Photo of alumna Michelle Dedon '04, DNP-FNP '18

Michelle Dedon '04, '18

“The DNP is intended to create leaders. It’s to help guide healthcare. I stepped out of my comfort zone because of it, and it was a wonderful journey.”

Michelle Dedon ’04, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC ’18
Family Nurse Practitioner at Harrington Physician Services

DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a family nurse practitioner (FNP) concentration equips advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with specialized knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive health care to diverse populations across the lifespan. FNPs are qualified 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 as a pathway for preparation and entry into the nurse practitioner role.

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 medically stable 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 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.


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


Jennifer Jordan '13, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC '18

Photo of a female doctor of nursing practice family nurse practitioner graduate“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 joined Atkinson Family Practice as a family nurse practitioner. Read more about Jennifer’s journey into private practice.