Family Nurse Practitioner

What does a Family Nurse Practitioner do?

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.

Distance Learning Option

The College of Nursing is proud to provide a distance learning option for the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty. 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. 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 or phone (614) 688-8145.

Core Family Nurse Practitioner Faculty

Oralea Pittman, DNP, CRNP, FAANP, FNP, Program Director (on campus)

Alice Teall, MS, FNP, PNP, FAANP, Program Director (online)

Carol Nikolai, MS, FNP

Linda Quinlin, RN, ANCS-BC, NP-C, ACHPN, DNP

Angie Hoff, DNP, FNP-BC

Joyce Karl, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, COHN-S, MS

Lindi McGaughy, RN, BSN, MS, CRNP, FNP-BC

Teresa Garcia De Gutierrez, RN, MS, FNP-C

Sue Carter, DNP, RN, FNP-C, NCMP

Matt Stone, RN, MS, FNP-C

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 Courses

  • Nursing 7403        Innovation Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Nursing 7483        Quality Improvement and Informatics
  • Nursing 7491         Health Promotion and Disease Prevention across the Life Span
  • Nursing 7500        Health Policy and Advocacy
  • Nursing 7780        Evidence Based Nursing Scholarship

Family Nurse Practitioner Courses

  • 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 and additional information about the specialty can be found here.

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 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 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.

Admissions & Program Information

Traditional Master of Science option
Graduate Entry option
Post-Master's option

For further information about the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty, contact:

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

Call (614) 688-8145