Master's-prepared nurses interested in the care of patients across the lifespan have several academic options available to them. They can enroll in a DNP program, or they can choose a shorter, more streamlined path by enrolling in a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) post-master's certificate program. Practicing Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can also enroll in a post-master's program if they are looking to change their specialty. For example, NPs practicing adult-gerontology can earn an FNP post-master's certificate, therefore caring for patients of all ages.

Choosing a FNP Post-Master's Graduate Certificate Program

Nurses and nurse practitioners looking to change their specialty or expand their practice to include the FNP discipline may not know quite where to start when searching for a post-master's certificate program. Some may have been out of academia for years, and new programs and technology have changed the way education is delivered; for example, online programs are becoming more prevalent. The following serves as a starting point that nurses can use as a starting point on their educational journey.

  • Accreditation- One essential consideration when choosing to return to school is to ensure that the school has valid and nationally-recognized accreditation. If a post-master's program does not have proper accreditation, it may affect state licensure. The two nationally-accredited agencies for post-master's certificate programs (and other nursing programs) are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • Cost- The cost to attend a post-master's certificate program can vary greatly, and can often be the deciding factor when choosing a school. Cost varies based on state, city, and resident status. Prospective students should also be prepared that tuition costs do not typically include the cost of university or school fees, technology fees, books, supplies, and living expenses.
  • Program Length- Many prospective students, when researching post-master's certificate programs, may come across schools boasting the quickest program. Students should be cautious of these claims, as a specific curriculum is required for licensure as a family nurse practitioner. The shortest program is not always the best choice. However, students should be aware that post-master's programs are often shorter than DNP programs, which is why some students choose this path.
  • Online Options- Master's-prepared nurses are often working; some full-time, some on night shifts, and some on holidays (and some work all three!). Because nurses and nurse practitioners may not always have the option of not working when returning to school, online programs are a fantastic choice. Online learning offers the flexibility and self-paced study that is so valuable to working nurses and therefore can be a deciding factor when choosing a post-master's certificate program.
  • Internship/Externship Options- Family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate students need to complete a specific number of clinical hours in order to graduate and become licensed as an FNP. Prospective students should consider the clinical practicum part of the program -determining if the school assigns students to preceptors or if the student must find one is critical and can also be a deciding factor when choosing a program. Additionally, many programs are contracted with nearby healthcare facilities; students may choose a program which is contracted with a facility that specializes in certain areas. For example, an FNP post-master's student may wish to work with pediatric diabetes patients, and therefore may look for a program that contracts with a pediatric hospital or clinic.

Online FNP Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Many academic programs are now available online, and nursing programs are no exception. When considering an online FNP post-master's program, there are many factors that students need to consider to determine whether it is the best pathway for them.

Online vs. Classroom-Based FNP Post-Master's Certificate Programs

One of the main advantages of an online program is the flexibility. Many nurses seeking an advanced degree are already working-some even nights and weekends, and some twelve to twenty-four-hour shifts. For this reason, flexibility is critical for the student's success. Being able to study when possible and learning at one's own pace ensures a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, students may save on the cost of commuting and parking, as well as save valuable time spent attending in-person classes.

However, for online learning to take place, students need to have a computer, internet access, webcams, and other technological equipment. This translates to extra costs for the student. Those who struggle with technology may also have difficulty with online learning. Also, some students perform better when taught face-to-face, and with in-person peer support. Learning styles differ among students, and sometimes online learning isn't the most effective method.

As stated earlier, many online educational programs advertise quick completion and lowest rates. However, students need to always check the accreditation status. The ACEN and CCNE also accredit online programs, so students should always check which entity has approved the program.

Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate Admission Requirements

Each family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate program sets forth specific admission requirements. While admission criteria can vary between schools, general requirements may include:

  • A master's degree from an accredited school
  • Current RN/APRN license
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Submit a resume/CV
  • Provide a written goal statement or statement of purpose
  • Have completed a specific number of clinical hours
  • Have completed advanced pharmacology, physiology, and health assessment courses

Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate Curriculum

The FNP post-master's certificate program curriculum must follow a strict set of requirements to ensure students are prepared to practice upon graduation and licensing. Although course title and content may vary slightly, students can expect to study the following:

  • Advanced pharmacology (if not already completed)
  • Advanced physiology (if not already completed)
  • Advanced physical/ health assessment (if not already completed)
  • Primary care of the family
  • Primary care of infants, children, and adolescents
  • Primary care of the older adult
  • Role development/professional issues for advanced practice nurses

In addition to core courses, students must complete a specific number of clinical practicum hours to apply advanced practice nursing theory to the clinical setting.

Helpful Resources

Other Degree Programs

List of Post Master's Certificate FNP Programs

Select Your State:

Alabama

SchoolContact Information
Samford University
Graduate Certificate Programs
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
(205) 726-2011
The University of Alabama
Graduate Certificate Programs
50 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
(205) 348-6639
Troy University
Graduate Certificate Programs
Troy University School of Nursing, Pell Ave
Troy, AL 36081
(334) 834-2320
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Graduate Certificate Programs
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
(256) 824-1000

Alaska

SchoolContact Information
University of Alaska Anchorage
Graduate Certificate Programs
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-4406

Arizona

SchoolContact Information
Grand Canyon University
3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(855) 428-5673
Northern Arizona University
Graduate Certificate Programs
202 E Pine Knoll Dr- PO Box: 15035
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
(928) 523-2671
University of Arizona
Graduate Certificate Programs
1305 N. Martin | PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-6154

California

SchoolContact Information
Brandman University
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800
Cal State LA
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-3000
California State University Long Beach
Graduate Certificate Programs
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-4111
California State University San Marcos
Graduate Certificate Programs
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd
San Marcos, CA 92096
(760) 750-4000
National University
Graduate Certificate Programs
9388 Lightwave Ave
San Diego, CA 92123
(800) 628-8648
San Francisco State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 338-1111
Sonoma State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1801 East Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 664-2466
Western University
Graduate Certificate Programs
309 E. Second St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 623-6116

Colorado

SchoolContact Information
University of Colorado
Graduate Certificate Programs
12950 E. Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
(303) 724-2152
University of Northern Colorado
501 20 ST.
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

Connecticut

SchoolContact Information
Southern Conneticut State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 392-7278
Yale University
Graduate Certificate Programs
400 West Campus Drive
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 785-2389

District Of Columbia

SchoolContact Information
The George Washington University
2121 I St NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000

Florida

SchoolContact Information
Barry University
Graduate Certificate Programs
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
(305) 899-3379
Florida International University
Graduate Certificate Programs
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-7748
Florida Southern College
Graduate Certificate Programs
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 680-4111
South University
Graduate Certificate Programs
4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 175
Tampa, FL 33614
(180) 068-8093 x2
University of Central Florida
Graduate Certificate Programs
12201 Research Parkway, Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32826
(407) 823-2744
University of North Florida
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
(904) 620-1000

Georgia

SchoolContact Information
Augusta University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-9767
Georgia College
Graduate Certificate Programs
231 W. Hancock St.
Milledgeville,, GA 31061
(800) 342-0471
Georgia Southern University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458
(912) 478-4636
Georgia State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000
University of Northern Georgia
Graduate Certificate Programs
155 Sunset Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30597
(706) 864-1930

Hawaii

SchoolContact Information
Hawaii Pacific University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, HI 96813
(180) 854-4020 x0

Illinois

SchoolContact Information
Bradley University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1501 W Bradley Ave
Peoria, IL 61625
(309) 676-7611
Illinois State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
Campus Box 4040
Normal, IL 61790
(309) 438-2583
Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 838-0500
Loyola University of Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 655-2201
University of Saint Francis
Graduate Certificate Programs
500 Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435
(800) 735-7500

Indiana

SchoolContact Information
Ball State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2000 W. University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306
(800) 382-8540
Indiana State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
200 North Seventh Street
Terre Haute, IN 47809
(800) 468-6478
Purdue University Northwest
Graduate Certificate Programs
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323
(219) 989-2400
University of Southern Indiana
Graduate Certificate Programs
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600

