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What is a nurse practitioner (NP)?

A Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice nurse with master's, post-master's, or doctoral level  education. The NP is a health care provider who delivers direct primary or specialty care to patients and families in a variety of settings. Family Nurse Practitioners care for individuals of all ages from newborns to the elderly in the context of individuals, families and communities.

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares registered nurses to practice in primary health care that provide continuous, comprehensive care. FNPs assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic health problems, consulting with specialists as needed. FNP students gain a solid foundation in clinical practice addressing the health care needs of individuals and families across the life span. The program emphasizes care that is interdisciplinary, collaborative and culturally appropriate. The faculty believes that excellence in practice is built upon a foundation of relevant scientific evidence. In addition to content with a focus on all age groups, the program of study provides in-depth knowledge and clinical experiences in areas such as: advanced health and physical assessment, diagnosis, pathophysiology; health promotion; acute and chronic illness management; role development as a primary care clinician.; pharmacology; reproductive care; and prenatal care. Clinical and didactic experiences prepare FNP students to enter practice with experience in billing, coding and documentation using state of the art electronic medical record systems.

What clinical experiences may be available to me during the program?

Clinical sites include private office, such as nurse practitioner owned practices, large health institutions, such as HMOs, migrant and Indian Health Centers and county health departments. Because Oregon is a largely rural state, students can obtain experiences serving rural and or underserved populations. These opportunities may be two or more hours from the Portland metropolitan area.  Students find rural opportunities autonomous and highly rewarding. OHSU SON faculty are responsible for arranging clinical placements for the students.

Who are my faculty and lecturers?

All OHSU SON FNP faculty are nationally certified nurse practitioners, who practice in a variety of settings.  Many faculty and guest lecturers are known experts in their field as OHSU is part of a large academic health center. This is advantageous as these experts lecture from their relevant clinical experiences and programs of research, providing students with the latest medical evidence.

Do I need work experience to apply to the master's program?

At least one year of experience as a registered nurse is highly recommended by most programs and required by others. The Oregon State Board of Nursing requires approximately 400 hours of RN experience for licensure. Precepted clinical hours during the FNP program do not count toward RN hours for licensure.

How long does the master's program take?

The estimated length of time to complete the master's degree is two years. Some specialties require coursework during the summer term.

Do most students work during the FNP program?

Many students work part time, usually 8-16 hours/week the first year and fewer hours the second year as clinical requirements increase.

When are the courses and clinical experiences offered?

Courses and clinical experiences are generally day time hours Monday through Friday, with minimal evening lab offerings. The faculty strive to cluster classes 1-3 days/week to allow greater access to clinical opportunities.

Are there courses required prior to admission?

Yes. Master's students must have successfully passed a statistics course within five years prior to entry into the program. If this requirement has not been met at the time of application, the student will be required to take a statistics course (graduate or undergraduate) prior to the first quarter of the program. Check your local community college or university for course offerings, or review the course equivalency guide page.

Can I take courses without being admitted into the graduate nursing program?

Yes. You may take up to nine (9) credits total as a non-degree student on the OHSU main campuses if you are a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree, with the permission of the course faculty. For example, some students have elected to take required courses such as Pathophysiology prior to matriculating. Close communication with a faculty advisor is recommended prior to enrolling as a non-degree student.

Is financial aid available?

The OHSU Office of Financial Aid assists students in locating scholarships and loans to cover educational expenses. Nurse Practitioner students are eligible for federal traineeships. Preference is given to students from rural, under-served areas. A website with helpful financial aid information and links to scholarship and aid search engines is www.finaid.org.

For specific information about scholarships and financial aid offered at OHSU, visit the School of Nursing’s financial aid Web page and click on “Financial Aid”. Or, call the OHSU Registrar and Financial Aid office at  503 494-7800 or  800 775-5460.

When do I apply to the graduate program?

Applications are only available online. Please check the Application Deadlines page  for more information. Our admissions process is not rolling, so applications will be considered as a group after these deadlines.

The School of Nursing reserves the right to review applications received after the deadline if space is available in the specialty area. Priority is given to applications that are complete by the application deadline.