Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
    Harding University
  Mar 30, 2023
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
Catalog Navigation
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN

Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study

The Carr College of Nursing offers several tracks toward a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). The tracks are full-time, part-time, second MSN or as a Post-Graduate Certificate. The FNP Director will assign each student an advisor to plan the degree course sequence according to individual goals and previous degrees earned. 


Master of Science in Nursing 

Mission of HCCN and the MSN Program

The mission of Harding is to provide a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals. Harding seeks to develop a Christian scholar who promotes Christian ethics in their profession and citizenship with a global perspective. The College of Nursing’s mission statement is “Developing Nurses as Christian Servants.” Together, the University and College missions provide the context for the educational direction of the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the Carr College of Nursing.

The graduate nursing program provides a supportive and nurturing environment for registered nurses to develop as advanced practice nurses. The graduate program’s purpose is to provide an evidence-based, quality education that leads to an understanding and philosophy that is consistent with Christian ideals. Nurse Practitioner students learn to focus on individual and family units, as well as local and global communities.

Program Description

Harding University Carr College of Nursing (HCCN) offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track. Successful completion of this degree program will prepare the graduate to sit for national certification exams, which will allow the graduate to be recognized as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. With the education and certification of a Family Nurse Practitioner, the NP will be able to work as a primary care provider within a variety of settings and with patient populations across the lifespan. As state and federal decisions shape the future of health care and advanced nursing practice, the graduate will be positioned to make a significant impact on safe, quality patient care.

The faculty of the FNP program work within HCCN and the Center for Health Sciences. The curriculum is 45 semester credit hours in length and requires 720 clinical practicum hours. Students participating in the FNP program attend classes three semesters a year, participating in a hybrid online format. There are three required on-campus meetings each year. The full-time plan of study can be completed within two years, while the part-time plan of study can be completed in three years. A post-graduate certificate and a second MSN options are available in which the applicant’s previous master’s degree is reviewed and considered prior to developing the applicant’s plan of study for the FNP program.

The MSN program is located in the Carr College of Nursing. Additional information about plans of study (Part time and Full time), can be found on the Carr College of Nursing web page. For more specific information about our program, please call (501) 279-4859 or email The HCCN Graduate Student Handbook contains a comprehensive description of all policies and procedures that apply to graduate students.

Curriculum Strands and Student Learning Outcomes

The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) and the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) serve as foundations for the HCCN MSN curriculum strands and student learning outcomes. The influences of Christian principles, values and the mission of Harding University as a faith-based institution are integrated throughout the curriculum. The concepts of the HCCN MSN student learning outcomes and strands are derived from the undergraduate foundations and built upon national advanced practice curriculum and practice expectations. Program objectives are focused to help students meet basic FNP practice competencies set forth by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

At the completion of this program, the advanced practice graduate will be prepared to: 

Strand Student Learning Outcome
Clinical Reasoning Demonstrate clinical reasoning in making holistic advanced practice clinical judgments for safe and quality nursing care relevant to comprehensive client problems encountered in primary care settings.
Population Care Integrate evidence-based clinical prevention and population care for aggregates and identified populations encountered in primary care.
Evidenced Based Practice Implement research findings and evidence-based best practices in the provision of advanced practice nursing to enhance safety and quality in care.
Research Analyze disparities in knowledge or evidence, articulate research questions, and evaluate outcomes of advanced practice nursing for refinement of safety and quality.
Accountability Demonstrate accountability for client and systems quality outcomes, acting as a change agent, and client advocate.
Leadership Analyze political, legal and ethical influences in health care systems that affect health policy and economics.
Collaboration Communicate and collaborate with clients, families and health team members for client and system quality outcomes, and to foster supportive personal and professional growth.
Christian Ethics Demonstrate commitment to Christian principles, professional ethics, and standards of advanced practice to provide culturally competent, patient -centered care to clients and families in local and global communities.

Adapted from National League for Nursing. (2010). Outcomes and competencies for graduates of practical/vocational, diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, practice doctorates, and research doctorate programs in nursing. New York: National League for Nursing.

Admission Requirements and Process

The policies and criteria are conveyed to prospective students via the Harding University Catalog, HCCN Graduate Student Handbook, letters, phone calls, electronic communication, and personal interviews.

