Jul 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner) - M.S.N.

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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Diane K. Pastor

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) prepares advanced practice nurses who possess the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and values to meet the challenges of the 21st Century Health Care Delivery System in the following areas: (1) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and (2) Nurse Educator (NE). The two-year (NE) and two and one-half year (FNP) full-tme MSN Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791 and approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBN). The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at University of North Carolina Wilmington is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.  The graduate of the UNCW School of Nursing master’s program in nursing will be able to practice in the role for which prepared. Online Nurse Educator program is also available.

The Master of Science Family Nurse Practitioner program is designed to produce a professional with advance practice nursing skills to provide primary health care to patients and throughout the lifespan. The 46-47 credit hour curriculum prepares the graduate for advanced practice provider roles in health care service settings. The five full time and seven part time semester program includes foundational course work and a faculty-guided nursing practicum. The curriculum core focuses on Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning, Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nurses, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, Theory and Research, Families in Rural and Urban Communities, Advanced Practice Roles/Issues/Trends, Health Policy, and Advanced Practice Role Transition.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master’s curriculum, the new graduate will be able to:

  1. Design client-centered care through advanced practice and education with an altruistic concern for the welfare of others while supporting autonomy and respecting human dignity.
  2. Demonstrate integrity through accountability and responsibility for clinical decisions and lifelong learning.
  3. Manage quality improvement measures that support legal/ethical standards through the use of evidence-based practice.
  4. Impact the health of underserved populations through support and promotion of culturally competent care.
  5. Evaluate domestic and global health integrating the knowledge of healthcare delivery systems, healthcare policies, epidemiology, and the environment.
  6. Promote the health of clients/patients through education and multidisciplinary management of risk reduction, disease prevention and the management of illness.
  7. Demonstrate professional role competence in education and advanced nursing practice.

Admission Requirements

Students desiring admission into the graduate program in nursing at UNCW must seek admission to the UNCW Graduate School. Admission to the UNCW Graduate School requires a completed Graduate School application; official transcripts of all college work; official scores on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT); writing sample uploaded directly into the online application; three letters of recommendation (one each from a former nurse faculty member and a current or former employer, preferred). Standardized test scores more than five years old at the time of application will not be considered. Applicants must also email or mail a Demographic Form directly to the program. In addition, students who are taking, or have taken, graduate work elsewhere must be in good standing at that institution to be eligible to take graduate work at UNCW. Additional admission requirements include:

  1. Current unrestricted North Carolina registered nurse license or registered nurse license from one of the affiliated Compact states.
  2. One year professional experience as a registered nurse (FNP option only).
  3. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program.
  4. Strong academic record with a “B” average or better in basic courses prerequisite to graduate study in nursing.
  5. Academic credits in undergraduate nursing research, statistics, leadership, community health, and health assessment
  6. Computer competency
  7. Six semester hours of graduate level transferred credit may be accepted upon approval.
  8. A comprehensive invited interview may be requested.
  9. Additional items as needed.
  10. Application and supplemental documents must be submitted by the published deadline.

Students entering the graduate program must have completed successfully the following undergraduate courses: health and physical assessment, community health, statistics, and nursing research. Applicants must have access to a computer capable of supporting electronic mail, a web browser, a word processing program and multi-media presentations. In addition, applicants must demonstrate ability to use these computer applications.

Part-time Study for MSN Programs

Students may enroll part-time. Each student will work with his/her advisor in designing his/her part-time program of study. Students who are enrolled full-time and find it necessary to change their status to part-time will develop a part-time program of study with their advisor and the graduate coordinator. The program must be completed in five years from initial enrollment into the graduate program.

Degree Requirements

  1. A total of forty-six (46) to forty-seven (47) graduate credit hours is required for the family nurse practitioner option or thirty-five (35) to thirty-six (36) graduate credit hours is required for the nurse educator option. No minor is required.
  2. All courses required in the program are open only to graduate students.
  3. A total of six credit hours of transfer credit may be accepted with approval from the graduate coordinator.
  4. With the exception of six approved transfer credits, all graduate study must be completed in residence depending upon the degree option pursued.
  5. An MSN student must have a “B” or better in each required course. If a student earns a “C”, he/she must repeat the course and must earn a “B” or better to progress. A student will only be allowed to repeat one course. A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  6. The program has no language requirement; however, one graduate language course, Spanish for Health Care Professionals, may be available as an elective.
  7. Faculty-supervised research activity consisting of successful completion of NSG 500 - Theory and Research for Evidence-Based Practice  (4 credit hours) and either a master’s research thesis (3 credit hours) or a master’s evidence-based project (2 credit hours), is required. The master’s project emphasizes methods of implementing research findings to solve identified clinical or educational problems that an advanced practice nurse might encounter using appropriate research methods. A scholarly presentation is required to disseminate findings from the research activity.
  8. The Oral Comprehensive Examination will be the formal defense of the thesis or research project.
  9. Each student must complete an approved course of study within five years of the date of the first registration for graduate study to be eligible for graduation.


The purpose of the UNCW Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) option, is to prepare an advanced practice generalist who possesses knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide community focused primary care for culturally diverse families in rural or medically underserved areas. The 46 to 47 credit-hour, primarily online, Family Nurse Practitioner option provides advanced theory and clinical education emphasizing:

  • Primary health across the life span for underserved rural or urban populations.
  • High quality, cost-effective, unique health care that results in a high level of patient satisfaction.

A graduate of the program will be eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioner (AANP) certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioners and seek approval to practice as an FNP in North Carolina or other state of choice. The family nurse practitioner, as a primary care provider, implements community focused health care and education for culturally diverse families in rural and/or medically underserved, as well as urban areas.

Total: 46-47 Credit Hours

Core Courses - 18-19
Clinical Cognate - 10
Functional Cognate - 18

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