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Achieve Your Full Nursing Potential as an FNP

The Post-Master’s FNP certificate online program at Carson-Newman is accredited, affordable, and offers advancement for nurses with a master’s degree looking to thrive as autonomous family nurse practitioners. By focusing on a holistic approach to nursing, you will develop the ability to influence and improve the health of individuals, families, and entire communities.

This MSN to FNP certificate part-time program is 100% online (not including clinicals or residency), which allows you to continue your education on a schedule that supports work-life balance.

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Learn more about Carson-Newman University's online FNP programs.

  • 100% Online Coursework
  • Less Than $30k Total Tuition
  • Clinical Placement Services Provided
  • Dedicated Student Success Advisor
  • Current Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Complete

About The Program

Admissions Requirements

  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and NLN - or CCNE accredited program
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Active, unencumbered RN license
  • Letter of personal goals and aspirations

Hear from One of Our Online MSN-FNP Students

Learn more about what our students are saying here.

Residency Experience

One three-day required on-campus residency experience provides you the opportunity to meet and connect with your peers and program faculty. During the residency, students will come to campus for hands-on skills practice and complete an advanced assessment physical exam.

Carson-Newman University students working with patients

Sample Curriculum

A Private School Education at a State School Price

The online PMC-FNP program consists of 32 credit hours and can be completed in as few as two years or less, taking eight 15-week online courses. Learn from experienced FNP and DNP faculty who are active nurse practitioners in their communities.

Presentation and in-depth analysis of normal physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease as related to the provision and management of client care at the advanced level.

Advanced pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of commonly used drug categories are analyzed in depth with consideration to safe, high-quality, cost-effective drug therapy for client care.

Comprehensive health assessment of the client with advanced application and synthesis of physiologic, psychological and sociocultural concepts as applied to comprehensive health appraisal of individuals, families and community groups. (60 Clinical Hours)

Exploration and application of advanced nursing theory in the provision of a wide range of health promotion and care services for women, including reproductive health. (180 Clinical Hours)

Exploration and application of advanced nursing theory in the provision of a wide range of health promotion and care services for adults, including the elderly population. (240 Clinical Hours)

By The Numbers

78 %
avg. job offer rate for nurse practitioners at graduation (vs 46% for new grads across all disciplines)*
95 %
job placement 4-6 months after graduation
96 %
certification pass rate for Carson-Newman FNP graduates
clinical placement hours placed for you by Carson-Newman**

*2017 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Report
**Total clinical placement requirement is 660-690 hours depending on your capstone course.

Clinical Placement

Students in Carson-Newman’s online family nurse practitioner programs receive clinical placement services for 600 clinical hours. We’ll handle locating a site and securing a preceptor for you, so you can focus on building your competencies as an FNP.

To learn more about clinical placement support in our online FNP programs, check out the commonly asked questions below.

What Does Clinical Placement Mean?

Clinical hours are a required component of Carson-Newman’s MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner degree and Post-Master’s Certificate program. Clinicals work in tandem with the classroom-based coursework to allow students to gain real life practice with expert supervision, build relationships with potential employers and receive counsel from an accomplished mentor. At Carson-Newman, our clinical placement team will offer significant preceptor matching and clinical placement services, saving you days and weeks of time and allowing you to focus on your studies and work life balance.

How Does The Process Work?

As you begin your program, you will receive a placement intake form. Using information from the form and clinical objectives, a dedicated placement specialist will locate an appropriate preceptor and handle the paperwork and logistics for your clinical rotation, ensuring your sites are qualified to meet program and state-specific requirements.

Why Is Clinical Placement Important?

Finding a preceptor and clinical site can take intensive research and coordination, taking time away from studies. A lack of support also leaves room for miscommunication or rejected placements, setting a student back for months. At Carson-Newman, we believe you are only as successful as your training, which is why we have taken the stress out of the clinical placement process.

The Carson-Newman Difference

Our clinical placement services are comprehensive, giving you the support you need to succeed from start to finish. Your Placement Specialist will secure quality placement sites and preceptors from our network of providers for 600 clinical hours, as well as any referrals from you. This will free up time for coursework and core competencies, helping you stay focused and thrive in your program.

