Family Nurse Practitioner

Innovative Healthcare Providers

a nurse and patient

Enhance your expertise in theory, research, and advanced nursing practice through academic courses and clinical experiences that take a holistic approach to health and nursing care. ODU's FNP program is one of only 17 programs in the country that is funded to provide a technology supported preceptor infrastructure. You will be taught by ODU faculty who are involved in healthcare nationally, including innovative solutions to improve healthcare to rural areas through telehealth, interprofessional education, and the program bridges to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Old Dominion University has offered the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) role to students for more than twenty years. Graduates from the program have enjoyed career success in clinical, research, and academic settings. Critical thinking, clinical problem-solving, and the research process are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The FNP program prepares advanced practice students to provide a full range of primary care services to individuals and families throughout the life span. ODU FNP students have clinical experiences in a variety of primary care settings including family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and women's health, and specialty clinical sites. The curriculum is designed to provide the advanced practice student with skills in assessment and management of the client/family within the primary care system. An important and unique feature of ODU's FNP program is our collaboration with the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning at Eastern Virginia Medical School, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. with more than 115 standardized patients ages 14 to 84. FNP students engage in simulated learning experiences each semester with standardized patients that focus on professional excellence utilizing advanced educational strategies and technologies.

ODU's Ellmer School of Nursing and Advanced Practice Programs are fully accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE). Successful completion of the FNP Program qualifies students to apply for FNP certification from the American Nurses' Credentialing Association or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and licensure as a nurse practitioner.

ODU Graduate Catalog

Distance Learning Information

Advance Your Nursing Career

Our graduates are leaders, innovative healthcare providers, and change agents. This master's program can help you take your nursing career to the next level as a leader in:

  • Family Practice/Primary Care clinics
  • Life stage medicine such as Pediatrics and Gerontology
  • Specialties including Internal Medicine, Oncology, Infectious Disease, Cardiovascular Care, and Women's Health
  • Health Education and Disease Prevention
  • Research and Education
  • Public Health and Community Health Clinics
  • Acute Care and Emergency Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Current, unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN) with 1 year of current experience in the role.
  2. Must have completed an undergraduate physical/health assessment course and an undergraduate statistics course as confirmed by an official college transcript. Applicants who have not completed these prerequisites prior to the application deadline will not be reviewed for admission.
  3. Baccalaureate degree in nursing or related science field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a former faculty member and at least one from a former employer while in the RN role.
  5. A 500-700 word essay that addresses the applicant's goals and reasons for seeking certification as a family nurse practitioner.

Up to 12 credits of graduate level coursework completed at another accredited institution may be considered for transfer if those credits were not part of a previously conferred degree. Transfer credits may include only coursework for which grades of B or higher are earned. No credits may be transferred if they are older than eight years. Students who wish to transfer allowable credits must submit a special request for evaluation of transfer credits to the graduate program director. Any transfer credit requests should be submitted to the program director within two weeks of notification of admission to the program.

The Family Nurse Practitioner program is offered primarily online, as a distance learning program. The FNP curriculum is provided in various formats including online content and televised (video streamed) lectures. Students will access course presentations and information via the Canvas platform. Designated courses may include some live televised/video streamed classes with required attendance either in person or through video-streaming. Additionally, students are required to attend sessions at the ODU Virginia Beach campus one or more times during a semester to work with standardized patients.

The Family Nurse Practitioner program requires clinical experiences with faculty approved preceptors in a variety of settings to include primary care, pediatrics, and women's health. Old Dominion University Ellmer School of Nursing has a Student Clinical Services Coordinator who assists the practicum course faculty and the student to locate appropriate clinical sites and ensures that the appropriate agreements are in place. Students are strongly encouraged to identify potential clinical sites for these experiences prior to the beginning of the program.

Yes, if the site and preceptors are approved by the faculty, and are in states adhering to the National Council for State Authorization of Reciprocity Agreements (See for further information regarding your state). Because faculty conduct sites visits each semester, the clinical site must have access to HIPAA compliant telehealth technology or software so the faculty site visit can be done virtually.

For each credit hour of course work, it is recommended that you study 3-6 hours per week. The amount of time devoted to online activities such as chats, discussions, conferencing, library literature searches, etc. depends on the structure of the individual course. Some courses have weekly requirements while some courses have activities scheduled at intervals.

For FNP program curriculum information including an outline of courses by semester and course description, please visit the Graduate Catalog.

CCNE Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Accredited by CCNE

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Old Dominion University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (