"Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression."
Institute of Medicine
October 2010

Program Snapshot: 41 units to degree, 7 total courses, online and evening program, Fall Admission. (Fees are subject to review & change)

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Additional Info

For more information about the program, please visit:

CatalogSJSU Degree Catalog 

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide primary and specialty care. Students will be taught skills and knowledge to deliver cutting edge, community-based primary health care to individuals and families across the lifespan. Health maintenance and diagnosis and management of common acute and chronic health problems are the cornerstones of the curriculum. Health promotion and development of positive health behaviors are emphasized.

In addition to direct patient care, FNP students will also participate in research, education, and policy activities relevant to advanced practice nursing and diverse population health care issues. Graduates may expect to be employed in a wide variety of settings including community-based health centers, local health departments, emergency rooms, nurse-managed health centers, private practice, and managed care organizations.

Program Features

  1. Applied Skills
    Upon graduation and entry into practice, the FNP will be proficient in providing health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, and treatment, assessing health status, diagnosing acute and chronic health problems, and creating and implementing a plan of care.
  2. Broad Employment Opportunities
    After program completion, graduates may be employed in a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, providing primary or specialty care to individuals throughout the lifespan, infancy through older adulthood.

Career Opportunities

An FNP provides high-quality, cost-effective and individualized care for patients, families and communities. They take health histories and provide complete physical examinations, diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems, interpret laboratory results and X-rays, prescribe and manage medications and other therapies, provide health teaching and counseling to support healthy lifestyle behaviors and prevent illness, and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.

Nurse practitioners are increasingly in high demand due to changes in the health care system resulting from the Affordable Care Act. According to the American Nurses Association, approximately 60 to 80 percent of primary and preventive care can be performed by nurse practitioners. The growing emphasis on prevention and public health will offer excellent job opportunities for FNP in the coming years.

Nursing is the largest health care occupation with more than 2 million jobs. Overall, it's one of the 10 occupations projected to have the largest numbers of new jobs. Nurse practitioners are in high demand to provide health promotion, health maintenance and sick care services.

Applying to the Program

Formal admission is required for the program. You can apply for admission in the fall semester.

Admission Requirement:

  1. Admission to San José State University Applicants to the master of science degree program apply directly to the university with the declared objective of “Master of Science, Nursing.” Prospective students must apply online at Applicants must send one copy of all transcripts to the Graduate Assessment Evaluation Program.
  2. 2. Completion of The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Application for Admission to the Master of Science degree in Nursing Program. This application is separate from the online application submitted to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE). The applicant will provide the following:
    • A statement of professional goals which outlines the applicant's goals in seeking the degree/and option.
    • A copy of her/his resume.
    • A completed health statement.
    • A completed immunization status record.
    • Two references, one academic and one professional, including the School of Nursing reference form and a recommendation on letterhead.
    • Official transcripts from ALL institutions attended.
    • Copy of Public Health Nursing Certificate if applicant has one.
  3. Validation of current licensure as a Registered Nurse in California (include a copy of current license).
  4. Completion of a baccalaureate program with a major in nursing, including a community health experience equivalent to that at SJSU, accredited by the National League of Nursing or CCNE. Applicants who have completed non-nursing baccalaureate programs and have an CA RN license will be considered on an individual basis.
  5. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) in the last 60 units of the undergraduate program coursework. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 will be evaluated on an individual basis and may be admitted in a conditional status.
  6. Evidence of knowledge and skills in the following areas:
    • Physical and psychosocial assessment developed to the level that the applicant can perform a complete history and physical exam on a well adult of either gender.
    • Introductory research course that has prepared the applicant to critique the usefulness of specific research studies to nursing practice.
  7. Completion of a statistics course that included an introduction to descriptive, probability, and inferential statistics. Statistics courses taken at another educational institution must be equivalent in content to Stat 95 at SJSU. This coursework must have been completed within three years of admission date.