice. Theoretical concepts of organizational systems and health care politics and policy are applied to the advanced practice setting to identify and solve complex problems.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 642.
Education Certificate (9 credits):
Students choosing to complete the Education Certificate will take the required course NURS 565 and the following two courses as their graduate electives.
Curriculum and Program Development
This course continues the development of the knowledge and skills of the nurse as an educator. While the major emphasis is on the development of faculty for an academic role, the principles of course and program development are applicable for in-service, continuing education, and staff development educators as well. The role, competencies, and responsibilities of the educator in a variety of settings are explored. The process of program and curriculum development is examined in light of the ethical, legal, political, and economic forces and issues that have an impact on the educational process. The evaluation process includes the development of outcome criteria to measure the success of programs and curricula. Using seminar and other adult learning formats, students have the opportunity to develop educational course content and, at the same time, design, apply, and critique creative learning strategies that foster critical thinking and active participation.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 565, matriculated graduate status
This course is one in a series of three courses leading to a minor in education. Students focus on assessing, advising, and evaluating the learner from the time of admission to the completion of an academic program or other type of educational endeavor. A major emphasis is on exploring creative evaluation strategies, using various methodologies to determine learner performance in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings. The evaluation process focuses on test development, including the techniques for writing examinations, analyzing test items, administering and grading examinations, and ensuring interrater reliability as well as the reliability and validity of tests. As a culminating aspect of this course, students examine both the entrepreneurial role of the nurse educator and how to negotiate a job through the use of marketing and interviewing techniques. Students are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills as educators by actively participating in seminars, other adult learning approaches, and practicum experiences. Individually designed practicum experiences allow students to gain a broader perspective on the educator role as well as to practice some of the skills of the educator.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 565, matriculated graduate status