West Virginia

One university in West Virginia offers online degree programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization: Wheeling Jesuit University. WJU administers a master of science in nursing practice (MSN) in the FNP specialty area for RNs with an associate (ADN) or bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), as well as a post-master’s certificate for advanced practice nurses seeking to add the FNP specialization to their credentials.

West Virginia University offers an online MSN, a graduate certificate, and a post-BSN pathway to the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) in this specialty area. However, WVU’s family nursing programs have not met our requirements for distance-learning programs due to a lack of clarity on program delivery, format, and number of required campus visits.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the online family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs at Wheeling Jesuit University and WJU graduates are equipped with the skills to influence change for the benefit of patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

Read on for a description of WJU’s online FNP programs and information on FNP licensing requirements in the state.

Program Information: Online FNP Programs in West Virginia

Designed for the working nurse, Wheeling Jesuit University of Wheeling, WV offers a fully online master’s program and post-master’s certificate in family nursing. The programs emphasize the role of critical thinking in the change process in healthcare.

The 51-credit MSN-FNP program is divided into three parts: a nursing core, an FNP clinical core, and FNP primary care. Course topics include advanced pathophysiology; advanced practice nursing in the primary care of the infant, child, and adolescent; advanced practice nursing in the primary care of reproductive health; advanced practice nursing in the primary care of the adult; and advanced practice nursing in the primary care of the aging populations. Coursework is combined with more than 700 hours of extensive clinical practice that may be completed in students’ home communities.

The FNP certificate program entails up to 26 credits of coursework, and the ADN to MSN FNP, 139 credits. Post-master’s students may have to complete prerequisite courses in advanced pharmacology, physical assessment, and pathophysiology before beginning clinical practicum experiences. One campus visit is required of all FNP students.

To gain admission to Wheeling’s FNP programs, applicants must have graduated from an accredited BSN program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and completed undergraduate statistics and research courses. Three letters of recommendation, an essay, and GRE or GMAT scores are needed as well. Applicants must have basic computer literacy and knowledge of spreadsheets.

West Virginia University offers several programs in family nursing. Advanced practice nurses wishing to add a the FNP to their APRN license may enroll in a hybrid post-master’s certificate program. The BSN to DNP option offers a direct pathway to the doctor of nursing practice degree or an “exit option” for BSN-prepared nurses seeking the MSN only. An MSN to DNP pathway is also available to advanced practice nurses seeking the DNP.

FNP programs are delivered primarily online with both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (any time) components, and campus visits are required of students periodically throughout the program. Activities include attending special sessions in conjunction with the assessment course and the practicum. During clinical practice semesters, students meet with teachers and peers virtually once a month.

WVU’s programs do not meet the OnlineFNPPrograms distance learning standards, but they may be suitable for nursing professionals with flexible schedules and those with a preference for hybrid learning formats that blend online components with face-to-face meetings and instruction.

West Virginia FNP Licensing Requirements

Qualified applicants can apply for FNP licensure through the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses website. After filling out the online application and submitting payment electronically, applicants must do the following:

  • Request that official transcripts be sent directly from their graduate institution to the Board
  • Request that verification of national certification be sent directly from the certifying body to the Board
  • Upload required documentation in support of any application items in need of explanation (certified copies of court documents must be submitted to the Board)
  • Complete a separate application for prescriptive authority (if within their scope of practice)

To apply for prescriptive authority, applicants must:

  • Download and complete the collaborative agreement form
  • Complete the form with their collaborating physician, have it notarized, and send the original signed and notarized form to the Board
  • Request that verification of APRN license be sent directly to the Board
  • Upload required documentation in support of any application items in need of explanation (certified copies of court documents must be submitted to the Board)
  • Upload PDFs of official certificates documenting completion of 15 contact-hours of advanced pharmacology
  • Request a letter from the director of their graduate program documenting that pharmacology was included in graduate clinical practicum be sent directly from the school to the Board by mail or email