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Family Nurse Practitioner


Our Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is designed to provide the clinical skills and academic knowledge to promote health and treatment of physiologic and psychologic health, disease prevention, advanced physical assessment, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses.

In many states, including Colorado, FNPs can practice independently, including the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic illness and the ordering and interpretation of diagnostic tests across the lifespan. FNPs also practice in a variety of clinical settings such as primary care, home health, urgent care, ambulatory care, school-based clinics, retail health clinics, and community health departments and clinics.

Program Highlights

  • Online coursework with on-campus intensives
  • Cohort model encourages student connections and community building
  • Clinical placements provided for students who live in the Denver metro area​
  • Global health opportunities and interprofessional learning activities​
  • Outstanding record of first-time pass rates on FNP national certification exam
  • Graduates find employment quickly

Plans of Study

*Additional Certificate Information Post-Graduate Certificate Information

A post-graduate certificate is available in this specialty.​

Gainful Employment and Program Statistics for Post-Graduate Certificate

For more information regarding graduation rates, the median debt of students completing our certificate programs and other important information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.​​​​​​​​

Nursing Post-Graduate Certificate – Family Nurse Practitioner Gainful Employment Disclosure​​


When do you accept applications?

We admit students for the MS, BS-DNP, and Post-Graduate Certificate programs every year for Fall and Spring Semester admission. Please see Application Deadlines.

How long will it take to complete the Family Nurse Practitioner Program (FNP)?

Please see the posted FNP Plans of Study. The FNP MS Program is completed in less than 2.5 years (8 semesters) as a full-time student. The FNP BS-DNP program is completed in a little more than 4 years (12 semesters for Spring admits, 13 semesters for Fall admits). Students are able to receive their MS at less than 2.5 years (8 semesters) into the BS-DNP program and are then eligible to sit for the national certification examination. The FNP Post-Graduate Certificate program is completed in just over1 year (5 semesters).

The FNP program is completed full-time in a cohort, meaning in the Fall and Spring, students admitted enroll in the program at the same time, complete all courses in a sequence together, and graduate together.

Is the FNP program offered completely online or in-class?

The courses are offered in an online format with some classes having in-class intensives.

Will I be required to travel to Colorado?

Most students can complete the program at a distance online but will need to be able to attend on-campus intensives. It is advised students contact student affairs to discuss their specific state requirements prior to applying to the program.

Does the FNP program have a clinical requirement?

Yes. The FNP program requires 14 credits of clinical experience, which equals to 630 clinical hours for the MS.

Do I have to find my own clinical placement?

The University of Colorado College of Nursing is responsible for ensuring adequate and sufficient clinical experiences for students in all programs, including students enrolled in distance programs. The University of Colorado College of Nursing arranges clinical placements for students who live in the Denver Metropolitan Seven-County area (Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Broomfield, and Boulder counties). For those who live outside of the Denver Metropolitan area, the students are asked to take the primary role in identifying their preceptors. The Specialty Director will assess the preceptor qualifications and student learning needs and will make the final determination regarding student-preceptor match. This process can take several months to achieve an affiliation agreement, so we highly recommend providing information about an institution to your Specialty Director shortly after program admission. However, if a rural or out-of-state student is unable to find a clinical preceptor(s)/site, the CON will provide a clinical site, which may NOT be in the geographic location of the student but will provide the student an adequate experience to meet the program outcomes. Additionally, if there is a concern of a clinical practice, a student may be asked to complete the clinical time in the Denver Metropolitan area for more direct observation and assessment by the CU CON faculty/Specialty Director.

Will this prepare me to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification?

Yes, successful program completion will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and eligibility to sit for national certification with ANCC or AANP, depending on which examination you choose.

Can I take a course before I apply?

Yes, you may take up to 12 semester credits as a non-degree student prior to being accepted to the program. You must meet all prerequisite requirements of the course. Non-degree students register on a space available basis during open enrollment just prior to the beginning of the semester. Please see the Office of Professional Development for more information.

How do I apply and get information for the urban underserved track?

Visit the Urban Unserserved Track page.

What is Urban Underserved Track?

The Urban Underserved Track (previously CU-UNITE) is a longitudinal track started in 2010 by Dr. Allegra Melillo. The Urban Underserved Track (UUT) is designed for students passionate about: working with ethnically and racially diverse populations, serving individuals with limited access to health care and for those interested in working to eliminate inequities in health. The track accepts medical, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students from the School of Medicine, College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner program and the Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) program.

Why should I consider it?

If you are passionate about working with ethnically and racially diverse populations, serving the uninsured and those with limited access to health care in urban areas, then UUT is for you. Students completing the UUT curriculum will have a thorough understanding of healthcare disparities and inequities, the multifaceted role of the health care provider in urban communities, and knowledge about health issues of specific populations of patients in urban areas.

For more information, visit the Urban Underserved Track page.​​​​​