Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
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questions to Amy Yun.
Family--in its broadest definition--influences nearly every aspect of a person's health. The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) meets the healthcare needs of the individual and family by providing comprehensive primary care through the lifespan. FNPs work independently as well as collaboratively with other primary care clinicians and health care and social service professionals in a variety of settings, such as clinics, schools, homes, workplaces and community-based organizations.
The UCSF FNP Program is committed to training a diverse workforce that reflects the population of California. Combining rigorous coursework with hands on clinical experience, students learn to collaboratively manage acute and chronic conditions as well as provide excellent community-based primary care to diverse, underserved, and vulnerable populations.
We offer two full-time programs (see below). We do not offer a part-time or online program. Courses are held on a Monday to Friday schedule, and usually concentrated on 2-3 days/week. Most clinical placements occur on a weekday schedule during the 10 week quarter and optionally in short term intensive placements (1-2 weeks) in rural or under-resourced areas outside of the Bay Area.
This program is a full-time, two-year course of study. Students are admitted as RNs who have completed a bachelor’s degree and have at least 2 years of experience working as an RN or through the UCSF Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN). Upon completion of all requirements, students earn a Master of Science degree and certification eligibility as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In addition to the core program, students may pursue focused areas of study or minors.
For nurses who have already completed a Master of Science program and want to obtain FNP certification, we offer a 5-6 quarter Post-Master’s option. Course work is completed in 5 quarters, and includes all clinical and specialty core courses. Master’s Core courses are not required for Post-Master’s students.
Clinical practicums (Year 1) mirror the Master’s program and we offer two options for completing clinical residencies (Year 2):
(1) Intensives: Students complete intensives at the end of fall and winter quarter during their second year of study. Intensives are 40-80 hour clinical placements, which are usually held outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Students will complete their course of study at the end of winter quarter in their second year for a total of five quarters. This option is included in the cost of tuition.
(2) Spring quarter: Students complete their clinical requirements during an additional spring quarter in their second year. This option will also allow students to pursue any academic electives that may interest them during the additional quarter. Students will have to pay an additional quarter of tuition, for a total of six quarters.
Core content includes:
- Family nursing theory
- Family and community-based interventions
- Care of vulnerable and marginalized populations
- Research methods
- Social determinants of health and health equity
- Interprofessional team-based care
- Professional development and leadership preparation
- Primary healthcare concepts and practice
- Diagnosis and management of acute and chronic conditions
Seminars focus on application of knowledge and development of clinical thinking and decision-making. Clinical practicums (Year 1) and residencies (Year 2) provide supervised clinical experience in a range of community primary care settings, primarily serving vulnerable and underserved populations, in collaboration with nurse practitioners, physicians, and other health practitioners.
Our graduates are trained to apply a collaborative and culturally humble approach to the care of individuals, families and communities. Our focus on individuals, families and communities who are vulnerable and underserved prepares our graduates to work in primary care settings and to address issues of health equity within marginalized populations in California, the nation and globally.
Minors and Areas of Focus
HIV/AIDS management content is fully integrated into the general curriculum of the FNP program. Students who wish to more deeply concentrate on HIV/AIDS primary care can apply to participate in the HIV/AIDS Focus. The focus comprises additional course work and clinical residencies in settings that provide HIV/AIDS primary care.
The UCSF School of Nursing has strong relationships with the Bay Area's leading providers of HIV/AIDS care, including the UCSF Positive Health Program/Ward 86 (the world's first dedicated AIDS outpatient clinic), Mission Neighborhood Health Center, and the East Bay AIDS Center. These partnerships connect HIV/AIDS Focus students to internationally recognized leaders in the fields of HIV/AIDS research, treatment, and health-care delivery. Students in the HIV/AIDS Focus have clinical experiences in these organizations and others that serve people living with HIV/AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS Focus has been developed by UCSF SON faculty in partnership with the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (Grant #: H4HA26223). (See the HIV/AIDS Focus page.)
The care of people with diabetes is fully integrated into the general curriculum of the FNP program. For students who wish to develop a deeper understanding and additional expertise in the area of diabetes across the lifespan, the Department of Family Health Care Nursing offers a Diabetes Minor, the Madison Clinic Peggy Huang Diabetes Nurse Fellows Program. This minor includes courses that focus on the medical management of pediatric and adult diabetes, as well as the behavioral aspects of self-management of a chronic condition. Students will have the opportunity to engage in cutting edge clinical practices including the UCSF Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes, the UCSF Justine K. Schreyer Adult Diabetes Care Center and other family practice and community clinics that treat a significant number of patients with diabetes. (See the Diabetes Minor page)
For more information about minors and areas of focus offered in the School of Nursing, see the Masters Program Overview page.
The FNP curriculum has been developed to meet current national standards. Graduates of the FNP program are eligible to sit for national certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
Frequently Asked Questions
I am just completing my BSN, would I be accepted into the FNP program? Competitive applicants must have at least 2 years of nursing experience prior to applying to the program--this does not apply to Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN).
What is the ratio of applicants to accepted students? Admission to the FNP program is highly competitive. We engage in a holistic review to assess applicants' goals; life experiences; commitment to nursing, primary care, and the underserved; as well as potential to succeed in a rigorous academic and clinical program.
- MEPN admissions for 2014: 18 students were accepted out of a total of 129 applications (14% acceptance rate).
- Masters admissions for 2014: 16 students were accepted out of a total of 86 applications (19% acceptance rate).
- Post-Master’s admissions for 2014: 2 students were accepted out of a total of 13 applications (15% acceptance rate).
What would make me a strong applicant? In general, applications that reflect a clear understanding of the FNP role, a demonstrated commitment to working with underserved, vulnerable populations, a minimum of 2 years experience as a RN (inpatient or outpatient), and the intention to work as an advanced practice nurse in primary care are strong applications in the review process. Each year, the strength of the overall pool of applicants determines admission offers.
I am a MEPN applicant. Is it a good idea for me to defer 1 year between my pre-licensure study and my Masters program (take a "step-out" year) to gain experience as an RN? The FNP program DOES NOT accommodate a step-out year for MEPN students, except in cases of extenuating circumstances.
Can I work during my Masters course of study? Working students must have a flexible schedule, as classwork and clinical placements vary quarter to quarter. In general, classes are scheduled on 2-3 days/week, and clinical practicums (Year 1) and residencies (Year 2) occupy 1 - 2 days/week. The FNP program is a full-time course of study, scheduled during weekdays.
What does my Grade Point Average (GPA) need to be for admission into the program?
Am I responsible for finding my own preceptors? The FNP program has well-established relationships with preceptors in the Bay Area and beyond. Although we are always open to student input in recruiting new preceptors, the clinical experience is carefully planned and progressive, and the program is responsible for providing supervised clinical practicums and residencies.