Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Harding University Carr College of Nursing (HCCN) is pleased to offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner program. The curriculum is offered in a hybrid format where students gain the required knowledge via weekly online lectures, learning assignments and proctored testing. To validate student competencies and provide training for advanced practice skills, students are required to attend on campus intensives for 3-5 days each semester. The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track educates students to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with the opportunity to sit for national certification exam upon graduation. With the education and certification of a Family Nurse Practitioner, the FNP will be able to work as a primary care provider within a variety of settings and with patient populations across the lifespan. As state and federal decisions shape the future of healthcare and advanced nursing practice, the graduate will be positioned to make a significant impact on safe, quality patient care.
What is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)?
A family nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education who is able to assess, diagnose, manage and evaluate care for people who have illnesses, injuries and chronic diseases as well as assist with health promotion and disease prevention. They provide patient-centered health care, including the use of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions to provide the most efficient care possible. Nurse practitioners address the healthcare needs of not only the individual, but the family and community as well. Depending on the state of residence, nurse practitioners can practice independently and autonomously within their scope of practice. Many nurse practitioners practice collaboratively with various health care disciplines to provide holistic healthcare. (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015).
Why Harding University Carr College of Nursing?
HCCN has a strong history of educating nurses with a focus on providing a holistic, caring approach to the patient. Students are educated by men and women dedicated to providing an advanced education embraced by Christian values and God's Word. Our online program strives to maintain a close relationship with students studying to become family nurse practitioners. Faculty actively maintain close relations with our FNP students and work to help each one achieve their goal of becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Students will gain a better understanding of how to serve as Christian healthcare providers by being surrounded by faculty who are active missionaries in many foreign lands as well as local outreach.
The policies and criteria are conveyed to prospective students via the Harding University Graduate and Professional Catalog, Harding University Carr College of Nursing (HCCN) Graduate Student Handbook, letters, phone calls, electronic communications, and personal interviews.
State Restrictions Information
Please note, there are state restrictions for this program: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Wyoming.
Admission to the MSN program is competitive.
The standards for admission to the MSN-FNP program at HCCN are as follows:
- A baccalaureate degree in nursing with an upper division nursing major from a nursing program accredited by a nursing accreditation body and from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution.
- Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale. If the GPA is below 3.0, conditional acceptance may be considered.
- Satisfactory completion of basic inferential statistics, health assessment, and nursing research courses; each completed with a final letter grade of "C" or higher.
- Although not an official requirement, those who have submitted a score for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) will be able to have their scores reviewed and considered as part of their admission into the program.
- If the applicant was not born in the United States or in a country where English is not the official language, the applicant may document their English proficiency based on the following criteria:
An official TOEFL iBT composite score of at least 83 with a minimum speaking requirement of 26/30 or 90%. The test must have been taken within the last calendar year of admission. An official TOEFL exam score report reflecting successful completion must be received no later than the application deadline. The TOEFL iBT can be taken in the Harding University Testing Office. The test is an expense to the student. Please contact that office for details at 501-279-4415 or online at www.harding.edu/testing.
- Legal residence in the United States. International applicants must have status as a permanent resident upon admission to the graduate program and be eligible to attend an online program. Due to the online education construct of our program, students who are in the United States with an F-1 Visa may not be eligible to attend this program. Students with an F-1 Visa must consult with the Department of Homeland Security for eligibility to the program. A document verifying residency status must be provided to the University and Program.
- Unencumbered current, compact or state RN license.
- Proof of 2000 hours of work experience as an RN prior to the start of clinical courses.
- Evidence of current immunizations and health related requirements (maintained throughout program).
On Campus Visits
Required on campus dates are tentatively:
- December 2-5, 2019
- May 4-7, 2020 (non graduating students)
- May 7-9, 2020 (graduating students)
- August 17-21, 2020
Exact dates depend on the courses the student is taking.
