2023 Best Online Post Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificates

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An FNP certificate is a post-masters program for nursing professionals who want to specialize and pursue certification as family nurse practitioners. These programs are intended for registered nurses who have already completed a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Best Online Post Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificates

Family nurse practitioners can provide care to patients of varying ages and demographics. It’s common to find these health specialists in hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and nursing homes.

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Read on to see if an online FNP certificate program is right for you.

Online FNP Certificate Programs

Man taking Online FNP Certificate

An FNP certificate program can teach you how to promote health and manage the disease for a range of patients. This type of program is designed for practicing nursing professionals who have already received a master’s degree in nursing.

If you’ve already received your MSN, an FNP certificate program allows you to specialize in primary care and gain the necessary training to pursue certification as a family nurse practitioner. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are in high demand in the current job market, and they’re expected to continue being in high demand over the next ten years.

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Family nurse practitioners have the skills to administer primary healthcare to various and diverse populations. To help make you a well-rounded healthcare professional, FNP certificate programs often require you to study subjects like:

  • Psychology
  • Social issues
  • Cultural differences
  • Economic factors influencing health

These represent only a few of the many subjects you’ll study in this type of program. Following the completion of a post-master FNP certificate program, most graduates go on to become:

  • Primary care providers
  • Nurse researchers
  • Nurse educators

If you desire to advance your nursing expertise in this specialty, then pursuing a post-master FNP certificate online can help you meet the qualifications for FNP certification.

Family Nurse Practitioner Careers and Salaries

Family Nurse Practitioner Careers and Salaries

Completing an FNP certificate program online can be a gateway to more advanced careers in the nursing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of potential career paths related to advanced nursing and FNP studies.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Nurse Practitioners, Outpatient Care Centers $127,230
Nurse Practitioners, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $124,200
Nurse Practitioners, Home Health Care Services $115,730
Nurse Practitioners, Offices of Physicians $103,850
Nurse Practitioners, Offices of Other Health Practitioners $102,380
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Registered Nurses $77,600
Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers $77,440
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000
Health Education Specialists $60,600

While no career is guaranteed, an FNP certificate program can help you work toward professional certification as a family nurse practitioner.

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Many FNP students go on to become practicing nurse practitioners, and some apply their skills in specialized, growing fields, like geriatrics. Some FNP professionals go on to become advanced researchers or nursing instructors.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Curriculum & Courses

People pursuing Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Much like with an online psychiatric nurse practitioner program, taking an FNP certificate program online will introduce you to various topics within the field of advanced nursing.

Here’s a list of sample courses to give you an idea of what to expect from a post-masters FNP certification online program:

  • Diagnostic Reasoning and Advanced Physical Assessment: You’re introduced to the advanced methods of assessing cognitive, physical, nutritional, and functional fields.
  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology and Intervention for APRNs: This course teaches you various aspects of pharmacology, such as client education, drug selection, and assessment of pharmacological interventions.
  • Role Development in Advanced Practice Nursing: This course covers the history of advanced practice nurses and their role in settings like education, consulting, research, and more.
  • Human Pathophysiology: This course introduces you to both the pathophysiology and physiology of human health.
  • Health Promotion Across the Life Span: You’ll encounter a variety of case studies that require you to engage in healthcare challenges.
  • Clinical Decision Making: You’ll study clinical decision-making models that influence healthcare scenarios.
  • Adult Healthcare: You’ll learn how to apply your knowledge to the provision of health care to adults.
  • Family Primary Care: This course teaches you how to use evidence-based research to provide health care to people with conditions of varying severity.
  • Roles for Nurse Practitioners: You’ll learn about the role nurses play across healthcare settings.
  • Geriatric Healthcare: This course teaches you how to tailor your healthcare expertise to elderly patients.

FNP coursework is designed to help you become an effective family nurse practitioner who can work with patients of every age and background.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing requirements for FNP Post Master’s Certificate online

FNP certificate programs have a series of admission criteria. Common admission requirements include:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, on average
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Unencumbered RN license
  • Professional nursing experience

These requirements can vary depending on the program. You can check a school’s website or contact their admissions office to find out more about their specific criteria.

Post Masters FNP Online Programs Accreditation

University offering Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

An online post-masters certificate in FNP can be a strategic investment in your career. That said, it’s often essential to earn your certificate from an accredited school. A college or university can receive regional accreditation if an accrediting agency examines them and determines that they provide a high-quality education.

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Attending an accredited school can also be an eligibility requirement for both financial aid and professional certification. You can visit the US Department of Education’s website to learn more about institutional accreditation.

CCNE Accreditation

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an accrediting agency that aids in the maintenance of the quality of academic nursing programs. CCNE accreditation attests to the high standard of education that students will receive throughout their program.

The CCNE essentially acts as a regulatory force that ensures institutions are providing nursing education that’s up to industry standards. Completing a CCNE accredited FNP program is a common stipulation for family nurse practitioner certification and licensure.

