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Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Courses, Low Residency

Learning Formats

Provide Advanced Primary Nursing Care Across the Lifespan

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) post-MSN certificate, offered by the School of Nursing, is for professional nurses who are interested in advanced practice level for the delivery of primary health care for patients of all ages. Graduates of this program will meet all requirements to sit for national certification. You will complete a minimum of 600 supervised clinical hours and will gain knowledge and skills basic to the health maintenance, diagnosis, treatment, evaluation, and revision of care of individuals as members of family units in the primary care setting. With our degree, earning your qualifications is now easier than ever. You can complete the program in three semesters and each student’s plan of study is individualized based on educational and experiential background.

Three female WVU nursing students talking in a hospital.

Program Details

This program prepares nurses who have already earned a master’s degree, or higher, in nursing to sit for either the national certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

The post-graduate FNP certificate program requires a minimum of 16 credits that are earned in four courses. Two courses are clinical, affording the student the opportunity to complete the 600 hours of supervised clinical practice as required in order to sit for the national certification examination. Two courses are didactic and offered via webcast and the internet, affording the student the opportunity to take these courses off-campus.

Each student’s program will be individualized based on educational and experiential background. Prerequisites to registration for the four required courses in the program are evidence of competence in the following three areas: advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, and advanced assessment.

At the completion of the Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate, the graduate will be prepared to demonstrate the following outcomes:

  • Conduct a comprehensive and systematic assessment of health and illness parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions based on nursing science and other sciences.
  • Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships and partnerships with patients (individual, family or group) and other professionals to facilitate optimal care and patient outcomes.
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes.
  • Guide, mentor, and support other nurses to achieve excellence in nursing practice.
  • Educate and guide individuals and groups through complex health and situational transitions.

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Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate Admission Requirements


Eligible applicants are those who:

  • Hold a degree of Master of Science in Nursing (or higher) from a nationally accredited nursing program and regionally accredited institution.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on graduate degree work (Provisional admission may be considered if the overall GPA is 2.75-2.99 depending upon space available and other qualifications).
    • A minimum overall nursing GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Hold an active, unrestricted RN license in the state where the student plans to complete clinical hours.
  • Transfer students must provide a letter of good standing from the Nursing program in which currently enrolled or left incomplete.

In addition, applicants:

To be considered, applicants will be required to meet all WVU admission requirements in addition to program-specific admission criteria.

Students must satisfactorily complete background checks and drug screens upon admission.

New program applicants with a positive drug screen will be ineligible for admission to the program and will forfeit their admission “seat.” Please see the WVU SON Drug and Alcohol Screening Policy and the Health Information and Credential Documentation Policy.

Note: Any student who has been dismissed from the West Virginia University School of Nursing or any other nursing program may be considered for readmission if the dismissal was academic and was followed by successful completion of an additional degree. Any student who has withdrawn from the WVU School of Nursing program may be considered for readmission. Students may apply for readmission in accordance with the following guidelines and criteria but must follow the standard admission procedures. Students must meet all original admission requirements.

Apply To WVU

Depending on prerequisites completed, entry term into the program will vary from student to student. Students will be reviewed for admission on a rolling basis until July 1. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions as they are reviewed.

  • Click on the Apply Now below above.
  • Please select the following options on the New Application screen:
    • Type of Student: Certificate
    • Which Program: Select your Post-MSN Program
  • You will be asked to select a Progression Plan on the Nursing Application. The Post Graduate certificate is only offered as a full-time program.
  • On the Supplemental Materials screen, you will upload the following:
    • Current curriculum vita or resume

Apply Now

Request Official Transcripts from All Colleges and Universities Attended

  • It is preferred that official transcripts be sent via an online, secure service such as eScrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Parchment to
  • Alternatively, sealed, untampered, physical official transcripts can be sent directly to: WVU Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 6510, Morgantown, WV 26506-6510.
  • Applicants who completed prior education outside of the U.S. must have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Please request a "course-by-course" International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP).

Note: Certificate seeking students, with approval from the certificate program, may transfer up to 6 of the required credits for a graduate certificate from a different institution or applied from another previous or concurrent WVU degree or certificate. Individual course credits may be applied to no more than two degrees, majors, or certificates. Courses applied to a certificate must have been completed no more than seven years prior to certificate conferral.


Candidates for admission are evaluated on the entire admission packet. The WVU School of Nursing accepts new Post-MSN Certificate students on a rolling admission basis and will review all qualified applications based on admission criteria. Acceptance is dependent upon space available in the program with the most qualified applicants being accepted at the time of review. Decisions will be emailed to students. Accepted students will receive information regarding orientation and course registration. Students will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Nursing GPA
  • Work Experience
  • Overall GPA

Enrollment in nursing courses is based upon readiness, availability of space and other essential resources.

Clinical rotations with approved preceptors in the final year of your program must be arranged with course faculty. Due to potential preceptor limitations, students may have to travel out of their local areas to their clinical sites and are required to provide their own reliable transportation.

Gap Analyses

Some students applying to certificate programs may have accrued direct patient care hours prior to admission. Upon request, the student’s program of study will be personalized via gap analyses to determine the number of clinical practicum hours required of each student. Any hours accrued prior to admission must have been academically supervised and completed in a setting and population appropriate to the certificate program in which the student is enrolled. Students must obtain a completed Verification of Qualifying MSN Clinical Hours and Gap Analysis form from the director of their previous program within the first semester of enrollment.

In programs with limited capacity and competitive admissions, the most qualified students are selected among those that meet the minimum requirements. Students who want to appeal the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions Committee decision as unfair, arbitrary, or capricious may contact the director of Admissions and Enrollment for the School of Nursing. The request will be forwarded to the program director for consideration, and the student will receive detailed information regarding the formal appeal process.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Visit Student Financial Support & Services for additional information.

Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate total degree cost: $12,224 – 19,100 – Residents and Non-Residents

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

How can a WVU family nurse practitioner certificate prepare me for the future?

The FNP program prepares nurses who have already earned a master’s degree, or higher, in nursing to sit for either the national certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, family nurse practitioners is projected to grow 40% from 2021-2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Why should I pursue an FNP certificate?

It's important to note that the specific benefits may vary depending on factors such as location, practice setting, experience, and individual career goals. Nonetheless, earning an FNP certificate can provide numerous professional advantages and open doors to a rewarding and impactful career in healthcare.

Course Title Credit Hours
NSG 701 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 3
NSG 705 Advanced Lifespan Assessment: FNP Focus 3
NSG 706 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NSG 712 Primary Care of Families 1 3
NSG 714 Primary Care of Families 2 3
NSG 720 Family Practicum 1 3
NSG 721 Family Practicum 2 3

Frequently Asked Questions

What careers can I expect to be prepared for?

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

  • Nurse Practitioner, Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook
  • Acute Care Nurse, Projected Growth: 11% higher *Bright Outlook
  • Nursing Professor, Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook
  • Medical and Health Services Manager, Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

What else should I know about this certificate?

Universities offering distance education must abide by the laws of each state in which students are placed for their practicum experience. There are several states at this time that may not allow WVU nursing students to participate in a practicum experience, and therefore a site placement cannot be guaranteed. A State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) must be in place to allow a WVU nursing student to participate in clinicals. Determine if your state has been approved for clinical placements or contact Billie Sue Vance via email or by calling (304) 293-1771 with questions about State Authorization for clinicals.

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