13 Best Pennsylvania FNP Programs (Online & Campus) – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

As an FNP in the Keystone State, you’ll offer a broad range of treatment-oriented and preventative healthcare services in settings as diverse as hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, physicians’ offices, and community agencies. Graduates of FNP programs in Pennsylvania work with patients of all ages, including infants, children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens. Family nurse practice is a rapidly expanding field: Within the next decade, employment opportunities for Pennsylvania FNPs are projected to rise by 33 percent. You’ll be well compensated, too; your average salary will be $120,250 annually. Ready to take the next step? These descriptions of the 13 best FNP programs in Pennsylvania for 2024 are an excellent beginning.


FOLLOWING ARE THE 13 BEST FNP PROGRAMS IN PENNSYLVANIA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024

(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 13 best campus-based and online FNP programs in Pennsylvania.)


1. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing - Philadelphia


Programs Offered: MSN

About the School: The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia is home to one of the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. Established in 1973, the university offers the first Family Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania, maintaining accreditation and high student success rates.

The School of Nursing employs highly educated and experienced faculty who remain in practice, meaning you will have access to first-hand knowledge from dedicated, working professionals.

MSN Program Details: The FNP program in Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania school of nursing is available to baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who meet admission criteria. The program is offered on campus with part-time and full-time study options. The program begins once yearly, in August, and takes 16 months to complete full-time. Part-time students may choose a two- or three-year plan of study.

The FNP curriculum requires students to complete 14-course units. One course unit is the equivalent of six credit hours, which means the FNP program is 84 credit hours. Some classes you will take in the Family Nurse Practitioner program are Advanced Physical Assessment & Clinical Decision Making, Family & Organizational Systems Across the Lifespan, and Advanced Concepts in Primary Care.

The School of Nursing emphasizes the importance of hands-on care and offers a curriculum that supports opportunities to have those experiences. FNP students participate in clinical courses consisting of classroom work, laboratory intensives, and clinical preceptorships, earning more than 500 hours of hands-on clinical experience.

Upon completing the program, you will be eligible to apply for national certification through either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or American Nurses’ Credentialing Center.


2. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP

About the School: If you have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master of Science in Nursing and desire to become a DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner, the University of Pittsburgh has two best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. The university's School of Nursing is ranked by US News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Nursing Schools for Doctor of Nursing Practice. The University of Pittsburgh is dedicated to preparing nurses who deliver high-quality nursing care.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: Baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses can earn a DNP and meet academic requirements to become Family Nurse Practitioners through the BSN-to-DNP program. Although some classes may be offered in a distance format, most classes occur in an on-campus learning experience. You may choose a part-time or full-time study plan. Full-time students usually complete the program in three years, while part-time students may take four years or longer to graduate.

This BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania at the University of Pittsburgh is a 92-credit hour program, including 74 credits of coursework and 18 clinical credits. Some classes you'll take in this program are Diagnosis & Management of Psychiatric Conditions in Primary Care, Human Genetics & Clinical Applications, and Organizational & Systems Management for Healthcare Leaders. The program also includes more than 1,200 hours of clinical practicum, giving you opportunities to participate in hands-on patient care in various settings with patients across the lifespan.

MSN-to-DNP Program Details: The Post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice FNP program is available on-campus or online and offers part-time and full-time study plans, making it convenient for you to choose a path best suited to your needs. Part-time students typically complete the program in three years. Full-time students can graduate in two years.

MSN-to-DNP students must complete at least 41 credits and may transfer up to six credits from previous eligible coursework, and must enroll for at least three semesters. The curriculum includes classes such as Applied Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice, Leadership Development, and Family Theory for Nurse Practitioners: Principles, Implications, & Applications Across the Lifespan.

To earn the DNP, you must complete at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. A gap analysis will be performed to determine the number of MSN-level clinical hours you can transfer.


3. Duquesne University - Pittsburgh


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: Whether you are a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s-prepared RN seeking to broaden your scope of practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Duquesne University offers online FNP programs in Pennsylvania that can help you achieve that goal. Duquesne University is ranked by US News & World Report as one of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and Master's in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner. Also, FNP graduates have excellent FNP certification examination pass rates, indicating it is a great school to earn your degree and become an FNP.

