Family Nurse Practitioner (post-BSN to DNP with Master's Exit)

Program Description

The McAuley School of Nursing (MSON) offers the post-baccalaureate entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (post-BSN to DNP) with a master’s exit. This pathway provides all post-baccalaureate Nursing students the opportunity to enter graduate school and have a direct pathway that allows them to exit at the master’s level or matriculate directly to the doctoral degree.

The post-BSN to DNP with the MSN exit is designed to provide students the opportunity to assimilate and utilize in-depth knowledge of nursing, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical and organizational sciences, with sophisticated informatics and decision-making technology to develop collaborative strategies that optimize the health of individuals, families, communities and systems. The DNP program curriculum is based upon the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education. The MSN program curriculum is based on the AACN (2011) Essentials of Master’s Education. These programs build upon a foundation of baccalaureate education. Grounded in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions, the DNP program emphasizes the student’s development as an expert clinician with strong leadership capacity, a commitment to service, and skills to act as change agents, translating clinical research into improved health care.

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) major prepares the advanced practice nurse to provide primary health care services across the lifespan to individuals, families and aggregates in the community.  Besides primary care services, critical foci include practice models which emphasize the family as unit, health promotion and disease prevention and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The goal of the FNP program is to prepare highly skilled and culturally sensitive advanced practice nurses who are committed to providing quality and cost effective primary care services to individuals, families and communities.  The program places special emphasis on providing services to the medically underserved. The MSON is committed to flexibility in the program, and therefore, offers both full-time and part-time options for degree completion.

The post-BSN to DNP with MSN exit with a major in FNP requires a total of 72 credits. A total of 47 credit hours and 720 clinical hours must be completed for the MSN exit where the Master of Science in Nursing is conferred. An additional 25 credits and additional clinical hours are required for the completion of the DNP.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP). Students are urged to contact the specific Board of Nursing in the state in which they intend to practice in order to ensure they are in full compliance with the education, practice and certification requirements.

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    Program Outcomes

    The following program outcomes will be achieved at completion of the post-BSN to DNP with master’s exit:

    MSN and DNP Outcomes

    MSN Program Outcomes

    DNP Program Outcomes

    1.  Demonstrate professional role practice consistent with the competencies of the unique specialty at the master’s level.

    1.  Demonstrate professional role practice consistent with the competencies of the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

    2.  Translate theoretical and conceptual knowledge into advanced nursing practice actions that promote optimal health care quality and patient safety outcomes.

    2.  Formulate innovative theoretical and conceptual frameworks that ensure optimal health care quality and patient safety outcomes.

    3.  Integrate informatics, health care technology, and interpersonal collaboration in the delivery of person-centered nursing practice for individuals and populations.

    3.  Translate evidence to produce innovative models of care that integrates informatics, health care technology, and interpersonal collaboration to affect population health outcomes, and support health care policy initiatives.

    4.  Engage in systems leadership with a focus on preventive care, policy development, and patient advocacy.

    4.  Lead health care systems and policy innovation with a focus on preventative care, quality improvement and patient advocacy.

    5.  Integrate the Jesuit and Mercy traditions in providing culturally-competent, compassionate, holistic, and person-centered care with a commitment to human dignity in the contemporary world.

    5.  Integrate the Mercy and Jesuit traditions in providing culturally competent, compassionate, holistic and person-centered care with a commitment to human dignity in the contemporary world.


    Admission Criteria for the post-BSN to DNP with Master's Exit Program

    1. A baccalaureate degree from a nationally-accredited program.
      • RNs with a baccalaureate degree in another field could qualify for the MSN bridge program. The baccalaureate degree must be from an accredited program. Each application will be individually assessed to determine courses needed to bridge into the MSN program. This gap analysis will determine what additional courses will be required at the baccalaureate level to ensure they have met the prerequisites necessary for graduate education in nursing.
    2. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
    3. A minimum of 2000 hours of experience as a registered nurse. The AGCNS program does not have a minimum practice requirement for admission.
    4. An unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in the State of Michigan or in the state of home residence.
    5. Official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended.
    6. Three letters of professional recommendation with at least one from someone in a supervisory capacity.
    7. An autobiographical statement of personal goals and objectives.
    8. Current resume or professional CV.
    9. An interview with graduate faculty.

    Note: A GRE may be required for any student petitioning for admission to the program with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0.


    Required Courses

    MSN Integrated Core

    • NUR 5030 Analytic Methods for Clinical Practice (3 credits)
    • HLH 7100 Health Care Policy, Economics and the Law in Clinical Practice (3 credits)
    • NUR 7000 Advanced Theory and Knowledge Development for Clinical Practice (3 credits)
    • NUR 7300 Transformational Leadership and Innovation in Advanced Practice (3 credits)
    • NUR 7400 Information Management and Decision Support (3 credits)
    • NUR 7500 Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Theory, Design & Methods (3 credits)

    Advanced Practice Core

    • NUR 5160 Advanced Health Assessment (3 credits)
    • HLH 5900 Advanced Pathophysiology (3 credits)
    • NUR 5800 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses (3 credits)
    • NUR 6130 Procedures for the Advanced Practice Nurse (1 credits)
    • NUR 6030 Professional Role Development for Business Practice (2 credits)

    FNP Core Courses

    • NUR 5150 Health Promotion across the Lifespan (2 credits)
    • NUR 5250 Common & Episodic Problems across the Lifespan (3 credits)
    • NUR 5260 Clinical Practicum II (2 credits)
    • NUR 6150 Chronic & Complex Problems across the Lifespan (3 credits)
    • NUR 6160 Clinical Practicum III (2 credits)
    • NUR 6250 Psychosocial Issues & Health Integration across the Lifespan (3 credits)
    • NUR 6260 Clinical Practicum IV (2 credits)

    Doctoral Integrated Core

    • NUR 7700 DNP Transition (3 credits)
    • NUR 7200 Epidemiology & Population Health (3 credits)
    • NUR 7350 Business Management to Ensure Quality in Health Care (3 credits)
    • ETH 7010 Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice (3 credits)
    • NUR 7450 Analytics for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)
    • NUR 7800 Project Proposal Development (3 credits)
    • NUR 7900 DNP Clinical Practicum & Project Implementation (3 credits)
    • NUR 7920 DNP Doctoral Project (3 credits)

    Total Credits: 71 credits (47 for MSN conferral and 24 for completion of DNP)



    The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Master of Science in Nursing degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, and Post-graduate APRN certificate at the University of Detroit Mercy McAuley School of Nursing are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 650 K Street NW Suite 750, Washington, DC  20001. Telephone: (202) 887-6791.


    Program Contact Information

    Jennifer Ruel, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ENP-BC
    HP 231
    McNichols Campus
    Telephone: (313) 993-1612
    Fax: (313) 993-1271

    Suzanne Erwin, BS
    Graduate Recruiter and Admissions Coordinator
    HP 121
    McNichols Campus
    Telephone:  (313) 993-1828