Jump to content
  • Frontier Nursing University (FNU)

    Frontier Nursing University (FNU), a private graduate school, is proud to claim the largest and oldest nurse-midwifery program in the U.S. FNU also offers accredited MSN, DNP, and several Nurse Practitioner Programs including ADN Bridge to MSN and DNP degree programs.

    Last Update:
    (0 reviews)
    • Accreditations ACEN Accredited ACME Accredited
    • Location Hyden, Kentucky
    • Programs DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, CNM, NP, Post-grad Certificate
    • Website URL Visit Website

    Frontier Nursing University (FNU)

    Founded by Mary Breckinridge, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) not only has the oldest and largest continually operating nurse-midwifery education program in the United States, it was the first to offer a family nurse practitioner program in the country. Pioneering the first midwifery community-based distance education program in 1989, the University offers distance education to nurses with an interest in nurse-midwifery, family health, women’s health, and psychiatric-mental health specialties.

    Courses are web-based, distance education courses. Required hands-on clinical experience is obtained by utilizing clinics, hospitals, and preceptors in the student’s own community. Two to three on-campus sessions are required, including an orientation prior to beginning studies, and intensive skill workshops prior to beginning the clinical practicum.

    Specialty Tracks

    • Nurse-Midwife 
    • Family Nurse Practitioner 
    • Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHCNP) 
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

    Master of Science in Nursing 

    Frontier Nursing University allows students to complete an MSN and earn your DNP without applying a second time. 

    MSN & Companion DNP Program

    Students who want to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife or Nurse Practitioner will be admitted to the MSN program. When you receive your MSN, you have the option to transition the Companion DNP program via a direct admission process and complete your advanced degree. Or, you may choose to exit at that time and return later to complete the DNP degree. 

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

    Candidates for the Post-Master's DNP (PM-DNP) program at FNU hold national certification in one of the following specialty areas: 

    Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) & DNP Programs Pathways

    Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) only or complete the PGC and transition to the DNP program via a direct admission process. 

    ADN to MSN (Bridge) Entry Option

    The purpose of the first year as a Bridge student is to bridge the knowledge gap between the ADN and MSN educational requirements; no bachelor’s degree will be awarded upon completing this first year. Students will attend Bridge Bound on Hyden, KY campus. Bridge Bound is a 3-day orientation to the program and to Frontier Nursing University designed to build community and connection between students, faculty, and Frontier. Students then return to their home community to complete the Bridge courses online. The curriculum consists of 21 credits, which are completed in four 11-week terms. 

    During the fourth term of the Bridge year, students return to campus for a required intensive clinical workshop. 

    Upon completing the Bridge year, students continue to MSN courses and have the option to complete the MSN only or to transition on to the Companion DNP program via a direct admission process for 19 more credit hours. 

    Clinical Site Selection

    FNU students have a long tradition of identifying their own clinical sites, which allows you to find the best sites in your area that meet your program needs. As an FNU student, you will have exclusive access to the university’s network of approximately 10,000 sites and preceptors. 

    Specialty Areas 

    • Nurse-Midwife
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric
    • Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 

    National Board Certification Exam Pass Rates (2018)

    FNU Midwifery graduates’ 2018 exam scores, released by the American Midwifery Certification Board (ACMB), were 85.8% pass rate. 

    The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Certification Board also released the results for the 2018 FNP-MSN and Post-Graduate Certificate examinations. The pass rate for FNU graduates on the MSN board exam was 98%. 

    FNU Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner graduates’ passed the National Certification Corporation exam with 100%.


    US News & World Report (2019) 

    • #6 in Nurse Practitioner: Family Programs
    • #24 in Nursing-Midwifery (tie)
    • #54 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice (tie)
    • #63 in Best Nursing Schools: Master’s (tie) 


    Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the second consecutive year that FNU has received this prestigious award.

    The Health Professions HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses. 

    “We are incredibly proud to receive the prestigious HEED Award again this year,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. “To receive this award two years in a row is a wonderful honor. Our graduates serve people of all races and cultures and are increasingly coming from diverse backgrounds. It is imperative that our students, faculty, and staff have cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively advance our mission. The HEED Award confirms the value of our efforts and validates our continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the culture of FNU.”


    Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.

    The nurse-midwifery post-masters certificate, master's programs and doctor of nursing practice degree are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice, the Master of Science in Nursing and the post-master’s certificate programs, including the nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, and women’s health care nurse practitioner tracks, are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

    ACEN Accreditation News Update (August 13, 2018)

    The Board of Commissioners of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) has granted continued accreditation to Frontier Nursing University (FNU) for its master of science in nursing and post-graduate certificate nursing programs. ACEN also affirmed continuing accreditation of FNU’s newly implemented psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner specialty track. FNU's doctor of nursing practice program is on a different accreditation cycle and is accredited through 2019.

    Edited by sirI

    User Feedback

    There are no reviews to display.