MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

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Invest In Others By Investing In Yourself

Fairfield University's Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Track prepares students to manage the healthcare needs of individuals and their families, emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention, as well as diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases. With a curriculum based on theory and practice, you’ll learn how to provide cost-effective, holistic care, address women’s health issues, and care for individuals of all ages, from newborn babies to the elderly.

Information Session

Come meet our deans and faculty to learn more about our graduate programs.

Message From The Track Coordinator

Dear Prospective Student,

As a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), you can:

  • Make a difference in people's overall health
  • Develop long-standing relationships with individuals and families
  • Impact healthcare policy
  • Have prescriptive authority
  • Deliver high quality, holistic, healthcare.

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare arena, the role of the Family Nurse Practitioner continues to expand. You can be a generalist as a primary care provider or decide to specialize and work in a specific area of medicine, performing highly-specialized skills such as lumbar puncture, colposcopy, pacemaker management, and pain therapy. You will be prepared to:

  • Negotiate a contract for your employment as a nurse practitioner
  • Develop a collaborative agreement with a physician for your own practice
  • Apply for admitting privileges to hospitals
  • Develop an insurance panel for appropriate reimbursement
  • Manage a full docket of patients

Additionally, as a Masters prepared Family Nurse Practitioner, you'll be eligible to:

  • Pursue doctoral studies
  • Apply for geriatric nurse practitioner certification if you work with older patients
  • Participate in clinical research trials
  • Offer clinical teaching in higher nursing educational programs

FNPs work in a multi-disciplinary clinic or as a solo provider. Wherever you choose to work, you'll gain more autonomy and accountability as an advanced practice nurse. By becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, doors will open for you to practice in a variety of clinical areas and with patients across the life span. In many settings you'll be able to develop your own mission, philosophy of patient care, policies, and procedures so that you can live out your dream and passion of working with patients.

Please follow the links on this site to further explore the possibilities of advanced study as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Fairfield University, and e-mail me directly if you have any questions.

Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, FNP, APRN-BC
Professor and Track Coordinator

Career & Professional Opportunities

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) has the privilege of working in all levels of healthcare but critical care, and the opportunity to care for patients throughout the lifespan. FNPs work in:

  • Emergency Department or other departments of a hospital such as interventional radiology, pain, cardiac, gynecology, neurological, infertility, pediatrics, pulmonary or renal, and more
  • Primary care
  • Surgical centers or specialty
  • Ambulatory care clinics or private practices in internal medicine or family practice
  • Specialty clinics or private practice in all types of specialties such as gastroenterology, cardiac, gynecology, oncology, pulmonary, endocrine, infectious disease, and more
  • College health
  • Pediatric clinics, school-based care, or private practice
  • Long-term care
  • Prisons and detention centers
  • Occupational health
  • Research
  • Palliative care

As an autonomous primary healthcare provider, you'll be prepared to administer care with the following advanced skills and knowledge:

  • Genetics
  • Family theory
  • Physiology and pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health assessment
  • Adult health medicine
  • Women's health
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics

Additionally, your knowledge in health policy, epidemiology, biostatistics, and nursing research will serve to improve your ability to assume an advanced practice nursing role.

Learn more about how the University's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Course Offerings

See Graduate Nursing course descriptions for more information

First Year

Fall Semester (6 credits)

  • NS 521 Advanced Nursing Roles for Systems Leadership and Improvement (3 credits)
  • NS 640 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology (3 credits)

Spring Semester (6 credits)

  • NS 641 Advanced Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • NS 608 Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)

Summer Term (7 credits)

  • NS 605 Advanced Healthcare Policy (3 credits)
  • NS 604 Advanced Health Assessment (4 credits)

Second Year

Fall Semester (6 credits)

  • NS 614 Information Technology for Healthcare Improvement (3 credits)
  • NS 642 Adult Health I (3 credits)

Spring Semester (7 credits)

  • NS 601 Epidemiology and Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • NS 643 Adult Health II (4 credits)

Summer Term (4 credits)

  • NS 644 Practicum in Adult Health I (4 credits)Third Year

Third Year

Fall Semester (7 credits)

  • NS 645 Care of Children & Families (3 credits)
  • NS 646 Clinical Conference Across the Lifespan FNP Practicum I (4 credits)

Spring Semester (7 credits)

  • NS 647 Care of At-Risk Populations (3 credits)
  • NS 648 Clinical Conference Across the Lifespan FNP Practicum II (4 credits)

Total Credits: 50


At Fairfield, our dedicated faculty play a critical role in our student’s personal and moral development as healthcare providers. Meet the faculty and staff at The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.



Admission Requirements

Applicants for the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Track must hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) with a quality point average of 3.0 or higher preferred. RN applicants who have a non-nursing bachelor's degree will be considered on an individual basis and may be required to complete select prerequisites to be eligible for admission to the MSN program.

Admission Deadline

Family Nurse Practitioner: Rolling until July 1
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: Rolling until July 1
Nursing Leadership: Rolling until July 1

Formal Admission Process

  • A Completed application (Apply Now)
  • A Non-refundable $60 application fee (paid online)
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history.
  • A Personal Statement
    • Discuss a practice problem in your field that, in your experience, has a broad impact on patient care outcomes
    • State professional goals for the next 5-10 years
    • Explain how the degree you are seeking will aid you in reaching your goals
  • Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.)
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be from a current supervisor or professor.
  • Copy of current RN License to practice in the state of Connecticut.

International Students

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 79-80 on the Internet-based test (IBT) is strongly recommended for admission. Fairfield's ETS code is 3390.

All application materials should be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073

How to Apply

Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

To become a Family Nurse Practitioner, do I have to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree or will a Masters’ degree allow me to be eligible for certification as a nurse practitioner?

Individuals can complete either a DNP or a Masters’ program in their chosen area of specialty in order to become certified as a nurse practitioner. Family Nurse Practitioners apply for board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners; visit their websites for more information on the requirements for certification.

Who develops the specific competencies for nurse practitioners graduate education?

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties is responsible for developing the nurse practitioner competencies. This is true for both MSN and DNP preparation.

Can a Family Nurse Practitioner work only in primary care and with what age of patients?

A certified Family Nurse Practitioner is prepared to work with patients across the life span except for patients in critical care and high risk pregnancy areas. Family Nurse Practitioners can work in primary care or specialized areas of medicine such as cardiology, infertility, interventional radiology, oncology, and pediatrics at this time. The program at Fairfield University prepares the graduate to be able to work with all age groups. Clinical practica are arranged to prepare the student to gain experience in primary care and, if desired, in one or two specialty areas.

Will I be better off obtaining a Family Nurse Practitioner degree if I know I want to work in pediatrics only?

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program will prepare you to work as an FNP in pediatric settings as well as with adults of all ages in case you change your mind as your career evolves. Primary care is being offered in many family practice centers so being a FNP prepares you for both adult and pediatric practice. If you feel you want to specialize exclusively in pediatrics, you should seek information at institutions offering a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track.

I am interested in working with older adults, but should I be prepared as a Family Nurse Practitioner so that I can be more flexible depending on what type of setting I get hired for practice?

Being a Family Nurse Practitioner will make you most marketable and enable you to work in any practice setting with patients of all ages [except critical care and high risk pregnancy].

Can I transfer graduate credits? If so, how many?

Students can transfer up to 6 core credits if the courses are similar. Evaluation of transfer credits are approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

Who can I call if I have more questions about the MSN Family Nurse Practitioners program?

Call or email Dr. Jaclyn Conelius, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2757 for more information.

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