Become a Family Nurse Practitioner
Now is an opportune time to become a nurse practitioner. Not only is there is an increased demand nationally for nurses, but there are new and abundant opportunities for nurse practitioners including demand for inpatient nurse practitioner care to the advent of “Express Care” clinics in retail outlets as well as a burgeoning need for providers to care for the uninsured and indigent population. In addition, there is a "graying" of the nation's nursing profession with many RNs approaching retirement age. Consequently, opportunities for NPs have never been better.
The Family Nurse Practitioner program at SMU prepares practitioners to provide family-oriented, high quality, patient centered health care for a diverse, multicultural population in primary care settings. To be considered for admission to the advanced practice FNP program, you must already have a baccalaureate and be a licensed RN. The program requires 49 semester units and can be completed in five semesters of full-time study or nine semesters of part-time study. Designed for working adults, the FNP program offers classes mostly during the evening and in weekend intensives, while the online program offers all courses fully online. The curriculum has an emphasis on meeting the needs of multicultural and underserved populations. There is a combination of theory and practice, with 630 hours of clinical work. The program assists with clinical placements. Our graduates may sit for the national certification exam which allows them to practice in all 50 states. The FNP program is available on the main campus in Oakland, at our Regional Learning Center in Sacramento, hybrid or fully online.
MSN or DNP?
Samuel Merritt University offers two Family Nurse Practitioner programs for nurses who already have a BSN or MSN. You are currently on the pages that focus on the MSN and FNP certificate programs. Information about the program that leads to a Doctor of Nursing Practice can be found here.
MSN-FNP Online only starting summer 2018
Beginning in the summer of 2018, Samuel Merritt University will only offer the MSN-FNP in an online format. The DNP-FNP program will be offered in a hybrid format on the Oakland and Sacramento campuses.
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students
In July 2016, Samuel Merritt University (SMU) was awarded $7.8 million in scholarship money for disadvantaged students who will join the University's mission to diversify the healthcare workforce and improve outcomes in underserved communities. The federal assistance, known as the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program, will be available to students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Under this program, the University will award up to $30,000 per year to each recipient, depending on need. New and continuing students are eligible to receive this scholarship. Awards are made automatically based upon information provided in the application for admission and on the FAFSA.
Note: This scholarship is only available for students in the ELMSN and MSN-FNP programs that are offered face-to-face or in a hybrid format. Online FNP students are not eligible.
Questions about the Family Nurse Practitioner program can be directed to: