The curriculum begins with advanced health assessment across the age span, then moves to health promotion, and to illness management. The illness content is presented from single acute problems, to chronic illnesses, to complex chronic illness or multi-problem management. The health promotion course and illness management courses are "matched" to corresponding clinical seminars and clinical practicum experiences so that didactic learning is reinforced and expanded in "hands on" practice.
Course work and clinical practica emphasize:
- systematic and comprehensive assessment of health status
- advanced clinical decision-making necessary for the diagnosis and management of common physical and psychosocial health problems
- management, including health promotion, health maintenance, and health restoration
- therapeutic strategies directed toward self-care, risk reduction, health surveillance, stress reduction, healthy nutrition, social support, healthy coping, psychological well-being and pharmacologic therapy
- the basic principles of primary health care-continuity, collaboration, coordination, and comprehensive care
- evidence-based clinical decision making and systems thinking to improve patient outcomes
- principles of health education and counseling, behavior change, communication, advocacy, accountability, autonomy, and professional role development.
Class size and composition vary depending on the course. Clinical courses typically involve one-on-one teaching with the nurse practitioner or other provider at the clinical site who is serving as the clinical preceptor. Clinical seminars facilitated by experienced nurse practitioner faculty provide students with an opportunity for small group discussion about actual clinical situations and exemplar cases. Many courses will include students from other specialty areas. The work for a student's DNP capstone project is generally done collaboratively with an agency and overseen by the students Supervisory Committee. Students can pursue an area of particular interest in the rich learning environment that the School of Nursing and partner agencies provide. On a full-time basis, the preparation of the Family Nurse Practitioner takes 12 quarters. Students are in class on the Seattle campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays, unless they are taking courses outside the FNP course of study. An extended part-time curriculum plan is available for a limited number of students. Part-time students have individualized schedules, so the days they are on campus vary.
FNP students begin their program of study during summer quarter. Students take courses year round; quarters are 10 weeks long with a small break in between. Student schedules do not follow the nine month academic calendar.
Special Curriculum Option
- Occupational & Environmental Health Nursing
FNP students may participate in the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) Program as part of their FNP education. A significant portion of primary care practice involves occupational health and safety (e.g. back injuries, ergonomic hazards) and environmental issues (e.g. lead poisoning, air quality, environmental justice). OEHN and FNP faculty work together to provide students with a seamless program of study that includes advanced content and practice opportunities in epidemiology, toxicology, occupational health and safety, environmental health, program management and policy.
The FNP program offers you a rich, diverse clinical practicum experience. Clinical rotations begin in fall quarter and are one day/week during the first year of the program. The amount of practicum time increases in your second year and third years:
- Clinicals are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and occasionally on weekends
- The FNP Program coordinates site placement in consultation with the student and Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, and MD preceptors throughout the Puget Sound region
- Typical sites include: community clinics, private practices, urgent care clinics, public health departments, correctional facilities, long term care facilities, military clinics, and student health clinics
- Students must provide their own transportation to clinical sites; commuting time ranges from 15 minutes to 1-1/2 hours and students may also expect to pay any parking fees or ferry fees
- On-site preceptors work with the student one-on-one during their clinical experiences. Faculty conduct site visits each quarter to support and assess student learning
- Out-of-area/out-of-state sites are available