Jun 10, 2023  
2015-2016 South University Academic Catalog version II 
2015-2016 South University Academic Catalog version II [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Nursing (Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner) (MSN)**

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Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in Nursing degree program (MSN) is designed to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses. It is also designed for those nurses who want to pursue advanced positions in today’s challenging healthcare environment. The program, based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Master’s Essentials, blends nursing theory with advanced practice concepts that prepare students to work within a healthcare organization or educational setting.

All applicants to the MSN program must hold a current and unencumbered license in the state in which they are completing program requirements. Additionally, all applicants must successfully complete a criminal background check and a drug screening. Clinical affiliation agencies may require additional personal testing.

The program consists of five core courses and courses in an area of specialization in education, administration, informatics, and various nurse practitioner programs. Program includes practica and experiences in areas of specialization.

Courses may be waived if the individual’s master’s transcript indicates that s/he has successfully completed the required course or its equivalent. Waivers and exceptions will be determined on the written request of individual students through a transcript analysis as determined by the Program Director, Chair, or College Dean.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the MSN degree program will demonstrate acquisition of competencies and proficiencies related to the following:

  • Theoretical Foundations: Synthesize theories and concepts from nursing and other disciplines for application in advanced nursing roles.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Analyze current scientific research for application of findings to initiate change and to improve practice.
  • Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, and Human Diversity: Create comprehensive plans of action that address the health promotion and disease prevention needs of individual, family, and community populations.
  • Healthcare Policy, Organization and Finance: Formulate a plan for ongoing contributions to improvement of healthcare delivery and development of health policy in a cost-effective manner.
  • Ethics: Apply an ethical decision-making process in professional practice and an analysis of systems of healthcare.
  • Professional Role Development: Model a professional leadership role that fosters improvement of healthcare and advocates scholarly activities to advance self and profession.
  • Informatics and Technology: Employ informatics and technology in various aspects of the advanced nursing leadership role.
  • Advanced Nursing Role: Practice within ethical-legal guidelines, professional policies and regulations, and standards of practice associated with a specialty area of advanced nursing practice.

Nurse Practitioner Specializations

In addition to the MSN degree program goals and outcomes, students completing the Nurse Practitioner specialization demonstrate acquisition of the following competencies and proficiencies:

  1. Integrate specialty standards of advanced practice nursing to deliver culturally competent, quality healthcare services to individuals, families, populations and systems.
  2. Exercise effective leadership, critical thinking and communication skills in the development and implementation of advanced nursing practice services in primary care.
  3. Integrate professional nursing standards, values and accountability into role and self-development as an advanced practice nurse.
  4. Utilize information technology and an evidence-based research approach in the development of nursing knowledge and design of healthcare services for clients, populations and systems.
  5. Ensure advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability in the implementation and evaluation of evidenced based care to diverse individuals and populations.

Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner

Offered at South University, South University, Austin; South University, Cleveland; South University, Columbia; South University, Montgomery; South University, Online Programs; South University, Richmond; South University, Savannah; South University, Tampa; South University, Virginia Beach; and South University, West Palm Beach.

MSN in Nursing with a Specilization in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares advanced practice nurses for the current and evolving primary healthcare system. The South University College of Nursing program focuses on advanced health sciences knowledge and skills to prepare advanced clinicians to deliver leading edge, community-based primary healthcare to individuals and families across the lifespan. The program places a strong emphasis on health promotion as well as the development of positive health behaviors for clients at different developmental and age stages. FNP students share course content with fellow students in the Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) programs where appropriate. This structure exposes students to a variety of expert specialty faculty and supports development of inter-specialty relationships in client management.

The South University MSN in Nursing with a Specilization in Family nurse Practitioner program prepares graduates to provide the full range of primary care services to individuals during the ante- partum period, infancy, childhood and adolescence through the adult lifespan. Competencies include provision of preventive care to children and adults as well as the diagnosis and management of common acute and chronic health problems. In addition to direct patient care, students also participate in clinical translational efforts, education, and policy activities relevant to advanced practice nursing and diverse population healthcare issues. National certification is available upon program completion through the national certifying bodies (ANCC; AANP).

The South University College of Nursing MSN with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner Program meets the Core Competencies for Family Nurse Practitioners outlined by the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). Upon graduation and entry into practice, family nurse practitioners are proficient in the following areas:

  1. Providing health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, and treatment.
  2. Assessing health status.
  3. Diagnosing health status.
  4. Creating a plan of care and implementation of treatment.
  5. Ensuring a professional, collegial, and collaborative approach to care.
  6. Serving as a teacher and coach to patients.
  7. Committing to advancing the profession.
  8. Assisting patients in managing and negotiating the healthcare delivery system.
  9. Monitoring and ensuring high quality healthcare practice.
  10. Demonstrating cultural competence

The plan of study and required courses for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program include the Master’s Core requirements (24 credits) with the addition of the following clinical course requirements (38 credits):

Master of Science in Nursing (Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner): 62 Credits


Students are required to complete a minimum of 780 hours in the four supervised clinical practicum courses that are designed to provide the opportunity for skill development and practice in the Family Nurse Practitioner role.

Maryland residents are not eligible to enroll in an internship, externship, practicum, or field experience course. Students should work with their academic advisor or counselor to be sure they are making appropriate course choices.

**Minnesota residents are not eligible to enroll in the online programs for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post Graduate Certificates in Nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing or the RN to Master of Science in Nursing.

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