Overview & Program of Study
Specialty Track Description
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty Track educates qualified registered nurses with advanced specialty education. This specialty track builds a strong foundation in nursing science in order to provide primary care across the lifespan. Included in the curriculum is the opportunity to participate in and apply research to clinical practice with a focus on scholarly inquiry, critical thinking, health policy, health systems organization, economics of healthcare, and leadership skills.
The FNP program at the University of Utah College of Nursing prepares students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing for the highest level of clinical nursing practice in primary care settings. We are dedicated to providing culturally competent primary care providers, from diverse backgrounds, for service in rural and underserved communities. Upon completion of the DNP program, students may apply for national certification through the appropriate specialty accrediting body.
Nurse practitioners are a vital force in expanding and shaping primary care services in a variety of contexts. Primary care nurse practitioners have an important role providing comprehensive primary health care to their specialty populations. This includes acute and chronic illnesses health promotion and disease and injury prevention. Primary care nurse practitioners play a critical role in serving the health care needs of vulnerable populations. The FNP program prepares students to take on this role. Guided by evidence-based practice, FNP’s work to influence public policy through participation in professional organizations and in health policy activities at the local, state, national and international levels.
The role of the FNP continues to evolve in response to our changing societal and health care needs. Doctoral-prepared primary care nurse practitioners provide primary care to clients and families within a community setting and regularly exercise a combination of roles: provider, mentor, educator and administrator. Students studying to become an FNP learn to participate in the application of knowledge (clinical practice) within the context of the discovery of new knowledge (research) and integration of concepts from other disciplines.
The educational approach in the FNP specialty track utilizes multiple modalities, including land-based classes, web-based education, synchronous learning opportunities, and clinical experiences. A cohort of approximately 28-32 students is accepted into the Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner tracks (combined 28-32 students) each fall semester.
Specialty Track Length
The FNP Specialty Track is 8 semesters in length, requiring 81-90 credit hours in didactic and clinical coursework. It is available only as a full-time (9+ credit hours per semester) and is completed in three (3) years, including summer semesters.
Studying at a Distance
The FNP Specialty Track is available to students living in the Intermountain West. Participation may not be possible in all areas. Utah residents living more than 60 miles from the University of Utah are able to participate in the distance option.
Read more information on distance delivery.
Graduates are prepared to sit for national certification from American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP), the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Upon successful completion of the exam candidates are eligible to become certified or licensed to practice.
Programs of Study
The Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track plan of study requires completion of the DNP core curriculum, Family Nurse Practitioner specialty courses, a Capstone Project, and approximately 1000 hours of practicum and residency experience. Course descriptions can be found in the University of Utah General Catalog.