Four universities in Georgia offer online graduate programs for nurses seeking licensure as family nurse practitioners (FNPs): Columbus State University, Clayton State University, South University, and Georgia Southern University. Clayton and SU also provide post-master’s certificates in this specialty, and Georgia Southern has a bachelor’s to doctorate program with a master’s exit option.

While all of these advanced practice nurse practitioner programs combine online courses with onsite clinical hours, some require on-campus visits of varying lengths and are designed in a blended or hybrid learning format.

The master’s programs at Columbus State and SU are offered 100 percent online with no required campus residencies, while Clayton combines online classes with five campus visits. Georgia Southern requires three campus visits and offers hybrid classes that combine both synchronous and asynchronous online components, as well as some face-to-face class meetings. Students in GSU’s program are also required to attend a mandatory orientation program that includes online modules and up to four days of on-campus workshops before the beginning of the initial fall semester of study.

All of these FNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Continue reading for a description of each program, and information on FNP licensing requirements in the state of Georgia.

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Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Georgia

Columbus State University meets the needs of working nurses by offering a 100 percent online asynchronous learning format with 765 clinical hours to be completed in students’ local communities. Coursework includes health promotion (elderly, women and children, and adults), advanced pathophysiology, and pharmacology for advanced practice nurses.

The 44-credit program may be completed in as little as two years with full-time participation, and part-time and early-admit formats are also available. The degree has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing and requires no GRE scores for admission.

At Clayton State University, RNs are trained in advanced practices to meet the primary care needs of diverse, underserved, and vulnerable populations in community-based facilities. Graduates gain expertise in culturally competent, collaborative management of acute and chronic conditions from an in-depth study based upon a foundation in critical thinking, ethical and evidence-based practice, and human caring. A focus on health promotion and the prevention of disease rooted in holistic practice is one of the program’s primary objectives.

The 47-credit program requires 585 clinical practice hours, and the curriculum meets current national standards. GRE scores are only required of applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.2. At present, Clayton State is unable to accept inquiries from out-of-state students for their FNP program.

South University’s online FNP program meets core competencies for FNPs as delineated by the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). Advanced courses in pathophysiology, theoretical perspectives, pharmacology, health and physical assessment, and nursing research methods equips graduates with the ability to promote wellness behaviors, practice preventative care, and diagnose and manage health problems common to patients at all stages of life. Courses also hone nurses’ skills in clinical judgment, critical thinking, communication, and leadership.

The FNP graduate certificate is 38 credits, the MSN for non-nursing degree holders is 62 credits, and the doctorate is 227 credits. Programs are open to residents of all states except the following: Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, New Mexico, Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.

Georgia Southern University’s eight-semester online bachelor’s to doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) degree prepares nurses to deliver high quality, patient-centered, direct care of individuals. Graduates can become leaders in the administration of nursing systems and the development and implementation of health policy. Didactic and clinical experiences prepare nurse practitioners to care for patients, families, and communities with a focus on all realms of health: the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. One semester is devoted to each of three subspecialty areas: women’s health, pediatrics, and adult/gerontology.

The MSN “exit option” affords students the possibility of opting out after completing all of the master’s level requirements. Students choosing this path can graduate with a master’s degree and have four years to complete the remaining coursework and requirements to earn the doctoral degree as a family nurse practitioner.

A flexible schedule is needed for participation in GSU’s FNP program. Courses are offered online. However, asynchronous and synchronous learning activities as well as periodic face-to-face class meetings and activities make this blended program unique, but perhaps not ideal for all working professionals. While enrolled in FNP clinical specialty courses, two on-campus learning days are scheduled each semester. GSU is not able to offer admission to residents of District of Columbia, New York, and Wisconsin at this time.

Georgia FNP Licensing Requirements

Family nurse practitioners are required to have an advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) license from the state of Georgia Board of Nursing. Applicants must be in possession of an active Georgia RN license and submit the following either online or by mail:

  • Signed and notarized application
  • $75.00 non-refundable fee
  • Official college transcripts from an approved master’s or doctoral degree program
  • Proof of completion of an approved nursing education program within four years of application
  • Completion of 500 hours of clinical practice hours
  • Verification of employment form
  • Verification of active national FNP certification

Applicants are also asked to disclose information related to any history of arrest or substance abuse and proof of citizenship. Candidates are not permitted to work as FNPs until their application has been approved and their license issued.

The board reviews applications as received. To renew a license, 20 hours of approved continuing education credits must be earned and submitted to CE Broker. Registration with the Georgia online service for current license holders is also required. Beginning January 2018, the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) allowed registered nurses who are licensed (and reside) in the state of Georgia to convert their license from single to multistate.