MSN Program Details: With three start dates a year and a fully online format, the MSN-FNP program in Pennsylvania at Duquesne University is an excellent program choice for working nurses who want to earn a master’s degree in nursing and become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Candidates for admission must hold a BSN from an accredited college or university, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and have at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse.

This online MSN-FNP program features a 42-credit hour curriculum, including twelve courses, and can be completed in three years. Classes include Healthcare Ethics in Practice & Policy, Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing, and Clinical Prevention & Population-Based Health Promotion.

In addition to a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and instruction from top nursing faculty, you will participate in at least 700 hours of clinical practice. The clinical component of the program is designed to prepare you to provide quality healthcare services to individuals and families throughout their lifespan across the health and illness spectrum. It offers a variety of experiences to help you accomplish that.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: Like the MSN program, the Post-Master's Certificate-Family Nurse Practitioner program has three start dates each year and is delivered exclusively online. Applicants must hold a BSN and MSN from an accredited college or university, have a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse, and complete an undergraduate or graduate-level Statistics course with at least a “C” average.

The online FNP Post-Master's Certificate program is a two-and-a-half-year program that includes a 33-credit hour curriculum and 700 clinical hours. You will study in classes, including Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing, Transitioning to Advanced Practice Nursing, and Foundations of Individual & Family Care.


4. Villanova University - Villanova


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Graduate Certificate

About the School: The faculty at M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University pride themselves on their ability to prepare students for advanced practice roles, like Family Nurse Practitioner. The university offers a Family Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania with two entry options, the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner and Post-Graduate Certificate-FNP.

The university is dedicated to preparing advanced practice nursing graduates ready for research, advocacy, and patient care. With that goal in mind, you will be challenged to think and solve problems independently, collaborate with interdisciplinary team members, and promote positive patient outcomes.

MSN Program Details: The Villanova University MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares students with in-depth knowledge, role preparation, and extensive clinical practice experiences to prepare for a career as an FNP. You may complete core courses online or on campus. Clinical courses are completed in person and designed to help you build upon your existing knowledge and skills while broadening your knowledge of primary family care.

This MSN-FNP program, one of the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania, features a 48-credit-hour curriculum. You will study topics such as Clinical Ethics: Theory & Practice, Healthcare Issues Across the Lifespan, and Leadership Strategies in Nursing.

The curriculum includes three clinical courses, each with corresponding clinical practicum. Through clinical practicum experiences, you will complete at least 730 hours of hands-on patient care.

Post-Graduate Certificate Program Details: If you’re a registered nurse with a master’s degree and want to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, the Post-Graduate Certificate program at Villanova University is a great option to consider. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months.

The Post-Graduate FNP Certificate program offers a rigorous 32-credit curriculum with classes including Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Physical Assessment, and Clinical Management in Family Care. This pathway also includes 730 hours of clinicals, which are completed in three clinical practicum courses. Core courses are offered online or on campus, and clinical courses are taught on campus.


5. Carlow University - Pittsburgh


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: Are you ready to impact the lives of patients, their families, and communities and advance your career as a Family Nurse Practitioner? If so, you may wish to consider another excellent FNP program in Pennsylvania at Carlow University.

Carlow University offers a technologically advanced, student-centered curriculum designed to prepare you for advanced practice nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The university offers MSN-FNP and Post-Master's Certificate-FNP programs. Both pathways have two start dates yearly in Spring and Fall.

MSN Program Details: The Master of Science in Nursing-FNP program is an excellent choice among available on-campus and online FNP programs in Pennsylvania. The online option includes minimal campus visits, making it an excellent option for working nurses.

The MSN-FNP program consists of a curriculum including 49 credit hours and can be completed in seven semesters, including two summer sessions. As a student in this pathway, you will learn in classes including Chronic & Episodic Management, Human Pathophysiology, and Quality & Data Analytics. In addition to coursework, all students complete at least 600 clinical practicum hours.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: If you have an MSN degree and want to broaden your scope of practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner, the Carlow University Post-Master's Certificate-FNP program could be a great program choice. The 36-credit hour program can be completed in as few as 27 months. You can choose online or on-campus study options to complete coursework. The Post-Master's Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner program includes 600 clinical hours, which you will complete in various rural and urban healthcare settings within the Pittsburgh region.


