Welcome! Thank you for taking time to explore the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program at Frontier Nursing University. As home of the nation’s first FNP program, Frontier has a strong tradition of being an innovator in family nursing education. Our graduates are top-notch clinicians who are improving healthcare around the country and throughout the world. As a Frontier student, your home community will be your classroom, and you will get to know the needs of your region through meaningful assignments. You’ll also learn the entrepreneurial side of healthcare, acquiring the necessary skills and know-how to start your own practice. If you are an innovator, a trailblazer and a changemaker, Frontier is the place for you. Come join our community so that you can make a difference in yours!
Lisa Chappell, PhD, FNP-BC
Associate Dean for Family Nursing
What is a FNP?
Family nurse practitioners play a vital role In America’s changing healthcare landscape, addressing the need for primary care providers in rural and underserved areas. A family nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who manages the healthcare of individuals and their families across the lifespan – providing preventive and primary care; promoting health and wellbeing across the lifespan; and helping their patients manage chronic conditions. FNPs conduct routine checkups and assessments, order and interpret tests, make diagnoses, prescribe medications, and initiate and manage treatment plans for their patients. (Source: American Association of Nurse Practitioners)
FNU’s Community-Based Family Nurse Practitioner Program (CFNP)
In our Community-based Family Nurse Practitioner Program (CFNP), you will complete your studies either full-time or part-time with your home community serving as your classroom. You’ll also complete a clinical practicum in your community, where you’ll work closely with a certified nurse practitioner. FNU has agreements with preceptor sites across the country and continually adds sites.
Our curriculum has a strong academic and clinical basis. It is unique in that we teach you not only to be a nurse practitioner, but also to be an entrepreneur and a leader in the healthcare system.
All students seeking to become a family nurse practitioner will be admitted to the MSN + Companion DNP program. When you receive the Master of Science in Nursing degree, you may choose to exit with your MSN at that time or continue seamlessly into our 17 credit hour Companion DNP program to complete your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Completing the DNP is highly recommended. Learn about the MSN + Companion DNP here.
For applicants seeking MSN with option of Companion DNP:P:
- Registered Nurse with BSN as highest degree – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP
- Registered Nurse with highest degree as bachelor's in non-nursing field – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP (will include portfolio with application)
- Registered Nurse with ADN as highest degree – apply through the ADN Bridge Entry Option
For applicants who already have MSN or master's in nursing seeking an additional specialty certification (with option of Companion DNP):
Early CNEP graduates who wish to complete the MSN degree:
- Apply to the MSN Completion program
Dr. Cathy Fliris is firmly rooted in the Frontier tradition – she’s both a graduate and faculty member of FNU. Cathy teaches a course on the “Role of the Nurse Practitioner” and – as a primary care provider in a rural clinic in Lusk, Wyo. – she knows that role well. Cathy, a Family Nurse Practitioner at Niobrara Health and Life Center, was recognized by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners with the Wyoming State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence in 2011. She brings her expertise as a practicing clinician to her teaching.
“I was well prepared by FNU for beginning my practice in rural Wyoming. I love giving back to others to help prepare them through teaching about role transition from registered nurse to advanced practice registered nurse and by precepting students locally.”
FNU graduate Brian Webster came to Frontier to broaden his scope of nursing practice and to get the training necessary to provide primary care to those needing it most. Today, he’s a nurse practitioner in a busy Emergency Department in central Pennsylvania. He’s passionate about disaster medical relief, wilderness medicine, and advocating for and providing care to the medically underserved in remote areas of the world. Brian has traveled to Haiti several times to assist with disaster relief in the aftermath of that country’s 2010 earthquake. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) and holds a number of certifications in emergency and wilderness medicine.
Would you like to read more alumni stories?
FNU graduate Ed Gonzalez calls Frontier the “best school ever.” Ed is a nurse practitioner for a native hospital in Dillingham, Alaska (population 2,500), where he is also a flight nurse. Surrounded by the Alaskan wilderness, Ed serves a rural community in southwest Alaska that is largely Y’upik Eskimo. Perhaps the poorest village Ed serves is Angoon, a small fishing community of less than 500 people. Angoon is remote and patients are accessed using a float plane. Ed says he chose Frontier primarily because of its reputation and accessibility. “I knew this was the right place for me when I saw how committed Frontier is to underserved communities, and how that commitment is passed on to its graduates.”
Would you like to read more alumni stories?