Questions Most Frequently Asked by Nurse Practitioner Applicants
1. What type of Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs are offered?
There are 3 NP programs offered.
- Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)
- Post-Master’s Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's FNP)
- Post-Master’s Certificate: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
2. Will I have to get a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree later to practice as a nurse practitioner in the future?
Currently the MSN-FNP degree is accepted in all states for practice. There is a move towards entry to practice as DNP We now require (2) DNP level courses in our MSN-FNP Core Curriculum. We have developed a DNP accelerated option within our current NP program to support the goal. Please discuss with your advisor.
3. What areas will I be able to work after graduation?
The MSN-FNP prepares primary care nurse practitioners in family care. Graduates are prepared to function in primary care settings that include nurse practitioner clinics, medical offices, and walk-in medical care to name a few places. While some graduates work in the hospital, or make hospital rounds, this degree does not prepare individuals to function as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Should you wish to only work in the hospital this is not the program you need.
4. How long will it take me to complete the MSN-FNP, Post-Master's FNP, or PMHNP programs?
The PMHNP program consists of 24 credits and 500 clinical hours. The MSN-FNP program consists of 48 credits, 600 clinical hours and has been designed for completion in 3 years. The Post-Master's FNP program consists of 36 credits and 500 clinical hours. Some of the courses are scheduled on a semester long (15- week) basis [Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Primary Care II and all practicum courses] and all remaining courses are scheduled in 7-week block. Courses are offered online, hybrid, and online live synchronous formats. The amount of clinical time meets the requirements to sit for the nurse practitioner certification exams.
5. Are the MSN-FNP and Post-Master's FNP programs competitive programs in terms of admission standards?
Admission to each program is competitive based on the balance of a number of factors including undergraduate academic performance (GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred), prior work/volunteer experience, personal maturity, and personal/professional goals. We have a selection process that is utilized to evaluate a person’s readiness for graduate study and their suitability.
6. Does my undergraduate degree have to be in nursing?
Yes, you must have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
7. Is there financial aid available?
Yes, a significant number of our students utilize the Guaranteed Student Loan, which is based on need. You can get an application from a local bank which processes the loan for the federal government. The University’s Financial Aid Office can provide you with information about their loan program. Many students have benefited from this low interest program.
8. Is the MSN-FNP program fully accredited?
We have received accreditation from the Council for Certification of Nursing Education (CCNE).
9. If I am accepted into the MSN-FNP or Post-Master's FNP program, when can I start?
In order to be able to complete the program in 3 calendar years, students are admitted to begin classes in the Fall or Spring Term by submitting a fully completed application by no later than the Admission Deadlines.
10. How many cohorts are accepted each year and when are the application deadlines for the MSN-FNP and Post-Master's FNP programs?
There are three cohorts accepted in the Fall. One at New Castle, one at Georgetown, and one at the Brandywine location. There is only one cohort accepted in the Spring and that is at New Castle. The application deadline for Fall is always March 1st. the application deadline for Spring is always September 1st.
11. Does the MSN-FNP Program accept transfer credits?
With Chair approval, up to 12 credits may be transferred into the program in graduate courses that are deemed equivalent to the courses in the MSN-FNP program.
12. If for any reason, I need to withdraw from the program (financial, illness, etc.), would it be possible to re-enter the program without re-applying?
Students have a five-year time limit to complete the program. From time to time some students need to take a leave from the program and go on inactive status for a short time period. Students must contact their faculty academic advisor if there is a deviation from their program of study including becoming inactive. If the student’s status is inactive for more than one year a new application only is required by the WU policy. Students must then contact the Chair of the NP program to discuss their status. Students who leave the program for an extended length of time may lose their spot; however, this is decided on a case-by-case basis. All students needing more than 5 years to complete their program of study must reapply for admission to the MSN-FNP and Post-Master's FNP programs. Exceptions to the 5-year policy may be made in extenuating circumstances.
13. How much time do I have to spend in a clinical setting to complete the program?
The MSN-FNP program requires students to complete 600 clinical hours over five semesters, each clinical experience equals 120 hours. The Post-Master's FNP program requires students to complete 500 clinical hours over 3 semesters of 167 hours each. Clinical begins after completion of the science and assessment courses. The average time in the field during clinical is 8 – 12 hours per week. Although many employers have flexible hours, which enable students to work around their regular jobs, students often find that they must make arrangements with their employer to insure availability to complete clinical hours in the prescribed time frame. Student can petition to double the final two practicum courses.
14. Is it possible that practicum and/or internship experiences be done where a student is employed?
Yes, some students do work in place of employment where practicum can be completed; however, this is not encouraged. The site must meet all of the regular practicum requirements and the practicum must offer the opportunity for new learning and professional growth. In addition, supervision must be provided by someone who meets the MSN-FNP program’s site supervisor requirements for education and experience and who is not the student’s regular supervisor.
15. Is there assistance provided in finding clinical sites for students?
Yes, we partner with students to assist them in finding clinical sites.
16. What if I am due to graduate with my BSN soon after the application deadlines?
As long as students are enrolled in the last course of their BSN, they can apply to the program. The BSN conferral date and transcripts would need to be sent to the Admissions department as soon as possible.
17. Do I have to be a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner to apply for the PMHNP Certificate?
Currently we are only accepting licensed Family Nurse Practitioners. The focus of the PMHNP program is to provide classes and experiences with clients/families over the life span. Your NP degree or certification assures us that you have completed the 3 Ps across the lifespan.