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College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Post-Master’s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner

The Post Master’s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner is designed for any registered nurse who holds at least one earned higher degree in nursing (i.e. MSN, DNP, PhD) who desires to expand their knowledge and provide evidence-informed clinical practice to culturally diverse populations using the latest technology.  The FNP courses are grounded in a Caring Science model to teach theoretical and evidenced-based practice of nursing. Students will learn how to implement best practices for promoting and managing the health of individuals, families and communities. The FNP courses provide the opportunity to be mentored as FNPs with distinctive populations in a variety of settings and communities.

Graduates that earn a Post Master’s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner are eligible to apply to the California Board of Registered Nursing for a Nurse Practitioner.  As of 2020, the California Board of nursing accepts three methods for application for NP licensure. Please review the details of those methods at https://www.rn.ca.gov/applicants/npnpf.shtml. All nurse practitioners must have a furnishing number to prescribe in California. Applications for furnishing numbers may be submitted at the time of nursing application. Per the California Code of Regulations, eligibility for Nurse Practitioner certification requires the possession of an active California registered nurse (RN) license.

  1. Method One: California-Based Nurse Practitioner Education Program
  2. Method Two: Non-California Based Nurse Practitioner Education Program.
  3. Method Three: Equivalency

USU is a California-Based Nurse Practitioner Program, and most learners are anticipated to apply for Method One:

  1. Method One: California-Based Nurse Practitioner Education Program www.rn.ca.gov/education/apprograms.shtml#np Documentation submitted directly to the Board of Registered Nursing:
    1. Completed Application for Nurse Practitioner (NP) Certification and applicable fee.
    2. Completed Verification of Nurse Practitioner Academic Program form submitted by the nurse practitioner academic program.
    3. Official, sealed transcript showing evidence of date of graduation or post-graduation nurse practitioner program.

Graduates are eligible to sit for a national certification exam from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Regulations vary from state to state, and non-California resident students are encouraged to carefully read the requirements and conduct further research in the state in which they intend to seek licensure as a Nurse Practitioner. There may potentially be other non-program requirements that students should be aware of, e.g. criminal background checks.

United States University actively monitors its state authorizations and state board of nursing program approvals for its FNP programs. USU does not enroll in states where such approvals have not been received and remain current and on file with the Office of Accreditation, Regulatory Compliance and Institutional Effectiveness. Students are encouraged to review state authorization information here: https://www.usuniversity.edu/about/accreditation/ and encouraged to speak with their Enrollment Advisor prior to enrollment.

* The Post-Master’s certificates are not currently CCNE-accredited but will be reviewed in the College of Nursing and Health Science’s next MSN accreditation cycle. However, the PM-FNP students who complete their PM-FNP certificate program prior to the accreditation visit will be eligible to apply to sit for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) national board certification exam.

COURSE DELIVERY

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences has implemented instructional strategies to provide an interactive, engaged curriculum for our 100% online hybrid curriculum. Courses will utilize real-time face-to-face instruction during a scheduled immersion, supplemented with face-to-face instruction via web conference, phone conference, and/or live chats with fellow students and faculty. Students may work as teams with peers and mentors, participate in demonstrations, interact with computer-simulated patients, and actively examine case studies. Courses will include online and synchronous lectures, discussions, social networking, viewing videos, examining evidence, readings, and/or other activities needed to prepare for class.

REQUIRED TIME ON CAMPUS

Students in the FNP program will be required to complete one on campus 4-day immersion at one of our campus locations (San Diego, CA, Phoenix, AZ, or Tampa, FL) during their MSN572 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan course. Immersion is required for course and degree completion, and must be taken concurrently with the MSN572 course. Students will be working with standardized patients and learning advanced clinical skills. Campus immersion dates are provided to students during orientation and there is also a schedule posted in the Nursing Caring Corner in D2L. Immersion dates may differ for students that have any changes to their degree plan such as, but not limited to, transfer credit, drop, fail or withdraw from courses, take leave from the University, or any change that may impact their program progress in any way. Students are encouraged to review the immersion schedule and plan work absences, travel, and transportation arrangements accordingly. All immersion related activities are at the student’s own expense.

