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MS(N) Family Nurse Practitioner

Virtual Open House

Wednesday June 10, 2021: 5-7pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today


Program Overview

Location - Biltmore Park and Online

Time to Complete: 24-months, full-time

App Deadline: Feb. 15 (Fall)

Pre-Reqs: BSN, GRE/MAT not required

100% first-time pass rate for graduates

Learn More About the Program

Family Nurse Practitioner


The program prepares nurses in the advanced practice role of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with competencies in family health promotion and the clinical management of common health conditions across the lifespan.

Certificate Option: A Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner certificate program also is available to students who have earned an MS degree in nursing. This option requires 43 semester hours of study.

Family Nurse Practitioner admits once a year: Application Deadline - February 15 for the Fall semester.

The full-time hybrid program is designed so students are only required to be on the Biltmore Park campus one day a week (Tuesdays). All other coursework is taught online. The course load ranges from eight to ten hours per semester. See the FNP Program of Curriculum below for more details. Clinical placements are available in a variety of settings in or near the students' communities.

Degree Requirements: The FNP Program requires 52 semester hours of coursework, and 640 total clinical hours. Students have the choice of completing a project or thesis. Upon completion of the program students are required to pass a comprehensive exam.

In order to be eligible for admission in the MS(N) Family Nurse Practitioner Program, applicants must meet the following criteria. Requirements may be in progress at the time of application but must be completed prior to beginning the program.

  • BSN from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Cumulative college grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on 4.0 scale or higher
  • Statistics course (undergraduate or graduate level)
  • Nursing Research course, undergraduate
  • Registered nurse eligible for licensure to practice in the state in which the student intends to practice
  • Minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years
  • Three professional references
  • The GRE or MAT is not required
  • Submit a resume and professional statement with the online Graduate School application

Family Nurse Practitioner admits once a year: Application Deadline - February 15 for the Fall semester

Admission into the MS(N) FNP program is competitive. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission. 

Application to the MS(N) Program requires application to the Graduate School. Only complete applications will be eligible for review. As part of the online application, the applicant needs to prepare the following:

  1. Upload a copy of college transcripts from all secondary schools attended.
  2. As part of your online application, be prepared to submit:
    a. Names of (and contact info for) three professional references who can attest to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate study; one must be from a current or recent employer. 
    b. Professional Statement and Resume
    c. $65 application fee



NSG-517 Advanced Pathophysiology (3)


NSG-690 Advanced Health/Physical Assessment & Diagnostics (3)


NSG-691 FNP Applied Advanced Physical Assessment & Diagnostics (3)

NSG- 675 Primary Care of Adults (3)


NSG-685 FNP Clinical Management: Adult Focus (3) 120 clinical hrs


NSG-622 Advanced Pharmacology (3)

NSG-673 Primary Care of Female Adolescents & Women's Health (3)


NSG-683 FNP Clinical Management: Women's Health Focus (2) 120 clinical hrs


NSG-814* Foundations & Applications of Evidence Based Practice (3)

Total Hrs 9 Total Hrs 9 Total Hrs 8

NSG-692 Primary Care of Geriatric Clients (3)


NSG-784 FNP Clinical Management: Geriatric Focus (3) 120 clinical hours


NSG-671 Social & Behavioral Health Problems (3)


NSG-679/699* (1)

NSG-674 Primary Care of Children & Adolescents (3)


NSG-684 FNP Clinical Management: Pediatric Focus  (3) 120 clinical hrs


NSG-694 FNP Primary Care Seminar (3)


NSG-679/699* (1)

NSG-686 FNP Clinical Management: Internship (3) 160 clinical hrs


NSG-823* Econ/Fin Healthcare (3)

Total Hrs 10 Total Hrs 10 Total Hrs 6-7
*Not required for Post-Masters Certificate Option students.



There are face-to-face at Biltmore Park each Tuesdays throughout semester, as well as online courses.
The classes are typically from approximately 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., but this varies by semester.

FNP students will now be eligible for full financial aid due to the program's full-time status. Visit the WCU Financial Aid Office website for more information. Click here for current graduate tuition and fees rates. Information on additional loan and scholarship opportunities can be found on the WCU School of Nursing's Nursing Scholarships webpage.

Admission requirements are the same as for the applicants for the MS(N) Program except for the following criteria:

  • The candidate must have graduated from a nationally accredited master's program in nursing (MSN).

Lydia Elliot


Program Director:
Lydia Elliott, DNP, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor

Core Faculty:
Darren Absher, DNP, FNP-BC

Tamera Pearson, PhD, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC
Tonya Shuffler, DNP, FNP-BC

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