6. University of Scranton - Scranton


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: The University of Scranton offers a few more FNP programs in Pennsylvania. Both programs are available on-campus and offer the option of start dates in the Fall and Spring semesters.

The university is ranked among US News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" for Top Master's Universities in the North, supporting our belief that it is a good place to earn an MSN-FNP degree. At Scranton, you will learn from skilled nurse educators dedicated to teaching, research, service, and professional nursing practice, qualities all nurses should demonstrate.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner pathway is available to registered nurses who possess a baccalaureate nursing degree accredited by the ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA. The program features a 36-credit hour curriculum with classes including Family Health Promotion, Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing, and Health Problems in the Developing Family. All students in the MSN-FNP program complete a minimum of 875 clinical hours. This pathway is designed for full-time campus-based learning and can be completed in five semesters.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: The Post-Master's Certificate-FNP program in Pennsylvania at the University of Scranton is a terrific option for transitioning to a Family Nurse Practitioner role or adding an additional certification to your portfolio. Students typically complete the program in four semesters.

This pathway consists of a 27-credit study plan and includes 875 hours of FNP clinical practicum. Some classes you'll take in this Post-Master's FNP Certificate program are Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology, Health Problems in the Established Family, and Advanced Pharmacology.


7. DeSales University - Center Valley


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate

About the School: DeSales University is home to more options for the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. The university offers three pathways for students who wish to become Family Nurse Practitioners. Whether you have a baccalaureate degree and want to earn an MSN or doctorate in nursing or a master's degree in nursing and a Post-Master's Certificate in Family Practice Nursing, there is an option for you.

DeSales University offers students access to advanced simulation technology in its simulation labs. In these labs, you will practice clinical skills, fine-tune existing skills, and learn with your peers in a controlled environment, preparing you for hands-on clinical practice.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program at DeSales University offers an in-depth curriculum designed to prepare you to care for clients across the lifespan. The program is offered part-time or full-time, with online and hybrid study options. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as two years. Part-time students typically take three calendar years to graduate.

The program requires students to earn 50 credits through core graduate nursing courses, advanced practice nursing core courses, and specialty/clinical practicum courses. You will study in classes such as Principles of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Advanced Physical Assessment, and Professional Advocacy for Practice. In addition to didactic coursework, you will participate in 75 clinical laboratory hours and a minimum of 675 clinical practicum hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The post-baccalaureate to DNP-FNP program in Pennsylvania at DeSales University takes four years to complete full-time. Part-time students usually graduate in five years. Courses are offered in several formats including synchronous, online, face-to-face instruction, and hybrid.

The program features a rigorous 76-credit hour curriculum, including Clinical Prevention in Population Health, Clinical & Diagnostic Reasoning, and Evidence-Based Practices courses. All BSN-to-DNP students complete 675 clinical hours during the program’s third year and 525 residency hours in the fourth year, earning a minimum of 1,200 total clinical hours.

Post-Master's Certificate Program Details: Registered nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing degree and an active, unrestricted license to practice as an RN may apply for the Post-Master's Certificate FNP program. You can complete the program in as little as one year depending on the number of credits needed.

An individual plan of study is determined based on a Gap Analysis of previous coursework and clinical practicum experiences. Based on the analysis, you may complete 23 to 41 credits. All students must complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours, including those determined transferable from a previous MSN program.


8. Robert Morris University - Moon Township


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP

About the School: If you’re searching for an FNP program in Pennsylvania designed for registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Robert Morris University may be the place for you. The RMU School of Nursing prepares students for professional practice in advanced practice roles. The school offers experienced faculty who combine clinical and classroom experiences to deliver top-quality instruction.

RMU-School of Nursing reports a high retention rate, excellent post-graduation employment rates, and excellent national certification examination pass rates for nursing graduates. These all indicate student satisfaction, support, and success, making Robert Morris an excellent choice for pursuing your BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner degree.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner program in Pennsylvania offered by Robert Morris University is designed with a special emphasis on clinical reasoning and decision-making in advanced practice. In this program, you gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a leader in healthcare, delivering patient-centered care based on quality improvement, evidence-based practice, informatics, and health policy.

