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Family Nurse Practitioner

What does a Family Nurse Practitioner do?

Click here to learn more from Dr. Elizabeth Barker.

New: Distance learning option
The College of Nursing is proud to announce the launch of its new distance education option for Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialties. Students in the Traditional MS option have the opportunity to take all courses online and complete their clinicals near their own community. This option is not available to the Graduate Entry students. The College of Nursing is committed to the recruitment and preparation of culturally diverse nurse practitioners who are qualified to provide culturally competent primary health care and mental health care to people with co-occurring physical and mental disorders. Distance education programs provide greater access to nursing education for RNs and NPs in areas with shortages of health care providers. To learn more about the distance education option, contact or phone (614) 688-8145.

Advanced practice nursing
If you have a passion for nursing and believe that working with families in primary care is the setting that makes the best use of your nursing talents and expertise, then becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner may be the best choice for you. Family Nurse Practitioners work with patients throughout the life span. They enjoy working collaboratively with a variety of patients at many stages of health and in a variety of complex family situations.

The primary goal of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty track is to prepare graduates for advanced practice nursing in a variety of clinical settings ranging from private practices, clinics, hospitals, and businesses to managed care organizations and governmental agencies. Coursework, clinical experience, and research allow our students to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for advanced practice nursing roles. Graduates of the specialty will be eligible for certification as family nurse practitioners in primary care.

Our specialty track is a nationally ranked specialty that meets the nurse practitioner curriculum guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Advanced Nursing Practice: Curriculum Guidelines and Program Standards for Nurse Practitioner Education and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Family Nurse Practitioner Certification criteria.

As colleagues of the country’s most comprehensive university health sciences center, our students benefit from their access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, a diverse selection of elective courses, and interdisciplinary collaboration among health care professionals. Many courses are available to students in a state-of-the-art computer-based format for convenience and accessibility.

Core Family Nurse Practitioner faculty
Elizabeth Barker, PhD, RN, Director
Margaret Graham, PhD, RN

Essential skills
Our graduates enter the workforce with the skills and competencies to:

  • provide health promotion and primary health care for families and individuals in the context of their families
  • apply theory and research in practice with individuals and families
  • develop, implement, and assess nursing strategies to assure quality of care
  • utilize leadership skills for positive change at the local, regional, and national level
  • provide advocacy for all participants in the constantly changing health care environment
  • establish a climate of consistent learning and innovation that positively contributes to the advancement of the profession
  • adapt professionally to the constantly changing health care environment

Core curriculum

  • Nursing 7400 Leadership in Advanced Nursing
  • Nursing 7440 Scientific Thought in Nursing
  • Nursing 7490 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Nursing 7480 Quality Improvement in Advanced Nursing Care
  • Nursing 7500 Nursing in the American Health Care System
  • Nursing 7520 Graduate Nursing Informatics
  • Nursing 7780 Evidence Based Nursing Scholarship
  • Nursing 7410 Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7450 Pathophysiology of Altered Health States
  • Nursing 7470 Advanced Pharmacology in Nursing

Online courses
Much of the nursing core curriculum is offered online. Most students enroll in a mix of online and in-person nursing courses. However, for those students who wish to take all courses exclusively online, they may enroll in the distance education option. Classes are offered in a synchronous format in “real time” and in asynchronous format. Students must come to the Columbus campus approximately twice per year to satisfy the requirements of Nursing 7410 and Nursing 7268, but they may complete all of their clinicals near their own community. If a student enrolled in the distance education option wants to take a nursing course in-person on the Columbus campus they must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for permission. Applicants who would like to take all of their nursing courses online, should select the distance education option on the Supplemental Application.

Family Nurse Practitioner courses

  • Nursing 7260 Theories, Concepts, & Issues in Advanced Family Nursing
  • Nursing 7268.01 FNP Clinical Practicum I
  • Nursing 7268.02 FNP Clinical Practicum II
  • Nursing 7268.03 FNP Clinical Practicum III

Clinical experience
Our specialty provides preceptors in a wide variety of geographic locations and clinical sites throughout Ohio. Students should anticipate that they will be assigned to one or more precepted experiences outside of the metropolitan Columbus area. Students work with nurse practitioners and physicians from a variety of specialties in ambulatory primary care settings. Clinical experience provides the precepted hours necessary for certification as a family nurse practitioner. Clinical preceptorships will be implemented during the final four consecutive quarters of the specialty. These quarters must be completed in sequence. Clinical work in the final quarter may be individualized to assist students to meet career goals.

Download PDF> Sample curriculum

Download PDF> FAQ's

Admissions & program information

Post-Master’s option
The College of Nursing's Post-Master's option prepares master's-prepared nurses for certification as family nurse practitioners.

For more information about the post-master's option, click here

For further information about the Family Nurse Practitioner, contact:


The Ohio State University
College of Nursing
Graduate Outreach and Admissions
1585 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1289

Call (614) 688-8145

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