No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.**

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As our society’s population grows, so does the need for quality, comprehensive, accessible, and affordable healthcare.

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses with the knowledge and skills to assess and manage health issues in patients of all ages, from birth through the senior years. This specialization can prepare you to gain autonomy or advance in your career as a healthcare professional. Through a series of courses and well-rounded clinical practice experiences focused on current health issues, you can effectively implement and facilitate disease prevention, health promotion, health maintenance, and restorative care interventions.

This online Family Nurse Practitioner specialization focuses on evidence-based techniques that can enhance the quality of care and outcomes for your patients. Study strategies that can prepare you to work in primary care health settings to change the course of your healthcare career. Walden practicum coordinators can assist you in meeting your clinical practice requirements. As a graduate of the program, you can pursue national family nurse practitioner certification and state credentialing.

The Family Nurse Practitioner specialization is a specialized program offered to a limited number of new students each quarter. Enrollment in the FNP specialization is limited to allow for more personalized attention and support throughout the program and practicum. Walden practicum coordinators are available to assist you in meeting your practicum requirements.

In Walden’s MSN program, you can:

  • Collaborate with nurses from around the country in an interactive online environment.
  • Learn from expert teaching faculty—100% of whom hold doctoral degrees.
  • Gain the opportunity to translate knowledge into practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a professional healthcare setting.
  • Acquire the knowledge needed to act as a change agent and apply your enhanced expertise within the healthcare environment.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this specialization, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Pursue national certification and state credentialing.
  • Assess risk factors, treat illness and promote healthy living.
  • Effectively communicate with patients.
  • Make a positive difference in today’s dynamic and ever-changing healthcare environment, whether in clinical practice or a related health professional role.
  • Gain responsibility in your current role or prepare to advance your career.
  • Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social change.
  • Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in a global society.
  • Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
  • Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
  • Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice.
  • Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse populations.

Career Impact

Forbes reports an unprecedented demand for Family Nurse Practitioners due to the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act legislation*. Merritt Hawkins’ 2013 annual review of health professional recruitment and staffing revealed that for the first time, nurse practitioners entered the top 20 ranking 10th. The annual review also communicated that the growth in outpatient care sites like urgent care centers, retail health clinics, and health centers is contributing to the increase in demand.

According to, the average salary for a nurse practitioner is $94,525.

Family Nurse Practitioners work in clinics, office practices, managed care organizations, rural areas, college campuses, urban community health centers and long term care facilities.

National certification is offered through various nursing organizations, such as the American Nurses' Association, and most of these organizations require that NPs complete an approved master's-level NP program before taking the certification exam.

If you have the right experience and training, Walden’s MSN program, with a Nurse Practitioner specialization can help position you for roles in the following settings:

  • Family practice
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Oncology
  • Primary care
  • Public health departments
  • School health
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Women's health

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Learn more about top industry sectors, most in-demand job skills and top job titles for MSN grads.

*Forbes, 2013, on the Internet at (viewed online October 23, 2013).

Merritt Hawkins, Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, 2013, on the Internet at (viewed online October 23, 2013)., on the internet at (viewed online October 23, 2013)

Find detailed information for this program if you hold a BSN or hold a RN, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

*The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

**Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

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