Answer: Yes – There are two types of online FNP programs that accept RNs who have not earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN).
For registered nurses (RN) who are interested in earning a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), there are two types of online MSN-FNP programs that accept students without a BSN. RN to MSN-FNP programs typically allow individuals who hold only an associate degree in nursing (ADN) to earn their BSN and MSN together through one concentrated program. Some RN to MSN programs also accept RNs with a diploma in nursing. Bachelor’s to MSN-FNP programs accept RNS with an ADN who also hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, and who wish to earn their MSN without having to earn a BSN first.
Online RN to MSN-FNP Programs (ADN or Diploma)
RN to MSN-FNP programs accept RNs who earned their associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited institution, and who would like to earn their BSN and MSN together through one concentrated program. While some of these programs admit both nursing diploma and ADN recipients, some programs only accept individuals who hold an ADN. These programs also require applicants to have an active, unrestricted RN license in their state of residence. Other admission requirements may include a minimum GPA requirement, letters of recommendation, and one or more years of professional experience as a nurse. Prospective applicants should check with the admissions office of the schools that interest them to verify requirements for admission.
RN to MSN programs can be advantageous for some students in that they generally require fewer units and less time to complete compared to earning a BSN and MSN separately. These programs often save RNs time and units by waiving general education requirements that are unrelated to nursing, and allowing these individuals to transfer certain course credits from their diploma or associate degree in nursing.
Students who are enrolled in online RN to MSN programs typically complete the coursework for their BSN first, and then progress to their master’s level courses. However, for some RN to MSN programs, students may have terms during which they take both undergraduate and graduate coursework. This type of program generally requires the completion of 120 to 150 course credits, and can take between 24 and 36 months to complete.
Online RN to MSN-FNP Programs (Non-Nursing Bachelor’s)
Bachelor’s to MSN-FNP programs accept RNs who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing from an accredited institution, and who would like to earn their MSN without having to earn an additional bachelor’s degree in nursing first (Note: This type of program also typically accepts BSN graduates). These programs require applicants to hold an active, unrestricted license as a registered nurse in their state of residence. As earning an RN license typically requires the completion of a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution, prospective applicants who don’t hold a BSN should note that they will need to have completed some nursing education prior to admission into a Bachelor’s to MSN-FNP program. (Please note: in general, programs that accept RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree are not as common as programs that require a BSN (BSN to MSN programs)).
Online Bachelor’s to MSN-FNP programs can save students time and units, when compared with earning a second bachelor’s degree in nursing, as they typically waive general education requirements that students fulfilled during their non-nursing bachelor’s degree, such as humanities courses and other general education requirements. However, this type of online FNP program does expect applicants to have fulfilled certain prerequisite courses such as Human Biology, Medical Microbiology, and Statistics. Additionally, some Bachelor’s to MSN-FNP programs require students to complete certain undergraduate-level bridge courses before beginning their master’s level course of study. This type of program generally requires the completion of 45 to 70 credits over the course of 15 to 36 months.