Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing Western University of Health Sciences
College of Graduate Nursing

Masters, Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)


CGN Recipient of Grant through the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program

Western University of Health Sciences and the College of Graduate Nursing is proud to announce that we are recipients of $1,056,00.00 through the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.  The grant will increase the likelihood of students maintaning full time status, thus accelerating their graduation.  This grant will increase the number of Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) in the workforce who focus on the needs of vulnerable populations in California and beyond.

This is a 5 year grant from 2010 to 2015 and will support students with tuition reimbursement at $22,000 for one year (Post Masters FNP students) or two years (MSN/FNP students). Six students per year are receiving this support to allow them to serve the underserved populations as primary care providers.  The FNP Program Director and HRSA Project Director, Diana Lithgow said, “The distance format of the curriculum enables students to continue living in their rural or underserved communities and still obtain their FNP education. This grant was a perfect fit for us and our students.”

This project is supported by funds from the Division of Nursing (DN), Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under

T57HP20587, Advanced Nursing Education Expansion: Increasing the Number of Family Nurse Practitioners to Meet the Needs of Vulnerable Populations in California and Beyond in the amount of $1,056,000.00.  The information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by, the DN, BHPr, HRSA, DHHS, or the US Government.

Flexible Web-Based Programs Designed for Busy Nursing Professionals

The Western University Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) program is designed for nurses who wish to continue working in their profession, keep family commitments and live in the same community while pursuing a graduate education. This benefit is especially convenient for students living in rural areas, small communities, or on active military duty. This CCNE-accredited program consists of three integrated elements:

Select the link for more information about The Market for Master’s Prepared NPs.

About the Program

Western University’s integrated Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner program provides comprehensive preparation for baccalaureate-prepared nurses who are looking for career mobility in today’s healthcare environment. Full-time students can complete the program in two years and a part-time option is three years.

To provide maximum scheduling and pacing flexibility while eliminating the need to commute daily to campus, the College of Graduate Nursing uses a combination of self-directed learning activities, collaborative projects, and intensive weekend seminars.

The Curriculum

With the pre-program course CGN 5000: Communication and Information Management (1 unit) the MSN/FNP curriculum consists of 65 semester unitsCGN 5000 is Mandadory and offered through the College of Graduate Nursing during the summer prior to the start of the program in the fall. Please note that CGN 5000 is not covered under Financial Aid because it is a pre-program course and not part of the core curriculum. Full-time students complete the program in two years. An extended track option is available which students complete the program in three years.

Please click on the links below to view the Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) curriculum (course number/title and unit value by semester):

Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) Curriculum (**p. 77, CGN catalog)

Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) Curriculum *Extended Track Option (**p. 79, CGN catalog)

*The extended track option is available for students that choose to take one additional year to complete the program. Students may choose the extended track option if they feel more time is needed to complete their education in order to meet career, family, and other outside commitments/obligations. The extended track is also a viable option for students who feel that the additional year will allow them to complete the program at a pace that better suits their learning goals. Students who choose the extended track option will still be eligible for financial aid.

**You can also access the curriculum grids by visiting the first page of the College of Graduate Nursing Student Catalog and scrolling to the respective page within the catalog or by clicking on the respective section in the Table of Contents.

Please visit the Course Descriptions section within the College of Graduate Nursing Student Catalog to obtain course description information.

For more information regarding the Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) curriculum, please contact:

Diana Lithgow, PhD, FNP-C, RN
Professor of Nursing
Director of MSN/FNP Program
Associate Dean, College of Graduate Nursing
E-mail: dlithgow@westernu.edu

Admissions Information

For more information regarding prerequisite coursework and application requirements, please review the MSN/FNPadmissions information, or if you are ready you may submit an online application. If you have any questions regarding the application requirements, please contact the Admissions Counselors: Julie Smith at (909) 469-5442, Michelle Cowling at (909) 469-5540, or Elaine Gonzalez at (909) 469-5337.

Self-Directed Learning Activities

The World Wide Web provides a unique opportunity to offer students individualized learning experiences that would be impossible through other media. Online discussion forums and e-mail also provide important lines of communication and support among distance learners, faculty, and other program personnel.

Preceptored Clinical Experiences

A clinical component is scheduled during each semester to provide students with an opportunity to apply their learning in the clinical work setting. Students are supervised by a local preceptor who is responsible for assuring that the student is provided with adequate and appropriate learning experiences as close to home as possible. This partnership between the academic and clinical settings not only results in a well prepared family nurse practitioner, but positions the student for employment opportunities after graduation. Students should plan to spend approximately 8 to 16 hours per week in a clinical setting.

Weekend Seminars

Twice during each semester, students are required to convene on campus for an intensive weekend of instruction. The weekend seminars provide an opportunity for faculty-student interaction, didactic instruction and demonstrations, student presentations, group project work, and clinical training and testing. To view Weekend Seminars and other important college-specific dates, please view the Academic Calendar.

Student Assessment

Student performance in each course is assessed through a combination of seminar participation, written and oral presentations, and objective examination.