Why Elms for your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree?

  • Specialize as a family nurse practitioner.
  • Complete a practice-focused scholarly quality improvement project to help transform healthcare.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills to pass the ANCC or AANP board certification exams upon completing the program.
  • Graduate Class of 2021: Mohamed Turay, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree curriculum educates registered nurses in the Family Nurse Practitioner role to provide comprehensive health care to diverse populations across the lifespan. After graduation and board certification, our FNP graduates are qualified as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) to practice in a range of family practice settings, including adult primary care, urgent care, private practice, and long term care in hospital and community based settings.

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) voted in 2018 that all APRN programs convert to the DNP degree as a pathway for preparation and entry into the nurse practitioner role by 2025.

FNP competencies are concentrated in comprehensive and preventative health care within a family-centered model. This approach includes health assessment, follow-up care for health problems, and health promotion and disease management activities based upon care of children, women, and adult populations. The FNP curriculum is designed to provide in-depth content focused on patients across the lifespan within the framework of the family and community.

FNPs increase health care access for patients of all ages. Elms DNP graduates are prepared for practice as family nurse practitioners in a variety of community settings, including clinics, private practices, schools, businesses, and specialty offices. By 2026, demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow 31%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Underserved populations in urban and rural communities have the greatest need for FNPs.

Scholarly Project

The Elms FNP program culminates in a practice-focused quality improvement project completed over the course of several semesters. This DNP Project must demonstrate a student’s ability to synthesize scientific evidence and develop new systems or population health approaches for improved outcomes in practice settings in a scholarly format.


Upon completion, students are prepared to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification exams for family nurse practitioners.

Primary Care Partner – River’s Edge Primary Care Jennifer Jordan ’13, DNP, APRN, FNP-C ’18

Photo of DNP-FNP grad Jennifer Jordan '18

“What Elms is doing is raising the bar. I think that there is an expectation that when you’re in practice,  your provider is as highly trained and skilled as possible. And I think that’s what Elms is doing.” After completing her DNP degree, Jennifer formed a nurse primary care practice as a family nurse practitioner.

Read more about Jennifer’s journey into private practice.


Click to view course requirements for the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

Foundational Core – 10 Credits (BS-DNP only)

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Technology: Methods and Tools for Graduate Study1 (optional)
Translating and Integrating Evidence into Practice3
Nursing Knowledge and Practice3
Health Care Policy and Advocacy3

Clinical Core: Advanced Practice – 15 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Advanced Diagnostic Analysis, Health and Physical Assessment with 30 hours of supervised lab practicum practice hours4
Advanced Pathophysiology4
Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics4
Clinical Decision Making and Diagnostic Reasoning for the Advanced Practice Nurse3

DNP Theory Core – 30 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Organizational Systems and Quality Improvement3
Research Methods and Translation for Advanced Practice3
Financial Management in Health Care Delivery3
Population Health and Epidemiology3
Leadership and Collaboration in Health Care Organizations3
DNP Immersion I: Role Development of the APRN Nurse Practitioner3
DNP Immersion II: Scholarly Project – Project Idea2
DNP Immersion III: Scholarly Project – Project Development2
DNP Immersion IV: Scholarly Project – Project Implementation2
DNP Capstone: Scholarly Project – Project Evaluation3

Advanced Practice Specialty: Family Nurse Practitioner – 25 Credits

FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Primary Care I: Infancy through Adolescence and Practicum4
Primary Care II: Young Adult to Older Adult and Practicum6
Primary Care III: Women’s Health and Practicum4
Ethics for Advanced Practice3
Complex Health Problems in Primary Care and Practicum6
Transition into Practice and Certification Seminar2