MS in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner

Our online Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner program allows working RNs to prepare for FNP certification in a little more than two years of study and clinical rotations.

The MSN-FNP program at Touro University Illinois prepares you to take the next step in your nursing career and become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Illinois residents with an active RN license and some work experience in the field are welcome to apply. If you live in another state, outside of Illinois, and would like to apply, you will need to confirm with your state board of nursing that they approve our program.

An FNP is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) that provides primary care to families, closely monitors patient health and illness, and develops long-term rapport and partnership with patients of all ages. As an FNP, you’ll assess and diagnose illnesses, develop long-term and preventative care plans with your patients, and work with patients at every life stage.

This master’s program in nursing has online classes, 585 hours of directly supervised clinical placements, and will prepare you to work in primary care settings and make a positive impact on patient health and well-being. Our hybrid format and in-person intensives also offer a balanced learning experience and allow you to develop valuable connections with your professors. 

What Can You Do with an MSN-FNP?

An MSN-FNP typically leads to a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner and involves working in primary care with patients across the life span. Nurses who pursue this degree are generally looking to work in a primary care office, although with additional training FNPs may be qualified to work with patients in other areas including health specialties, urgent care, and the emergency room.

FNPs can also get advanced certification to work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse practitioner, and other roles that require additional specialization. Some facilities require FNPs that work in the emergency room to be certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, but this is decided on a site-by-site basis.

Family Nurse Practitioners working in a primary care setting in Illinois, who also meet additional state requirements, can operate independently of a physician and open their own practice. Even if you operate your own practice, FNPs must have a collaborative physician to prescribe certain medications, such as opioids. Laws vary by state, but if you decide to move out of Illinois during your career, you’ll be able to find independence and flexibility as an FNP in many other areas of the country. Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia allow nurse practitioners to practice independently.

Nurse Practitioner Certification

Upon graduating, you will be eligible to take the national certification examination to become a nurse practitioner. Our program meets the educational eligibility requirements for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These certification exams are the final step to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Master's in Nursing Program Highlights

Why is our MSN-FNP a great choice for aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners, or those looking to advance their nursing career?

  • Hybrid model offers the flexibility of an online curriculum and support of in-person learning
  • Three start dates throughout the year
  • Designed to accommodate the busy lives of nursing professionals
  • Access to the resources and expertise that come from being part of Touro University, a leader in medical and healthcare education
  • An emphasis on real-world education, a supportive learning environment, and faculty and staff that are eager to help you reach your academic goals
  • Placement and documentation assistance for your clinical practicum
  • Our rigorous coursework and intensives will prepare you for FNP certification
  • We work hard to keep our tuition competitive

“At Touro, we're committed to the success of our students. You'll enjoy the flexibility our program offers, while also benefiting from the interaction and support that's often missing from online programs. This program uses a hybrid online model; not only will you have the option to interact with faculty weekly, but you'll also have 3 face-to-face intensives during the last three trimesters. These intensives will allow you to perform hands-on examination techniques, so that you'll be well prepared for your clinical rotations and beyond.”

April DeMito DNP, APRN, FNP B-C
Director, MSN-FNP Program

MSN-FNP Program Format

MSN-FNP coursework is almost entirely online, except for 3 clinical intensives that take place during one week in each of trimesters 5, 6, and 7. In addition to these on-campus clinical experiences, you’ll also engage in 585 hours of directly supervised clinical work and 45 hours of online simulation for your practicum courses.

The program’s unique hybrid format allows you flexibility so you can work the coursework into your specific schedule, while also giving you the opportunity to interact with your professors and develop advanced hands-on nursing skills.  

Employment While Enrolled in the Program

This program was developed with the working RN in mind. The MSN-FNP requires 2 online courses at a time for the first four trimesters (6 credits per trimester). Trimesters five, six, and seven include on-campus intensives, practicum and clinical requirements (9-10 credits per trimester).

During these later trimesters (your second year), you will dedicate around 14 hours per week to your practicum experiences, at a clinical site other than your place of employment. Some students may find the workload is too much in addition to full-time employment and other responsibilities (particularly during the later trimesters), and decide to reduce employment hours. Many employers are happy to support your journey to a higher credential.

MSN-FNP Curriculum

Our MSN-FNP coursework builds on your experience working as an RN and trains you to develop more advanced nursing care knowledge. In addition to the nursing care you might be familiar with as an RN, FNPs address complex, long-term patient concerns, and our curriculum is designed to strengthen these skills. As part of the MSN-FNP curriculum, you’ll take courses exploring pathophysiology across the lifespan, primary care in many different areas like aging and childbearing, as well as clinical on-campus intensives and clinical rotations.

Sample Courses

Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice (MSNI 620)

This course explores the pharmacological knowledge necessary for advanced practice nursing. You will learn how to use clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to manage disease processes when caring for patients. These two areas allow you to understand the complex ways the body interacts with drugs and helps inform your nursing practice.

Primary Care and Differential Diagnosis (MSNI 623)

In this course, you’ll learn how to synthesize knowledge from pathophysiology, assessment techniques, and prior coursework to conduct a differential diagnosis. You will be well prepared to apply this knowledge in a primary care environment and use diagnostic techniques and interventions to address patient challenges. Special emphasis is placed on using a holistic and culturally competent, evidence-based framework.

Primary Care of Mental Health Across the Lifespan (MSNI 630)

This course prepares you to provide for the holistic care mental health care needs of individual and families across the lifespan. Nurse Practitioners need to be well-versed in providing comprehensive assessment, intervention and preventative care in different patient settings. You will learn how to manage pathological conditions and will develop skill in health management and promotion.

For more info on our curriculum, clinical work and detailed course descriptions, see the MSN-FNP Academics page.

Admissions Requirements

To enter the program, you’ll need to be an Illinois resident (or have confirmed approval by your state board of nursing that they accept the Touro University Illinois MSN-FNP program), have an active RN license and a 3.0 GPA. You may also be able to enter the program with a 2.7 GPA on a conditional basis. For more info on admission requirements, see our MSN-FNP Admissions page.

Meet the Master's in Nursing Program Director

April DeMito

April Demito, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Director, MSN-FNP Program


The master's degree program in nursing APRN FNP certificate program at Touro College Illinois is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.