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MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner

The online Master of Science in Nursing degree prepares advanced practice nurses to function as Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioners to work in a primary care setting. Graduates of the program are eligible to take either the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) examination or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination. Upon successfully passing the certification examination, graduates are eligible for licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP). Students need not be Pennsylvania residents or intend to work in Pennsylvania to enroll in the program. After being accepted for admission to the MSN program, each student is assigned a faculty mentor who will assist the student regarding questions related to the program and role as a family nurse practitioner. The graduate advisor will assist the student in the completion of a Program Plan. Students are required to complete 15 credits of MSN Core Courses, 9 credits of Clinical Core Course, and 21 credits of the Family Nurse Practitioner course work.

This program is based upon national standards for nurse practitioner education and is consistent with the mission and philosophy of Duquesne University. The Duquesne faculty is committed to nurturing a flexible and creative scholarly environment that encourages students to participate actively in scientific inquiry and research.

Mandatory On-campus Visits

The School of Nursing requires two campus visits for all MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students. These visits are a required component of the online FNP program and have been put in place to maintain the integrity and high quality of our online FNP program. If you are in the military, please contact us; otherwise please note that there are no exceptions to these required campus visits.

On campus attendance is mandatory for:

  1. For students enrolled in GPNG 528 Physical Assessment and Differential Diagnosis for APNs course in the fall
  2. For students enrolled in GNFN 510 Foundations of Family and Individual Care I course in the fall

Gainful Employment Disclosures

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Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

MSN Core Courses 15 credits
GPNG 523 Historical and Contemporary Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice 3 credit
GPNG 524 Evidence Based Nursing Practice and Policy Development 3 credits
GPNG 525 Organizational and Clinical Leadership in Nursing and Health Care 3 credits
GPNG 526 Health Care Ethics in Practice and Policy 3 credits
GPNG 527 Clinical Prevention and Population-Based Health Promotion 3 credits
Clinical Core Courses 9 credits
GPNG 508 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GPNG 510 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GPNG 528* Physical Assessment for Advance Practice Nursing 3 credits
Specialty Courses 21 credits
GNFN 508 Foundations of Family Care: Women 3 credits
GNFN 509 Foundations of Family Care: Infants, Children & Adolescents 4 credits

GNFN 510* Foundations of Family and Individual Care I 6 credits
GNFN 511 Foundations of Family and Individual Care II 5 credits

GNFN 512 Transitioning to Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits

TOTAL = 45 credits

* Students enrolled in GPNG 528 and GNFN 510 are required to come to campus in the fall semester for 40 hours of clinical laboratory course work.

Revisions to courses and curricula are ongoing.

NOTE: Clinical courses in the MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner program require students to have hand held devices (ie smart phone, PDA, etc.) to access learning resources materials at point of care.

Program Outcomes

MSN Program Outcomes

The advanced practice nurse will synchronize the nurse competencies with patient characteristics in facilitating health care delivery as follows:

  1. Demonstrates clinical judgment within the context of the advanced practice role.

  2. Assumes a leadership role in creating a compassionate and caring environment to promote comfort and prevent suffering.

  3. Advocates collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to the design of comprehensive care to individuals/families, communities, and populations.

  4. Integrates theory, clinical inquiry, and evidence-based nursing practice into the advanced practice role.

  5. Participates in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health care systems to foster safe passage and excellence in health care delivery.

  6. Creates a culturally competent practice environment to enhance health care outcomes.

  7. Champions ethical decision making in all aspects of practice with self, patient/family, community, and health care delivery systems.

  8. Commits to life long learning for self and consumers.

AACN Synergy Model

The Synergy Model for Patient Care, developed by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, has been adopted by the faculty and integrated into the undergraduate and graduate nursing curriculums.  The core concept of the Synergy Model: the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence the characteristics or competencies of the nurse.  Synergy results when the needs and characteristics of a patient, clinical unit or system match those of the nurse.

The Synergy Model describes eight patient characteristics (needs) and eight nurse characteristics (competencies); patient needs drive nurse competencies.  Each individual characteristic is further delineated by levels of complexity or intensity.  The core competencies of the nurse include clinical judgment, advocacy, clinical practices, collaboration, systems thinking, response to diversity, clinical inquiry and facilitation of learning.  These eight competencies provide the basis for program and level outcomes in the undergraduate program.  An additional ninth program/level outcome focuses on the synergy between the nurse’s competencies and patient characteristics as it relates to patient outcomes.  Similarly, the graduate program outcomes are based on these same nurse characteristics but at a higher level. Underlying all competencies is the unique contribution of nurses to provide safe passage for patients and their families through the health care environment.

The table below illustrates the relationship between nurse competencies of the Synergy Model and the MSN program outcomes.

Nurse Competencies

Program Outcomes

Clinical Judgment Integrate clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals, families, groups, and community.
Advocacy Justify one’s practice through the implementation of the role of being a moral agent.
Caring Practices Display a caring attitude in all aspects of one’s practice.
Collaboration Initiate collaborative efforts for the improvement of care to individuals and for improvement in the health care delivery.
Systems Thinking Demonstrate the ability to utilize integrated systems analysis for the personal and professional navigation of the health care delivery systems.
Response to Diversity Integrate cultural sensitivity in caring for individuals/families of diverse populations.
Clinical Inquiry Engage in evidenced-based practice.
Facilitation of Learning Incorporate teaching into all aspects of one’s practice.
Impact of “synergy” nurse/patient characteristics and patient outcomes Evaluate the interrelationship of nurse competencies and the patient characteristics to patient outcomes.