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Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Summer start only)

The online Post Master’s Certificate Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Clinical Specialty prepares advanced practice nurses to function as  Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioners. This program can be completed on a full-time (6 credits) or part-time basis. A graduate of the program is eligible for certification and 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. Graduates are eligible to take either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification examination.

After being accepted for admission to the Post Master’s Certificate Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Program, each student is assigned a faculty mentor who will assist the student in completion of a Program Plan. To complete this program, students must complete 21 credits of Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner course work in addition to core and MSN clinical requirements. Students have up to five years to complete the program.

Although this program is offered online, students are required to come to campus in the second and third year. The required campus visits are in the fall.

This program is based upon and consistent with the mission, purposes, and philosophy of Duquesne University and its undergraduate nursing program. 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 three campus visits for all Post-Masters Certificate 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. Orientation in May for new MSN students admitted for the summer or fall semester
  2. For students enrolled in GPNG 528 Physical Assessment and Differential Diagnosis for APNs course in November
  3. For students enrolled in GNFN 511 Foundations of Family and Individual Care II course in November

Gainful Employment Disclosures

Visit the university Consumer Information page for more information.


Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Course # Course Title Credits
GPNG 527 Clinical Prevention and Population-Based Health Promotion 3 credits
GPNG 508 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GPNG 528* Physical Assessment and Differential Diagnosis for APNs 4 credits
GPNG 510 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GNFN 508 Foundations of Family Care: Women 4 credits
GNFN 509 Foundations of Family Care: Infants, Children & Adolescents 4 credits
GNFN 510* Foundations of Family and Individual Care I 5 credits

GNFN 511 Foundations of Family and Individual Care II 5 credits

GNFN 512 Transitioning to Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits

TOTAL = 34 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.

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.