Jun 23, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (Post Master's Certificate)

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The Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program

This program prepares RNs or NP’s who have a master’s degree in nursing to function as nurse practitioners in ambulatory or community-based areas. FNPs provide comprehensive care to all members of the family unit: infants, children, and adults, including child-bearing women; they also provide direct health care services incorporating health promotion, health protection, disease prevention and disease management. Graduates of this specialty are eligible to take the Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination prepared by an approved national organization as accepted by the Board of Registration in Nursing and to apply to practice in the expanded role in their state based on regulatory guidelines.

Two family nurse practitioner post-master’s graduate certificate programs are available, one requiring 12 credits of graduate course work, the other requiring 21 credits, depending on the student’s prior course work in the master’s program.

The 21-credit option is open to RNs with a master’s degree in nursing from an NLN- or CCNE-accredited program. The program of study includes 9 credits of didactic study and 12 credits of clinical course work, including 600 hours of clinical practice in the family specialty area. It may be completed in two semesters full-time or four semesters part-time.

The 12-credit option is open to RNs with strong clinical backgrounds, a master’s degree in nursing, and current national certification as a family, adult, pediatric, or gerontological nurse practitioner, who wish to sit for certification exams in a second specialty area. Students complete a minimum of 6 credits of didactic and 6 credits of clinical course work, including 300 hours of clinical practice. Participants concentrate in family nursing advanced practice nursing. The program may be completed in one semester full-time or two semesters part-time.

All prerequisite and required certificate courses are offered online.

Students are invited to contact the program director to determine which of the two programs will meet their individual needs. With permission of the program director, and subject to the general University transfer credit policies outlined in the “General Academic Regulations ” section of this publication, students may transfer one equivalent graduate-level course into the certificate program.


Prerequisites for the program include evidence of graduate coursework in advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and the role of the advanced practice nurse. If the applicant’s coursework in advanced pharmacology exceeds 5 years, they will need to repeat the course. Depending on their previous courses, some students may need to complete some or all of these prerequisite courses before advancing to the specialty area.

Applicants are not required to submit Graduate Record Examination Scores.

Course Requirements for 12-Credit Program

Exact courses are dependent on prior certification.

Clinical Experiences

All students in the 21-credit option must complete 600 hours of documented supervised clinical experience. Students in the 12-credit option must complete 300 hours of clinical experience. Students need to arrange their own clinical experiences.

All practicum experiences are subject to the approval of the program directors. The agency must be under contract agreement with the UMass/Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences and that working agreement will be facilitated by the Placement Office prior to the start of the clinical course. Students are advised that preceptors must be either master’s-prepared NPs, physician assistants (PAs) or physicians with evidence of current licensure.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for all graduate studies programs listed in the “Admissions ” section of this publication, prospective students applying to the Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs must also meet the following requirements:

  1. A master’s degree in nursing from an NLNAC- or CCNE-approved graduate program in nursing
  2. A cumulative grade point average in undergraduate work of at least 2.75
  3. A cumulative grade point average in graduate work of at least 3.0
  4. Evidence of grades of B or better in graduate- level courses in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced physiology within the past 7 years (pharmacology within the past 5 years)
  5. A current unrestricted Massachusetts license in nursing or a current license in another state in which the student lives and is doing their clinical practicum
  6. Evidence of at least two years of strong professional nursing experience
  7. Evidence of clinical placement commitments (necessary to fulfill the clinical objectives of the certificate) with master’s-prepared nurse practitioners
  8. Evidence of national certifications in advanced practice nursing specialty
  9. Residence in a state whose Board of Education has no restrictions related to out-of-state online program offerings

NOTE: If you are not a Massachusetts resident and are considering applying to an online nursing program, please see if your state is eligible by clicking here.

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