Family Nursing Practitioner with patient

Family Nurse Practitioner

A Practical Degree That Changes Lives

The family nurse practitioner program prepares advanced practice nurses to deliver primary health care to individuals and families throughout their lives. Family nurse practitioners are growing in importance as the entire industry looks for innovations that improve outcomes while also reducing overall costs.

Students enrolling in the family nurse practitioner program prior to January 2017 will earn an M.S.N. degree or post-master's certificate with an option to apply for continuation into the doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) program. Beginning January 2017, students will earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Completing the family nurse practitioner program qualifies you to sit for the family nurse practitioner national certification examination with either the American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANPCP). On the family nurse practitioner national certification exam, our pass rates are consistently at or near 100%.

You may enter the M.S.N. family nurse practitioner program during January or August of 2016. The first class of D.N.P. family nurse practitioner students will enter in January 2017. We have multiple plans of study for nurses who have been prepared at the associate, bachelor's or master's level. 

The family nurse practitioner option is led by certified nurse practitioner faculty who are experienced in clinical practice and teaching. You will precept with seasoned nurse practitioners and physicians who are dedicated to excellent patient care and student education.

The family nurse practitioner program includes a great deal of flexibility with all courses taught online and minimal required on-campus attendance.

Why Samford?+

Family nurse practitioner students:

  • Earn a graduate degree online without having to relocate 
  • Participate in cutting edge, web-based learning with clinical experiences close to home
  • Access all coursework and resources anywhere, anytime and from any internet-connected electronic device
  • Complete 720 clinical hours in a variety of primary care sites across the United States, ranging from pediatrics to obstetrics/gynecology to adult/geriatrics
  • Receive instruction from seasoned nurse practitioners and physicians who are dedicated to excellent patient care and student education
  • Receive close, personal attention from highly educated and experienced faculty who are readily available to you
  • Experience a rich traditional of high academic standards and quality education practices
  • Visit Samford's beautiful campus in Birmingham for three required sessions during the program (four days per session)


The family nurse practitioner program prepares you to:

  • Work in diverse practice settings providing comprehensive primary health care to all age groups
  • Diagnose and manage common acute and chronic health problems as an interdisciplinary health care team member
  • Write prescriptions and order diagnostic tests
  • Apply a holistic, evidence-based, family-centered approach to care
  • Promote quality health care and improve clinical outcomes of patients
  • Emphasize health promotion and disease prevention

Admission Requirements & Criteria+

Family Nurse Practitioner Admission Deadline

M.S.N. Entry Month: January 2016
NursingCAS Deadline: September 1, 2015

M.S.N. Entry Month: August 2016
NursingCAS Deadline: April 1, 2016

D.N.P. Entry Month: January 2017
NursingCAS Deadline: August 1, 2016

To apply for a program that has a September 1 deadline, please use the 2013-2014 NursingCAS application only.

Family Nurse Practitioner Admission Criteria

  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • B.S.N. from NLNAC or CCNE accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A Likelive video submission (link to this site will be provided when NursingCAS application has been submitted.)
  • One undergraduate course in nursing research with a grade of C (2.0) or better
  • One undergraduate health assessment course with a grade of B (3.0) or better
  • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Minimum MAT or GRE score within the last 5 years
    1. MAT: 402
    2. GRE Old test: combined score (verbal and quantitative): 1000, Analytical writing 4.0
    3. GRE New test: Verbal: 153; Quantitative: 144; Analytical writing: 4.0
    4. The MAT or GRE is waived if the applicant has a cumulative GPA of 3.20 overall or a 3.20 GPA of the last 60 hours taken. Post-graduate applicants (applicants who have successfully completed a graduate program) with a 3.0 or above are also waived.
  • If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $750 is required to secure admission to the program. This fee is applied to the first semester's tuition. 

Application Process+

Family Nurse Practitioner Application Process

The steps below outline the application process for the family nurse practitioner program. To apply, you are required to submit both an application through the nursing centralized application process (NursingCAS) as well as a supplemental application form. Before starting these applications, we recommend that you complete the following checklist:

  • Obtain student copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the coursework section for the application.
  • Before you begin your application, please review the following NursingCAS information: Before You Apply, NursingCAS Application Instructions, and Code of Cooperation.

    As stated on the NursingCAS site, the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) simplifies the process of applying to nursing programs. Complete one application and send it along with other information to our centralized service. NursingCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to the nursing programs you designate. These sections detail critical components of the centralized application process.

  • Request official transcripts from each institution attended by using the transcript request form in NursingCAS.

    Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. Transcripts must be sent to the NursingCAS Transcript Department. NursingCAS accepts official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office only. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than four to six weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by NursingCAS to verify your application.

  • Pay the initial service fee of $65 when submitting the NursingCAS application.
  • Submit evidence of current unencumbered license as a registered nurse through NursingCAS on the Professional Experience/Certifications section.

    Include state of issuance, number and expiration date.

  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from 1) current or previous professor; 2) supervisor; and 3) professional colleague.

    These letters of recommendation will be submitted through NursingCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.

  • Submit official test scores to Samford University Graduate Nursing Program.
  • Submit a Likelive video.

Conditional Admission

Should any of the above conditions not be met, the applicant may be considered on an individual basis for conditional admission. In the event of conditional admission, the applicant must complete the first nine credits of the required graduate nursing curriculum at Samford University with a B or better in each course attempted. Failure to meet the requirement as stated will prevent progression in the graduate program.

M.S.N. Plan of Study & Clinical Requirements+

The family nurse practitioner program offers a five-semester curriculum and a six-semester curriculum. Both curriculums require 42 semester hours and 720 clinical hours (480 hours in family practice, 120 hours in women's health/OB/GYN and 120 hours in pediatrics).

Five-Semester Plan of Study

Six-Semester Plan of Study

Apply Now