The minimum standards for admission to the MSN FNP program at HCCN are as follows:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in nursing with an upper division nursing major from a nursing program accredited by a nursing accreditation body and from an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution. Students without a BSN degree but with an MSN and a license to practice nursing will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale. For students with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0, the last 60 hours will be calculated to evaluate eligibility. If the GPA is below 3.0, acceptance may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Satisfactory completion of undergraduate basic inferential statistics, health assessment, and nursing research courses; each completed with a final letter grade of C or higher.
  4. Although not an official requirement, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores will be reviewed and considered as part of admission into the program.
  5. If the applicant was not born in the United States or was born in a country where English is not the official language, the applicant may document their English proficiency based on the following criteria:
    1. An official TOEFL iBT composite score of at least 83 with a minimum speaking requirement of 26/30 or 90%. The test must have been taken within the last calendar year of admission. An official TOEFL exam score report reflecting successful completion must be received no later than the application date. The TOEFL iBT can be taken in the Harding University Testing Office. The test is an expense to the student. Please contact that office for details at 501-279-4415 or online at
  6. Legal residence in the United States is necessary. International applicants must have status as a permanent resident upon admission to the graduate program and be eligible to attend an online program. Due to the online education construct of our program, students who are in the United States with an F-1 Visa may not be eligible to attend this program. Students with an F-1 Visa must consult with the Department of Homeland Security for eligibility to the program. A document verifying residency status must be provided to the University and Program.
  7. Unencumbered current, compact or state RN license
  8. Proof of 2000 hours of work experience as an RN before registering for any practicum course.
  9. Evidence of meeting health-related and functional ability requirements are required.
  10. Evidence of current health insurance must be maintained throughout the program.
  11. Evidence of current American Heart Association CPR BLS for health care providers must be maintained throughout the program.

Students are to complete an online application form through NursingCAS and a supplemental application through the Carr College of Nursing prior to consideration for admission to the program. Application elements are listed below:

  1. Online applications are available at NursingCAS and Carr College of Nursing.
  2. Official transcripts of all completed academic courses.
  3. MAT or GRE scores if available.
  4. Three references pertaining to academic and professional work.
  5. Submission of health requirements.
  6. Completion of the criminal background check.
  7. Verification of current unencumbered RN license for state of residence and/or practice.
  8. Submission of professional paper addressing career goals with two references in American Psychological Association (APA) format (includes in-text citation and reference list).
  9. Application for admission to the graduate program will be considered complete when all materials are collected in NursingCAS, and a payment of a $50 application fee submitted to the college.

Admission to the MSN program is competitive. Applications will be reviewed by the graduate faculty based upon criteria discussed above and will be followed up with an interview to be set up after the submission deadline. Following the selection process, students will receive a letter of acceptance, admission as an alternate, or non-acceptance. If a student receives a non-acceptance letter, he or she may re-submit an application after one calendar year.

Health and Related Requirements

Requirement Explanation of Requirement
Personal health report with proof of required immunizations Signed by a healthcare provider.
Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) Must have a dose every 10 years. Must update Tdap if TD is > two years old. Must present documentation of immunization.
Measles (rubeola) Those born since January 1, 1957, must have two doses since 12 months of age. The two doses must be at least 30 days apart. Must present documentation of immunization with either a vaccination record, laboratory evidence of immunity, or laboratory confirmation of disease.
Mumps Those born since January 1, 1957 must have at least one dose since 12 months of age. Must present documentation of immunization with either a vaccination record or mumps IgG antibody.
Rubella At least one dose since 12 months of age is required. Must present documentation of immunization or have serologic evidence of rubella immunity.
Hepatitis A The Hepatitis A vaccination is not required, but recommended for students who plan to work in or travel to areas where Hepatitis A rates are high.
Hepatitis B The completed three dose series is required before contact with patients in clinical settings. Positive titer is required, for which students must present documentation.
Varicella (chickenpox) All clinical students must document evidence of immunity to varicella. The requirement may be met by showing documentation of age appropriate vaccination, serologic evidence of immunity, or a healthcare provider documentation of having varicella or herpes zoster.
Tuberculin Skin Test or Chest X-ray Annual documentation of this is required to enroll or continue in clinical courses.
Seasonal Flu (by October 1 for fall semester and by January 1 for spring semester) Must have documentation of annual seasonal flu vaccine or signed “declination” form
CPR Certification for Health Care Providers (American Heart Association) Certification must be updated every two years. Must present documentation of certification.
Proof of Health Insurance Proof must be maintained in the file during the duration of the program.
Criminal Background Check Cleared background check completed upon admission and must be present in the file.
Drug Screening Drug screening will be required upon admission. Students may be asked to complete a variety of types of screens at the discretion of the Director or as required by practicum facilities.

Vaccination requirements for those students, who may be 60 or older before applying for admission or during the program, are available upon request.

Transfer of Credit

Students who have completed coursework at other institutions accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation may petition to have equivalent courses credited for their current degree. Transferred courses must be equivalent of courses assigned as part of the designated curriculum for their designated MSN program. Once the applicant has submitted their application to the program, they may meet with the FNP program director to complete a transcript analysis and review of course content for equivalency of content. Equivalency of courses is done prior to developing the student’s plan of study and degree completion form. Transfer work will be based upon the student’s requested path of study. Nursing students who will be completing courses at other universities or colleges during their enrollment at Harding must have prior approval of the dean or FNP program director. The following guidelines are used when evaluating transcripts for potential course transfer:

  1. Courses considered for transfer credit in the MSN program will be evaluated by FNP faculty and/or staff for equivalency and must be consistent with the courses offered for the degree program. Graduate courses must have a grade of B or higher (A-F scale).
  2. Courses considered for transfer must be taken within five years prior to admission to the program. Courses beyond five years will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Relevance and currency to nursing curriculum and practice are major considerations. Certification exams and/or proficiency exams taken within the past five years may be considered.
  3. Evaluation will be based upon review of a complete syllabus of course being considered for transfer and the request for course substitution and other materials deemed relevant to make the best decision.
  4. No more than six credit hours of graduate work for the MSN program will be considered for transfer credit.
  5. Students transferring from a current graduate program must have a letter of good standing from the current program director.

Post-Graduate Students

Students who have a previous Master’s degree in nursing from an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation will be able to apply for the post-graduate program for FNP studies. Students who enroll in this pathway will need to complete the application process as previously discussed and may elect to have credit hours transferred from their previous studies. Degree plans may be individualized based up on previously completed work. Transfer credit and course plans of study will be reviewed on an individual basis with the FNP program director with approval from nursing administration.

Second Master of Science in Nursing Degree in Family Nurse Practitioner Program

This option is available to registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who have completed an MSN and desire the preparation in another specialty area and an additional Master’s degree. Up to 15 credit hours of essential MSN courses may be transferred for the MSN FNP degree completion of 45 credit hours. Federal financial aid may be available for students who pursue this degree option.

Post Graduate Certificate in the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Program

This option is available to registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses who have earned an MSN in another area of emphasis and desire to complete the educational requirements to become certified Family Nurse Practitioners. Students in this option may complete up to 32 credit hours in the MSN FNP program. Upon completion of the required courses, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam for Family Nurse Practitioners. Federal financial aid is not offered through Harding University for this certificate program, however private lending options may be available.

Program Fees and Incidental Expenses

Beyond tuition and university fees, graduate nursing students will incur personal incidental expenses for which the students are personally responsible. These may include but are not limited to a computer, mobile computing device, clinical expenses, health-related expenses, standardized tests, certification preparation and examination fees, health insurance, lab coats, program patches, health care assessment equipment, transportation, and personal costs while attending campus activities.

Computer Requirements

Proficiency in basic computer skills (word processing, databases, internet searches, and email) is expected of all graduate students. Courses will be offered through an online format and will require personal access to high speed internet with video and audio streaming capacities. Students are required to have a computer upon entry to the program. Other minimum technology requirements and a mobile computing device will be identified following admission to the program.

Equipment Requirements

All students will be required to purchase or have equipment to meet program requirements. An equipment list and the dress requirements will be provided after admission.

Liability Requirements

Each student will be covered with professional liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $2,000,000 per incident, and $5,000,000 in the aggregate prior to direct care clinical experiences. The policy is paid from student fees and is maintained by the University throughout the student’s enrollment in the program. Liability insurance will only cover incidents occurring during clinical experiences and activities associated with the student role.

Travel Requirements

Travel to school and clinical sites is an expected part of MSN studies. Clinical experiences will necessitate travel to a variety of primary care sites. Students will be responsible for all costs associated with clinical experiences, such as transportation, meals, additional clinical requirements, etc. Some sites may require arrangements for accommodations which will also be the student’s responsibility.

Students are also required to travel to the Searcy campus for on-campus orientations and designated intensive studies. Schedules will be announced prior to each semester, and students are to arrange personal schedules accordingly.

All students are required to have access to a motor vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and current auto liability insurance throughout the program.

Medical Missions

Students will be provided with opportunities to participate in medical missions at several locations. These mission opportunities are not part of tuition and fees but are based on funds raised by the students. Additional information is provided during the program.

Background Check Requirements

Criminal background checks with cleared acceptable results are required prior to admission and throughout the program. Students are to consent, submit, and successfully complete a criminal background check through a program-selected vendor as a condition for final admission to the program. This process requires a legible set of fingerprints to be sent to the selected vendor, and the fees are to be paid by the students.

Certain conditions may disqualify an applicant for admission to the program or progression in the HCCN graduate program. If the program determines a student has a non-eligibility condition in his or her history, or was not cleared in the Criminal Background Check process, the application to the program may be denied. These conditions include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. A nursing license that has a pending investigation or is encumbered
  2. Any criminal offense including those pending appeal, such as has the student:
    1. Been convicted of a misdemeanor?
    2. Been convicted of a felony?
    3. Pled nolo contendere, no contest, or guilty?
    4. Received deferred adjudication?
    5. Been placed on community supervision or court-ordered probation, whether or not adjudicated guilty?
    6. Been sentenced to serve jail or prison time? Court-ordered confinement?
    7. Been granted pre-trial diversion?
    8. Been arrested or have any pending criminal charges?
    9. Been cited or charged with any violation of the law?
    10. Been subject of a court-martial; Article 15 violation; or received any form of military judgment/punishment/action?

*May only exclude Class C misdemeanor traffic violations.

Students are required to submit to drug testing as required by the program and clinical sites. These costs are the students’ responsibility. A positive drug screen results in program dismissal. Both criminal background checks and drug screens are common pre-employment procedures and required for professional practice.

Master of Science in Nursing


Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study