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School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Track

Why pursue a Master of Science in Nursing from North Central College?

North Central College offers an innovative, interprofessional approach to fostering the next generation of healthcare leaders who embrace diversity, promote health equity, and improve population health outcomes. 

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track is part of North Central College’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and is designed to help nurses advance their careers. The core principles of the program equip students with the skills and foundation necessary for lifelong learning, personal responsibility and sustained achievement in the nursing profession. The FNP track specifically prepares nurses to become experts in all facets of patient care, disease management and health promotion.

Launch your degree in the Fall or Spring semester.

Learn how you can reduce your tuition cost by up to 25%!

North Central College offers several scholarships and awards, including:

  • Alliance Partnership
  • Opportunity Award 
  • North Central College Alumni 
    • Offer can be extended to family of alumni

 

Accreditation Statement

North Central College MSN program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommisssion.org), an institutional
accreditation agency recognized by the U.S Department of Education.

The master's degree in nursing and post-graduate APRN certificate program at North Central College is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

 

Core Values

Caring: We believe caring is essential to the practice of nursing and seek to treat those we serve with sensitivity, respect, and empathy. We embrace holistic care through therapeutic relationships directed toward health, comfort and well-being.

Communication and Collaboration: We believe that open communication and collaboration require accountability, honesty, integrity, and respect for all participants. We seek to practice shared decision-making with our fellow nurses as well as inter-professionally.

Cultural Inclusivity: We believe in the practice of cultural inclusivity, recognizing the rich diversity of humanity. We endeavor to honor that diversity by continually broadening our scope of care to include all members of our community and by modeling respect and equality for all.

Critical Thinking: We believe critical thinking is essential to nursing as a self-reflective and purposeful approach to thinking. We value the ability to make connections between patient data and acquired knowledge, leading to appropriate clinical interventions for our patients.

Evidence Based Practice: We believe in the use of evidence based practice to guide our nursing practice. We foster the integration of current research, clinical expertise, and the rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of nursing interventions to make sound decisions in the care of our patients. We identify safety as having the utmost importance to the practice of nursing and strive to prevent harm to our patients and ourselves while delivery quality care.

Social Justice: We believe social justice in nursing embodies the principles of fairness, equality, dignity and equal opportunity for health for all. We embrace a moral mandate to improve access to quality health care for the marginalized and under-serviced.

Program Goals

  • Prepare graduates to engage in clinical reasoning that provides safe, lawful evidence-based, patient-centered care to diverse populations across the lifespan that reflects ethical clinical judgment and inter-professional collaboration.
     
  • Guide graduates to integrate scientific findings from nursing, bio-psycho-social fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences into the delivery of advanced nursing care for diverse populations to promote health and prevent disease and injury for families, communities, and global health.
     
  • Prepare graduates to utilize patient-care technologies to deliver and enhance care and use communication technologies to integrate and coordinate care.

Certification Exam

Upon completion of the MSN program, graduates are eligible to sit for a targeted certificate examination offered by one of the national credentialing centers. Once certified, graduates from the FNP track who have successfully passed their national specialty boards can apply for an Illinois State License and be eligible to practice independently in their specialty as an FNP-BC.

Through the Family Nurse Practitioner track, students will learn how to:

  • Assess, diagnose, treat and manage acute episodic and chronic illnesses
  • Become experts in health promotion and disease prevention
  • Teach and counsel patients
  • Order, conduct, supervise, and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests
  • Prescribe pharmacological agents and non-pharmacologic therapies

Program Overview

  • Begin in Fall or Spring semester
  • 47 credit hours
  • 18-month and 27-month schedule options
    • Please note that Graduate Nursing does not follow the published NCC Graduate Summer calendar and concludes a week later.  Please plan accordingly.
    • Click here to see the Nursing Graduate Academic Calendar
  • Hybrid model including traditional and online courses
    • Didactic courses are taught online, asynchronous
    • Laboratory/simulation courses are taught on campus
  • On-site clinical practicums and the completion of 750 clinical hours at various hospitals and clinics, is required

