Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program

Earn Your MSN Online
and Become an FNP

Empowering and educating nurses since 1902, Simmons University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) — Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program that extends our esteemed Boston-based FNP program to students across the country through a dynamic, online learning platform.

Nursing@Simmons’ innovative, online FNP program is designed for licensed registered nurses (RNs) who hold a BSN or a bachelor’s with a major in Nursing.

Simmons University also offers a nurse practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

The nursing programs at Simmons (baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs) are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national accrediting agency that ensures the quality of nursing programs. The FNP, PMHNP, and DNP programs are CCNE-accredited through 2029. Simmons University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Simmons’ post-graduate certificate programs are pursuing initial CCNE accreditation. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Exceeding National Averages. First Time Pass Rates.

Simmons University graduates consistently pass their FNP board certification exams at a higher rate than the national average — on their first try. In 2023, 97% of Simmons alumni passed their ANCC boards, and 99% passed their AANP boards.2

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A Supportive Nursing Education Designed to Fit Students’ Lives

The Nursing@Simmons online FNP program is designed to help nurses earn their MSN while continuing to provide care and help patients in their communities — we offer full-time, part-time, and extended program options, and consistent support from faculty and staff. 

To help working nurses successfully complete their degrees, the program incorporates a number of features which were implemented based on student feedback:

Predictable, standardized course schedules – Live courses are held on the same designated days of the week throughout the program for predictable scheduling that allows students to plan around work and life.

Clinical placement team –Students partner with a dedicated clinical placement specialist to find clinical sites and preceptors for rotations in or near their communities.

Course delivery that prioritizes RN lifestyles and learning outcomes – Courses are designed to help students learn in the way best for them, and are structured with our students’ busy schedules in mind. Many courses offer flexible attendance so students can choose to attend the live lecture or view the recording at a time more convenient for them.

Support and coaching – In addition to our knowledgeable and accessible faculty, students have a dedicated academic advisor and student success specialist for help and guidance outside the classroom.

“In clinicals, multiple preceptors have commented that I am well prepared and far ahead of students from other universities.”

– Alyssa Porter, Nursing@Simmons Student

Simmons Online
FNP Admission

We offer three start dates throughout the year: in January, May, and September. Admission is conducted on a rolling basis. Review our application requirements and request information to learn more. An admission counselor will be available to help guide you through the application process and answer your questions about the program.

September 2024 Cohort
Application Deadline

The final deadline for the September 2024 cohort is July 22, 2024.

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The FNP Role

Nursing Expertise

Nursing@Simmons prepares nurses with the solid knowledge base, comprehension, and clinical expertise required to practice as FNPs. Our program helps students broaden their scope of practice, provide holistic care to patients across the life span, and work in diverse clinical environments such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, or community health centers.

Advanced Practice

As family nurse practitioners, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Initiate and manage patients’ treatment plans.
  • Provide diagnoses and prescribe medication.
  • Focus on disease prevention and health management.
  • Improve the lives of patients and communities through health promotion.

FNPs Are In Demand

By becoming an FNP, nurses may find increased job opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of nurse practitioners to grow 45% between 2022 and 2032.3 Nurses can also gain a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by expanding their scope of practice in a fulfilling role — nurse practitioner was ranked the #1 best job in in the U.S. for 2024.4

Already an APRN? Earn Your FNP Post-Graduate Certificate.

Simmons offers an online post-master’s/post-doctoral certificate program to prepare current Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to become an FNP. Upon graduating, you will meet the requirements to sit for the national board examinations for FNP certification.

The streamlined Post-Graduate Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner program requires just 22 credits and 672 clinical hours. You can earn your FNP post-graduate certificate online in as few as 12 months (full time) or 20 months (part time). See course sequences for full-time and part-time schedules.

In our post-graduate certificate program, you’ll find the same innovative, supportive learning experience as in the online MSN program, including: 

  • predictable online course scheduling
  • clinical placement services
  • an on-campus immersion

To be eligible for this program, you must be a licensed, certified APRN with a graduate degree in nursing (MSN or DNP). Review the application requirements, or request information to learn more about the online Post-Graduate Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • FNP-BC is a credential awarded to FNPs when they earn board certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) — BC stands for “board certified.” To become a certified FNP, candidates have to hold an RN license, an MSN degree, and must pass a computer-based board certification exam. The FNP certification lasts for five years.

  • To become an FNP, you need specialized graduate-level education and training, and post-graduation board certification. To apply to Simmons’ MSN – FNP program, you will need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, and a U.S. registered nurse (RN) license. View the complete list of application requirements for our MSN – FNP program.

  • A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who provides care to families across the lifespan — from infants to adults.

  • Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) provide care to patients across the life span and work in diverse settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, or community health centers. They are responsible for managing patients’ treatment plans, providing diagnoses and prescribing medications, and focusing on disease prevention and health management.

  • This depends on the population you want to serve. A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who works within a specific specialty in the medical field, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or women’s health. A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a type of NP who specializes in family medicine and provides care for patients of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

  • Both FNPs and PNPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who hold board-certified specializations. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) provide care to families across the life span — from infants to adults. Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) provide care to newborns, adolescents, and young adults.

  • FNPs hold an advanced level of clinical knowledge and expertise, with earning potential to match. Across several specialties, the 2023 median salary of a nurse practitioner was US$126,260.5 You can meet the critical needs of all patient populations and advance in your career by earning an MSN from Simmons to become an FNP.

  1. Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s Programs (2023) U.S. News and World Report. Ranked in 2022. ↩︎
  2. This statistic includes first-time test takers who graduated from Simmons’ on-campus and online programs in 2023. The 97% Simmons board pass rate and the 85% national board pass rate are an average of the pass rates gathered from the ANCC. The 99% Simmons board pass rate and the 73% national board pass rate are an average of the pass rates gathered from the AANP. ↩︎
  3. Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners: Job Outlook. (2024). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 23, 2024. ↩︎
  4. 100 Best Jobs. (2024). U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved May 23, 2024. ↩︎
  5. Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners: Pay. (2024). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 23, 2024. ↩︎