21 Best SHORTEST Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Programs (Online & Campus-Based) – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Looking for a convenient way to add another clinical skill set to your APRN curriculum vitae? Think about attaining a post-master’s FNP certificate. The role of the family nurse practitioner is one of the most versatile and rewarding roles in all healthcare delivery, and it can serve as a springboard to many exciting employment opportunities in a variety of practice settings. What’s more, many FNP certificates can be completed in a year or less!

So, what are the best fastest post-master’s FNP certificate programs? Take a look through the guide below to the 21 best shortest (campus-based and online) post-master’s FNP certificate programs, and you’ll find several that will match your needs.



WHAT ARE THE BEST SHORTEST (CAMPUS-BASED AND ONLINE) POST-MASTER’S FNP CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?

(Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 21 best shortest Post-Master’s FNP certificate programs for 2024. The following list includes both (Campus-Based and Online) shortest Post-Master’s FNP certificate programs. You can complete these programs in 12 months or less.)


1. Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete Vanderbilt University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: If you want to expand your nursing practice by becoming a family nurse practitioner, then Vanderbilt University offers an excellent accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program that can be completed rather quickly. Here, you can complete your FNP training within just one year of full-time study. There is also a part-time option that can be completed within two years.

Program Details: Vanderbilt University’s FNP program prepares evidence-based family nurse practitioners who provide competent primary care to individuals, & families across the lifespan. The credit requirements for this program are determined after a gap analysis. The coursework blends didactic training with clinical experiences in primary care. Graduates are prepared for advanced practice nursing in the primary care of adults, adolescents, children, women, and the elderly. Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam.


Admission Requirements: As one of the best shortest post-master’s FNP certificate programs, Vanderbilt’s FNP is open to registered nurses who have at least a masters degree in nursing. Further, in addition to having a GPA of at least 3.0., the program also requires you to possess an active and unencumbered RN license. Other admission requirements include the submission of a statement of purpose, an essay, three recommendation letters, and all the official transcripts.


2. University of Miami - Coral Gables, FL


Program Length: 3 Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete University of Miami Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: University of Miami’s FNP can be completed within three semesters of full-time study. While the three-semester study plan is intensive, there is also a part-time plan that takes six semesters to complete.

Program Details: Among the best shortest post-master’s FNP certificate programs in the nation, University of Miami’s FNP offers a solid foundation in advanced practice nursing concepts. The program prepares high-quality family nurse practitioners who are adept at offering care to diverse patient populations, focusing on underserved and vulnerable communities. Here, depending on whether you have completed APRN courses or not, you may require to complete 23 to 37 credits. The coursework emphasizes concepts in advanced primary care, maternal child health, adult gerontology, professionalism in advanced practice nursing, and research & evidence-based advanced practice nursing.


Admission Requirements: To qualify for University of Miami’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must be a registered nurse with an accredited MSN and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The program also requires applicants to submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and a copy of their RN license.


3. Ohio University - Athens, OH


Program Length: 3 Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete Ohio University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: Whether you want to expand your scope of practice or desire to increase your earning potential, at Ohio University, you can achieve these goals rather quickly. By offering one of the best fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate programs, Ohio University allows you to become an FNP within as few as three semesters. While the three-semester full-time coursework is demanding, if you prefer a less demanding schedule, there is also a six-semester part-time plan.

Program Details: Ohio University’s FNP certificate builds on your graduate nursing education and prepares you for high-quality patient-centric care for diverse patient populations. To accommodate the busy schedules of working nurses, the 20-credit coursework is offered entirely online. In addition to didactic courses, the program also includes 750 clinical hours that can be completed within your geographical location. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam.


Admission Requirements: If you are interested in applying for Ohio University’s fast post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must foremost have an accredited MSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The program also requires the completion of prerequisites, including pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health appraisal for nurse practitioners. To apply, applicants must be prepared to submit their official transcripts, professional goals statement, resume, three letters of recommendation, and an interview with faculty.


4. University of San Diego - San Diego, CA


Program Length: Three Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete University of San Diego Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: University of San Diego’s short post-master’s FNP certificate program not only broadens your career avenues but also allows you to enter the advanced practice nursing workforce within just three semesters. Alternatively, if you prefer the slow pace of part-time study, you can enroll in the six-semester study plan.