Foundational curriculum content deemed essential for all students who pursue a master’s degree in nursing regardless of the functional focus:

  • NURS 500 - Professional Role Development into Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NURS 501 - Applied Research and Biostatistics in Evidence-Based Practice
  • NURS 502 - Population Health and Healthcare Delivery in a Global Society
  • NURS 503 - Healthcare Quality Outcomes, Safety and Informatics

Essential content for students that provide direct patient services at the advanced level:

  • NURS 504 - Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan
  • NURS 505 - Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
  • NURS 506 - Advanced Physical Assessment, Clinical Reasoning and Diagnosis Across the Lifespan
  • NURS 507 Lab -Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan

 

Curriculum 

Semester One

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 500 - Professional Role Development into Advanced Nursing Practice (online) 3 - NURS 500 - Professional Role Development into Advanced Nursing Practice (online) 3 -
NURS 501 - Applied Research & Biostatistics in Evidence-Based Practice (online) 3 - NURS 501 - Applied Research & Biostatistics in Evidence-Based Practice (online) 3 -
NURS 502 - Population Health & Healthcare Delivery in a Global Society (online) 3 - - - -
Total 9 - Total 6 -

Semester Two

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 503 - Healthcare Quality Outcomes, Safety & Informatics (online) 3 - NURS 502 - Population Health & Healthcare Delivery in a Global Society (online) 3 -
NURS 504 - Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 - NURS 503 - Healthcare Quality Outcomes, Safety & Informatics (online) 3 -
NURS 505 - Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 - - - -
Total 9 - Total 6 -

Semester Three

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 506 - Advanced Physical Assessment, Clinical Reasoning & Diagnosis Across the Lifespan (online) 4 - NURS 504 - Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 -
NURS 507 Lab - Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan (hybrid online/on campus) 2 - NURS 505 - Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 -
NURS 526 - Advanced Practice Nursing Care in Older Adult Patients (online) 2 - - - -
Total 8 - Total 6 -

Semester Four

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 524 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents & Adult Patients (online) 4 - NURS 506 Advanced Physical Assessment, Clinical Reasoning & Diagnosis Across the Lifespan (online) 4 -
NURS 525 - Advanced Practice in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults & Older Adult Patients I: Clinical (on site) 3 160 NURS 507 Lab - Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan (hybrid online/ on campus) 2 -
NURS 527 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults, & Older Adult Patients II: Clinical (on site) 4 160 NURS 526 - Advanced Practice Nursing Care in Older Adult Patients (online) 2 -
Total 11 320 Total 8 -

Semester Five

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 528 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care (online) 4 - NURS 532 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Family Practice Patients: Synthesis (online) 4 -
NURS 529 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care: Clinical (on site) 3 270 NURS 525 - Advanced Practice in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults & Older Adult Patients I: Clinical (on site) 3 160
NURS 532 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Family Practice Patients: Synthesis (on site) 3 160 - - -
Total 10 430 Total 7 160

Semester Six

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
- - - NURS 528 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care (online) 4 -
- - - NURS 529 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care: Clinical (on site) 3 270
Total - - Total 7 270

Semester Seven

18-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours 27-Month Schedule Credits Practicum Hours
- - - NURS 527 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults, & Older Adult Patients II: Clinical (on site) 4 160
- - - NURS 532 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Family Practice Patients: Synthesis (on site) 4 160
Total - - Total 8 320

Important Dates

June 24, 2024 - Priority deadline to apply for Fall semester start 

July 22, 2024 - Standard deadline to apply for Fall semester start


Admissions Criteria

Apply using our free North Central application.

  • A username and password will be generated and sent to the email you provide. You will have 30 days to complete the online application.