Iowa

SchoolContact Information
Graceland University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 University Place
Lamoni, IA 50140
(641) 784-5000
University of Iowa
Graduate Certificate Programs
50 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-7018

Kentucky

SchoolContact Information
Eastern Kentucky University
Graduate Certificate Programs
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475
(859) 622-1000
Frontier Nursing University
Graduate Certificate Programs
195 School Street
Hyden, KY 41749
(606) 672-2312
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
315 College of Nursing Building 751 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536
(859) 323-5108
Western Kentucky University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-0111

Louisiana

SchoolContact Information
McNeese State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
4205 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70609
(337) 475-5000
Southeastern Louisiana University
Graduate Certificate Programs
500 W University Ave
Hammond, LA 70402
(985) 549-5637

Maine

SchoolContact Information
Husson University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 College Circle
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 941-7000
Saint Joseph's College
Graduate Certificate Programs
278 Whites Bridge Road
Standish, ME 04084
(207) 892-6766
University of Maine
Graduate Certificate Programs
5724 Dunn Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5724
(207) 581-2592

Massachusetts

SchoolContact Information
Endicott College
Graduate Certificate Programs
376 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915
(197) 892-7058 x5
Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences
179 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 879-5964
MGH Institute Of Health Professions
Graduate Certificate Programs
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 726-2947
Regis University
Graduate Certificate Programs
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000
University of Massachusetts Boston
Graduate Certificate Programs
100 William T. Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 287-5000

Michigan

SchoolContact Information
Saginaw Valley State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
7400 Bay Road University
Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4000
University of Detroit Mercy
Graduate Certificate Programs
4001 W. McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221
(131) 399-3124 x5
University of Michigan
Graduate Certificate Programs
426 N. Ingalls St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5985

Minnesota

SchoolContact Information
The College of St. Scholastica
Graduate Certificate Programs
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(800) 447-5444
Wiona State University Rochester
Graduate Certificate Programs
859 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904
(507) 285-7100

Mississippi

SchoolContact Information
Delta State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
Highway 8 West
Cleveland, MS 38733
(180) 046-8637 x8
The University of Southern Mississippi
Graduate Certificate Programs
118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-1000

Missouri

SchoolContact Information
Maryville University
Graduate Certificate Programs
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
(314) 529-9300
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-5000

Nebraska

SchoolContact Information
Clarkson College
Graduate Certificate Programs
101 S. 42 Street
Omaha, NE 68131
(402) 552-3100
Creighton University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
(402) 280-2700
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Graduate Certificate Programs
42nd and Emile
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 559-4000

Nevada

SchoolContact Information
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Graduate Certificate Programs
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3011
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 784-1110

New Hampshire

SchoolContact Information
Rivier University
Graduate Certificate Programs
420 South Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888-1311
The University of New Hampshire
Graduate Certificate Programs
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1177

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1000 River Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-2000
Felician University
Graduate Certificate Programs
One Felician Way
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 559-6000
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 571-3400
Rutgers School of Nursing
180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 972-4307
Stockton University
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205
(609) 652-1776
The College of New Jersey
Graduate Certificate Programs
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628
(609) 771-2591
William Paterson University
Graduate Certificate Programs
300 Pompton Rd
Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 720-2000

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
The University of New Mexico
Graduate Certificate Programs
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
Binghamton University
Graduate Certificate Programs
4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY 13902
(607) 777-2000
College Of Mount Saint Vincent
6301 Riverdale Avenue
Riverdale, NY 10471
(718) 405-3200
D'Youville College
Graduate Certificate Programs
320 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201
(716) 829-8000
Le Moyne College
Graduate Certificate Programs
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214
(315) 445-4100
Long Island University
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1327
(516) 299-2485
Mount Saint Mary College
Graduate Certificate Programs
330 Powell Ave.
Newburgh, NY 12550
(845) 561-0800
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300
Pace University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 Pace Plaza
New York, NY 10038
(866) 722-3338
St. John Fisher College
3690 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 385-8000
Stony Brook School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333
Suny Downstate Medical School
Graduate Certificate Programs
450 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
(718) 270-1000
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Graduate Certificate Programs
100 Seymour Rd
Utica, NY 13502
(315) 792-7500
Wagner College
1 Campus Rd
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 390-3100

