Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner

You’re a hands-on problem solver. You see a need and try to meet it. You like results. As you consider entering family practice or advancing your degree within nursing, you may have discovered that our country has a pressing need for primary care providers. Since you’re a problem solver, you want to meet that need.

As a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner program, you’ll learn how to do everything in your power to properly diagnose illnesses and to meet each patient with kindness and skill.

At AU, we offer a flexible program catered to you, the working nurse. If you’re an RN with a bachelor's degree, you can still apply directly to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.  Once you begin the program, you can complete your degree in nine semesters (about three years).

Coursework and Training

In the Family Nurse Practitioner track, you will take 73 hours of coursework. Your classes will include Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Procedures, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Physical Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, Primary Care over the Lifespan, and Care of Special Populations. These classes will equip you to assess, diagnose, and treat disease and to promote a lifetime of wellness.

In addition to coursework, you will complete a scholarly project and a clinical residency. The evidence-based project may include a quality improvement (QI) focus, a policy change, or perhaps a protocol development for your facility. Your advisor will guide you in this process. Throughout your time in the program, you will develop this project, from the conceptual stages to research and investigation to implementation and dissemination of the results.

Clinical residencies are required for all Doctor of Nursing Practice students. You must complete 1,000 hours spread across the entire program. While it is your responsibility to find a clinical preceptor, AU works hard to establish relationships with clinical partners, to aid you in your search. Your clinical and in-class experiences at AU will also prepare you for the national accreditation exam you must take to become certified to practice in your field. 

Semesters at a Glance

Christian Worldview

As a primary care provider, you have the opportunity to follow Christ’s example of service on an intense personal level. At AU, we want to come alongside you in this endeavor through our Christ-centered perspective on nursing and healthcare.

Throughout the program, our instructors will help you explore the intersection of faith and vocation. To that end, you will participate in a Faith and Learning Seminar, a one-credit course held during your on-campus intensive workdays. 

Your Future

The Family Nurse Practitioner track at AU will prepare you to serve as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a clinic, a hospital, or an industrial setting. As the medical field changes, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is quickly becoming the standard for nurse practitioners and the key to entering the practice. In addition to the rewarding work you can accomplish as a primary care provider, compensation is excellent. Salaries typically range from $90,000 to $110,000.