The BSN-to-DNP program features an 86-credit hour curriculum delivered in a hybrid format that can be completed in 3 ½ to 4 years. The curriculum includes core graduate nursing classes, NP-focus courses, clinical coursework, and corresponding practicum.

You will take classes including Diagnosis & Management of Women's Health, Health Promotion & Clinical Prevention, Clinical Diagnostics, and Information Systems & Evidence-Based Practice. Coursework for this program culminates in an evidence-based DNP Scholarly Project. Students complete more than 1,000 clinical hours to meet graduation requirements.


9. Holy Family University - Philadelphia


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP

About the School: Holy Family University is a private Catholic university. The university was founded in 1854 and exudes an atmosphere of respect, service, and learning, which is why it's no surprise it is home to some of the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. Holy Family University's School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers low student-to-faculty ratios, individualized study plans, and experienced staff dedicated to your success.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania at Holy Family University is designed for baccalaureate-prepared nurses desiring to become doctoral-prepared FNPs. The program is offered in a hybrid format with minimal campus visits, usually once a week or less.

The Post-Baccalaureate to DNP-FNP program comprises a 74-credit curriculum, including 1,046 clinical hours. Courses are delivered over eight weeks. You will take classes such as Informatics, Advanced Statistics for Healthcare Professionals, and Professional Ethics: Theory & Practice for Advanced Nursing Practice. At the midway point, students who successfully complete the required coursework are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing.

MSN-to-DNP Program Details: MSN registered nurses can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice and specialize as a Family Nurse Practitioner with the MSN-to-DNP program at Holy Family University. This hybrid program is formatted to be completed in two and a half years.

The MSN-to-DNP program at HFU features a curriculum that includes 43 credits. In the program, you will study classes, including Population Focused System Evaluation & Implementation, Advanced Statistics for Healthcare Professionals, and Advanced Nursing Practice for Common and Acute Illnesses. This pathway includes clinical courses with corresponding clinical practicum experiences through which you will complete 1,046 post-baccalaureate clinical hours.


10. Millersville University of Pennsylvania - Millersville


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: At Millersville University, the mission of the Wehrheim School of Nursing is to provide a high-quality education designed to prepare nursing students for advanced practice, improving health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. The university offers two options for prospective students desiring to become FNPs, the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner and Post-Master's Certificate-FNP programs. The school is ranked by US News & World Report as one of the Best Colleges for Regional Universities in North, indicating it is a great choice for pursuing Family Nurse Practitioner programs in Pennsylvania.

MSN Program Details: Another excellent Family Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania tailored for nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is at Millersville University. The program combines advanced nursing theory with practical application through clinical experiences, preparing you to step into the role of an FNP.

The MSN-FNP program offers a blended format of online and face-to-face coursework in a part-time study plan. The program offers two start dates yearly in the Spring and Fall semesters and can be completed in three years. Students study topics including Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nursing, Young Family Management, Mature Family Management and Informatics.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: Master’s-prepared registered nurses who meet eligibility requirements have the option of earning a Post-Master's Certificate, specializing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. This program features a 28-credit curriculum presented in a hybrid learning format. However, an individualized course plan will be developed based on your previous MSN coursework and eligible transfer credits.

Classes include Pharmacology & alternative Therapeutics in Nursing Practice, Health Assessment & Diagnostic Evaluation for Advanced Practice, and Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice. Students in both the MSN and Post-Master's Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner programs complete 672 clinical hours.


11. Widener University - Chester


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: Widener University’s School of Nursing is renowned for preparing nurses who excel in the nursing and healthcare industry. The school is one of six schools recognized by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellent for Enhancing Student Learning and Professional Development. The university offers three options for Family Nurse Practitioner programs in Pennsylvania, the MSN-FNP, BSN-to-DNP-FNP, and Post-Master's Certificate-FNP.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program at Widener University is one of the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. The program is delivered in a hybrid format and can be completed in 18 to 24 months, depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time.

