MSN FNP Online Program
Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner ranked #5 Best Health Care Job for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report!

Achieve the pinnacle of skill and specialization in nursing in as little as 20 months. Complete your Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN FNP) online from Herzing University and take a leap towards becoming a family nurse practitioner.

Herzing's online MSN FNP program is offered exclusively on the web, allowing working nurses the convenience of managing coursework on their schedule.

Online FNP Program Highlights

  • CCNE-accredited*
  • 100% online classwork with inter-professional educational opportunities
  • Masters-prepared academic coaches to support student success
  • 48 credits, 675 clinical hours
  • Clinical assistance
  • 6 start-dates per year

How long will the MSN FNP program take?

The Herzing University online FNP program is typically completed in 20 months. When attending full-time the program length is 5 semesters. Program length and time to complete can vary based on transfer credits and whether the student chooses a full or part-time schedule. 

Candidates for the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degree must complete:

  • 48 semester hours, 30 of which are in the FNP concentration
  • 675 total clinical hours
  • 500 total patient encounters
  • You'll need to meet two minimums for each of the 5 clinical courses in the program: 135 clinical hours and 100 patient encounters

Herzing University's goal is to empower you to become a better caregiver – our patient encounter requirement ensures you are exposed to a wide variety of different cases, equipping you to be more fully prepared to thrive in your own practice.

Classes start October 28.
Learn more today!

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Preparing for a career as a

Family Nurse Practitioner

Earning the right credential can help you build lifelong success.

The demand for Family Nurse Practitioners has never been greater. Now is the time to make a change that can deliver benefits for years to come. Download a copy of our complimentary guide to learn more about Herzing's MSN FNP program and the unique advantages it provides you.

Family Nurse Practitioner Career Guide
Download Career Guide

Questions? Schedule a call with an advisor


Clinical Experience: Herzing supports your search for a preceptor

Finding a preceptor or clinical location for a nurse practitioner program can be a pain point for many prospective nursing students. With Herzing University you are never on your own.

Benefits of the Herzing FNP program clinical experience

  1. University guidance. You will have a clinical coordinator as your resource to guide and assist in securing appropriate clinical sites and provide ongoing assistance throughout the practicum. We have partnered with clinical sites for nurse practitioner students throughout the United States. If you have difficulty finding a local connection, we can help you find an NP appropriate preceptor that meets the needs of the course and clinical experience. This is done utilizing the Clinical Guidance Process.
  2. You will be ready. Our program includes a Clinical Readiness Course to prepare you for success in the practicum your clinical experiences during your time here at Herzing University. 
  3. Interdisciplinary opportunities. Exposure to diverse patient care environments makes you a better, more prepared nurse practitioner. Our priority is your experience to build upon in your new career—the Herzing FNP program requires a minimum of 100 patient encounters and 135 clinical hours in your clinical courses as part of the 675-hour requirement to ensure you see a variety of patients. You will earn personalized, valuable clinical experience with a deeper background treating patients of many ages across the lifespan including times of wellness and illness.
  4. Flexible scheduling. Fitting clinical hours into an already hectic life can be a challenge. In collaboration with your clinical preceptor, you will identify a schedule that works best for you.
  5. We treat you like a professional. You are a student—but in a clinical setting you are accountable to a licensed healthcare provider and their patients. From enrollment to completion we treat you like the nursing professional you are working so hard to become.

If you'd like more detail on the process, read our guide to finding a nurse practitioner preceptor, which includes information on what sites you may choose, what kinds of preceptors you can work with, and tips on how to secure a clinical.

Why Herzing

*The master’s degree program in nursing at Herzing University Online is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Programmatic accreditation acknowledges that Herzing's nursing programs meet specific national standards including institutional resources, quality curriculum and teaching practices, and program outcomes related to completion rates, pass rates and employment.


Online Learning and On-Site Training

One of the most important elements of our online MSN FNP program is the opportunity to engage with patients and preceptors in the clinical environment. As a Herzing FNP student, you will complete online classes with on-site clinical experiences that provide you the opportunity to practice skills and apply your learning in real-world settings.

