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Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner program at University of Iowa blends superb academics with vetted clinical experiences. Iowa FNP graduates are highly sought after in a variety of practice settings. The need for Family Nurse Practitioners across our nation has never been greater. If you want to be one of the most remarkable FNPs in the country, you need to be a Hawkeye!

Application Deadline: February 1

Accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Logo for Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing

Iowa Board Of Nursing logo

Quick Facts

Here are a just few reasons you should consider enrolling in one of the most remarkable FNP programs in the country:

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Location: Hybrid (Online & On-Campus)

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Length: 3-Year/4-Year Plan of Study

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Class Size: 24

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Application Deadline: Feb. 1

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Certification Exam Pass Rate: 100%

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Job Placement Rate: 100%

Overview

Mission

The mission of the University of Iowa Family Nurse Practitioner Program (FNP) is to educate nurses through didactic and clinical experiences to enable them to successfully enter into a primary care practice as health care leaders.

Program Design

The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) has recommended the DNP as the graduate degree of choice for advanced practice nurses. The University of Iowa’s College of Nursing was one of the first in the nation to receive approval for the DNP from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2009. In a landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommended that “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training; and, be full partners in redesigning health care in the United States.” The DNP degree will allow FNP’s to be full partners in the developing health care system of the future and provide high quality, cost-efficient care for which they are known.

Benefits of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) has recommended the DNP as the graduate degree of choice for advanced practice nurses. The University of Iowa’s College of Nursing was one of the first in the nation to receive approval for the DNP from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2009.

In a landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommended that “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training; and, be full partners in redesigning health care in the United States.” The DNP degree will allow FNP’s to be full partners in the developing health care system of the future and provide high quality, cost-efficient care for which they are known.

Program of Study Options

College of Nursing Building

BSN to DNP 3-year or 4-year plan of study

College of Nursing Building

BSN to DNP dual certification 4-year plan of study

PNP Acute Care Skills Workshop

Post masters DNP

 

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Iowa. I am Dr. Andrea Achenbach.

The need for Family Nurse Practitioners has never been greater across the country. We are approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates from the program are in high demand in a variety of clinical settings.

The Family Nurse Practitioner program at University of Iowa blends superb academics with vetted clinical experiences. The faculty and staff at the College of Nursing will work to find you suitable clinical experiences with preceptors. We work to try and keep you as close to your home as possible but your clinical experience may be in any part of Iowa. Rural clinics, urban centers, and community health clinics, are all utilized as preceptor sites allowing for a variety of precepted experiences

The first two years of the program are all academic. You will participate in online course work with students in the other Nurse Practitioner specialties. During the third year of the program, students begin working toward mastering advanced health assessment skills and developing competency in caring for all clients across the lifespan. By the completion of the four-year program, students have experienced more than 1,000 clinical hours. This is more than what is required by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioner (AANP). During the fourth year, the student completes work on a DNP project.This is a clinically focused, evidenced-based change project.

If you want to be one of the most remarkable FNPs in the country, you need to be a Hawkeye, and I’d love to talk with you!

Andrea Achenbach, DNP, MNHP, FNP-C, ARNP
FNP Program Director

Curriculum

Fall I (12 Semester Hours)

  • Applied Epidemiology (3 S.H.)
  • Evaluating Evidence for Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Population Health for Advanced Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Role I: Introduction (3 S.H.)

Spring I (12 Semester Hours)

  • Advanced Physiology Online (3 S.H.)
  • Leadership and Management Essentials (3 S.H.)
  • Quality and Safety (3 S.H.)
  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Systems Inequities (3 S.H.)

Summer I (5 Semester Hours)

  • Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy (3 S.H.)
  • Genetics/Genomics for Advanced Nursing Practice (2 S.H.)

Fall II (12 Semester Hours)

  • Clinical Data Management and Evaluation (3 S.H.)
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice (4 S.H.)
  • Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project I (2 S.H.)

Spring II (12 Semester Hours)

  • Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice (4 S.H.)
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Clinical Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Health Systems, Finance, and Economics (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutic Procedures for Primary Care (1 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project II (1 S.H.)

Summer II (3 Semester Hours)

  • Graduate Pharmacology Specialty (3 S.H.)

Fall III (10 Semester Hours)

  • Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents I (3 S.H.)
  • Primary Care: Adult and Older Individuals I (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I (3 S.H.)
  • 3 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project III (1 S.H.)

Spring III (13 Semester Hours)

  • Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents II (3 S.H.)
  • Primary Care: Adult and Older Individuals II (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Role II: Integration (3 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project IV (1 S.H.)

Summer III (4 Semester Hours)

  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III (4 S.H.)

Fall I (9 Semester Hours)

  • Applied Epidemiology (3 S.H.)
  • Evaluating Evidence for Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Role I: Introduction (3 S.H.)

Spring I (6 Semester Hours)

  • Health Systems, Finance, and Economics (3 S.H.)
  • Leadership and Management Essentials (3 S.H.)

Summer I (5 Semester Hours)

  • Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy (3 S.H.)
  • Genetics/Genomics for Advanced Nursing Practice (2 S.H.)

Fall II (6 Semester Hours)

  • Clinical Data Management and Evaluation (3 S.H.)
  • Population Health for Advanced Practice (3 S.H.)

Spring II (9 Semester Hours)

  • Quality and Safety (3 S.H.)
  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Systems Inequities (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Physiology Online (3 S.H.)

FALL III (9 Semester Hours)

  • Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice (4 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project I (2 S.H.)

SPRING III (9 Semester Hours)

  • Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice (4 S.H.)
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Clinical Practice (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutic Procedures for Primary Care (1 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project II (1 S.H.)

SUMMER III (3 Semester Hours)

  • Graduate Pharmacology Specialty (3 S.H.)

FALL IV (10 Semester Hours)

  • Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents I (3 S.H.)
  • Primary Care: Adult and Older Individuals I (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum (1 S.H.)
  • 3 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project III (1 S.H.)

SPRING IV (13 Semester Hours)

  • Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents II (3 S.H.)
  • Primary Care: Adult and Older Individuals II (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II (3 S.H.)
  • Advanced Practice Role II: Integration (3 S.H.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Project IV (1 S.H.)

SUMMER IV (4 Semester Hours)

  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III (4 S.H.)

 

Tuition & Fees

University of Iowa Tuition and Fees for FNP Programs

BSN to DNP (3-year plan of study):
Total program tuition: $75,978 for Iowa resident; $141,816 for non-resident

BSN to DNP (4-year plan of study):
Total program tuition: $86,047 for Iowa resident; $164,139 for non-resident

Post Graduate Certificate:
$13,873 for Iowa resident and non-resident

Post MSN/APRN to DNP (3-year plan of study):
$32,677 for Iowa resident; $51,649 for non-resident

Dual Certification:
Total program tuition: $98,254 for Iowa resident; $189,727 for non-resident
(*using FNP & PMHNP as an example)

Residency requirements are established by the State of Iowa Board of Regents and can be found here: http://registrar.uiowa.edu/residency. You must be able to show that you were a resident of Iowa for 12 months prior to commencing an educational program for some purpose other than education (work, residence, etc.).

Paying for your DNP FNP Degree

Financial Aid
Graduate DNP education programs to become a FNP are long, hard and expensive; however, the rate of return on this investment will pay higher dividends than any other investment you could make during your remarkable career. UI's Office of Student Financial Aid is available to help you determine the best way to pay for your investment. The graduate FNP student is able to borrow up to the full cost of attendance while in graduate school. The full cost includes all tuition, fees, books, Insurance, and additional living expenses such as rent and food.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)
For those students who desire to be a faculty member upon graduation, the College of Nursing has funds through the NFLP program. This is a loan forgiveness program with 20% forgiven for each of the first four years as a faculty member. The remaining 20% is the responsibility of the student. 

The University of Iowa’s College of Nursing is able to offer a number of graduate scholarships through the UI Foundation thanks to generous donors.

Health care facilities are frequently willing to offer either a stipend or loan repayment for a commitment to work for a given number of years. Additionally, many of the U.S. military branches will also offer scholarships in return for employment upon graduation.


FAQs

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the recommended degree for advanced practice. At Iowa this degree will prepare nurses to assume the role of nurse practitioner or nurse executive. A very helpful site to learn about the DNP is at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/index.htm). Check out the position statement and especially the DNP Fact Sheet. This is actually an excellent resource as you write the personal statement for your application.

The BSN-FNP-DNP requires proof of licensure at the time of application (February 1).


The vast majority of our courses are offered online; however, there are some where on site is required. For example, our didactic nurse practitioner courses are offered on-site only. Classes are scheduled so that students are on campus only once a week. Please remember, there may be other times when on site is required such as orientation or as enrichment days. These dates will be available to students well ahead of time so that arrangements can be made. Clinical practicums are arranged by the College of Nursing with consideration of where students live. Every effort is made to minimize long distances; however, the goal is to provide students with the best possible clinical experiences and this may require travel on the part of the student.

Some programs have specific requirements (see below) for years of experience. For other programs, while it is helpful to have some experience it is not absolutely necessary and we would encourage potential students to apply when the time seems right for them to be successful. New graduates can gain experience before they begin classes and during the first year of graduate work.

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care: Yes, the program requires satisfactory completion of 2 years of experience as a registered nurse in an inpatient pediatric acute care environment.
  • Adult/Gero Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care: Yes, the program requires satisfactory completion of 2 years of full time experience as a registered nurse providing direct care to adults and older adults admitted to an inpatient unit (e.g., inpatient surgical or medical unit, telemetry, progressive care, stepdown unit, intermediate care, intensive or critical care unit). Critical care is not required but is a plus. Inpatient care does NOT include emergency department, PACU (recovery room) is also poor preparation, cath lab, interventional radiology, endoscopy, etc. are essentially ambulatory care, and Operating Room (OR) is also not acceptable.
  • Nurse Anesthesia: See Nurse Anesthesia FAQs for work experience related to the Nurse Anesthetist Program.
The project provides the opportunity for an in-depth analysis and synthesis of a chosen topic that contributes to some aspect of advanced nursing practice. The project is completed over three semesters with assistance from your advisor and faculty members within the course. To see some of the projects past graduates have completed, click here.

No, you do not need to take the GRE for our DNP program.

You will be expected to travel up to 100 miles for preceptor experiences, and if you live in an area that has limited providers in your specialty, you may be required to travel further. Also, note that there is an expectation that your preceptor/provider is in the state of Iowa.

At this time clinicals must be done in Iowa. We make the placements, so students aren’t responsible for finding sites. There are three sequential clinical courses in the program that start in the fall and go through summer. The fall and spring courses require 180 (AGNP, PNP, FNP) or 270 (PMHNP, ACAGNP) hrs of clinical experience each and the summer is 180 hours (AGNP, PNP, PMHNP, ACAGNP) or 270 (FNP). You can divide the number of clinical hours by 15 weeks in the fall & spring and 10 weeks in the summer to determine how many hours you would spend in clinicals each week. It’s possible to do blocks of concentrated time if that works better for a student’s schedule.

You should wear business casual attire in your clinical settings. Lab coats can be worn; however, they are not required. Your photo badge identifying you as a DNP student must be worn at all times.

Due to the level of Internet-based course work required, international students in this program of study are not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student immigration status. Questions regarding visas and immigration documentation should be addressed to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) via email at isss@uiowa.edu.

How much each student is able to work can be determined only by them; however, please be realistic about your ability to work full-time and take courses. The advanced practice core and specialization courses require a great deal of time, and it may necessitate reducing work time. During the clinical year (year 3), you will be completing practicum hours during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. This is in addition to on campus class on Wednesdays and your other classwork. Most students find it very difficult to maintain a regular work schedule during this time. Some find the weekend option or a PRN position most helpful.

If you move to Iowa for the sole purpose of being a student, you will pay non-resident tuition. The University of Iowa Registrar’s Office can assist you in determining what you would need to do to be eligible for resident tuition. Please see the following URL for information regarding residency as well as contact information: http://registrar.uiowa.edu/tuition-residency

 

Contact

Andrea AchenbachAndrea Achenbach, DNP, MNHP, FNP-C, ARNP
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
FNP Program Director
andrea-achenbach@uiowa.edu
319-335-7058

Jennifer CloughertyJennifer Clougherty
Program Advisor
jennifer-clougherty@uiowa.edu
319-335-7021