Access Your Guide

Cynthia Attaway
If you have that passion for just wanting to take an extra step to be an advanced practice nurse, do it is all I can say. Don't look back.

Cynthia Attaway,Post-Master's FNP Student

Marticiesol Lewis-Alcindor
I feel that the faculty are more personalized. I like the small classes. I like that I can ask questions, and they're accessible. I feel like it's a family atmosphere and that's something I appreciate.

Marticiesol Lewis-Alcindor,FNP Certificate Student, Class of 2022

Amy Reagan
I live and work as a nurse in a rural area, so the ability to be an online student met my needs and gave me the opportunity to pursue my goal to obtain a post-masters certificate as an FNP.

Amy Reagan,FNP Certificate Student, Class of 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

The online Post-Master’s FNP certification (PMC-FNP) program is for registered nurses who hold an MSN degree and are looking to prepare for the role of an advanced practice nurse. Graduates gain the skills necessary to define their own future as holistic and confident family nurse practitioners, ready to impact their communities. 

The fully accredited online PMC-FNP program is 100% online (not including clinicals or residency), which allows you to earn FNP certification on a schedule that supports work-life balance

Carson-Newman University offers student-centric support, including:

  • Personalized admissions assistance
  • Free clinical placement services
  • Affordable tuition for less than $30k
  • Flexible, online coursework
  • No application fee
  • 1:1 support throughout the program from a Student Success Advisor

A family nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has received the specialized clinical and educational training necessary to practice primary family-focused care. Like a family physician, a family nurse practitioner works with patients of all ages to diagnose medical conditions, treat illness, prescribe medications and maintain health over the lifetime.

The laws regulating family nurse practitioners differ from state to state. Certain states require FNPs to work under the supervision of a physician. In many states, however, family nurse practitioners are authorized to work independently.

Think of a family nurse practitioner as a registered nurse who is licensed to perform many of the same roles as a family doctor. A family nurse practitioner sees patients of all ages for scheduled or drop-in health care appointments. Depending on state restrictions, he or she performs physical exams, orders diagnostic tests and procedures, diagnoses illnesses, prescribes and administers treatment, and educates patients on how to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Family nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings. While many choose to work in private practice, others work in settings such as retail clinics, hospitals and schools.

  • Private Practice: Many FNPs work in private practice outpatient clinics, where they focus on providing primary care to their supervising physician’s patients or their own patients.
  • Retail Clinics: It is becoming common for FNPs to work in retail health clinics. Often these clinics are open during regular business hours up to seven days a week and attract a high percentage of walk-in patients.
  • Urgent Care Centers: Urgent care centers are where patients go for non-emergency urgent care such as minor fractures, sprains and allergic reactions, all of which FNPs are trained to handle.
  • Hospitals: Some FNPs choose to work in hospital settings. Because their training is in primary care, FNPs who want to work in hospitals often obtain additional certification as an acute care nurse practitioner or emergency nurse practitioner.
  • Schools: A small percentage of FNPs work in schools where they provide primary care for students.

A family nurse practitioner has many important roles and responsibilities. Just like a primary care physician, an FNP provides diagnosis, treatment, disease management, health education, and preventive health care services. Depending on the state they work in, FNPs have the authority to:

  • Manage chronic health conditions like hypertension and diabetes
  • Treat minor acute injuries (such as sprains and strains) and illnesses (such as flu)
  • Provide health care to people of all ages, from infants and children to adults and the elderly
  • Conduct health assessments and physical examinations
  • Oversee women’s health requirements, including preconception and prenatal care
  • Educate patients about health, wellness and disease prevention throughout the lifespan
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Prescribe medication

FNPs work with a broad patient population including members of all genders and ages. In many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, family nurse practitioners are the sole primary care providers in FNP-led care clinics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for a nurse practitioner was $126,260 per year in 2023. This is over $40,000 more than a registered nurse's 2021 yearly median wage of $86,070.

