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Best 12-Month FNP Programs (Online & Campus) For 2021

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Have you reached a point in your nursing career where you know it’s time to take things up a notch? Does the idea of being able to work more independently and care for patients of all ages interest you? Perhaps the time constraints that many people feel are associated with attending college is holding you back. What if I told you that registered nurses have the option of choosing a 12-month FNP program, which could make reaching higher career goals seem more easily attainable? That’s right! There are some colleges and universities that offer Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs that can be completed in as little as one year. In this article, we take a close look at the best 12-month FNP programs for 2021 and provide you with information about each one.


(These 12-Month FNP programs are ideal for BSN graduates who wish to become a Family Nurse Practitioner within a short time span of 1-year.)

1. Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN (Online)

About the School: If you are keen on enrolling in one of the best 12-month FNP programs online that not only is highly acclaimed but also prepares you with exceptional advanced practice skills within the shortest time possible, then Vanderbilt University’s MSN-FNP could be a good option. This MSN program has been ranked among the top MSN programs in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report. The college has a beautiful campus that is located amidst Nashville’s healthcare hub. Also, the university’s Medical Center which is well-known across the country can provide the perfect platform for interdisciplinary learning to happen. Through the years, the university has played a significant role in producing primary care workers who leave the college with excellent professional skills and knowledge, in addition to carrying a compassionate attitude and commitment to serving the community.

Program Details: This 12-month FNP program online is meant for BSN graduates keen on entering the advanced practice nursing workforce as quickly as possible. Being offered in an online format, the program serves working nurses who desire the convenience of taking classes from the comfort of their homes. However, you must be prepared to attend the campus around 10 times throughout the one year of the program. The program builds upon your previous nursing education and awards up to six-semester credits to eligible students. By completing this program not only will you be able to explore employment opportunities in primary care, but you also build a solid foundation in evidence-based knowledge, should you aspire to earn a DNP degree in the future. Because the curriculum is designed to complete within one year it becomes intensive and is only suitable for students who are self-motivated and disciplined learners. Although most students prefer the one-year plan, if you are someone who would like a more comfortable pace of study the college also offers a two-year and three-year plan. The coursework requires completing around 40 credits and educates you on advanced pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacotherapeutics, application of evidence in health care, and advanced practice nursing in the primary care of individuals and families across the lifespan.

Admission Requirements: The college views its applicants holistically and reviews your educational qualification and past nursing experience, apart from other parameters such as references and career goals. Like most other 12-month FNP programs online the basic educational qualification required to be eligible for this program is an encumbered RN license and a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

2. University of Miami - Coral Gables, FL (Campus)

About the School: A career as a family nurse practitioner can be rewarding in terms of earning potential and job security. As the need for skilled primary-care providers keeps rising, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health crisis, there has never been a better time than now to enter the primary care workforce. Well, if you are eager to pursue this promising advanced practice nursing position, then the first step must be to enroll in an MSN-FNP program that can make you a certified FNP through a quick route. Well, the University of Miami’s MSN-FNP program, offered in a fast-track format of one year can be your best bet. Unlike the online 12-month FNP programs that train you for advanced primary care through the distance format, here you complete the coursework through face-to-face classes. So, if you are someone who would rather prefer to stay motivated through personalized attention the on-campus format offers, then this program will be an ideal choice, especially since the one-year format can be quite demanding in terms of academic rigor. The college’s reputation for preparing nurse leaders has come a long way, especially catering to the special needs of the state’s multicultural population. With a stellar faculty to back your academic success and diverse learning experiences in a culturally rich environment, here, you will be equipped with the tools to work in diverse health care environments.

Program Details: The fast-track format of this FNP program entails completing 37 credits within one year. Typically, per week you can expect to attend 2 full days of classes and 1 or 2 days of clinicals. The program prepares you for the health promotion & disease prevention of patients across the lifespan. As such there are no pre-requisite courses required for the program, however, it is recommended that you have background knowledge of science courses. The coursework starts in the fall semester and requires you to participate in an online boot camp before beginning with the program. The boot camp classes are preparatory lessons towards graduate courses. Through the graduate-level coursework, you will learn about concepts in advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, research & evidence-based nursing, and advanced health assessment. Also, you are educated on professionalism in advanced practice nursing and diagnostic reasoning.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for this 12-month FNP program you must have a BSN from an accredited college with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must have completed an introductory statistics course. Additionally, you need to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a current resume. Your resume should mainly talk about any volunteering activities, membership of any professional organizations, additional certification, or any other relevant experience that could add brownie points to your application.

