Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Chamberlain’s FNP curriculum provides the foundation and support working nurses need as they prepare to expand their nursing practice. The program is designed to take one course at a time.

The FNP curriculum begins with core courses in nursing theory, research, leadership, professional role development, healthcare policy and informatics in healthcare. Students then move to FNP specialty courses, building on their professional nursing practice and knowledge as they prepare to sit for national certification as a family nurse practitioner.

Download the MSN FNP Curriculum Plan (PDF).

Click on a course name below for a full description.

MSN Degree Core Curriculum

NR-500 Foundational Concepts & Applications – 3 credit hours

This foundational nursing course introduces the graduate student to the conceptual foundations and skills essential for the master’s-prepared nurse. A framework for professional nursing practice, scholarly communication of ideas, use of critical inquiry and information dissemination and professional development of the master’s-prepared nurse is explored. Prerequisite: None

NR-501 Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice – 3 credit hours

In this course, the student examines multiple theories from nursing and relevant fields. The student learns to critique the components of the theories as well as explore the value of the theories to nursing and nursing practice. This critique and evaluation includes consideration of the contribution of theory to the conduct of research and evidence-based practice. Essential to this process is identifying situations that can be improved or better understood by the use of relevant theory and strategies for applying a theory to nursing practice in a selected healthcare or educational organization. Prerequisite: NR-500 (pg. 23)

NR-505 Advanced Research Methods: Evidence-Based Practice – 3 credit hours

This course provides the scientific basis for the analysis and use of research to further develop the knowledge base and skill sets required to maximize evidence-based practice in healthcare settings. Students conduct an in-depth analysis of research methods as a framework for studying clinical issues. Students build on their knowledge of the research process, with an emphasis on analyzing the components, problems and issues related to nursing and other disciplines; finding, evaluating and critiquing available literature; and critically evaluating qualitative and quantitative research methods, including design, sampling, data-collection strategies, measurement and interpretation of results. All of these skills allow students to evaluate and critique findings to enhance evidence-based nursing practice, including dissemination of findings. Ethical issues are also addressed throughout the course. Prerequisite: NR-500

NR-506 Healthcare Policy – 3 credit hours

In this course, the student explores topics related to healthcare policy, including the processes involved in developing and analyzing policy components and consequences currently impacting the nursing profession, consumers and the healthcare system. The forces responsible for current healthcare policies, including historical, ethical and political factors are examined. Current policy-related controversies and challenges are also examined. Students investigate and propose strategies that nurses employ to impact policy development at institutional, local, national and international levels. Prerequisite: NR-500

MIS-566 Informatics & Application Systems in Healthcare – 3 credit hours - OR - NR-512 Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics – 3 credit hours

MIS-566* Informatics & Application Systems in Healthcare – 3 credit hours:

This course addresses the use of computer technology to solve problems in the healthcare industry, as well as the technology’s effect on the quality and cost efficiency of healthcare delivery. Students explore strategies for blending clinical applications with financial and administrative practices. Current and emerging healthcare standards, technologies, applications and management practices are covered, including integrated electronic health record systems, major information systems and service providers. Prerequisite: NR-500

NR-512* Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics – 3 credit hours:

This course provides foundational or introductory knowledge about informatics, with an emphasis on developing an understanding of concepts relevant to nursing informatics (NI). NI is a nursing specialty that supports quality nursing care through the distribution of data and information so that knowledge can be generated, processed, acquired, and disseminated. NI synthesizes nursing science with computer, information, and cognitive sciences. You will explore informatics-based health applications that support decision making in the four areas of nursing: clinical, administrative, research, and education. These applications enhance the value of nursing. Prerequisite: NR-500

*Students may select MIS-566 or NR-512. 



Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Courses

NR-503: Population Health, Epidemiology, & Statistical Principles – 3 credits

This course introduces students to advanced practice competencies related to population health, epidemiology, and statistical principles. Students explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate biostatistics for evidence-based practice and population-based care. Topics include the use and application of epidemiology and statistics for the delivery and monitoring of aggregate populations. Prerequisite: NR-505

NR-507:  Advanced Pathophysiology – 3 credits

This course provides students with advanced content in pathophysiology and human physiologic responses. The student explores, analyzes, applies, and evaluates the normal and abnormal human responses to selected pathophysiologic mechanisms and conditions. Prerequisites: NR-500; NR-501; NR-505; NR-506; MIS-566; NR-510.

NR-508: Advanced Pharmacology – 3 credits

This course expands knowledge of pharmacological principles specific to the role of the APN. Students explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate commonly used drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases and self-limiting acute conditions. Prerequisites:  NR-503 & NR-507;

NR-509: Advanced Physical Assessment – 3 credits (2.5, 0.5 lab)

This course expands the knowledge and skills of health assessment principles necessary to perform a thorough health assessment. The student will develop assessment techniques related to history and physical examination of clients across the lifespan, including psychiatric-mental health and related supportive assessments. Students will explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate these principles in the classroom and laboratory.  Prerequisite: NR-503 & NR-507.
A Health Assessment Performance Evaluation will occur in the laboratory setting, requiring the student to visit the Chamberlain campus offering this evaluation.

NR-510:  Leadership and Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse – 3 credits

This course introduces students to the role development of today’s advanced practice nurse (APN) leader in society and healthcare organization systems from the perspective of primary and acute care. Students will explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate diverse aspects of ethical and legal decision-making standards specific to APN scope of practice. Topics include the standards and regulations governing the practice of APNs in diverse settings. The course emphasizes strategies and processes that foster implementation of visionary leadership, diffusion of innovation, and change within an organization and explores social, political, legal, legislative, regulatory, and organizational factors that influence healthcare. Principles of leadership are emphasized including ethics, negotiation, motivating others, acting as an advocate, problem-solving, managing diversity, interprofessional collaboration and multi-agency partnerships, quality improvement and safety, and organizational behavior. Prerequisite: NR-500

NR-511: Differential Diagnosis and Primary Care Practicum – 3 credits (theory 0.5, 2.5 clinical): 125 clinical hours

This course provides students with content regarding formulating differential diagnoses of individuals within the primary care setting, along with an introduction to critical diagnostic skills to cultivate evidence based behaviors. An emphasis is placed on processing client information in a logical, progressive manner and formulating differential diagnoses for individuals across the lifespan. The course includes 125 hours of supervised clinical practicum in primary care. Prerequisite:  NR-503 & NR-507.

NR-601: Primary Care of the Maturing and Aged Family Practicum – 3 credits (theory 0.5, 2.5 clinical): 125 clinical hours

This course continues to expand the knowledge of health assessment principles specific to the role of the FNP, with a focus on the common health problems and healthcare needs of the middle-aged and older adult. Students explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate chronic health conditions frequently encountered in the primary care of older adults. Students further develop their skills related to patient education, protocol development, follow-up, and referral through a clinical practicum experience in a precepted primary care setting. Prerequisite:  NR-508 & NR-509. 

NR-602: Primary Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family Practicum (3 credits: 0.5, 2.5 clinical): 125 clinical hours

This course continues to expand the knowledge of health assessment principles specific to the role of the FNP, with a focus on the healthcare needs of women and families throughout reproductive and childrearing years.  Students further develop their skills related to health promotion, prevention of illness, diagnosis and management of health problems commonly experienced in childbearing and childrearing families. Care strategies include patient education, protocol development, follow-up, and referral through a clinical practicum experience in a precepted primary care setting. Prerequisites:  NR-511 & NR-601;

NR-603: Advanced Clinical Diagnosis and Practice across the Lifespan Practicum— 3 credits (theory 0.5, 2.5 clinical): 125 clinical hours

This course continues to expand the theoretical and practical knowledge of health assessment principles specific to the role of the FNP, for the healthcare needs of individuals of all ages.  Students further develop their skills related to health promotion, prevention of illness, diagnosis and management of health problems commonly experienced throughout the life span. Care strategies include patient education, protocol development, follow-up, and referral through a clinical practicum experience in a precepted advanced practice setting. Prerequisites:  NR-601 & NR-511.

NR-661: APN Capstone Practicum— 3 credits (theory 0.5, 2.5 clinical) 125 clinical hours

Students synthesize all elements of clinical management skills and knowledge and continue to analyze, apply, and evaluate diverse aspects of patient assessment and care. This precepted clinical practicum is with an approved provider in an advanced practice setting. Focus topics include clinical management skills, case studies, chart reviews, and practice critique, with a capstone product evidencing increasing complex clinical management skills. Prerequisites:  NR-602 & NR-603.


Practicum Experiences

In clinical practicum courses, FNP students apply newly-developed skills and theoretical knowledge to real-world practice situations. Students identify and work closely with a preceptor, an expert in the nursing field who provides guidance throughout the hands-on clinical experience.

Practicums help further prepare students for an advanced practice role through the development of competence in communication, teamwork, critical thinking and clinical skills.

Immersion Weekend

FNP students participate in a weekend immersion as part of NR-509: Advanced Physical Assessment. This hands-on lab experience provides the opportunity to observe, participate and be evaluated on clinical assessment skills. During the immersion weekend, students will have the opportunity to engage with Chamberlain’s high-tech SIMCARE Center™ labs. Call an admissions advisor at 877.751.5783 for more information on this experience.

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Classes Start May 5th

Call Us: 877.751.5783

Sue“The online learning format helps ensure that life doesn’t get in the way of school and that school doesn’t get in the way of life.”
Sue B., Master of Science in Nursing Program

Expanded Role & Responsibilities

Family nurse practitioners perform the following responsibilities, autonomously or in collaboration with a care team:

  • Manage overall care
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose and treat chronic conditions
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Educate patients on preventative health