Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing (MSN)

Degree: Master of Science in Nursing
Major: Nursing
Cognate: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Program Code: 8615

About This Program . . .

The Family Nurse Practitioner program at the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) level is designed for students wishing to practice as advanced practice nurses in primary care across the lifespan. Graduates of master’s degree programs in nursing are prepared with additional knowledge and clinical expertise building on baccalaureate nursing practice. The MSN program at Colorado Mesa University is based on the “Essentials of Masters Education for Advanced Nursing Practice” identified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

MSN graduates will be prepared to advance to higher levels of  nursing education including Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) programs. The program is an online format, providing flexibility for students to remain in their current work positions and home communities. Opportunities for personal interaction are included with faculty and peers in focused intensive sessions at selected points during the program. Students are expected to participate in objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) each semester. OSCEs are held both in person and virtually and are used to assess students' attainment of clinical competencies.

Graduates of the Family Nurse Practitioner cognate are prepared for an advance practice role as a Family Nurse Practitioner will demonstrate practice expertise, specialized knowledge, and expanded responsibility and accountability in the care and management of individuals and families.

Important information for this program:

  • There are 47 credit hours for the MSN in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner.
  • Admission to the program follows general admission policies and procedures for graduate programs outlined in the university catalog.
  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university is required, prior to beginning the program. Applicants must have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better in baccalaureate nursing coursework.
  • Applicants must hold a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in their state of licensure.
  • It is recommended that students work closely with a faculty advisor when selecting courses and scheduling classes prior to registration.

All CMU masters-level graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, a graduate of this program will be able to:

  1. Discover nursing leadership skills and behaviors for communication and interprofessional collaboration. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning, Communication Fluency)
  2. Analyze quality improvement initiatives to generate or evaluate data for the practice environment. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. Utilize information literacy for interprofessional collaboration, learning, and practice. (Information Literacy)
  4. Evaluate legal, ethical, and regulatory processes that impact professional nursing practice. (Ethical reasoning)
  5. Create culturally relevant evidence-based health policy strategies for individual and aggregate populations. (Information Literacy)
  6. Synthesize nursing and related sciences for applied learning across diverse populations. (Specialized Knowledge; Critical Thinking)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Graduate Degree Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU graduate-level degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Graduate certificates consist of a minimum of 5 credit hours.  Master’s degrees consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Doctoral degrees consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • All credits in a graduate program must be minimally at the 500-level.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • Students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • Students may not apply coursework with a grade lower than a “B” toward graduation requirements.  
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Graduate Degree Requirements” in this catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.
  • All policies for graduate degrees are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual, Capstone Guidelines Manual, and Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines Manual, all of which are provided on the Graduate Studies website

Specific to this program:

  • 47 semester hours are required for the MSN in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree.

Program Specific Requirements

Required Core Courses
NURS 500Theoretical Foundations3
NURS 501Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS 525Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 526Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing3
NURS 527Advanced Health Assessment2
NURS 535Health Promotion and Disease Prevention2
NURS 536Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics3
NURS 577Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment1
Family Nurse Practitioner Cognate
NURS 586Clinical Procedures1
NURS 588Diagnostic Testing1
NURS 600Advanced Practice Nursing Issues2
NURS 601Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent3
NURS 602Primary Care of the Adult3
NURS 603Primary Care of the Older Person3
NURS 604Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations: Capstone1
NURS 605Mental and Behavioral Health2
NURS 610Clinical Practicum: Infant, Child, and Adolescent2
NURS 615Clinical Practicum: Mental and Behavioral Health1
NURS 620Clinical Practicum: Adult3
NURS 630Clinical Practicum: Older Person2
NURS 640Clinical Practicum Capstone: Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations3
Total Semester Credit Hours47
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
NURS 500 Theoretical Foundations 3
NURS 501 Evidence-Based Practice 3
NURS 525 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
NURS 526 Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing 3
NURS 527 Advanced Health Assessment 2
NURS 577 Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment 1
 Semester Credit Hours6
Summer Semester
NURS 535 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 2
NURS 586 Clinical Procedures 1
 Semester Credit Hours3
Second Year
Fall Semester
NURS 602 Primary Care of the Adult 3
NURS 605 Mental and Behavioral Health 2
NURS 615 Clinical Practicum: Mental and Behavioral Health 1
NURS 620 Clinical Practicum: Adult 3
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
NURS 601 Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent 3
NURS 603 Primary Care of the Older Person 3
NURS 610 Clinical Practicum: Infant, Child, and Adolescent 2
NURS 630 Clinical Practicum: Older Person 2
 Semester Credit Hours10
Summer Semester
NURS 536 Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics 3
NURS 588 Diagnostic Testing 1
 Semester Credit Hours4
Third Year
Fall Semester
NURS 600 Advanced Practice Nursing Issues 2
NURS 604 Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations: Capstone 1
NURS 640 Clinical Practicum Capstone: Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
 Total Semester Credit Hours47

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.