Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2023 Ed) 
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2023 Ed) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Post-Doctoral Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

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Program Description

The Post DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate program prepares DNP-prepared APRNs to independently diagnose and treat individuals of all ages with acute, chronic and complex health problems as well as provide a broad array of health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Coursework and supervised clinical experiences assist students to develop expertise in primary care across the life span. Practitioners are expected to contribute to the delivery of quality health care through their implementation of evidence-based care and their ability to foster independence in an individual’s management of health. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take national certification examinations as Family Nurse Practitioners.

Applicants who have a clinical background in understanding family practice healthcare may be given preference.

Admission Requirements

The Post-DNP FNP Certificate applicant must:

  1. Submit official copies of transcripts for all college and university work to NursingCAS. Submit of a copy of an unencumbered Tennessee RN license or have unencumbered authority to practice as an RN via the multi-state privilege at the time of application. Accepted students must maintain an unencumbered RN license for the duration of their program.
  2. Have earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from an institution accredited by one of the following accreditors:
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on College and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and School, Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission

All prerequisite courses, transfer course credits, and degrees (where applicable) from international institutions must be evaluated by an approved equivalency agency.


  1. Have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in the DNP or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant’s most recently completed degree program.
  2. Students who were previously enrolled, but did not complete a nursing program, must submit a letter of good standing from the Director of the Nursing Program. Students dismissed from another nursing program are ineligible to apply to the UTHSC College of Nursing.
  3. Submit three recommendation letters from doctorally-prepared nurses who can address the applicant’s potential as a nurse practitioner in the certification area including clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and leadership.
  4. Have ready access to a Web-connected, personal computer. Computer literacy and adequate computer skills are required.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants will be required to present evidence of proficiency in English if a) their native language is not English. Evidence of proficiency in the English language is established through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable scores are 550 on TOEFL paper version, 213 on TOEFL computer version, and 80 on TOEFL web-based version. TOEFL scores must have been earned within two years prior to application for the current UTHSC program. Any application for exemption from the TOEFL examination requirement must be submitted before the application deadline to the Director of Student Affairs, (901) 448-6125.
  6. Complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the program. Background checks may be repeated during the student’s program of study.

Academic Preparation and Achievement

Applicants must hold a DNP degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.  Applicants must hold national certification as an NP or CNS; a current, unencumbered RN License; and the appropriate APRN approval from their state of practice.  Applicants may submit additional documents to demonstrate professional scholarship and leadership abilities that could make them more competitive.

English Language Proficiency

  • Evidence of English proficiency is a mandatory part of the application process.
  • Official minimum TOEFL Score earned within two (2) years prior to application to College of Nursing.
  • Three versions of TOEFL: Paper-based Test (minimum score 550), Computer-based (minimum score 213), and Internet/web-based (minimum score 80).

Technical and Performance Standards

Technical and Performance Standards: All DNP Concentrations

In addition the technical and performance standards expected of all students in educational programs in the College of Nursing, students in the DNP program are also expected to possess the mental, auditory, visual, sensory, strength, manual dexterity, and communication skills to:

  1. Perform a systematic and complete history and physical examination on a client.
  2. Communicate significant examination findings to other professionals and client/family.
  3. Appropriately assess and record subjective and objective findings.
  4. Maintain effective relationships and interact appropriately with other professionals and clients/families, demonstrating skills of leadership collaborations and decisiveness.
  5. Accurately analyze alterations in functional patterns.
  6. Demonstrate advanced use of the nursing process: assess, develop, implement, educate and counsel clients, prescribe appropriate therapy, demonstrate self-care skills and evaluate appropriate plans of action for diagnosed problems.
  7. Maintain flexibility and emotional stability in response to novel, unique situations and stress.

Technical and Performance Standards Specific to Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner:

  1. Anticipate potential common, acute self-limiting, and selected chronic problems.
  2. Develop insight into own emotional functioning to evaluate the ability to provide therapeutic intervention for a client.


The DNP program is currently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through 2024. The Nurse Anesthesia concentration is also accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA) through 2029.

Sample Plan of Study: Family Nurse Practitioner Post DNP APRN to FNP

Total Clinical Hours: 600

Total: 23(13-10)

Review of transcripts and previously completed clinical hours will determine the necessary number of clinical hours in program.

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