5 Best South Carolina FNP Programs (Online & Campus) – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Interested in improving access to primary care in the Palmetto State? Graduates of FNP programs in South Carolina provide diagnostic, treatment, preventative, and wellness services to patients in practice settings ranging from hospitals to community agencies. As a family nurse practitioner, your services will be in high demand, and you’ll earn approximately $108,860 a year. Employment opportunities for South Carolina FNPs are also expected to rise by 55 percent within the next 10 years. Sound interesting? Find out more about this exciting career track by reading these descriptions of the 5 best FNP programs in South Carolina for 2024.


FOLLOWING ARE THE 5 BEST FNP PROGRAMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024

(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 5 best campus-based and online FNP programs in South Carolina.)


1. University of South Carolina - Columbia


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

About the School: The University of South Carolina offers some of the best FNP programs in South Carolina. The university is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as having the Best Online Graduate Programs and top Online FNP Programs in the nation. The USC’s NP school boasts of dynamic faculty dedicated to your success. Faculty collaborate with you throughout the program, helping you prepare for evidence-based practice with projects and participation in health policy internships.

With three pathways to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, there is something for almost every nurse. The university offers Master of Science in Nursing-FNP, BSN-to-DNP with FNP concentration, and a Post-Master's Graduate Certificate in Family Practice Nursing options. The programs deliver didactic coursework online in a distance-learning format.

MSN Program Details: The MSN-FNP at the University of South Carolina offers one of the best online FNP programs in South Carolina. This program is available to registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a nationally accredited school of nursing. Candidates must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale. You must also have a minimum of one year of full-time experience as a registered nurse within the previous two years. Preference for admission is given to candidates with critical care, medical/surgical, emergency, or intensive care unit experience.

The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner pathway is an eight-semester program that features a 47-credit curriculum. This pathway includes coursework such as FNP Legal, Ethical & Role Transition, Diagnostic Interpretation & Therapeutic Modalities, and Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult & Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan. The program also includes 672 hours of clinical practice, giving you opportunities to develop and hone skills relevant to Family Nurse Practitioner practice.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: If you have a BSN and wish to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus, the BSN-to-DNP program at the University of South Carolina could be a perfect fit for you. The BSN-to-DNP program is designed for students with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and at least 2,400 hours of work experience within the past two years.

This pathway offers a part-time, 12 semesters pathway, and a full-time pathway that takes nine semesters to complete. The program consists of a 74-credit hour curriculum with classes including Organizational Theories & Systems in Healthcare, Acute Problems in Primary Care for the Family Nurse Practitioner, Management of Common Chronic Health Problems for the Family Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner Legal, Ethical, & Role Transition. All DNP students must complete at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours.

Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate Program Details: If you already have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and an active, unencumbered license to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse, you may be eligible to pursue an FNP specialization through the USC Post-Master's Graduate Certificate program. The program includes didactic coursework, and laboratory and clinical immersions, giving you a broad context of the roles and responsibilities of a Family Nurse Practitioner.

The Post-Master's Graduate Certificate option can be completed in as few as three semesters. In this program, you will earn a minimum of 18 credits. Coursework includes classes like Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult, & Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan, Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses, Advanced Primary Care of Children for the FNP, and Advanced Primary Care of Women for the FNP. This pathway also includes 672 hours of clinical practicum, preparing you for independent practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.


2. Anderson University - Anderson


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN-to-DNP

About the School: Anderson University is a Christian university and seeks to promote a "Christ-entered perspective on nursing and healthcare." FNP Faculty at A.U. are dedicated to exploring the correlation and importance of intersecting faith and nursing, making this an excellent school for nurses of Christian faith or those interested in learning about a Christ-centered life and its impact on the nursing profession.

If you’re searching for online family nurse practitioner programs in South Carolina, Anderson University has two options that may interest you, the Master of Science in Nursing-FNP pathway and BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner pathway.

MSN Program Details: The MSN with Family Nurse Practitioner focus is one of the best FNP programs in South Carolina. In this program, you will learn to implement a holistic approach while caring for patients. The program features faculty who are practicing APRNs. Their valuable experience and professional insight will prepare you to take on advanced practice nursing roles as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program is designed in a hybrid format and takes 15 months or four semesters to complete. As a student in the MSN-FNP program, you will complete 48 hours of coursework. You’ll earn credits through classes including Advanced Pharmacology, Primary Care Over the Lifespan, APRN Procedures, and Care of Special Populations. The program includes three 200-hour clinical practicum experiences, which means you will earn 600 clinical practice hours. Clinicals begin in the second semester and span the remainder of the program.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: If you are a registered nurse with a BSN and desire to earn a doctorate in nursing and specialize in family practice nursing, the BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program could be an excellent option for you. The program offers a flexible, hybrid format. While didactic coursework is online, the program includes a DNP Scholarly Project and a clinical residency.