Program Details: University of San Diego not only offers one of the best fastest post-master’s FNP certificate programs but also provides solid grounding in compassionate primary care. Being one of the leading Catholic graduate nursing schools, the University of San Diego produces competent nurse leaders who follow a holistic approach to primary care. The FNP curriculum comprises a total of 15 units and includes 540 hours of clinical practice. Mainly emphasizing primary care for individuals & families across the lifespan, the program ends with clinical experiences in primary care.


Admission Requirements: To qualify for the University of San Diego’s postmaster's certificate, you must have an MSN or a DNP and an active RN and APRN license. Additionally, the program requires your minimum GPA to be at least 3.0. To enhance your chances of admission it is preferred that you complete the Trauma Nursing Core Course. Other admission requirements include the submission of a goal statement, one official transcript, three professional recommendations, and a resume. Also, you must have active certifications such as BLS, ACLS, and PALS.


5. University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete University of Missouri-Kansas City Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: To complete the University of Missouri’s FNP certificate, all it takes is just one year.

Program Details: Another one of the best shortest post-master’s FNP certificate programs, University of Missouri’s FNP is a great option for MSN-prepared registered nurses who are aspiring to become FNPs within a short time frame. The program requires the completion of at least 18 credits; however, the exact credit requirements will depend on a gap analysis of your previous transcripts. Also included in the coursework are a minimum of 600 clinical hours. Upon graduation, you’ll be adept at providing high-quality primary care to male and female patients of all age groups.


Admission Requirements: To apply for the University of Missouri’s quick post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must either have an accredited MSN or DNP with a GPA of at least 3.2. The program also requires an active and unencumbered RN license in your state of practice. The program also requires applicants to have completed courses in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, diagnostic reasoning for APRNs, and health promotion. Also, you must be prepared to submit your transcripts, recommendation letters, resume, and personal goal statement.


6. Western University of Health Sciences - Pomona, CA


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete Western University of Health Sciences Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: Western University of Health Sciences post-master’s FNP certificate can be completed within one year. If you are working full-time and prefer a slower pace of study, then there is also a part-time track that can be completed within two years.

Program Details: Western University of Health Sciences offers one of the best fast-track post-master’s FNP online certificate programs that can be completed sooner than you think. Through a flexible format, the program easily fits into the busy lives of working nurses. The program comprises 29 didactic units and 15 clinical units. The program provides excellent training in primary care for diverse patient populations. Grounded in interprofessional collaboration, graduates are prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam.


Admission Requirements: To apply for Western University of Health Sciences FNP, you must have at least an MSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additional admission requirements include submission of transcripts, a resume, and letters of recommendation. This fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program also requires you to possess an active and unencumbered RN license.


7. The University of Toledo - Toledo, OH


Program Length: Three Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete The University of Toledo Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: The University of Toledo offers one of the leading shortest post-master’s FNP certificate programs in northwest Ohio. Here, to complete your FNP training, all it takes is three semesters of part-time study.

Program Details: The University of Toledo’s FNP certificate allows you to expand your nursing career to become an advanced practice nurse leader. The program builds on your graduate nursing education and requires you to complete 21-semester credits. This fast post-masters FNP certificate program prepares you for advanced primary care, health improvement, and in nursing leadership. Graduates are prepared to utilize evidence-based knowledge and various technological tools to enhance health outcomes for diverse patient populations.


Admission Requirements: To apply for the University of Toledo’s FNP, you must foremost have an MSN or a DNP with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must possess an active and unencumbered RN license. The program also requires completion of prerequisites, including advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced health assessment. Your completed application must also include your official transcripts, a personal statement, a resume, and three recommendation letters. Also, an interview may be required.


8. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Milwaukee, WI


Program Length: 12 Months


How Fast Can You Complete University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers another one of the fast-track post-masters FNP certificate programs that can be completed within one year.

Program Details: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers excellent FNP training through in-person classes. The program emphasizes critical thinking, clinical decision-making, and communication to prepare graduates for one of the most in-demand fields of advanced practice nursing. The coursework comprises a total of 18 credits in theory & practicum courses. You will complete three FNP theory courses and three FNP practicum courses. Besides, clinical placements are arranged in a variety of primary care settings. Upon completion, graduates are prepared to take the FNP certification exam.


