Two universities offer online degree programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization in Wisconsin.
Herzing University has an online MSN-FNP for nurses holding a bachelor’s of science (BSN) degree, and Concordia University has a master’s (MSN) and post-master’s certificate in the FNP specialty for RNs with BSN or MSN degrees, respectively. A third university, the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, administers a doctoral program (DNP) in the FNP specialization in a hybrid format, combining online and face-to-face instruction.
The online FNP programs in Wisconsin are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Focusing on the primary care of individuals, families, and communities, these programs combine online coursework and clinical experiences to prepare advanced practice professionals for leadership in nursing care.
A description of these offerings and information on FNP licensing requirements in Wisconsin follow.
Program Information: Online FNP Programs in Wisconsin
Herzing University offers a 100 percent online master of science in nursing (MSN) with an FNP specialization. With six start-dates a year, the program can be completed in 20 months. Graduates are prepared to care for individuals across the lifespan in a variety of settings, including primary and urgent care clinics, family practices, schools, women’s healthcare facilities, and veterans’ centers, among others.
The program requires 48 credits of coursework along with 675 hours of clinical practice. Course topics include health promotion across the lifespan; the role of nurse practitioners; and the care of women, infants, children, adolescents, and geriatric populations. Enrollment is currently open to residents of all states except Arkansas, Washington DC, and Wyoming. GRE scores are not required for admittance.
Family nurse practitioners trained at Concordia University receive an educational program built upon Christian ideals. Students develop knowledge in foundational areas such as counseling, pathophysiology, and bioethics within their instructional program. The MSN entails 41 credits of coursework, while Concordia’s “certificate after graduate education” (CAGE) program is only 35 credits.
Part- and full-time study options are available, as well as clinical rotations in both the spring and fall terms. All student must complete a two-week residency in conjunction with the advanced health assessment course. Applicants must be actively working as practicing nurses with current RN licensure and have completed a statistics course within the last five years.
The University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh administers a 74-credit hybrid BSN-to-DNP program for RNs seeking to specialize in family nursing (FNP). Graduates are prepared for advanced nursing practice through courses integrating informatics, leadership, collaboration, evidence-based practice, and knowledge of systems and healthcare policy within the FNP context.
An intensive FNP residency immersion and preparation of a scholarly project are the culminating experiences of the doctoral program. The DNP can be completed in three years of full-time study and five years part-time.
The BSN-to-DNP FNP track is a blended program with students attending classes on campus during designated weeks in the fall and spring terms. For this reason, UWO’s FNP program does not meet our requirements for being an online program (i.e., less than nine total campus visits); however, it is worthy of mention for its use of online instruction.
FNP Licensing Requirements in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) oversees the activity of the Board of Nursing and outlines the process of becoming a certified “advanced practice nurse prescriber” (APNP) in the state. To gain licensure as an APNP in Wisconsin, applicants must submit the following:
- A completed application (form #2124) and $150 check payable to the DSPS
- Evidence of current RN licensure in the state of Wisconsin or a compact state and all prior licenses held in any state
- Evidence of current national certification as a nurse practitioner by a Board-approved certifying entity
- Proof of a graduate degree (form #2367) from an accredited educational program sent directly to the Board from the educational institution or emailed to DSPSCredNursing@wisconsin.gov
- Evidence of 45 contact-hours in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics within the previous five years
- Proof of a passing score of 85 percent or higher on the Wisconsin Statutes and Rules exam for advanced practice nurse prescribers
- Malpractice insurance coverage independently carried or part of group coverage (complete form #2157)
- Convictions, pending charges, or malpractice suit/claims documentation (if applicable)
- A certified copy of marriage certificate or divorce decree, if either explains a difference in name on required documentation.
A note on renewals: APNPs in Wisconsin must renew their licenses on even years; this involves payment of a $157.00 renewal fee, passing the Statutes and Rules exam, and completion of 16 hours of continuing education credits in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics.