The 21-credit Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner is designed to prepare master’s- or doctorate-prepared nurses already established in advanced practice to obtain the education and experience to certify in an enhanced scope of practice. Students will incorporate new skills and knowledge to care for individuals across the lifespan with common acute and chronic illnesses. The program will educate students in the concepts of health maintenance across the lifespan. Students will develop knowledge in the diagnosis and management of illness and will learn to provide advanced nursing care to patients from infancy to geriatrics. Graduates will be prepared to obtain a health history, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic studies (e.g., lab tests, cans, X-rays), make a differential diagnosis, prepare a case management plan, prescribe medications and treatments, collaborate with physicians and other health professionals, and counsel patients on health behaviors and treatment options.

Upon completion of the certificate program, graduates will be able to sit for the family nurse practitioner certification, which is a prerequisite for Virginia state licensure application. Certification is offered by the American Nurses Certification Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Student learning outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Synthesize knowledge and theories from nursing and related sciences to improve health outcomes for individuals, populations and systems
  2. Integrate prevention and population health concepts into models of care
  3. Demonstrate leadership to foster interprofessional collaboration that advances health care practices and influences health policies
  4. Integrate evidence and organizational science into practice to enhance outcomes
  5. Enhance patient care and safety using quality processes and improvement science
  6. Incorporate current and emerging health care technologies and informatics into practice
  7. Demonstrate core competencies in their advanced practice concentration

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.