Students are to complete an online application through NursingCAS for the Carr College of Nursing prior to consideration for admission to the program. Application elements are listed below:
- Online applications available at NursingCAS.
- Submission of health related requirements. This must be turned in before the start of the initial semester.
- Completion of the criminal background check. This must be turned in before the start of the initial semester.
- Verification of current unencumbered RN license for state of residence and/or practice.
- Application for admission to the graduate program will be considered when all materials are collected in NursingCAS and the $50 non-refundable application fee submitted to HCCN.
- Money order or credit card are preferred methods of payment for the application fee.
- Money order can be made out to Carr College of Nursing Graduate Program (mail to address below).
- To pay by credit card please call the HCCN Graduate Office at 501-279-4859.
All applicants will be invited for a personal interview with HCCN faculty. Applicants are expected to demonstrate professional demeanor and dress, interpersonal skills, professional communication, and integrity throughout the process.
Following the selection process, students will receive a letter of acceptance, admission as an alternate, or non-acceptance. If a student receives a non-acceptance letter, he or she may re-submit an application after one calendar year.
Tuition and Fees
2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
|Full Time||Part Time|
|Tuition||$8647 per semester||$960 per credit hour|
|Technology Fee||$250 per semester||$25 per credit hour|
|Clinical Fees||~$3,000 total||~$3,000 total|
Program Fees and Incidental Expenses
Beyond tuition and university fees, graduate nursing students incur personal incidental expenses for which students are personally responsible. These include, but are not limited to: a Windows or Mac computer meeting requirements here, mobile computing device, clinical expenses, health-related expenses, standardized tests, certification preparation and examination fees, health insurance, lab coats, healthcare assessment equipment, transportation, and personal costs while attending campus activities.
HCCN's Master's program has multiple pathways to help prepare students who are interested in becoming a family nurse practitioner. Our online program is organized to prepare students in an orderly manner and to help them synthesize previously learned material. On-campus intensives are held three times a year to allow students to meet classmates and faculty, orient to current syllabi and course expectations, introduce course foundations and concepts, and facilitate end-of-course exams and competencies. In addition to meeting on campus, virtual meetings are incorporated in the classes to provide for active learning from their classmates.
Master of Science in Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Full Time or Part Time Track
This option is available to Registered Nurses who have not previously earned an MSN. The curriculum is 45 semester credit hours and 720 clinical practicum hours. Federal financial aid may be available for students who pursue this degree option.
More details on this option are available in the 2019-2020 Curriculum Sequence FNP MSN FT-PT Pamphlet (PDF).
Post Graduate Certificate in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner program
This option is available to Registered Nurses or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who have earned an MSN in another area of emphasis. Students in this option may complete up to 32 credit hours in the MSN FNP program. Upon completion of the required courses, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioners. Federal financial aid is not offered through Harding University for this certificate program, however private lending options may be available as needed.
More details on this option are available in the 2019-2020 Curriculum Sequence FNP Post Graduate Pamphlet (PDF).
Second Master of Science in Nursing degree in Family Nurse Practitioner program
This option is available to Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who have completed an MSN in another area of emphasis. Up to 15 credit hours of essential MSN courses may be transferred for the MSN FNP degree completion of 45 credit hours. Federal financial aid is available for students who pursue this degree option.
More details on this option are available in the 2019-2020 Curriculum Sequence Second Master's Pamphlet (PDF).
