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FNP or AGNP MSN or DNP programs in the San Francisco Area


Has 6 years experience.

Which FNP option would you choose?

  1. 1. Which FNP option would you choose?

    • 3
      University of SF FNP DNP
    • 1
      Holy Names University FNP MSN
    • 0
      Samuel Merritt University FNP MSN
    • 1
      Samuel Merritt University FNP MSN (online)
    • 1
      Don't move to CA and stay in NJ :)

6 members have participated

I am looking for some advice on graduate schools.

I am currently a director of nursing in the state of NJ with a BSN degree. I have been at my position for the last 5 years and I am looking to make a career change to advance practice nursing. Here in NJ, I have the help of my parents, who live nearby and can help out with my two very young toddlers, while I resign from my position to go to school full time. I want a reputable program that I can complete in as little as two years. I was looking into programs here in NJ but my husband has been offered a much higher paying position in the San Francisco area of California. We have to seriously consider it because he will soon be our family's only source of income.

We will have no family or help with my children in California so I would ideally like to find a school with evening, weekend, or online classes so that my husband can watch the kids while I am at school.

UCSF is already out because their FNP MSN program is a two year program that requires campus visits every day. If daycare costs as much in CA as it does in NJ then we will not be able to afford full time day care for two children while he is the only source of income. So unfortunately although I like the UCSF program and the fact that it can be completed full time in two years, I would not be able to do it.

I have narrowed my list down to three schools/programs and my concerns for each one.

University of San Francisco, DNP FNP online.

While I like the school's reputation and the option of taking courses online, it will take me 4-4.5 years to complete the program. I know this is because it is a DNP program but I really want to complete the NP program in 2 years and 3 years at most.

Holy Names University, in Oakland, CA, FNP MSN.

Courses are mainly online with one on campus extended weekend (Thursday-Sunday) a month. This is doable, I'll probably hire a sitter for those extended weekends. The program can be completed in two years and the school will prepare me for the exams by the ANCC or AANP. It is relatively less expensive than the other two schools on my list. But there is no information on the required clinical hours and whether or not they help you with finding a clinical preceptor and with clinical placement. Can anyone who has received an FNP MSN from this school shed some light as to how well they prepare you for your boards and if the school is reputable? What are some pros and cons of the program?

Final school is Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA, FNP MSN.

They have two programs, one is online and the other is not. Both programs are FNP MSN. I know the least about this school. I know very little about the reputation of this school (along with Holy Names). I'm not sure how well they prepare you for the boards, clinical placements, whether or not a GRE score is required for admission, deadline to apply, and starting semester. So if any grads can tell me more about this program I would greatly appreciate it!

This was a much easier decision when I was deciding between Rutgers (my undergrad alma mater) and Felician.

Which school would you choose?

Thank you so much in advance!

I am set to graduate from HNU in August 2015. I am in their FNP program.

They do help you get clinical rotations, but only if you are in the SF bay area; otherwise, you are on your own. In the past, they had problems with placements, but now the class size has been trimmed down so that the placements available don't exceed the number of students. We will have about 25 in my graduating class (can't remember who is graduating, as one can enter in September or January).

Six rotations of 104 clinical hours each are required for a total of 624 clinical hours.

None of the classes are online. Instead, they are crunched into one four day weekend per month (more or less, sometimes it is 6 weeks), Th, Fr, Sat, and Sunday. You will write a lot of papers. A (very) few of the classes have one "hybrid" day, where you stay home and post responses to questions online--these are the non-clinical related classes. Many of the tests are online, and simulate the accrediting exams: 120 questions in 100 minutes, or similar, some with tricky or complex questions. You become very used to taking online tests, which will help when you take the boards.

The physical assessment class was hard. At least one student was flunked out of the program because of her performance on the final, in which you had to do a complete physical exam on another student with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. For gyn and male health, we performed our first pelvic, rectal, and prostate exams on human "reproductive health educators." You don't get any real ob practice until you do your clinicals, unless you count doing Leopold's maneuvers on stuffed abdomen models (I don't).

Your capstone project is individual and must involve some sort of quantitative or qualitative research along with the proposal and paper that goes along with it. You actually have to do research and crunch some numbers (if quantitiative), albeit on a simpler level than what would be done in a DNP program. I am in the middle of mine now.

The down side: The instructors are FNPs, and not experts in their subject. For instance, instead of a physiologist teaching pathophysiolgoy, we had an FNP; same with pharmacology. I think we would have gotten more out of an actual expert. Also, the weekends are looooong. Often you are there from 8 am until 8 pm. Heard stories about some students cheating and there were no repercussions. The program seems to be disorganized, but they have recently had changes in both the nursing department chair and the head of the FNP program.

PM me if you want to know anything else.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to Student NP forum.

pls share what school did you end up choosing?

Im in a similar situation, would've your input