DU's Web-Based Program Offers Family Nurse Practitioner Post-MSN Cert

Intensive NP Certificate

Duquesne University in Pennsylvania synthesizes a traditional nursing program with online programs designed specifically for today's professional nurses. The online graduate certificate program offers nurses with an established Masters of Science in Nursing degree the opportunity to complete online intensive curriculum in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. This is one of seven graduate certificate specialties that are designed to give advanced practice nurses more career flexibility.


Family Nurse Practitioner candidates are required to prove a valid RN license and already have a completed MSN degree. The online coursework involves both synchronous and asynchronous material-in some cases students may progress through assignments and curriculum on a self-paced basis, and in some instances may be required to interact in real-time via virtual classrooms or chat sessions.

Duquesne University invites student admissions in the Fall and Spring for online graduate nursing certificates. Tuition averages between $700 and $800 per credit.

Family Nurse Practitioner Course Work

Coursework focuses intensively on concepts, theories and skills relative to diverse populations. The ability to assess and develop synergistic care plans across a spectrum of family types is critical for the Nurse Practitioner. Types of families studied include:

  • Childbearing families are those struggling with growth and change, raising children from infancy to adolescence, and those whose healthcare needs cover physical and mental health, as well as a wide area of preventive and active care.
  • At-risk families may exist in underserved areas; they may struggle economically, socially, and culturally, all of which integrally affect healthcare, both preventive and active.
  • "Mature" families are those beyond childbearing years. They may face challenges specific to changing family roles and relationships, including children leaving home, parents aging, and marriage and divorce.

Within the framework of nurse-family synergy models, nursing students also learn how to assess psychosocial family problems and incorporate pharmacological and mental health therapies when necessary.

Career Opportunities

Nurse Practitioners may work independently of physicians, in their own private practices, or ally themselves within a larger team of healthcare professionals. Family NPs work with patients from early childhood through old age; they solicit their own patients, assess healthcare needs, provide preventive and active treatment, educate, develop short-term and long-term patient care plans that are specifically intended to improve patient health and well being.

Patient care settings may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, community and public health, long-term care, psychiatric and mental health facilities, and private office practice.


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