Graduate Program Outcomes
The Dean and the FNP program director, and faculty measure graduate program outcomes in order to foster continual quality improvement. Selected program outcomes related to our graduate student achievement include the first time pass rate on the national certification exam, the program completion rate of students who enter the program, and the employment rate 6 months after graduation. These findings will be presented as our program progresses and collective data is obtained.
|Certification Pass Rate||100%||100%|
Student learning outcomes are also evaluated on a regular basis to ensure student development occurs. These learning outcomes are measured in each course and clinical activities. In the graduate program, student learning outcomes are summarized below:
|Strand||Student Learning Outcome|
|Clinical Reasoning||Demonstrate clinical reasoning in making holistic advanced practice clinical judgments for safe and quality nursing care relevant to comprehensive client problems encountered in primary care settings.|
|Population Care||Integrate evidence-based clinical prevention and population care for aggregates and identified populations encountered in primary care.|
|Evidenced Based Practice||Implement research findings and evidence-based best practices in the provision of advanced practice nursing to enhance safety and quality in care.|
|Research||Analyze disparities in knowledge or evidence, articulate research questions, and evaluate outcomes of advanced practice nursing for refinement of safety and quality.|
|Accountability||Demonstrate accountability for client and systems quality outcomes, acting as a change agent, and client advocate.|
|Leadership||Analyze political, legal and ethical influences in health care systems that affect health policy and economics.|
|Collaboration||Communicate and collaborate with clients, families and health team members for client and system quality outcomes, and to foster supportive personal and professional growth.|
|Christian Ethics||Demonstrate commitment to Christian principles, professional ethics, and standards of advanced practice to provide culturally competent, patient-centered care to clients and families in local and global communities.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can Family Nurse Practitioners practice?
Family Nurse Practitioners are educated to be primary care providers and are found working in many different areas. Besides family medicine clinics, FNPs practice in community health clinics, Native American health facilities, VA centers, school/college clinics, health departments, occupational health, and specialty clinics. FNPs are also opening their own clinics or working with other healthcare providers in rural and urban locations.
What is the market for Nurse Practitioners?
All over the country there is a recognized shortage of healthcare providers. Medically underserved areas are recognized in many states as needing additional health care providers. As the U.S. population ages and with the increase in newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, millions of patients will need health care providers. More and more nurse practitioners are educated and prepared to enter primary care than ever before, and with all of the opportunities listed above, the demand has never been higher.
How long will the program take to complete?
The MSN is 45 credit hours. A full-time plan of study can be completed within five continuous semesters. A part-time plan of study can be completed within eight continuous semesters. Continuous plans of study includes summer semesters. Those who are selected to begin in the Spring semesters may be able to complete their studies in 7 continuous semesters.
The Second MSN plan of study is for students who have completed a previous Master's Degree in Nursing. This includes nursing education, nursing administration, clinical nurse specialist, etc. A student's plan of study is developed with consideration of previous MSN courses completed in pursuit of their first Master's degree. Each student must present their official transcripts for review by the Associate Dean and FNP Program Director to determine which courses may transfer. A maximum of 15 credit hours may transfer if deemed congruent with HCCN's program. The length of the second MSN will depend on the number of transfer credits accepted.
The Post Graduate Certificate program may be chosen by registered nurses who have already completed a MSN (Non-FNP focused) in another concentration. The certificate program is based upon previous course work. Students focus on courses specific to FNP certification and university requirements, up to 32 credit hours. This program can be completed within five semesters.
Is Financial Aid available for the FNP program?
Please click here for Harding University's Graduate Financial Aid Services office or call 501-279-4081 for more information.
Please note: Title IV federal financial aid is not available for the Post Graduate Certificate, though private loans and grants may be available.
If I attend an online program, how often will I see my instructor?
More than you probably anticipate! Being a part of an online program does not mean you will have no interaction with your instructors or preceptors. You will first encounter your course instructor when you attend on-campus intensive, where you will meet classmates, review syllabi, and participate in discussions and workshops. Using educational technology, you will participate in course dialogue and discussion through either asynchronous discussion postings, or planned synchronous virtual class meetings. The technology provides the ability to interact with professors on a personal level and to engage in professional dialogue to discuss relevant issues of the day. And finally, at the conclusion of the semester, students will return to campus to complete the course through either semester finals, clinical evaluations, or professional presentations. Your instructors want only the best for you and are heavily invested in each student.
For more information, see the AANP Nurse Practitioner Fact Sheet