CLINICAL REQUIREMENTS

All FNP students are required to complete a minimum of 540 clinical hours. FNP students must meet the Office of Field Experience requirements defined in the FNP Clinical Handbook at least 16 weeks prior to the clinical course(s). Most clinical hours are completed Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm so all students must plan their work schedule to accommodate clinical hours.

Post-Master's Certificate in FNP Total Credit Hours
34 Credits

CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS

MSN570 Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan

This focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to apply concepts of pathophysiology from the cellular level to disease process for assessment of patients with a variety of conditions across clinical settings. The concepts and principles of normal physiology, pathophysiology, and genetics are emphasized. Current research is used to explore disruptions in normal physiological functioning. The impact of positive health behaviors on pathophysiology is addressed. A systems approach and psychophysiological interrelationships are used to analyze the disease processes and their causative factors. The course stresses critical thinking and decision-making in clinical settings based on these concepts.

3 Credits

MSN571 Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand theoretical and evidence-based knowledge and promote synthesis of pharmacotherapeutic concepts across the lifespan. The application of knowledge of pharmacological principles to prevent and/or treat specific conditions will be emphasized from a systems approach. Iatrogenic problems caused by the pharmacologic agents will be explored. Drug classifications, cost-effective drug therapy, management and monitoring of therapy including over the counter and herbal preparations and educating/counseling strategies will be included. Ethical, legal, cultural considerations and safety standards of pharmacotherapeutics will be discussed in relationship to the advanced practice nursing role. Legalities and regulations around prescription-writing privileges will be addressed, including standardized procedures and furnishing numbers. The course is also designed to meet the California BRN pharmacology course requirements for the NP to furnish drugs or devices pursuant to the business and professions code, Section 2836.1.

MSN572 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand upon basic health assessment skills and includes strategies for history taking and for physical, functional, developmental, and psychosocial assessment that recognizes and includes normal individual, cultural, and developmental variations and pathophysiological changes across the lifespan. Comprehensive and focused data collection and physical examination strategies culminating in a differential diagnosis will be addressed. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screening, ordering, performing, and interpreting laboratory, radiographic, and other diagnostic data, as well as verbal case presentation, documentation and record keeping is included. Students will attend an on-campus immersion during this course.

FNP590 Health Promotion, Education and Disease Prevention Across the Lifespan

This course incorporates caring science to establish a strong theoretical foundation in health promotion, wellness preservation and maintenance of function across the health-illness continuum with clients: the individual, family, and community. Epidemiological, social, and environmental data will be used to evaluate populations regarding the health status of client populations. A holistic, multidisciplinary plan of care will be examined to address health promotion and disease prevention need of populations. Public policy, regulatory and legislative influence in public and private arenas will be explored and opportunity to promote and preserve healthy communities will be discussed.

FNP591 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan

This course for advanced practice nursing students concentrates on the levels of prevention and primary care management of common health care problems of individuals and their families. Patients across the life spectrum are managed within a culturally, and spiritually diverse environment using the clinical decision making process. Evidence-based research is utilized to develop comprehensive, cost effective, least invasive, quality health care guidelines for these common health care problems. These guidelines include health promotion counseling, screening, and client education to optimize the client�s health. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, implementing appropriate diagnostic tests, prescribing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic integrative healing therapies, professional interpersonal relationships, the caring professional role and teaching/coaching techniques.

FNP592 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan - Clinical Practicum

The 135 hours of precepted clinical practice time required this semester will afford the student beginning clinical decision making opportunities in the primary health care of diverse clients with common health care problems across the life span. Health care includes assessment of health needs, diagnostic testing, development of diagnoses using diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making, the planning, implementation and management of care, and the evaluation of outcomes using the SOAP format for documentation. Evaluation is to include revision of the plan, consultation and referrals as needed. Clinical evaluations will be performed using the College Practicum Evaluation Rubric. Cr/NC Grading.

