Two universities in Nebraska offer online degree programs with a family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization. Clarkson College administers a master of science in nursing (MSN) in FNP for nurses with undergraduate degrees in nursing, either a bachelor’s (BSN) or associate’s (ADN) degree. RNs already in possession of an advanced practice degree may be eligible for the FNP post-master’s certificate program. United Methodist College offers a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) in FNP for BSN degree-holders. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) have accredited these online FNP programs, respectively.
Creighton University also has an FNP post-master’s certificate and doctoral programs (BSN and MSN pathways), and the University of Nebraska Medical Center has both MSN and DNP programs for RNs with a BSN degree as well as a post-master’s certificate option. However, these programs require more campus visitation and are considered “hybrid” programs.
FNPs are trained to provide direct care, health assessments, and wellness information to all of the members of the families and communities they serve. A description of Nebraska’s online FNP programs is provided below, as well as information on FNP licensing requirements in the state.
Program Information: Online FNP Programs in Nebraska
Clarkson College offers several options for RNs seeking to specialize as family nurse practitioners. The FNP programs range in credits from 28 for the post-master’s certificate, to 47 for the BSN to MSN, and 176 for the ADN to MSN track. Course topics include primary health care, advanced physical assessment, pharmacology for practitioners, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced nutrition. Core classes also incorporate service and interprofessional education requirements.
Outside of coursework and clinical practice, FNP programs at Clarkson require three campus visits and a culminating scholarly project. This entails the completion of an evidence-based practice journal article and poster presentation based on original clinical research.
Clarkson’s FNP programs are currently open to residents of all states except Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. No GRE is required for admission.
Nebraska Methodist College prepares doctors of nursing practice in FNP to provide holistic healthcare focused on the provider-patient interaction. The BSN to DNP pathway includes core topics in advanced practice nursing, healthcare finance and policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, and adult, maternal, and children’s nursing theory. Elective courses include community health program planning and public health ethics, among others.
The DNP curriculum includes 75 credits, 57 of which can be earned through online learning with both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (time-independent) components. The last 18 credits are dedicated to clinical practice, which includes 1,080 contact hours in partnership with a qualified preceptor. Full-time DNP students may complete the program in 36 months; part-time students finish within four to five years. The DNP-FNP at Nebraska Methodist College is open to residents of all states except Arkansas, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, and Washington. The school does not require GRE scores of applicants. Three campus visits are required.
Creighton University offers a hybrid DNP-FNP program with mostly online classes. Due to a lack of specificity around the number of campus-based courses and residency requirements, Creighton does not meet the OnlineFNPPrograms standards for distance-learning programs. However, these programs do offer a viable option for students with flexibility regarding program delivery.
FNP-DNP students at Creighton can further specialize their studies within four areas: advanced health promotion, diagnostics, medication, and therapeutics. Admitted students may also enroll and begin taking core courses while still in the process of completing the 2,000 hours of clinical practice needed before beginning upper-level clinical coursework. Neither GRE scores or completion of a thesis are required.
Students in the University of Nebraska FNP programs—MSN and DNP—can graduate in three to four years with full- and part-time study options. Post-master’s certificate plans of study vary based on individual student’s prior experience, education, and chosen specialty area. The MSN to DNP includes 35 credits and 500 hours of clinical practice. The BSN track entails an additional 35 credits of coursework. Admission is competitive, and applicants to the DNP are encouraged to apply early.
Nebraska FNP Licensing Requirements
To apply for licensure as an advanced practice nurse in the state of Nebraska, nurses must submit the following to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Licensure Unit:
- A completed application (online or printed/mailed)
- A check for associated fees made payable to DHHS, Licensure Unit ($25 if the application is made within six months of renewal deadline, otherwise $68)
- Documentation of age and lawful presence in the United States
- Official transcripts submitted directly from the educational institution
- Verification of national certification submitted directly from the national certifying body
- Proof of active professional liability insurance
- A “transition to practice” form, if applicable (required of applicants with less than 2,000 hours of clinical practice upon graduation/FNP certification; those who fail to submit this form will be issued a temporary license valid for 120 days, renewable up to one year)
- Proof of active RN licensure verification (only for applicants not in possession of an active Nebraska RN license; all others must obtain a verification report from www.nursys.com and send receipt along with application materials)
- Verification of all other licenses held in a state other than Nebraska (from Nursys or from that state’s licensing website)
- A completed criminal background check by fingerprint
A note on renewal: all APRN-NP licenses must be renewed on or before October 31st of each even-numbered year.