Admission Requirements: If you are interested in applying for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s fast post-master’s FNP certificate program, then to be considered for admission, you must have an accredited MSN along with an APRN certification. Applicants must also have a valid and unencumbered RN license in their state of practice. The admission requirements also include the submission of transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and recommendation letters.


9. Mercer University - Atlanta, GA


Program Length: 3 Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete Mercer University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: If you are keen on completing your FNP training from one of the faith-based accelerated post-masters FNP certificate programs, then Mercer University’s FNP will be a befitting choice. The program is not only grounded in faith-based values but also allows you to graduate within just three semesters.

Program Details: Mercer University’s FNP requires the completion of a total of 23 credits and 660 clinical hours. With a fine blend of theoretical concepts and real-world clinical experiences, the program prepares graduates to work in all types of primary settings, in rural and urban areas. The coursework covers the care of adults, children & adolescents, and women across the lifespan. Also, in each semester, didactic courses are complemented by a primary care practicum, so in total, you’ll complete three primary care practicums.


Admission Requirements: Mercer University’s accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program is designed for applicants who have at least a masters in nursing. Besides, a GPA of at least 3.0 is required to qualify for admission. The program also requires you to have an active and unencumbered RN license in GA. Additionally, you must be prepared to submit your application online, including your official transcripts, an application fee, a resume, an admission cover letter, and three professional references.


10. DeSales University - Center Valley, PA


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete DeSales University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: DeSales University offers an accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program that can be completed, barely within one year.

Program Details: DeSales University’s FNP offers an individualized plan of study which is determined after a gap analysis of your previous transcripts. However, the credit requirements for graduation may range between 23 to 41, depending on the previously completed courses. Also, a minimum of 500 clinical hours are required. The coursework mainly focuses on the primary care of male and female patients suffering from chronic & acute health conditions. DeSales University’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program is grounded in Christian values, therefore here not only will you be nurtured holistically, but you’ll also be prepared to care for the whole person.


Admission Requirements: DeSales University’s FNP admission requirements are rigorous, enrolling only highly promising candidates. To qualify, you must have at least a master's degree in nursing along with an active RN license in PA. Also, at least one year of recent registered nursing experience is required. To complete your application, you must submit your transcripts, a copy of your RN license, a resume, and a personal statement.


11. Hawai‘i Pacific University - Honolulu, HI


Program Length: 12 Months


How Fast Can You Complete Hawai‘i Pacific University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: Hawai‘i Pacific University offers one of the best accelerated post-master FNP online certificate programs that can be completed barely in 12 months. Also, because the program allows you to take classes from anywhere and at any time, you’ll easily be able to fit the FNP study plan into your busy life schedule.

Program Details: Hawai‘i Pacific University’s FNP starts three times a year, in fall, spring, and summer. The 24-credit coursework leverages your graduate nursing education to prepare you as a family-focused advanced practice nurse. The program empowers graduates to offer care for patients, from infants to the elderly, especially focusing on remote and underserved communities. Here, the small-sized classes not only allow for close interactions but also make your overall online learning experience more engaging. Besides, the fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program offers extensive placement support to help students find suitable clinical placements within their home community.


Admission Requirements: Hawai‘i Pacific University’s FNP program reviews applications from registered nurses who have an accredited MSN. Also, the minimum GPA must be at least 3.0. To apply, you are required to submit documents such as your transcripts, resume, personal goal statement, references, and a copy of your active RN license.


12. Wright State University - Dayton, OH


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete Wright State University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: If you are seeking the flexibility of online classes to complete your FNP training, then Wright State University’s fast-track post-master’s FNP online certificate program is an excellent option. The program quickly prepares you for the FNP licensure exam, taking as little as one year.

Program Details: Wright State University’s FNP is delivered entirely online except for five on-campus sessions required for clinical training. In the first semester of the program, you gain theoretical training in the primary healthcare of women, children, and adolescents. During the second semester, you’ll focus on the primary care of adults. In the final third semester, you’ll complete clinical training in family nursing practice. In total, the coursework comprises 17 credits.


Admission Requirements: Among the reputable shortest post-master’s FNP online certificate programs in the nation, Wright State University’s FNP enrolls registered nurses who have a master's degree in nursing. Also, applicants must complete pre-requisite courses in pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and advanced lifespan pathophysiology with a minimum grade of C. To apply, you must be prepared to submit your transcripts, a resume, and a copy of your active RN license.


