The Catholic University of America Online Nurse Practitioner Programs
The Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America (CUA) offers an online Master of Science in Nursing with four specializations and Post-Master’s Certificates with five specializations. All of these programs have 100% online coursework, two campus immersions, and preceptorships at approved facilities local to the student. Clinicals may be orchestrated to work around other work and family obligations.
The offered specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PNP-PC), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), and Dual Acute and Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP-PC/AC). In addition, a Pediatric Acute Care Post-Master’s Certificate is offered.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are in high demand as the number of family practice doctors declines in the US. By 2032 there will be a shortage of approximately 122,000 primary care doctors (Association of American Medical Colleges, AAMC). NPs are able to fill this role by not only diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses, but by focusing on a holistic approach to health including disease prevention, routine check-ups, health assessment, and patient education.
Those interested in the Post-Master’s Certificate program and specializations will be subject to a GAP analysis to determine which courses need to be completed. The credit requirements listed here are minimum estimates. The certificate programs follow all guidelines, admission standards, and specialization course requirements of the MSN program.
The CUA MSN and certificate programs prepare graduates to practice nursing with high moral, ethical, and intellectual values and skills. Nurse practitioners may work with patients across the lifespan from newborns and children to adults and the elderly or may specialize in serving one population focus. NP graduates may work in primary care clinics, hospitals, urgent care clinics, long-term care facilities, home healthcare situations, acute care settings, neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), government facilities, schools, and other organizations.
The Catholic University of America is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The MSN and certificate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates of these programs will be eligible to take their respective nurse practitioner certification exams. The Catholic University of America is located in Washington DC.
What to Expect from the Catholic University of America Online Nurse Practitioner Programs
Admission Requirements: Applicants to the MSN program must hold an unencumbered RN license in the United States, as well as a BSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited nursing program with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Some nursing experience is expected. Online applications must include the application and application fee (may be waived for applicants to online programs), a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation including one from a former dean, one from a faculty member or academic advisor, and one from a past or current work supervisor, current resume, and transcripts. No GRE or GMAT is required. Those interested in the Post-Master’s Certificate program must hold an MSN from an accredited nursing program.
State Restrictions: While the Catholic University of America accepts students from most states into their MSN – FNP program, students from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are not accepted at this time. The MSN FNP program meets requirements for national certification in all states, however, applicants outside of Washington DC, should check with their state’s Board of Nursing to understand the clinical requirements for their state.
Study Plan: The MSN program can be completed in about seven to eight semesters and begins in the fall of each year. The MSN has either part-time or full-time options. The certificate programs may be completed in about five semesters, depending on the results of each individual GAP analysis. Students should expect to spend 9-12 hours per course per week on coursework. Campus visits are required twice throughout the program and students complete clinical preceptorships at a location near them.
MSN Curriculum: The online MSN program comprises 46 to 51 credits plus four optional courses through a guided study in nursing. The FNP specialization comprises 50 credits plus at least 700 clinical hours. The PNP-PC specialization includes 46 credits and at least 540 clinical hours. The AGPCNP specialization comprises 50 credits and at least 540 clinical hours. The Dual PNP-PC/AC specialization comprises 49 to 51 credits and includes at least 870 clinical hours.
Core courses for all specializations include Biomedical Ethics; Health Care Policy, Organization, and Financing; Advanced Health Assessment; Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice; Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing; Healthcare Policy, Organization, and Financing; Population-Based Health Care Management; Pathophysiology; Health Promotion; Advanced Practice Role Seminar; Research in Nursing: Methods And Outcomes; and Capstone Research Project.
- FNP: Family Nurse Practitioner specialty courses include The Well Child; Women’s Health; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Seminar/Practicum; Clinical Applications; Primary Care of Adolescent; Primary Care of Adults I-II; Nurse Practitioner Practicums I-III, and the optional Guided Study in Nursing courses.
- PNP-PC: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty courses include The Well Child; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Seminar/Practicum; Clinical Applications; Primary Care of Adolescent and Practicum; Child and Adolescents with Special Needs; Nurse Practitioner Practicum I-II; Primary Care of the Newborn; and Complex, Acute, and Critical Problems in Pediatrics.
- Dual PNP-PC/AC: Dual Acute and Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty courses follow those of the PNP-PC just listed with the addition of Advanced Diagnostics; Advanced Practice Residency; and another Clinical Applications course.
- AGPCNP: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty courses include Women’s Health; Primary Care of Adolescents Seminar; Interprofessional Concepts to Geriatric Care; Geriatric Considerations in Pharmacology; Non-Pharm Approaches to Geriatric Behavior Concerns; Primary Care of Adults I-II; Clinical Applications; and Nurse Practitioner Practicum I-III.
Post-Master’s Certificate Curriculum: The certificate program follows the specialization courses for the MSN program tracks. Each applicant is subject to a GAP analysis to determine exactly which courses are needed to complete the certificate.
Online Experience: CUA delivers courses through the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). Tools through Blackboard include videos, readings, assignments, assessments, discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis, and groups. Students must meet the technical requirements of the program including the proper high-speed internet connection, computer hardware, software, and browser settings. Students have access to faculty through office hours, email, chat, and phone. Online students have access to 24/7 technical support, academic advising, the online bookstore, online library, and career services.
On-Site Requirements: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate students must come to the Washington DC campus twice for immersions. These generally take place during semesters five and eight for MSN students and will vary for certificate students. As well, students are welcome to come to campus to visit any time as well as participate in graduation ceremonies on campus.
Paying for the Catholic University of America Online Nurse Practitioner Programs
The Catholic University of America charges $1,180 per credit plus fees for the online MSN and certificate programs. Travel costs for the immersion are not included in tuition and fees. Prospective students should contact the Conway School of Nursing through CUA for current tuition information as tuition costs may rise from year to year.
CUA offers federal Stafford loans and Graduate PLUS Loans according to the FAFSA. Graduate students may also wish to inquire with their employer as to the possibility of a reimbursement program. Nursing students may also seek outside opportunities to fund their graduate degree. Outside scholarships and grants may be available through community and religious organizations.
The Catholic University of America seeks to graduate FNPs who practice with high moral, ethical, and intellectual values and skills, all through online coursework, two campus immersions, and local clinicals.
MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner
620 Michigan Ave., NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20064
MSN – Master of Science in Nusing
FNP – Family Nurse Practitioner
CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
No GRE Required
3.0 or higher
AL, AR, LA, NY, ND, TN, UT, WA, WY
Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the published tuition rate. Rates may change, so please check here for the latest tuition information. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the rates for part-time students. “Resident” and “non-resident” refer to the student’s school-recognized state residency status. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Estimated total tuition does not include additional fees.