  • Our Clinical Readiness Course prepares you to be successful in your clinical experience.
  • Our Virtual Bootcamp helps you prepare for the certification exam.

Clinical Experience Assistance

The clinical experience is an integral part of our program to help prepare you for your advanced practice nursing career. At Herzing, you’ll have clinical coordinators who serve as a resource to students in finding and securing appropriate clinical sites.

Convenience and Support

Herzing's online FNP program is designed for busy professionals looking to get their nurse practitioner degree online. Flexible online scheduling is available to accommodate the demands of work, home, and life. And like Herzing’s local campuses, you can expect the personalized attention and support that Herzing is known. Masters-prepared academic coaches offer one on one assistance and coaching to enhance study skills, build confidence, and provide support in helping MSN FNP students achieve academic success.

Collaborative, Real-World Experience

Learn from expert teaching faculty whose rich, professional experiences enhance our students’ education. And with an interactive online learning environment, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with nurses from around the country.


What exactly is a family nurse practitioner?

With the changes in healthcare reform, Family Nurse Practitioners serve a vital role; counseling patients for health prevention, promotion and disease management, as well as seeing, diagnosing and treating patients who would have historically waited weeks to see a physician. In recent years, the role of nurse practitioners has expanded. Along with the increase in duties performed, so too has the need for more qualified graduates risen. Help fill the need with a Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Herzing University.

Family nurse practitioners provide care for patients of all ages and have great flexibility in choosing a specialty. Nurse Practitioners often select positions in family practice, geriatrics, pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, urgent care, internal medicine and primary care.

What can I do as an FNP?

Graduates of Herzing's Family Nurse Practitioner concentration are prepared to work in diverse healthcare and academic environments with patients across the lifespan, including:

  •   Family Practice
  •   Primary Care
  •   Public Health
  •   Retail Health Clinics
  •   School Health
  •   Urgent Care Clinics
  •   Veterans Administration
  •   Women's Health

FNP vs NP – the "family" difference

The difference between FNP and NP is that Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) specialize in family medicine, and Nurse Practitioners (NP) generally adopt a medical specialty under a smaller umbrella. FNPs may work in pediatrics or geriatrics, while an adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) only works with adult/older patients; a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) only works with children and young adults.

Becoming an FNP makes you more qualified for more kinds of family care, making you a valuable resource to all sorts of different medical institutions. Learn more about what a nurse practitioner is, what they do, where they work and how they most often specialize.

How much can I make as a family nurse practitioner?

The average annual salary for a nurse practitioner is $110,030 per year ($52.90 per hour). Nurse practitioners working in outpatient care centers make the most on average ($116,550 per year) although NP’s most often work in physician’s offices (see a full industry profile).

A high average salary combined with optimistic estimates for projected growth in nurse practitioner employment in coming years means earning your master’s degree now puts you on track to be in high demand on the job market.


MSN FNP Program Curriculum

Ranging from newborn to geriatric, Herzing’s online FNP program is a population-focused curriculum completed in the primary care setting. The program is designed to be completed over twenty months (5 semesters) when attending full-time.

The curriculum offers advanced, immediately relevant training through core MSN courses, direct care courses, and clinical courses. A minimum of 48.00 semester credit hours and 675 practicum hours are required for graduation.

Required Core Courses

All courses, 15.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Direct Care Core Courses

All courses, 10.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Courses in FNP Concentration

All courses, 23.00 semester credit hours, are required.



The Herzing University online FNP program is not entry level. We require a BSN degree from an accredited university or college and a current, active and unrestricted license as an RN for acceptance into our FNP program.

If you have no experience in nursing and are considering a second career as a family nurse practitioner, see our accelerated BSN program option. This puts you on track to earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing to become an RN and qualify for our master’s degree program to become an FNP.


Nurse practitioners work primarily in hospitals (state, local & private), physician’s offices, outpatient care centers, educational facilities and offices of other health practitioners, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn more about where family nurse practitioners work and their average salary in each type of healthcare facility.


