Preparing students to be advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners in primary and preventative care environments.

  • Offered as a master's degree or as a specialty track for students enrolled in the BSN to DNP pathway program
  • #7 public MSN program at Virginia's #1 nursing school
  • Full- and part-time options available
  • Two years (full-time) or three years (part-time) to complete
  • Graduates are eligible for the FNP certification exam administered by ANCC or AANPBC
  • Guaranteed admission for UVA School of Nursing alumni
  • Application deadline: January 5

As the U.S. healthcare system shifts toward wellness, rather than illness care, family nurse practitioners (FNPs) occupy a critical and expanding role in primary care. Our program emphasizes community-based primary healthcare for individuals and families across the lifespan. The FNP specialty track offers BSN-prepared nurses with at least one year of full-time RN experience the opportunity to advance their practice at the top-ranked UVA School of Nursing. The FNP is offered at the MSN and as part of the BSN to DNP pathway program.


Admission Requirements


Building on the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of the BSN-prepared nurse, the FNP track prepares students to provide holistic care to patients, families and communities focusing health education and coordinating services. Skills include identification of acute illnesses; nursing and medical management of commonly encountered acute and chronic illnesses in collaboration and consultation with an interdisciplinary team; development of a knowledgebase of community needs and resources available for health promotion; health teaching, guidance, and counseling of clients and their families about illness and its prevention; and health promotion, maintenance, and management.

Class schedule

Full-time students begin study in the fall, and complete the program in two years, including summer session in year 1. In the first year, the full-time student has didactic classes on Thursdays and Fridays (in the fall and spring). When the student begins  practicums, the didactic component is generally on Thursdays. Clinical practicum days will vary widely depending on the student’s clinical site and preceptor and may include hours outside the typical work week.

MSN Core Coursework (23-24 credit hours)

  • GNUR 6010: Advanced Pathophysiology (4 credits)
  • GNUR 6020: Advanced Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • GNUR 6027: Advanced Pharmacology Specialty Seminar (1 credit)
  • GNUR 6025: Advanced Health Assessment (3 credits)/GNUR 6025: Advanced Neonatal & Pediatric Assessment and Reasoning (4 credits)
  • GNUR 6031: Transition to Advanced Practice (2 credits)
  • GNUR 6050: Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3 credits)
  • GNUR 6054: Research & Biostatistical Processes for Health Care (4 credits)
  • GNUR 6056: Health Policy: Leading Change to Advance Population Health (3 credits)

FNP Specialty Diagnoses & Management Coursework (12 credit hours)

  • GNUR 6070: Child & Family Health and Wellness (3 credits)
  • GNUR 6640: Sexual & Reproductive Health in Primary Care (2 credits)
  • GNUR 6641: FNP Seminar A (3 credits)
  • GNUR 6642: FNP Seminar B (3 credits)
  • GNUR 6645: Skills for Family Practitioner Practice (1 credit)

FNP Specialty Practicum Coursework (11 practicum hours)

  • GNUR 6630: Women & Children Primary Care Practicum (1 credit)
  • GNUR 6643: FNP Practicum I (5 credits)
  • GNUR 6644: FNP Practicum II (5 credits)


Students complete over 600 clinical hours in the FNP track, most in two semester-long preceptorships in the final two semesters of enrollment. Clinical placement sites are assigned based upon optimal learning experiences, students' requests, and availability.

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted outside Virginia if the University is authorized to place students in that state and pending faculty approval.

Technology Requirements

All graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop; information about these requirements will be sent to enrolling students before classes begin. Please see the School of Nursing Computing Policies for more guidance on laptop ownership requirements.