There is one institution in Arizona that offers online graduate degree programs for students interested in specializing as a family nurse practitioner (FNP). The University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson has several degree paths in the specialty, ranging from a Post-Master’s Certificate program to two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) options. All of the online FNP programs at the University of Arizona are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). While instruction in these programs is primarily asynchronous, meaning students can access prerecorded lectures and other course materials at any time, some live sessions may be required. FNP students will also be required to visit the UA campus two to four times throughout their studies to take part in orientations or clinical training intensives.
To learn more about the different online FNP programs available in Arizona, and get information about the state’s licensing requirements for FNPs, see the sections below.
Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Arizona
The online Post-Master of Science (MS) Certificate program at the University of Arizona is designed for licensed APRNs who want to pursue certification as an FNP. In order to be considered for this pathway, applicants must already possess a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and APRN certification in a different nursing specialty. Students looking to pursue their second specialty through UA’s FNP Certificate program will need to complete 22 to 31 credits (depending on a gap analysis of their previous MSN coursework), as well as 540 clinical practice hours. Offered on a part-time basis, the four-semester program can be completed in 16 months, with students making two to three mandatory campus visits over their entire course of study. Admission for the Post-MSN Certificate path occurs in the Fall; however, it should be noted that the program does not accept students every year.
For students interested in pursuing FNP certification alongside their doctorate, the University of Arizona offers two different online DNP program paths. Their online BSN to DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program is open to licensed RNs who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The 68-credit program can be completed in roughly two and a half to three years of full-time study, or three and a half to four years of part-time study. Students must fulfill a minimum of 1000 clinical practice hours, as well as visit campus four times throughout the program for hands-on training sessions.
The University of Arizona also has an online MSN to DNP program in the FNP specialization, for RNs who already possess a Master of Science in Nursing, and want to pursue both their doctorate and first or second APRN certification. This pathway requires the completion of approximately 59 to 68 course credits, with the actual length depending on how many credits students are able to transfer from their MSN program. MSN to DNP students at UA must make three to four campus visits during their studies, and complete at least 1000 clinical hours. Available on either a full- or part-time basis, the program takes approximately the same amount of time as the BSN to DNP program discussed above; however, students may be able to finish sooner based on the total number of credits they need to graduate (after gap analysis).
Arizona FNP Licensing Requirements
In Arizona, all nursing licensure is overseen by the Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN). The AZBN recognizes and administers licenses for four different categories of advanced practice nurses: Registered Nurse Practitioner (RNP), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Students who want to practice as an FNP in the state of Arizona must apply for and obtain nurse practitioner certification through the AZBN. The first requirement for state certification is a current Arizona registered nurse license, or RN license with multistate privileges from another compact state. Next, RNs will need to complete a graduate degree in their specialty from a nursing program accredited by the CCNE, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or a different Board-approved agency. Earning an MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate, or DNP from a properly accredited FNP program will then qualify students to sit for a national certification exam in the specialization.
In order to be eligible for an RNP license in Arizona, RNs must first become nationally certified in their specialty. This requires passing an FNP certification exam administered by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB). These examinations both require a graduate degree in the field, and a minimum of 500 clinical practice hours completed under the supervision of a nursing instructor or nurse preceptor. After successfully passing either exam, and obtaining national certification as an FNP, students can apply for their state RNP license through the AZBN.
Applicants for state RNP certification will need to print and complete an application form found on the AZBN website. This form must be mailed to the Board along with official transcripts from the student’s graduate nursing program, as well as a letter sent directly from the nursing school verifying the role and population focus of the degree program. Additionally, applicants must have proof of their national APRN certification sent to the AZBN from the certifying agency. Students who completed their FNP program more than five years ago will need to submit verification that they have completed at least 960 hours as an APRN, either for compensation or as a volunteer, within the past five years.
The final component to the application process is a Fingerprint Card, which requires students to send in a full set of their fingerprints (and $50 fee) for the purpose of State and Federal criminal record checks. An additional $150 application fee is also required, and is non-refundable. Once they have submitted all of the necessary documents, students can check the status of their application through the AZBN’s online verification system.
|Universities in Arizona with Online FNP Programs|
|University of Arizona||DNP (BSN Required)||Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online Program (BSN to DNP) - Family Nurse Practitioner|
|University of Arizona||MSN to DNP with New or Second Specialty (any MSN accepted)||Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online Program (MSN to DNP with Specialty) - Family Nurse Practitioner|
|University of Arizona||Post-MSN Certificate Second Specialty (APRN required)||Online Post-Master of Science (MS) Certificate - Family Nurse Practitioner|