The MSN-FNP program features a 46-credit curriculum that includes classes like Population Health & Epidemiology, Dynamics of Family Healthcare, and Issues in Healthcare for Underserved Populations. Students complete a minimum of 560 credit hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The post-baccalaureate DNP Family Nurse Practitioner pathway at Widener University is a 74-credit program presented in a hybrid format. Students complete advanced practice, FNP-specialty, DNP core, and DNP specialty courses. Classes include Complete Healthcare Systems & Organizational Change, Ethics & Genetics in Advanced Practice, and Advanced Health Assessment. The program includes more than 1,200 direct contact clinical practice hours.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: Are you a registered nurse with a master’s degree ready to take your career to another level as a Family Nurse Practitioner? If so, the Post-Master's FNP Certificate program may interest you. The program is designed to help enhance your nursing skills and broaden your knowledge with a focus on family health issues.

The FNP Post-Master's Certificate program is offered in a hybrid format and designed for part-time study. Students typically complete the program in 18 months. The required credits to earn the degree vary, depending upon evaluation of your nursing transcripts and eligible transfer credits. All students complete a minimum of 672 faculty-supervised advanced clinical practice hours to meet graduation criteria.


12. La Salle University - Philadelphia


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

About the School: La Salle University in Philadelphia offers a nursing school with a mission to provide evidence-based, experiential, and innovative learning. With high student retention and graduation rates, excellent certification exam pass rates, and experienced faculty, it’s no wonder the university is ranked by US News & World Report as one of the Best Regional Universities North. The school offers MSN and Post-Master's entry options for prospective students desiring to become Family Nurse Practitioners.

MSN Program Details: The online MSN-FNP program at La Salle University is another excellent option for online Family Nurse Practitioner programs in Pennsylvania. The program offers a robust curriculum rooted in advanced nursing research, evidence-based practice, clinical practice, and nursing theory. The program can be completed in two years full-time or three years part-time.

The 45-credit hour program consists of 16 courses, including Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Family System Concepts for Primary Care, and Advanced Nursing Practice for Population-Based Care. Students in the MSN-FNP program complete a minimum of 692 clinical hours, including rotations in Adult-Gerontology and Women's Primary Care, and complete a DNP Scholarly Project.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: The Post-Master's Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner program in Pennsylvania at La Salle University offers three program entry dates in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, making it possible to begin your studies at a time convenient for you. Classes are offered online, face-to-face, or in a hybrid format.

The program features a 33-credit hour curriculum, which includes advanced core and FNP track coursework. The curriculum requires 692 credit hours of clinicals. However, students licensed as nurse practitioners in another specialty may only need 306 clinical hours.


13. Cedar Crest College - Allentown


Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Graduate Certificate

About the School: If you're looking for a college with dedicated faculty, low student-to-instructor ratios, and national recognition, check out Cedar Crest College. The college is ranked by US News in several categories, including Top Performer on Social Mobility, Best Value Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans, and Best Regional Universities in the North. Whether you're searching for an MSN, BSN-to-DNP, or Post-Graduate Certificate FNP program in Pennsylvania, Cedar Crest College has options!

MSN Program Details: The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program is offered on-campus or online and takes two to three years to complete. The program is available to baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses.

This MSN program consists of a 46-credit-hour curriculum, including lectures, laboratory simulation, and clinical practice experiences. Students study courses including Conceptual & Theoretical Foundations for Nursing, Informatics & Technology in Nursing, and Pharmacological Principles of Clinical Therapeutics Across the Lifespan. The program includes more than 600 clinical hours.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP pathway is one of the best FNP programs in Pennsylvania. The program awards both an MSN and terminal DNP degree upon completion. Students typically complete the program in four to six years, depending on whether they choose part-time or full-time enrollment.

The program features a 78-credit curriculum including Primary Care of the Family & Individual Across the Lifespan, Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice, and Health Policy, Economics & Finance. Students complete 1,064 clinical practicum hours, which include creating and presenting a DNP Scholarly Project.

Post-Graduate Certificate Program Details: The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Post-Master's Certificate program is an excellent option for registered nurses who already hold a Master of Science in Nursing. The program can be completed in as few as three semesters. The Post-Master's Certificate FNP program includes a 25-credit plan of study and 728 clinical practice hours.


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Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).



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