Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner

Become a leader in holistic healthcare. 

Nurse practitioners (NPs) focus on the health and well-being being of the whole person. As practicing healthcare providers, they also act as researchers, educators, and counselors to their patients. NPs diagnose and treat medical problems and prescribe medications. Most NPs maintain their own medical practices; however, some work under the supervision of a physician in accordance with individual state guidelines.

This MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner degree offers a combination of advanced theory and clinical education. Coursework topics include family nursing theory, pathophysiology, health assessment, quality healthcare improvement, health policy, and research design. Through hands-on clinical experiences, students gain the skills necessary to practice with autonomy.

Entry Paths and Programs of Study

The MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner degree is a 43- to 49-credit program of study, dependent upon entry path. The FNP Post-Master’s Certificate requires a minimum of 19 credits.

      M.S. Nursing – for nursing baccalaureate prepared RNs

      M.S. Nursing Bridge Option – for non-nursing baccalaureate prepared RNs

      RN to MS Option – for experienced associate degree or diploma prepared RNs

      Completion Program – for nationally certified APRNs seeking a master’s degree

      Post-Master’s Certificate – for RNs with an M.S. Nursing degree seeking FNP-BC or NP-C certification

Courses are offered in 7-week or 14-week terms. There are a total of six 7-week terms per year (two terms in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters). 14-week terms are offered once per semester in the fall, spring, and summer.

The program is also offered in an entirely online format for added flexibility to accommodate schedules of working professionals and learning preferences. MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner – Online

Licensure and Accreditation
Registered nurses (RN) who complete this advanced degree coursework and clinical education are qualified to sit for the national exams to become board certified FNPs-BC or NP-C. As reported by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), graduates of Rivier’s MSN program who completed the certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioner in 2016, 2017 and 2018 had a first-time pass rate of 100%, exceeding the 86.4% national average pass rate.

Rivier University’s ASN, BSN, MSN, Post Master’s Certificates and DNP programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga 30326, (404) 975-5000,

Department of Nursing
Rivier's high-quality, hands-on bachelor's and master's programs prepare students for leadership roles in a global environment. For more information, visit the Department of Nursing.


MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner graduates can pursue leadership roles as:

  • Family nurse practitioners
  • Adult nurse practitioners
  • Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners

Rivier’s Career Development Center (CDC) provides professional advising, assistance with resume development and career planning, and job search information. For a complete list of CDC resources, .