13. Alverno College - Milwaukee, WI


Program Length: Three Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete Alverno College Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: To complete Alverno College’s FNP certificate all it takes is three consecutive semesters. So, if you are looking for high-quality accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate programs, Alverno’s FNP is a great choice.

Program Details: Alverno College’s FNP program produces compassionate family nurse practitioners who are committed to health improvement and health equity. The program is grounded in evidence-based knowledge and prepares graduates to influence healthcare for vulnerable populations by removing healthcare disparities. The graduation requirements for this program will be based on a review of your previous transcripts. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to take the FNP certification.


Admission Requirements: To qualify for Alverno College’s accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must have an MSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. To apply, you must submit an online application, two recommendations, official transcripts, a professional statement, a current resume, and a copy of your unencumbered RN license.


14. West Texas A&M University - Canyon, TX


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete West Texas A&M University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: West Texas A&M University’s FNP certificate takes as little as one year to complete. Also, because the program is one of the more affordable accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate programs, you’ll not only graduate fast but also with a competitive tuition cost.

Program Details: West Texas A&M University’s FNP starts twice a year, in spring and fall. The program is offered in a hybrid format to accommodate the needs of adult learners. The program comprises 27 credits and mainly focuses on primary healthcare management of individuals and families across the lifespan. In addition to didactic courses, the program also includes around 675 hours of clinical practice. Upon graduation, you will be adept at providing competent patient care in a variety of interdisciplinary healthcare settings.


Admission Requirements: To be eligible for West Texas A&M University’s accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must have a master’s in nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you are required to submit all your transcripts, a resume, and a goal statement. A copy of your active and unencumbered RN license is also required.


15. Spring Arbor University - Spring Arbor, MI


Program Length: 8 Months


How Fast Can You Complete Spring Arbor University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: For those of you looking for the fastest post-masters FNP online certificate programs, Spring Arbor University’s FNP is an excellent option. This online program can be completed literally in a flash, precisely just eight months. Also, because the program offers six start dates, you’ll be able to enroll as soon as you are ready to start.

Program Details: Spring Arbor University, ranked among the best graduate nursing schools, offers its FNP certificate in small-sized classes where individual attention is allowed. Further, the faith-based FNP curriculum nurtures students for evidence-based holistic primary care. Courses are offered in the seven-week format to add flexibility to the scheduling needs of working students. The FNP curriculum, including didactic and clinical courses, mainly focuses on family systems & clinical management of the childbearing family, and primary care of individuals across the lifespan.


Admission Requirements: To be eligible for admission, Spring Arbor University’s accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program requires applicants to have an MSN with a GPA of 3.0. The program also requires applicants to have a valid and unencumbered RN license. To apply, an online application, along with your official transcripts, and personal statement must be submitted.


16. Winona State University-Rochester - Rochester, MN


Program Length: Two Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete Winona State University-Rochester Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: Winona State University-Rochester’s FNP certificate is the best fit for nurses eager to enter the primary care workforce. Here, you can complete this program within as little as two semesters and one summer session.

Program Details: Winona State University offers another of the accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate programs that can prepare you for a rewarding advanced practice career in hardly any time. The coursework requires completion of 24 credits and 600 clinical hours. The program mainly covers primary healthcare management of male and female patients of all age groups. The certificate also emphasizes critical thinking, clinical decision-making, and evidence-based practice to produce compassionate healthcare leaders.


Admission Requirements: To be considered for Winona State University’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program, you must foremost have at least an MSN from an accredited university. The program also requires the completion of prerequisites such as pathophysiology, health assessment, health promotion, and pharmacology. Besides, an active and unencumbered RN license is also required. To complete the admission requirements, the program requires the submission of transcripts, a resume, and two professional references, and also may request an interview.


17. Malone University - Canton, OH


Program Length: 3 Semesters


How Fast Can You Complete Malone University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: One of the other sought-after fast-track post-master’s FNP online certificate programs is offered by Malone University. The program is not only fully online but also hardly takes three semesters to complete.