No, an FNP is not a doctor, or physician. Their duties, roles and responsibilities are very different, along with their required education and certification.

However, family nurse practitioners are more and more regularly acting as primary care providers, especially in rural locations and certain states where there is less restrictions on what nurse practitioners can and can’t do. FNPs are often given independence and autonomy in the right circumstances.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for nurse practitioners is expected to rise 36% from 2016 through 2026, an expectation far surpassing the average across all occupations.

Expect your skills and abilities to be in very high demand by the time you get your master’s degree.


The answer really depends on the state where you’d be working. There are a few basic levels of practice: full, reduced and restricted.

Explore this map from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners to discover your state’s standards and get an understanding of what it means.

Over the course of your education, you’ll learn much more detail about the scope of practice for family nurse practitioners vs. other roles in healthcare.


Take it from an RN who has already made the leap. Here are the biggest reasons to become a family nurse practitioner. It all starts by getting the education and qualifications you need to take the next step.


One of the most important elements of the online MSN-FNP program is the clinical. At Herzing you’ll have a clinical coordinator who will serve as a resource to students, guiding and assisting with securing appropriate clinical sites.

Herzing has been partnering with clinical sites for decades, which affords students the best clinical settings due to our reputation of strong clinical presence in a wide range of facilities.

With Herzing University you are never alone. Read our guide to finding preceptorship for the FNP program and get more information on who you can choose, what kinds of sites you can look for, and how we support your search.


Licensure requirements for FNPs vary from state to state. Most require a current RN license and a master’s degree in nursing. Graduates from Herzing University’s FNP program are eligible to sit for one of the FNP certification exams. Two main bodies offer FNP certification:

You may choose which exam you’d like to take. After completing your master’s degree, you will need to get certified and obtain licensure in the state you wish to practice before opening your practice as an FNP.


It’s a big decision for you and your family. One former Herzing University FNP student explains what you need to know before enrolling in an FNP program.


Yes! We’d love to have you. We have nine campus locations and you’re welcome to come in for a tour if you’re nearby. The doors are always open to you for study time, to meet with financial aid counselors or meeting other Herzing students.


Program Requirements

To enroll in Herzing’s online family nurse practitioner program, prospective students must live in a state where Herzing University is authorized to offer the MSN FNP program, and:

  1. Hold a current, active and unrestricted license as a registered nurse (RN) in the same state in which they live.  (Note: Holding a multi-state, compact state license and being a resident in a compact license state will be deemed to have met this requirement.)
  2. Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited university or college with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

$10K Scholarship

Did you achieve a 3.8+GPA in your undergraduate program? You could be eligible for our Nurses Circle of Achievement Scholarship.

Interested? The first step is to apply for admission to Herzing University.

Apply Now



The cost of tuition for the Herzing University online FNP program

Don't worry, you aren't on your own! At Herzing University, an affordable, career-focused education is within your reach.  We strive to make college affordable for everyone.

Financial aid options:

  • Student loans & secured loans.  Loans offer a way to pay for all or part of your tuition.
  • Scholarships.  We offer a variety of scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need or community affiliations – in 2018 Herzing University awarded $5 million in scholarships to nursing students. Contact an admissions advisor about current scholarship opportunities by calling 1-800-596-0724 or request for information online.
  • Clinical partner grants.  We partner with clinical facilities all over the United States. Many partners are offered a tuition grant for employees who attend Herzing University.

Potential sources of financial aid include the Federal government, State government, or private organizations like foundations, business, associations, charitable organizations or your current employer. You can find an estimate for tuition for the online FNP program using Herzing University’s tuition wizard.

Your path to a brighter future in nursing continues by advancing your education.

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Not all programs approved in all states. Individual considering the MSN-FNP program should be aware that state requirements for availability of required clinical courses and eligibility to apply for licensure as a family nurse practitioner vary from state to state. Applicants should check with their applicable state board of nursing before enrolling in any graduate nursing program.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

View Program Course Sheet