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College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) concentration is designed for registered nurses who want to provide evidence-informed practice to culturally diverse populations using the latest technology for learning and practicing. This Program is 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 Program provides the opportunity to be mentored as FNPs with distinctive populations in a variety of settings and communities.

Graduates that earn an MSN-FNP degree 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 residentstudents 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 MSN-FNP program. 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.

Tuition Rate:
$27,000 (including fees)

TUITION & COST

Click here for tuition and fees.

Program Requirements

For more information about program requirements, completion and licensure refer to the University Catalog.

Core Requirements
14 Credits
Advanced Practice Requirements
10 Credits
Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Requirements
24 Credits
MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Total
48 Credits

Core Requirements

MSN560: Transitions in Practice; The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse

This course focuses on the role and accountabilities of advanced practice nurses. Emphasis is on historical and contemporary contexts, major themes and theories crucial to successful development; execution of and leadership in advance practice nursing. Focus is also on the impact and evolution, certification, legal issues, ethics, best practices, standards, standardized procedures, prescriptive authority, and professional activities inclusive of advanced practice nursing roles.

3 Credits

MSN561: Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing

This course will analyze major nursing theories and explore theories from related fields. This course will apply the knowledge of nursing theory to evidence-based practice in domains of clinical, research, leadership, management and education. Students in this course will explore in depth the core concepts of Jean Watson’s Caring Science Theory. The student will develop a personal theoretical framework for their practice of advanced practice nursing- clinical practice, education, or administration.

Prerequisite: MSN560 Transitions in Practice: The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse

3 Credits

MSN563: Evidence Based Inquiry for Scholarship and Practice

This course is designed to prepare the advanced practice nurse for utilization of existing knowledge to provide high quality health care, initiate change and improve nursing practice incorporating the principles of caring science. Emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of research and evidence, problem identification within the practice setting, awareness of practice outcomes, and the clinical application of evidence based practice. Reasoning and critical thinking will be applied to explore qualitative and quantitative research methods. Understanding of statistical methods and critical analysis of data for the purpose of validating evidence will be integrated into course content. Integration of knowledge from the humanities and science within the context of nursing science will be discussed. The student will define a clinical problem and design the evidence based practice project approach that will be developed in MSN 600 Evidence Based Capstone Project.

Prerequisite: MSN561 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing

3 Credits

MSN565: Nursing Leadership and Health Policy

This course will focus on providing students with the skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities that confront nursing leaders in complex healthcare environments. Techniques to develop successful leadership methodologies will include the use of multiple technology platforms, social media, e-leadership along with other emerging tools for the optimization and development of the nurse leader. Emphasis will be placed on the responsibilities of the nurse leader to understand and drive health policy at the local, state, national and international level.

Prerequisite: MSN564 Cultural and Spiritual Care Across the Lifespan or MSN563 Evidence Based Inquiry for Scholarship and Practice or MSN583 Legal and Ethical Issues for the Advanced Practice Nurse

3 Credits

MSN600: Evidence-Based Capstone Project

This culminating integrative course provides the opportunity for students to develop and design an innovative evidence based project (PICO-T) that was identified and defined in MSN563. The capstone project must be founded in evidence based practice and either be supported by evidence in peer-reviewed literature or provide outcomes in identifying the effectiveness of the project. The students will be guided in the process of evidenced based project development, including formulation of goals and objectives, refinement of project design, implementation strategies, development of tools, data collection, identification of resources and evaluation. Through group discussion, students will participate in a process of peer consultation and critique in support of project refinement. Faculty will supervise students in developing their capstone project in conjunction with other educational resources that are selected by the students. The faculty will advise and approve the final project according to students’ specialty area. The projects may include electronic practice portfolio, a quality improvement project, an evaluation of a new practice model, clinical practice project, poster presentation, and manuscripts submitted for publication.

Prerequisite: Must be the last course in the degree or paired with one other course such as FNP597.

2 Credits

Advanced Practice 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.

Prerequisite: MSN570 – Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisite: MSN570 – Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan and MSN571 Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan

4 Credits

Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Requirements

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.

Prerequisites: MSN560 Transitions in Practice: The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, MSN561 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing, MSN 563 Evidence Based Inquiry for Scholarship and Practice, and MSN565 Nursing Leadership and Health Policy

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: MSN572 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan Co-requisite: FNP592 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: MSN572 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan Co-requisite:  FNP591 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan

3 Credits

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.

Pre-requisites: FNP591 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan and FNP592 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum Co-requisite: FNP594 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: FNP591 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan and FNP592 Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum Co-requisite: FNP593 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: FNP593 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan and FNP594 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum Co-requisite: FNP596 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan – Clinical Practicum

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: FNP593 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan and FNP594 Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan- Clinical Practicum Co-requisite: FNP595 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan

3 Credits

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.

Prerequisites: FNP595 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan and FNP596 Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan – Clinical Practicum; Co-requisite: MSN600 Evidence-Based Capstone Project

3 Credits