FNP593 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan

This course focuses on the primary care management of acute health problems of individuals and families. It provides an opportunity to integrate evidence based research into clinical evaluation and implementation of primary health care of clients across the life span. Emphasis is placed on the application of advanced health assessment skills, preventive health care practices, the promotion of health and the application of evidence based practice. Students focus on the use of theory, critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, implementing appropriate diagnostic tests, prescribing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic integrative healing therapies, professional interpersonal relationships, the caring professional role and teaching/coaching techniques. Concepts including family support systems, cultural considerations, environmental factors, spiritual concerns, genetic influences, and psychosocial factors are integrated to meet the health care needs of individuals and families within a culturally diverse environment.

FNP594 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan - Clinical Practicum

The 135 hours of precepted clinical practice time is focused on acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to assess, maintain, and promote the health and well-being of culturally diverse population with acute presentation in a variety of primary care settings, urgent care or emergency department. It evaluates the evidence for screening, differential diagnosis, and management of health problems, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment modalities in a culturally appropriate manner. Health care includes assessment of health needs, diagnostic reasoning, the planning, implementation and management of care, and the evaluation outcomes using the SOAP format for documentation. Evaluation is to include review and change of the plan, consultation and referrals as needed. Standardized procedures will be discussed and reviewed throughout the class. Clinical evaluations will be performed using the College Practicum Evaluation Rubric. Project Concert will track the students clinical experiences. Cr/NC Grading.

FNP595 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan

This course prepares nurse practitioner students with an understanding of comprehensive evidence based plans of care to manage chronic, complex health problems with multisystem disorders. Patients across the life spectrum are managed within a culturally and spiritually diverse environment using the clinical decision making process in the evaluation of the chronic conditions. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, implementing appropriate diagnostic tests, prescribing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic integrative healing therapies, professional interpersonal relationships, the caring professional role and teaching/coaching techniques. It focuses on health promotion, prevention, and diagnosis and management of chronic conditions common to individuals and families across the lifespan including timely consultation and referral process. Students’ clinical experiences are provided in a variety of primary care settings such as community clinics, skilled nursing facility, and home care setting, with emphasis on collaborative partnerships among individuals, families and other health care professionals.

FNP596 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan - Clinical Practicum

The 135 hours of precepted clinical practice time is focused on acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to assess, maintain, and promote the health and well-being of culturally diverse populations with chronic conditions in a primary care settings, community clinics, and/or a skilled nursing facility. It evaluates the evidence for screening, differential diagnosis, and management of health problems, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment modalities in a culturally appropriate manner. Health care includes assessment of health needs, diagnostic reasoning, the planning, implementation and management of care, and the evaluation outcomes using the SOAP format for documentation. Evaluation is to include revision of the plan, consultation, and referrals as needed. Standardized procedures will be discussed and reviewed throughout the class. Clinical evaluations will be performed using the College Practicum Evaluation Rubric. Project Concert will track the students clinical experiences. Cr/NC Grading.

FNP597 Clinical Residency and Practice Management

Clinical Residency requires completion of 135 hours of preceptored clinical practice time. Provides an opportunity to integrate evidence based research into clinical evaluation and implementation of primary health care for clients across the life span. In this final clinical rotation, students advance to a level of competency, and proficiency, that allows them to function independently and become ready to move to the entry role of the professional nurse practitioner. Integrated into this course is the practice management which emphasizes the professional practice role, ethical, and legal aspects of advanced clinical practice. Updates on legislation and health policy utilizing multidimensional clinical case studies are incorporated into this course. Role development, regulations, standards, prescriptive authority, certification and health care reimbursement are also discussed. Focus is on resume/CV writing, interviewing, contract negotiation, hospital privileges, practice start-up and ownership, office management, insurance, malpractice and liability, risk management, and interprofessional collaboration with the multidisciplinary team. Cr/NC Grading.