North Central College’s MSN program is committed to holistic admission, which assesses an applicant’s unique experiences alongside traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades and test scores. Admission decisions will be made within two months of the application deadline. Applicants will be invited to participate in an on-campus and/or virtual interview format.

Applicants must have:

  • An earned BSN of CCNE or ACEN baccalaureate accredited program
  • A current, unencumbered RN license
    • While North Central accepts students from multiple states/territories, applicants outside of Illinois should check with their state regulatory body 
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of their BSN program
  • Submitted official post-secondary academic transcripts
  • Completed undergraduate statistics (3 credit hours) with a “C” or higher
  • Submitted a resume/CV with academic and work history, certificates and services
  • Submitted three letters of recommendation--at least one from a professional nurse colleague (supervisor or preceptor) and one from a professor or graduate-level prepared nursing colleague who can address the applicant’s professional and/or academic qualifications
  • Completed a personal narrative including experiences (healthcare experiences, educational background, community enrichment), and attributes (resilience, integrity, intellectual curiosity, ethnicity/race, socioeconomic status, multilingual abilities, geography, faith, perseverance)
  • Completed application 

 

Apply Today!

 

 

State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions offering distance education to attain authorization from the state where educational services are offered. North Central College is authorized by the state of Illinois to participate in the National Council for State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The NC-SARA provides oversight of post-secondary distance education, allowing the institution to provide online education to students in participating SARA member states, without obtaining authorization in that state. Regulations vary from state to state. All states EXCEPT California are currently authorized as SARA member states. SARA provides institutional reciprocity for educational offerings only and does not provide reciprocity for professional licensing. Information regarding NC-SARA can be found here.

Professional Licensure

State Board of Nursing requirements vary by state. Therefore, students considering enrollment in online graduate nursing programs, should contact the licensing agency of the state where their educational institution is located prior to beginning their academic program to ensure that the program meets the standards established by their home state’s licensure regulations.

For Fall 2023 admissions, North Central College Graduate Nursing Program, is offering the MSN and Post-Master Certificates to students in the following states and US Territories:

  • American Samoa
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Colombia
  • Florida
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Onsite Requirements

In addition to on-site practicum experiences local to the student at approved institutional affiliates to meet required practicum hours, students in the graduate nursing program are required to come to Naperville, IL campus for 2-3 campus visits* during the course of their program. The number and length of the visits varies by specialty program. Prospective students may inquire with the Graduate Nursing Program at North Central College to confirm on-campus requirements. Limited assistance to support the visits may be available.

*Dates will be provided prior to the start of the program

Cost of Attendance

When considering the financial cost of attending college, one number doesn't tell the whole story. Cost of Attendance (CoA) provides a more complete picture of total direct and indirect costs of one academic year at North Central College.

Direct costs are expenses that will be included on your semester bill, such as tuition and fees, as well as housing and food if applicable.

Indirect costs are expenses that won't show up on your bill but should be considered. Examples of indirect costs include books, classroom supplies, traveling, and personal expenses.

Note that total CoA is only an estimated number and will change based on your specific lifestyle and living arrangements.

 

Cost of Attendance for 18-Month Schedule 

Year One (Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Two (Summer/Fall/Spring Semesters)
Tuition $13,986 $22,533
Fees $625 $625
Housing & Food $8,932 $13,398
Books & Supplies $600 $900
Transportation $3,304 $4,956
Personal $4,536 $6,804
Student Loan Fees $216 $324
Total $32,199 $49,540

Cost of Attendance for 27-Month Schedule

Year One (Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Two (Summer/Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Three (Summer/Fall Semesters)
Tuition $9,324 $16,317 $10,878
Fees $625 $625 $575
Housing & Food $8,932 $13,398 $8,932
Books & Supplies $600 $900 $600
Transportation $3,304 $4,956 $3,304
Personal $4,536 $6,804 $4,536
Student Loan Fees $216 $324 $216
Total $27,537 $43,324 $29,041

Cost of tuition and fees are subject to change. Please visit northcentralcollege.edu/financial-aid/graduate for more information.

