Frontier Nursing University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and post-graduate certificates leading to education as a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), family nurse practitioner (FNP), women’s health care nurse practitioner (WHCNP) and/or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). FNU seeks to meet the needs of prospective nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who do not want to leave their home communities to obtain the graduate education they desire to fulfill their professional aspirations.
Didactic coursework is delivered using web-based, distance education courses allowing students to achieve their higher education goals without leaving home for classes. Using clinics, hospitals, and preceptors in their own community allows students to get the hands-on clinical experience required for these exciting health care professions. One-two on-campus sessions are required, including an orientation prior to beginning studies, and intensive skill workshops prior to beginning the clinical practicum.
Frontier Nursing University is for RNs at different education and career stages:
- RNs with a Bachelor’s Degree: Registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing may pursue a Master of Science in Nursing at FNU. Students who complete a specialty program earn an MSN degree with the option to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
- Nurse-Midwives & Nurse Practitioners: If you are currently a Certified Nurse-Midwife or Nurse Practitioner, our Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) is an excellent option if you wish to add a specialty. You also have the option to transition into our Companion DNP program via a direct admission process. If you are only interested in adding a DNP degree without a specialty, our Post-Master’s DNP program is a great fit for you.
- Non-Matriculating Students: Frontier Nursing University (FNU) offers graduate and continuing education courses for licensed registered nurses. These online courses offer the opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills to expand the scope of clinical practice, to refresh the knowledge and skills of experienced advanced practice nurses, to gain the graduate credits necessary for prescriptive authority, or to become a better preceptor. Click here to learn more.
- RNs with an ADN Degree: Frontier Nursing University has discontinued the ADN to MSN Bridge program. Please click here for a message from FNU President Dr. Susan Stone about this change.
As an FNU student, you can align your education to fit your schedule, your career and the needs of your family. Full-time study is estimated to require a commitment of 40 hours per week, while part-time study is estimated at 30 hours per week. Course terms are 11 weeks long with a two-week break between terms. There are four course terms per year.
FNU has two Programs of Study (POSs) for each program; they are not designed on a full-time/part-time basis but more around the length of time a student chooses to complete the program.
While we have several options to choose from based on your education and career level, this is one popular path for RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to earn both an MSN and a DNP:
- Frontier Bound – Attend “Frontier Bound,” a four-day new student orientation in Kentucky.
- Online Studies – Complete online didactic coursework for Levels I and II at home.
- Clinical Bound – Return to the Kentucky campus for a five-day clinical skills intensive.
- Clinical Practicum – Complete 675 clinical hours under the guidance of a preceptor in your home community.
- Comprehensive Exam – Successfully complete a comprehensive exam for your specialty track and receive an MSN (or Post-Graduate Certificate).
- MSN or PGC Conferred – Graduate with your MSN degree or Post-Graduate Certificate. You also have the option to transition to the Companion DNP at FNU via a direct admission process.
- Option to Complete DNP – Complete an additional 21 credit hours and 360 clinical hours for a Companion DNP.*
- DNP Conferred – Graduate with your DNP upon successful completion of all program requirements.
* If you did not earn your MSN at FNU or if you completed your MSN at FNU before 2014, the credit hours needed to complete the Companion DNP will vary from 21 to 30 depending on your background.
Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. The nurse-midwifery post-graduate certificate and master’s programs, and doctor of nurse practice degree are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). The Doctor of Nursing Practice, the Master of Science in Nursing program and the post-master’s certificates, including the nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, and women’s health care nurse practitioner tracks, are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The FNU community is comprised of men and women from all walks of life with one common passion: improving the primary care of women and families. Read the stories of FNU alumni, students, preceptors, staff, faculty and couriers that are a part of this greater mission of serving the underserved. Learn more about our Culture of Caring and our efforts to increase diversity in the nursing and midwifery professions.