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
East Carolina University
Graduate Certificate Programs
East Fifth Street
Greenville, NC 27858
(252) 328-6131
Gardner-Webb University
Graduate Certificate Programs
110 S. Main St., P.O. Box 997
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-4000
Western Carolina University
1 University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
(828) 227-7211

Ohio

SchoolContact Information
Case Western Reserve University
Graduate Certificate Programs
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
Kent State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1375 University Esplanade
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-7930
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
127 S Davis Ave
Columbus, OH 43222
(614) 234-5800
Ohio University
Graduate Certificate Programs

Athens, OH 45701
(740) 593-1000
Otterbein University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 South Grove Street
Westerville, OH 43081
(614) 890-3000
The University of Akron
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111
The University of Toledo
Graduate Certificate Programs
2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606
(800) 586-5336
University of Cincinnati
Graduate Certificate Programs
2600 Clifton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(151) 355-8550 x0
Walsh University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2020 East Maple Street
North Canton, OH 44720
(330) 490-7090
Wright State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45431
(937) 775-3333
Xavier University
Graduate Certificate Programs
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207
(513) 745-3000
Youngstown State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555
(330) 941-3000

Oklahoma

SchoolContact Information
Oklahoma City University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2501 N Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 208-5000

Pennsylvania

SchoolContact Information
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Certificate Programs
909 E Wood St.
Clarion, PA 16214
(800) 672-7171
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 895-2000
La Salle University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141
(215) 951-1000
Millersville University
P.O. Box 1002
Millersville, PA 17551
(717) 871-4636
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281

Rhode Island

SchoolContact Information
University of Rhode Island
Graduate Certificate Programs
45 Upper College Rd
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 874-1000

South Carolina

SchoolContact Information
University of South Carolina
Graduate Certificate Programs
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412

Tennessee

SchoolContact Information
Austin Peay State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
P.O. Box 4458
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7662
Belmont University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 460-6000
East Tennessee State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
365 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-4578
King University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1350 King College Road
Bristol, TN 37620
(800) 362-0014
Tennessee Tech University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 William L Jones Dr
Cookeville, TN 38505
(931) 372-3101
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Graduate Certificate Programs
615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 425-4416
Union University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545
University of Memphis
101 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152
(190) 167-8200 x3

Texas

SchoolContact Information
Angelo State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2601 W. Avenue N
San Angelo, TX 76909
(180) 094-6862 x7
Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing
2149 Hickory St
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 671-2399
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Graduate Certificate Programs
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5774
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
(361) 825-2753
Texas Tech University
Graduate Certificate Programs
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
The University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Certificate Programs
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-3434
The University of Texas at Tyler
Graduate Certificate Programs
3900 University Blvd
Tyler, TX 75799
(903) 566-7000
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 567-7000

Vermont

SchoolContact Information
University of Vermont
Graduate Certificate Programs
The University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
(802) 656-3131

Virginia

SchoolContact Information
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 993-1000
Marymount University
Graduate Certificate Programs
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 522-5600
Shenandoah University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 665-4500
South University - Richmond
2151 Old Brick Rd
Glen Allen, VA 23060
(804) 727-6800
University of Virginia
Graduate Certificate Programs
225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141
Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-0724

West Virginia

SchoolContact Information
West Virginia University
Graduate Certificate Programs
6700 Health Sciences South
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-0111
West Virginia Wesleyan College
59 College Avenue
Buckhannon, WV 26201
(304) 473-8000

Wisconsin

SchoolContact Information
Concordia Wisconsin Campus
Graduate Certificate Programs
12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700
Marquette University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(800) 222-6544
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Graduate Certificate Programs
2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-1122

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