The three-year BSN-to-DNP program features a 74-credit hour curriculum. Coursework is based on advanced nursing knowledge and skills. It includes classes such as Clinical Epidemiology & Analytical Methods, Integrated Care of Individuals & Communities, Integration of Scholarship into Practice, and Scientific Underpinnings for Nursing Practice. You will begin clinicals during the second semester of the program and complete 1,100 clinical practice hours by the time the program is complete.


3. Francis Marion University - Florence


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN-to-DNP

About the School: Another excellent option for an FNP program in South Carolina is Francis Marion University. The university offers both MSN and BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner programs.

School of Nursing faculty at Francis Marion University are experienced, advanced practice registered nurses, some with doctoral degrees. The faculty’s dedication to higher education and successful student outcomes is reflected in the high national certification examination pass rates among graduates of the FNP programs.

Both the MSN-FNP and BSN-to-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner programs are offered in a hybrid format with three courses, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Physical Assessment, taught in person. Most other courses for both programs are offered online with minimal face-to-face encounters on campus.

MSN Program Details: The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program is available to nurses with a BSN who have at least one year of clinical nursing experience. The program offers part-time and full-time study options. Most students choose to attend full-time and graduate in two years. Part-time students typically complete the program in three years.

This MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program in South Carolina offers a curriculum consisting of 55 credit hours. In this program, you will study classes like Biostatistics, Health Systems & Risk Management, Population Health & Epidemiology, and Clinical Decision-Making & Ethics. If you pursue the MSN-FNP at Francis Marion University, you will complete 630 hours of clinical practicum. Clinical hours are earned in primary settings under the supervision of advanced practice registered nurses and physicians specializing in family practice.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice track is designed to allow you to transition from baccalaureate-level nursing to doctoral competencies seamlessly. The BSN-to-DNP FNP pathway is one of the top family nurse practitioner programs in South Carolina.

The BSN-to-DNP program is designed in a full-time study format and can be completed in three years. In this program, you will take classes, including Doctoral Research & Epidemiological Evidence-Based Practice, Doctoral Health Policy & Leadership, Patient Education & Advocacy, and The Role of Technology & Interprofessional Collaboration. This pathway includes 1,170 clinical hours in various healthcare settings. In the clinical practicum, you will learn to provide doctoral-level nursing care to individuals and families across the lifespan.


4. Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP

About the School: The Medical University of South Carolina offers another excellent FNP program in South Carolina. The university offers an online environment focused on interprofessional collaboration and communication, preparing students at the doctoral level as Family Nurse Practitioners.

The School of Nursing offers professional instruction, preparing students as Family Nurse Practitioners capable of using analytical methods and clinical scholarship to improve patient and organizational outcomes. The school is ranked as one of the Best Grad Schools and Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice by U.S. News & World Report, indicating it is an excellent place to pursue a DNP and prepare for a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The BSN-to-DNP program is a practice-focused doctoral nursing program that awards both an MSN and a DNP upon completion and is considered a top family nurse practitioner program in South Carolina. The program is offered in an online format and is available in three- and four-year plans of study.

The curriculum features a focus on holistic wellness and prevention and evidence-based practices. It includes coursework that totals 74 semester hours of credit. In this program, you will study content from classes such as Advanced Clinical Assessment & Reasoning, Evidence-Based Practice, Quality & Safety, Applied Healthcare Economics & Finance, and Informatics in Healthcare Delivery.

You may complete your clinical practicum in your local community with approved preceptors at approved clinical sites. Depending on your individualized study plan, you will earn between 1,040 and 1,310 clinical hours.


5. Clemson University - Clemson


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP

About the School: Clemson University is home to another one of the best FNP programs in South Carolina. The program prepares baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses for advanced nursing practice as a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Family Nurse Practitioner. The program is offered in a hybrid format with some virtual and on-campus classes and in-person clinical rotations.

Experienced, renowned faculty are dedicated to preparing students equipped for leadership roles as doctoral-prepared Family Nurse Practitioners. Students draw from diverse faculty backgrounds and experiences to develop interprofessional collaboration, critical thinking, and decision-making skills necessary to care for patients across the lifespan with varying degrees of health and illness.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: The FNP program in South Carolina at Clemson University is designed for bachelor's-prepared registered nurses with at least one year of clinical experience. DNP students learn essential skills such as health promotion, disease prevention, and integration of the art and science of nursing. The program is formatted with options for part-time or full-time study. If you choose to enroll part-time, you can anticipate graduating in four years. Full-time students typically complete the program in three years.

The program features a 74-credit hour curriculum. Classes are taken full-time and include courses such as DNP Role, Theory, & Philosophy, DNP Leadership in Healthcare Systems, Healthcare Economics & Finance, and Evidence Integration. Students complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours.


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY


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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