South Carolina offers several pathways for nurses seeking online programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization. Applicants can find programs at the master’s, post-master’s, and doctoral level at one of three South Carolina universities: the University of South Carolina, Anderson University, and the Medical University of South Carolina.
The University of South Carolina has a master’s (MSN), a post-master’s (certificate) and a doctoral (DNP) program in the FNP specialty area. Anderson University offers an online MSN-FNP as well a DNP-FNP program. In addition to being open to BSNs, these pathways are also open to RNs with associate degrees (ADNs). The Medical University of South Carolina also offers a BSN-to-DNP and provides students with an MSN “exit option.”
In these online FNP programs, students are prepared to care for individuals across the lifespan thanks to a combination of online coursework, campus visits, and clinical practice. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited all of the programs in South Carolina offering online family nurse practitioner (FNP) degrees.
Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in South Carolina
The University of South Carolina prepares advanced practice nursing professionals to provide primary health care to individuals of all ages. The BSN-to-MSN takes 48 credits to complete, while the MSN-to-DNP takes 33, and the post-master’s certificate includes 27. Course topics include advanced pathophysiology for nurses, advanced health assessment, diagnostic interpretation and therapeutic modalities, primary care nursing of children, and clinical application of population analysis.
All programs require clinical practice hours and multiple campus visits—eight for the MSN and four for the DNP. Applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, but they do not need to submit GRE scores.
The professors of Anderson University’s FNP programs are all practicing nurses who train graduates to provide holistic care to patients in clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. The curriculum combines didactic learning in advanced practice nursing care with Christian spirituality, through four faith-based seminars.
The MSN includes 48 hours of coursework and 600 hours of clinical practice, while the DNP entails 72 credits and 1100 clinical hours. Both are available to BSN graduates. Anderson University also offers online RN-to-MSN and RN-to-DNP programs.
Students are expected to make campus visits during each of these programs of study to participate in simulation and lab activities. The MSN requires four trips and the DNP requires six. Please note that RNs without BSN degrees may be required to make extra campus visits.
The Medical University of South Carolina offers a BSN-to-DNP in FNP with an MSN “exit option” for students with qualifying personal circumstances. Otherwise, graduates of this degree program earn both a master’s and a doctoral degree. There is also a post-MSN DNP completion degree available to MUSC alumni who have used the MSN exit option.
Coursework covers advanced pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics, informatics in health care delivery, applied epidemiology, and biostatistics in health care. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores, and admission is available to residents of all states except Florida, Massachusetts, and New York.
South Carolina FNP Licensing Requirements
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) outlines the Board of Nursing requirements for APRN licensure in the state. RNs must submit the following to the South Carolina Board of Nursing to apply for licensure and begin practicing as a family nurse practitioner:
- A completed South Carolina APRN license application and $30.00 nonrefundable initial fee
- A completed Prescriptive Authority Application and $20.00 nonrefundable fee
- A copy of a current South Carolina RN license
- Official transcripts from a board-approved graduate program sent directly to the Board from the educational institution
- Evidence of certification by a board-approved national credentialing agency
- Documentation of 45 CE hours in pharmacotherapeutics
- Physician signatures and license numbers on the application
- A criminal background check
Applicants should allow 10 to 14 days after the delivery of all materials before checking the status of their application online.
A note on renewals and changes: nursing licenses in South Carolina must be renewed every even year by April 30. APRNs must not wait until renewal to notify the board of changes in address, physician collaboration, or practice setting. Nurses should notify the board about changes in supervisor, workplace, or contact information within 15 days.