 

 

Scholarships and Awards

North Central College offers several scholarships and awards to help you reduce tuition cost by up to 25%, including:

  • Alliance Partnership
  • Opportunity Award 
  • North Central College Alumni 
    • Offer can be extended to family of alumni

Post-Graduate APRN Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner

The North Central College Post-Graduate APRN Certificate program provides opportunities for registered nurses who already have a master’s in nursing in another discipline to advance their education, and gain the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities to deliver independent care as clinicians.

Students will learn how to perform medical diagnoses and treatment through evidence-based didactic instruction. Problem-based learning, simulation and clinical practice hours will allow students to deepen their clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Family Nurse Practitioner coursework will provide students with instruction on primary care across the lifespan, focusing on both episodic acute and chronic care.

Launch your certificate in the Spring or Summer semester. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants can apply using our free North Central application. Deadline to apply is December 8, 2023.

North Central College’s program is committed to a holistic admission process which assesses an applicant’s unique experiences alongside traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades and test scores. Admission decisions will be made within two months of the application deadline and the program will begin in the Spring semester. Applicants will be invited to participate in an on-campus and/or virtual interview format.

Applicants must have:

  • An earned MSN from a CCNE or ACEN Master accredited program
  • A current, unencumbered RN license
    • While North Central accepts students from multiple states/territories, applicants outside of Illinois should check with their state regulatory body
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for their prior MSN degree course work
  • Submitted official post-secondary academic transcripts
  • Submitted a resume/CV with academic and work history, certificates and services
  • Submitted three letters of recommendation--at least one from a professional nurse colleague (supervisor or preceptor) and one from a professor or graduate-level prepared nursing colleague who can address the applicant’s professional and/or academic qualifications
  • Completed a personal narrative including experiences (healthcare experiences, educational background, community enrichment), and attributes (resilience, integrity, intellectual curiosity, ethnicity/race, socioeconomic status, multilingual abilities, geography, faith, perseverance)
  • Completed application 
Apply Today!

 

Certification Exam

Upon completion of the certificate program, graduates are eligible to sit for a targeted certificate examination offered by one of the national credentialing centers. Once certified, graduates from the FNP track, who have successfully passed their national specialty boards certification can apply for an Advanced Practice license in their state of residence to be eligible to practice independently in their specialty as an FNP-BC.

*Please see specific state requirements for APN licensure

Curriculum

The Post-Graduate APRN Certificate program:

  • Offers launch points in the Spring and Summer semesters
  • Offers 16-month or 20-month schedule options
  • Is 35 credit hours OR 23 credit hours if student holds a NP degree in a different focus from Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Number of credits required is dependent upon the student’s prior advanced practice degree and course work

Year One - Spring Semester

Course Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 504 - Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 -
NURS 505 - Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan (online) 3 -
Total 6 -

Year One - Summer Semester

Course Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 506 - Advanced Physical Assessment, Clinical Reasoning & Diagnosis Across the Lifespan (online) 4 -
NURS 507 Lab - Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan (hybrid online/ on campus) 2 -
NURS 526 - Advanced Practice Nursing Care in Older Adult Patients (online) 2 -
Total 8 -

Year One - Fall Semester

Course Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 524 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents & Adult Patients (online) 4 -
NURS 525 - Advanced Practice in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults & Older Adult Patients I: Clinical (on site) 3 160
NURS 527 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents, Adults, & Older Adult Patients II: Clinical (on site) 4 160
Total 11 320

Year Two - Spring Semester

Course Credits Practicum Hours
NURS 528 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care (online) 4 -
NURS 529 - Advanced Practice Nursing: Perinatal & Peds Primary Care: Clinical (on site) 3 270
NURS 532 - Advanced Practice Nursing in Family Practice Patients: Synthesis (on site) 3 160
Total 10 430