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, federal qualified health centers, county health departments, and rural clinics. Clinical practicum opportunities may be two or more hours from the Portland metropolitan area.  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 family nurse practitioners, who practice in a variety of settings.  Many faculty and guest lecturers are known experts in their field. 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?

No you do not need work experience as an RN to apply to the FNP program. The Oregon State Board of Nursing requires 384 hours of RN experience for the FNP licensure. The clinical FNP clinical practicum hours completed 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. The FNP program has required coursework during the summer between the first and second year of the program.

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 because the number of clinical practicum hours increases making it difficult to work.

When are the courses and clinical experiences offered?

Courses and clinical experiences are generally held Monday through Friday between 8 am and 6 pm, 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.