Program Details: Malone University’s FNP is designed for practicing nurses who wish to continue working while pursuing their FNP training. The certificate expands on your current nursing practice and prepares you to provide care for diverse populations. You’ll be equipped with enhanced critical thinking skills and evidence-based knowledge to manage primary care of individuals, and families across the lifespan. Malone’s accelerated post-master’s FNP certificate program consists of 16.5 credits and 500 clinical hours, upon completion of which you’ll be prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam.
Admission Requirements: To be eligible for Malone’s FNP certificate, you must have an MSN and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The program also includes a valid and unencumbered RN license in Ohio. To complete your application, you must be prepared to submit a personal resume, two references, and official transcripts. An interview may also be required.


18. Utica University - Utica, NY


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete Utica University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: If you are keen on advancing your studies in family health, then Utica offers an excellent accelerated post-master’s FNP online certificate program that can be completed within one year.

Program Details: Utica University’s FNP certificate is not only a quick route to a career as a family nurse practitioner, but the program also provides the flexibility of taking online classes at your convenience. Offered in small-sized classes, the program allows for personalized attention and close interaction between faculty and peers. The program comprises 31 credits and mainly teaches you primary care for male and female patients across the lifespan. Also, included in the curriculum are in-person clinical experiences in a primary care setting.


Admission Requirements: Utica’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program is open to master's prepared registered nurses who have a GPA of at least 3.0. The admission requirements also include the submission of transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The program also requires at least 2000 hours of work experience as a registered nurse.


19. New Mexico State University - Las Cruces, NM


Program Length: 1 Year


How Fast Can You Complete New Mexico State University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: New Mexico State University offers an excellent fast-track post-master’s FNP online certificate program that can be completed within just one year.

Program Details: One of the affordable fastest post-master’s FNP online certificate programs, New Mexico University offers competitive tuition costs. The program, comprising 18 credits, is 100% online, requiring students to make on-site visits only for clinicals. The clinicals require completion of at least 500 clock hours. The curriculum expands on your previous nursing education and builds your knowledge in primary healthcare management of chronically & acutely ill patients. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam and thereafter practice as a competent family nurse practitioner.


Admission Requirements: To be considered for New Mexico State University’s FNP, you must have a masters or doctoral degree in nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must be prepared to submit your resume, unofficial transcripts, a letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation.


20. Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion, IN


Program Length: 12 Months


How Fast Can You Complete Indiana Wesleyan University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: Are you aspiring to become a family nurse practitioner? Do you want to enroll in one of the well-known shortest post-master’s FNP online certificate programs that can be completed quickly? If yes, then Indiana Wesleyan University’s FNP is a great choice. Here, you can complete the online FNP coursework within just 12 months.

Program Details: Indiana Wesleyan University’s FNP offers a faith-based rigorous curriculum that prepares you to care for diverse patient populations, emphasizing the underserved and vulnerable sections. The program comprises a total of 20 credits in didactic and clinical courses. The curriculum integrates Christian values and empowers graduates to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in providing evidence-based holistic nursing care. The four FNP courses mainly cover professional role development for advanced practice nursing and primary care across the lifespan.


Admission Requirements: Indiana Wesleyan University’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program requires applicants to have a graduate nursing degree from an accredited college. Also, the GPA must be at least 3.0. The program also requires applicants to submit three professional references, & official transcripts, and have at least one year of nursing work experience. Applicants must also have a valid and unencumbered RN license.


21. San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA


Program Length: 12 Months


How Fast Can You Complete San Francisco State University Post-Master’s FNP Certificate Program: The duration of San Francisco State University’s post-master’s FNP certificate program is as short as 12 months.

Program Details: San Francisco State University’s fast-track post-master’s FNP certificate program is a hybrid coursework, combining online classes with weekly on-campus meets. The 31-unit program is offered in a small-sized cohort to facilitate personalized attention. The program prepares you for health promotion and collaboration with other healthcare professionals to evaluate and manage acute & chronic health conditions in patients across the lifespan. As a graduate of this program, you’ll obtain proficiency in providing primary care in a variety of interdisciplinary healthcare settings.


Admission Requirements: Similar to other shortest post-master’s FNP online certificate programs, to qualify for admission, applicants must be registered nurses with a graduate nursing degree. Also, the program requires a GPA of at least 3.0. The program also requires an active RN license in CA and at least one year of nursing work experience. To apply, applicants must be prepared to submit a personal statement, unofficial transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a resume.


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