Salaries vary for nurse practitioners based on where they work and their specialty. Overall, nurse practitioners are compensated well, with the top 50% taking home six-figure salaries (U.S. News & World Report).

The job outlook for family nurse practitioners is excellent. Since the United States currently faces a shortage of primary care physicians, there is a surging demand for family nurse practitioners. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 121,400 new nurse practitioner jobs will be created from 2020 to 2030, representing an employment growth rate of 45% (much faster than the average).

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) have high earning potential; they typically make more than RN or BSN-prepared nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that a nurse practitioner's 2023 median annual pay is $126,260. Additionally, nurse practitioners are experiencing a job growth rate that is much faster than average. 

FNPs enjoy high levels of job satisfaction and more autonomy than RNs. Nurse practitioners are ranked as #1 in Best Health Care Jobs and #2 in 100 Best Jobs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 69.7% of nurse practitioners are certified in family practice. 

FNPs fulfill a real need. By earning an MSN-FNP degree and becoming a nurse practitioner, graduates will help bridge gaps in primary care. The shortage of primary care physicians is expected to reach as high as 48,000 by 2034. FNPs are answering the call to make health care more accessible across the U.S., especially in primary care.

0 %
Projected Job Growth by 2032


$126,260  Median Total Annual Wages*

More than 123,600 new Nurse Practitioner jobs created between 2022-2032*

  • Family
  • Pediatrics
  • Women's Health
  • Adult - Gerontology
  • And More

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Family Nurse Practitioners Are in Demand

Family nurse practitioners typically earn more with their advanced scope of practice than RNs or BSN-prepared nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the 2020 median annual pay for a nurse practitioner is $111,680,. This is approximately $38,000 more than the 2019 median annual pay for a registered nurse at $73,300. By 2029, more than 110,700 nurse practitioner positions are expected to be created.

Families and Communities Depend on FNP

The projected shortage of primary care physicians is expected to reach as high as 55,200 by 2032. Family nurse practitioners are filling the gap left by physicians. By earning an FNP Certificate online, you will help fulfill the growing need for primary care providers in underserved communities across the United States.

Improve Career Satisfaction and Independence

Family nurse practitioners enjoy a high rate of job satisfaction. An FNP is ranked as one of the top four Best Healthcare Jobs and in the top five of the 100 Best Jobs overall, according to U.S. News & World Report, 2020. This satisfaction comes from the ability to define their own practice and be the primary care providers for people of all ages, in the very communities in which they live. Many states also grant prescriptive privileges to FNPs.

Nurse Practitioners Make a Difference

According to a study in the journal Medical Care, practices with nurse practitioners on staff list fewer hospitalizations, ER visits and specialist referrals. Other findings indicate that there is little difference when comparing patient results regarding primary health care provided by a nurse practitioner and MDs.

Apply today to learn how quickly you can complete the program. Get your transcript evaluation within 24 to 48 hours. Contact us or download a free program guide to learn more.

Other Options for Registered Nurses

At Carson-Newman, all nurses learn from a caring faculty of active practitioners who provide stimulating clinical experiences that directly connect hands-on assessment with comprehensive patient care opportunities. If you are a BSN-prepared RN and are interested in becoming a family nurse practitioner, our online MSN-FNP program can prepare you to become a more empowered and autonomous caregiver.

Important Dates

  • Now Accepting Applications
  • Next Start: August 19, 2024
  • Apply Now

Our Students Come First

A Private School Education at a State School Price

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a nationally ranked Christian liberal arts university. The online FNP programs are part-time for working nurses with a student-centric curriculum. Faith and learning are combined to create a transformative education designed to empower you as an autonomous primary care provider.

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Fully Supported All The Way

Carson-Newman is a leader in adult online education. Students enrolled in our online FNP programs can expect the same academic rigor and support as on-campus nursing students. Our dedicated faculty and staff empower working nurses to turn their vision into reality. From enrollment support to clinical placement to guidance until graduation, you’ll never be alone on your FNP journey. 

Your student success team will help you with:

  • Enrollment Support
  • Admissions Requirements
  • Program Details
  • Clinical Placement 
  • Tuition Information
  • Upcoming Start Dates
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