Family Nurse Practitioner

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 lifespan. They enjoy working collaboratively with other healthcare providers and patients at many stages of health and in a variety of complex family situations. Although wellness is a focus for Family Nurse Practitioners, they also take care of many patients with complex acute and chronic illnesses in the outpatient setting.

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, hospital systems and businesses to managed care organizations and governmental agencies. Coursework and clinical experiences allow our students to acquire the knowledge, values and skills necessary for advanced practice nursing roles. Graduates of the specialty will be eligible for national certification as a family nurse practitioner.

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 Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master’s Education.

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 healthcare professionals. Many courses are available to students in a state-of-the-art computer-based format for convenience and accessibility.

Ohio State has two tracks in its FNP program. The on-campus track is available to both students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and also students in the Graduate Entry Program.  The distance-enhanced track is available to students entering with a traditional BSN. Students must choose at the time of application if they are applying to the online or on-campus FNP program.

Some of the courses in the online program meet at set times using web conferencing software. Students would complete their clinical experiences near their own community. Students in the distance-enhanced learning option are required to spend two days on campus for in-person learning and evaluation of clinical skills during their second clinical course. Students in the on- campus program may take some core courses that are required of all specialties online, but their clinical courses meet on campus and their clinical sites are within Ohio.

The College of Nursing is committed to the recruitment and preparation of diverse nurse practitioners who are qualified to provide culturally competent primary health care. State laws require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide online educational instruction in their states. This means that Ohio State online courses and programs must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students residing there. Please check the status of your state of residence to determine if Ohio State has authorization to offer online courses and programs in your state. If you reside in a state in which Ohio State is authorized to provide online education, learn more about the distance learning option, e-mail

Oralea Pittman
Director, Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track

Message from the Director

Family Nurse Practitioners are healthcare providers with specialized, advanced, graduate nursing education who provide healthcare to individuals and families across the lifespan.

Linda Quinlin
Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track Director

Message from the Director

FNPs emphasize health and wellness within families and provide treatment for the whole person including the treatment of illness, as well as focusing on disease prevention and health promotion.

Core Faculty - On Campus

Timothy Landers
Shannon Linder

Core Faculty - Online


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

  • Provide health promotion and primary healthcare for families and individuals in the context of their families
  • Apply theory and evidence 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 healthcare environment
  • Establish a climate of consistent learning and innovation that positively contributes to the advancement of the profession
  • Adapt professionally to the constantly changing healthcare environment


  • Nursing 7410 Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7450 Pathophysiology of Altered Health States
  • Nursing 7470 Advanced Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Nursing 7260 Theories, Concepts, & Issues in Advanced Family Nursing
  • Nursing 7268.01 Advanced Nursing Practice FNP Clinical Practicum I
  • Nursing 7268.02 Advanced Nursing Practice FNP Clinical Practicum II
  • Nursing 7268.03 Advanced Nursing Practice FNP Clinical Practicum III


Sample Curriculum

A sample curriculum for the traditional master's full-time and part-time options, as well as the graduate entry option can be found in the master's in nursing handbook. A sample curriculum for the BSN to DNP can be found in the DNP handbook

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 Columbus metropolitan area. Students work with nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians from a variety of specialties in ambulatory patient care settings. Clinical experience provides the precepted hours necessary for certification as a family nurse practitioner. Clinical preceptorships will be implemented during the final three consecutive semesters of the specialty. These semesters must be completed in sequence. Clinical work in the final semester may be individualized to assist students to meet career goals.


Puja Patel
Puja Patel, graduate

“I chose the Family Nurse Practitioner specialization due to its focus on holistic care; health is not just physical, but a combination of many aspects. As a FNP, I can use my education and passions to impact these many aspects in patients’ lives.”