Family Nurse Practitioner Licensure and Certifications

Family Nurse Practitioner assessing a child's condition

There are a number of organizations that offer certification for family nurse practitioners. Below is a list of these primary organizations and their approach to FNP certification:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB): The FNP credential from the AANPCB assesses your knowledge of care across the lifespan.
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): The ANCC offers an FNP board certification that lasts 5 years.
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB): The PNCB offers a Certified Pediatric Nurse certification, which allows nurses to advance their careers in pediatrics.

The type of certification that’s right for you will likely be determined by your professional goals.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate financial aid

Financial aid is a necessity for many students, especially with the rising cost of education. Fortunately, there are many forms of financial aid available to those who qualify.

Financial aid can come in many forms, including student loans, scholarships, and grants. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you’re eligible for need-based aid from the government. While student loans need to be paid back, they often have lower interest rates than other loans.

Scholarship programs can be offered by your school as well as outside organizations. In addition, you can see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement for professional development.

What Is a Post Masters Certificate in FNP?

Family Nurse Practitioner working in Outpatient Care Center

A post-masters certificate in FNP is designed for nursing professionals who want to specialize as family nurse practitioners. This program is intended for registered nurses who have already received a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

If you hold an MSN, completing an FNP certificate program could allow you to work toward family nurse practitioner certification. The nurses who enter these programs often have the desire to further their careers or switch specialties. As such, these programs may be filled with RNs as well as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are currently practicing in other specialties.

What Can You Do with a Post Master’s Certificate in FNP?

FNP working in General Medical & Surgical Hospital

Earning a post-master FNP certificate online could help you work toward professional certification as a family nurse practitioner. Most graduates go on to become FNPs and work in various healthcare facilities. Others choose to work in education. They might work as nursing instructors in postsecondary institutions or in clinical settings.

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After earning your FNP certificate, you could also choose to enter more specialized areas within the field. These areas could include geriatrics and pediatrics. Some NPs also specializes in acute or chronic disease management.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Post Master in FNP Online?

Man pursuing Post Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate online

An online post-masters certificate in FNP will vary in its duration depending on the program. These programs generally require the completion of between 33 and 37 credits. Students can generally complete their education between 16 months and 22 months.

Online programs tend to allow for more flexibility with your schedule. Some post-master FNP certificate programs allow students to finish coursework in as little as 4 months with full-time study. These are often referred to as on-campus or online accelerated nursing programs. You could then move on to fulfilling the program’s clinical requirements. Part-time enrollment will likely extend your time to completion.

What’s the Difference Between DNP vs. FNP?

Both a family nurse practitioner and a doctor of nursing practice program bear similarities that cause overlap between their respective curriculums.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): An FNP is a specific type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They often work in primary care.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): This is the highest degree in the nursing field. Nurses with DNPs may pursue certification as a type of APRN, such as an FNP. Some pursue leadership positions and opt to forgo APRN certification.

It’s helpful to consider your own career goals when determining which program to pursue.

What’s the Difference Between an FNP Certification vs. Certificate?

Here are some of the differences between an online post master FNP certificate and an FNP certification.

FNP Certification FNP Certificate
  • Professional credential
  • Awarded by the industry board
  • Is required to practice as an FNP
  • Obtained by meeting educational and fieldwork requirements
  • Academic credential
  • Awarded by an educational institution
  • Involves specialized courses and clinicals to help you train as an FNP
  • Helps you prepare for certification

FNP certificate programs are often designed to help you work toward professional FNP certification.

Is a Post Master’s FNP Certificate Online Worth It?

FNP working in Home Health Care Service for Elderly

Yes, a post-master’s FNP certificate online is worth it for many professionals. If you are a nursing professional with an MSN, then this certificate program could help you prepare for certification as a family nurse practitioner.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nurse practitioners is very bright. Employment for nurse practitioners is expected to rise by 46% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average. In addition to practicing primary care, graduates may also pursue positions in nursing education or research.

Universities Offering Online Graduate Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bradley University

Bradley University campus

Bradley University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Drexel University

Drexel University campus

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University campus

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

National University

National University campus

National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University campus

NMSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Rivier University

Rivier University campus

Rivier is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Alabama

University of Alabama campus

The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona campus

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas campus

The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati campus

The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Missouri – Columbia

University of Missouri – Columbia campus

The University of Missouri – Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire campus

The University of New Hampshire is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Utica University

Utica University campus

Utica University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University campus

West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your FNP Post Master’s Certificate Online

Woman taking FNP Post Master’s Certificate online

Pursuing a post-master FNP program online is a strategic choice for nursing professionals who hold MSN degrees and want to specialize as family nurse practitioners. This type of program can build upon your existing knowledge while giving you opportunities to learn new skills.

Family nurse practitioners have a wide range of knowledge and skills, which allows them to administer primary care to individuals of various age groups. An FNP certificate program can help you train as a primary care provider while preparing you for professional certification.

You can begin researching accredited post-master FNP programs online today to find the one that’s right for you.

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David Garcia
WRITTEN BY
David Garcia
David has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Film from Syracuse University. While in school, much of his time was dedicated to Syracuse’s literary magazine, both as a writer and editor. David’s current interests include literary and film studies as well as social justice.