3. Mississippi University for Women - Columbus, MS (Campus)

About the School: Are you are ready to take your nursing career to the next level? If you are wondering if there any fast-track routes to an advanced practice nursing career, then you are in the right place. Mississippi University for Women not only prepares you to join the primary care workforce within one year of study but also with the excellent quality of education it offers, you will be the preferred choice of employers throughout the region. The college’s MSN program, established in 1974 has been one of the few in the state to continuously maintain the accreditation since the very beginning. So, if you are looking at quality 12-month FNP programs, then here, you can be assured of receiving an education that conforms to the high standards set by the accrediting agency. The college offers a close-knit environment with small-sized classes. The individualized attention promotes effective mentorship and allows for meaningful connections with peers and faculty. With a commitment to serve the community the university forges partnerships with various educational, government, and public service organizations that not only help in diverse learning opportunities for students but also work towards meeting the healthcare needs of the people of Mississippi.

Program Details: This 1-year FNP program, although offered in a fast-paced format, effectively prepares you for healthcare leadership and the health maintenance of individuals across the lifespan. The curriculum integrates key areas of sciences & humanities, biopsychosocial fields, public health, healthcare economics, and quality improvement to prepare you as a primary care provider, ready to offer care to diverse patient populations in any type of healthcare setting. As a program graduate, you will demonstrate excellent skills in evidence-based practice, critical thinking, and interprofessional collaboration. Graduation requires completing 39 credits over the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Some of the courses you take include advanced theoretical issues in nursing & ethics, health assessment, nursing research & evidence-based strategies, diagnostic reasoning, advanced pharmacology, clinical research, healthcare policy & politics, and primary care management. Upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to take the FNP certification exam.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for this 1-year FNP program you must have a BSN degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, an encumbered RN license valid in Mississippi or via the Multi-state Licensure Compact. The college requires you to have at least two years of work experience as a registered nurse. Regarding the pre-requisite courses, a statistics course with a minimum grade of “C” is required, in addition to completing a course in advanced pathophysiology with a minimum grade of “B” before the start of the program. Any professional leadership experience is also specified as a requirement for admission.

4. National University - San Diego, CA (Online)

About the School: So, you are a registered nurse who is aspiring to become a family nurse practitioner; however, you lack the will and time to commit to on-campus classes, in that case, National University’s FNP program has got you covered. Counted among the best 12-month FNP programs online in the nation, this MSN-FNP program has produced many proficient practitioners who have been committed to improving the health of the people of California. The college accepts applications all through the year and starts its FNP training every month. This flexibility to start when you are ready can prove to be rather helpful for those juggling personal and professional responsibilities. Also, if you are a service member or a dependent, then here, because the college is a Yellow Ribbon school you can take advantage of reduced tuition costs. By enrolling in this program not only will you join the college’s thriving nursing workforce, but as a graduate of one of the well-known 12-month FNP programs online in California, you will be able to explore promising employment opportunities at a variety of clinical and community settings.

Program Details: This FNP program which takes one year to complete is offered mainly online with limited visits to the campus. Most students graduate within 12 to 18 months, after which they take the national FNP certification exam to get certified as a family nurse practitioner. The curriculum comprises 45 to 49 credits and offers courses in the 12-week format. As a pre-requisite to graduate courses, you must have completed a course in statistics and nursing research. The program starts with six core courses in advanced practice nursing, advanced practice, biomedical statistics, health policy & finance, project management, and evidence-based practice. After completing these courses sequentially, you continue with the program to take the five FNP-specific courses. The FNP courses mainly educate you on the care of adults, aged women, and children. Towards the end of the coursework, you complete a residency practicum and a capstone course.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for admission into this 12-month FNP online program, you must have completed your baccalaureate in nursing from a regionally accredited college. Along with having an encumbered RN license in your state of residence, you must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in graduate course work. Additionally, you need to submit a personal goals statement and two recommendation letters, preferably from someone who holds a master’s or doctoral degree. You also need to submit a resume mentioning any relevant work experience or voluntary community service you have done.

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