11 Best Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs in 2023

Take your nursing career to the next level by discovering the best family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs available in 2023. Articles Programs

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Choosing the right family nurse practitioner (FNP) program is a critical decision that can significantly impact your future career. The best FNP programs offer a comprehensive curriculum, experienced faculty, and opportunities for hands-on clinical experience. They prepare students to provide high-quality care to patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly, in various healthcare settings.

If you want to learn more about the best FNP programs available, check out our list below, along with information about the role, responsibilities, and career outlook.

Best FNP Programs

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States. 

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University's FNP program is a part of their MSN degree. It prepares RNs to provide primary healthcare services to families and individuals of all ages. The program emphasizes the integration of research and practice, with a focus on improving patient outcomes.

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University's FNP program is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses to deliver primary healthcare to families throughout their lifespan. The program combines rigorous academic instruction with diverse clinical experiences, from private practices to community clinics.

Columbia University - New York City, NY

Columbia University's FNP program is part of its DNP degree. The program prepares nurses to provide comprehensive, patient-centered primary care to individuals across the lifespan. The program strongly emphasizes equipping students with evidence-based knowledge and skills essential for effectively managing health and illness.

University of California San Francisco (UCSF) - San Francisco - CA

The FNP program at UCSF prepares nurses to provide primary health care services to families and individuals of all ages. The program prioritizes the integration of evidence-based practice and inter-professional collaboration in managing health and illness within the primary care setting.

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

The FNP program at the University of Pennsylvania prepares nurses to practice as primary care providers for families in various settings. The curriculum focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, and managing patients with acute and chronic health conditions.

Rush University - Chicago, IL

Rush University's FNP program prepares nurses to provide comprehensive primary health care to families and individuals of all ages. The program emphasizes the importance of evidence-based practice in effectively managing health and illness while also focusing on population health and social determinants of health.

University of Florida - Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida provides a BSN to DNP path specializing in FNP. The program allows students to practice community-based advanced nursing with children and adults within a family context. The program's emphasis is on health promotion across the lifespan, as well as the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic health problems.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Los Angeles, CA

UCLA FNP graduates assume an advanced practice role in the care of patients within the context of family, culture, and community, providing care across the lifespan with a focus on health promotion, wellness, chronic disease management, and short-term acute injury and illnesses.

University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA

The University of Virginia offers an MSN program with a FNP track. This program prepares nurses for advanced practice, enabling them to become NPs, nurse scientists, faculty members, or administrative leaders. It draws upon the academic excellence of the University of Virginia, the clinical strengths of the UVA Health, and the University's commitment to serving the needs of the citizens of Virginia and the world.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University offers an MSN, BSN to DNP, and Post-Graduate Certificate programs with a concentration in becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. The program is designed to prepare registered nurses to manage the care of individuals and families in primary care settings. The curriculum includes coursework in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment.

University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

The University of Pittsburgh offers a BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs with a concentration in the Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner. The program prepares students to provide primary care to individuals and families across the lifespan. The curriculum includes advanced health assessment, pharmacology, and pathophysiology coursework.

FNP Job Description

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are healthcare professionals with advanced training, typically holding a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This advanced education equips FNPs to offer primary and specialized care to individuals across all age groups, from infants to the elderly. FNPs can also gain additional certifications to meet their community's specific needs, such as diabetes management.

FNPs play a crucial role in promoting health and preventing disease. They educate patients about healthy lifestyles, conduct regular check-ups, and address health issues before they become severe. This proactive approach encourages patients to maintain their health and well-being throughout their lives.

Related: Best NP Jobs and Salaries in 2023

As primary care providers, FNPs have full autonomy in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic illnesses and injuries. They also collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure their patients receive comprehensive, individualized care.

FNPs are eligible to prescribe medications in all fifty U.S. states and territories. However, some states or regions may have reduced or restricted practice regulations, meaning an NP may need to be overseen by another healthcare provider or be limited in at least one area of their practice.

FNP Responsibilities

Some of the responsibilities of an FNP include:

  • Providing health promotion and disease prevention services
  • Performing health assessments and physical exams
  • Ordering, performing, and evaluating diagnostic tests
  • Diagnosing acute, chronic, and complex health problems
  • Prescribing medications and non-pharmacological treatments
  • Developing and managing treatment plans
  • Following up and evaluating patient status
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Educating and counseling patients, families, and communities
  • Coordinating patient care and making referrals as needed

FNPs work in various primary care healthcare systems and settings, including private practices, outpatient clinics, community health centers, public health departments, nursing homes, school clinics, homeless shelters, hospitals, and urgent care centers.

FNP Salary Expectations

Becoming an FNP can be a fulfilling career, providing working nurses with more autonomy and the ability to change patient outcomes at the preventative level. They also receive higher pay. The average annual salary for an FNP is $139,918, with the 25th percentile earning $97,000-$119,000 and the 75th percentile earning $189,000-$232,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts APRN employment will grow 40% from 2021 to 2031, with an estimated 112,700 new NP job openings. FNPs will be fundamental to providing preventative and primary care, which happens to be an area of healthcare already facing strain.

These numbers significantly differ from the highs and lows listed above, as the aggregate data in this section is from ZipRecruiter, while the aggregate data above is from Glassdoor. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not make a distinction between APRN and NP salaries. 


Q: Do I need a bachelor's degree to take a FNP degree program?

A BSN degree is typically required to enter a FNP program. Most FNP programs are at the graduate level, either MSN or DNP, requiring applicants to have a BSN degree and a valid RN license.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, some schools offer RN-to-MSN or RN-to-DNP bridge programs, allowing RNs with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to earn their graduate degree without obtaining a BSN. These programs often include additional coursework to cover the material typically included in a BSN program.

Q: Is FNP a well-paid specialty?

FNPs are generally well-compensated. However, salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as geographic location, years of experience, specialty, and the specific setting in which they work. Some FNPs may earn significantly more than the median wage. It's also worth noting that the job outlook for nurse practitioners is very positive, with much faster-than-average job growth projected over the next decade. This strong demand may also positively impact earning potential.

Editorial Team / Admin

Julia Liou has 3 years experience as a RN and specializes in Postpartum/Public Health.

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Most of them do NOT set up their students with clinical preceptor, so there is huge change that you would have to pay at least $12.50 + fees for every clinical hours (500 to 800 hours )

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