Master’s Degree

Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Elevate your career in an advanced role as a certified nurse practitioner to care for individuals and families in a variety of clinical settings.

Family nurse practitioner students in clinical setting

Program Overview

The family (individual across the lifespan) nurse practitioner MSN option emphasizes primary care for individuals and families across the life span.

You’ll be prepared to provide primary care in a number of settings including family practices, community health centers, hospital out-patient clinics, urgent care facilities, and ER fast-track. Our program emphasizes a holistic approach to the management of family health through interdisciplinary collaboration.

After this program, you will be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners certification exam.

The master's degree program in nursing at Widener University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Options

View the Loading... for curriculum and coursework requirements.

Students can enroll for the program at either our Main Campus in Chester or Central Pennsylvania campus in Harrisburg.

The program can be completed in 18–24 months of full-time study or at the student’s pace for part-time study within the five-year time limit post matriculation.

Students who are registered nurses can enroll in an accelerated track to earn a master's degree in the RN-to-MSN program. 

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Students who hold a MSN can pursue a Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP post-master's certificate. The School of Nursing offers a number of post-master's and post-doctoral certificates in different areas of study. 

View our post-graduate certificate options

Admissions

  • Complete online application.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or equivalent from an accredited program.
  • Minimum of 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in a BSN program.
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education.
  • Completion of an undergraduate statistics/research course with a grade of C or better.
  • Two recommendations, preferably from professional nurses with graduate degrees, regarding applicant’s practice and potential for graduate work in nursing.
  • Valid U.S. license as a registered nurse. NP option requires PA State Board of Nursing licensure or as appropriate.
  • Satisfactory scores (550 written and 213 computer-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all applicants from non-English speaking countries.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Updated resume.
  • GRE test scores.

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All admission requirements, including an interview, must be received and completed before:

  • July 15—for matriculation in the fall semester.
  • November 15—for matriculation in the spring semester.
  • April 1—for matriculation in summer sessions.

Program Highlights

With an MSN degree from Widener, you'll advance your skills through rigorous academics and real-world experiences.

Nursing education graduate student

Flexibility

Our flexible hybrid course delivery system offers in-person and online classes at both the Main Campus in Chester and Harrisburg Campus.

Nurse educator teaching students

Faculty Mentorship

Partner with nursing professors who bring years of clinical experience to the classroom. You’ll benefit from a student nursing community that is guided by close mentorship and one-on-one support from our full-time faculty.

Female nursing student in clinical setting

Diverse Clinical Experience

Primary care can be provided in a number of settings. Our program will introduce you to the different setting options through diverse clinical experiences at the region’s top health care facilities and systems. On campus, you’ll have access to practice your skills in real-world scenarios in our state-of-the-art simulation and testing center.

Faculty

At Widener, our nursing faculty aren't just teaching the courses but are creating the science of nursing education.

Kim A. Noble
Associate Professor

I believe that an education with a foundation in science is essential for entry into nursing or advanced practice nursing. Nursing clinical reasoning skills grow as students apply an understanding of disease as the loss of normal function.

Students have great variation in their manner in which they acquire, process, manipulate, store, and retrieve learned information. It is a faculty priority to assist students with the development of metacognitive strategies to assist learning success and retention.

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
Professor of Nursing

I ascribe to a pragmatic philosophy of teaching and learning. I believe that nursing education must be practical and logically aligned to the diverse needs of the population we served.

Rose Rossi Schwartz
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

"As a teacher, my role is to help students go beyond the facts. It is equally important to help students grow as people, support their professional and intellectual development, and to expand their world views. Through this growth process, students better understand themselves, their clients, and the clients' experiences."

Nancy Laplante
Associate Professor

I consider myself to be compassionate and caring, and strive to engage my students in respectful dialogue. Teaching is a collaborative process between students and faculty, and there is a reciprocal relationship as we all learn from each other. As an advanced holistic nurse, I incorporate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in my teaching and seek to be a role model for my students.

Donna M. Callaghan
Professor

"My teaching philosophy has its roots in Bandura's Theory of Self-Efficacy. I believe that students learn (and clients change behaviors) through observing others perform activities, doing the activities themselves, having positive feedback provided, and having their anxieties decreased."

Barbara J. Patterson
Professor

"As an educator, researcher, and student advisor, I am passionate about preparing the next generation of nurse leaders, educators, and scholars. I believe advancing the science of nursing education is dependent upon preparing doctoral students who question and explore how they teach while generating the best evidence for their teaching practices."

Paula A. Gray
Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

"I am a proud graduate of Widener's FNP program and very passionate to teach, mentor and guide students to achieve their goals in becoming successful graduates of this program. The program is well known in the Tri-State area and beyond, and because of our certification pass rate and graduate's preparedness for the work-force, our graduates are able to be employed as APRN's very soon after graduation."

Darrell Spurlock Jr.
Professor and Scholarship Director

"I teach because I believe sharing knowledge and stimulating thinking is a fundamental task of any discipline. I believe that education is change, and change is a constant human feature; education is, in this way, choosing to change. Though the focus of my scholarship and teaching centers on research methods, measurement, evaluation, and quality improvement, these knowledge areas form the bedrock of evidence-based practice—the kind of practice all health care professionals aspire to deliver to patients, families, and communities."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

You will graduate with the expertise you need to provide care as a nurse practitioner.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Primary care nurse practitioner
  • Family practice nurse practitioner
  • Nurse educator

Industry Growth

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Avg. Salary

$94,000

Average salary of an advanced registered nurse practitioner

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Financial Aid

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Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

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