Photo: Family NP

The Family Nurse Practitioner specialty prepares nurses at the master’s level as an advanced practice nurse to practice in a variety of primary care settings. Family Nurse Practitioners are clinical experts who diagnose and manage commonly occurring episodic and chronic health problems, and promote the health and education of patients encountered as individuals, groups and/or families.

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Family Nurse Practitioner Overview

The Family Nurse Practitioner specialty requires 45 total credit hours, 32 didactic and 13 clinical, with 600 total hours of direct patient care. Didactic content is provided in two specialty courses and provides students with a strong advanced primary care base for caring for patients with common health problems. Clinical experiences in a variety of primary care and specialty clinic settings offer extensive preparation for the advanced practice role. Students who start course work in the summer semester will take seven semesters to complete the program. Students starting in the fall semester will take six semesters to complete the program.


Further specialization

Elective courses are available for knowledge-based enhancement in a variety of areas, including electrocardiography and diabetes management.


Orientation and Intensives

Students are required to visit the UAB School of Nursing campus in Birmingham, Alabama, for orientation and three multiday intensives.


Certification and Licensure


Once students successfully complete the program, they are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree and are able to apply to take either, or both, of the national certification exams for Family Nurse Practitioners offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Family Nurse Practitioners also are licensed by the states in which they practice and are subject to the rules and regulations of that state's practice act.

Doctoral education


A Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) from UAB prepares graduates for entry into doctoral studies in nursing, in either the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, a practice-focused terminal degree to prepare graduates to practice at the highest level in specialty practice or to assume leadership positions in health care or nursing education; or the School’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program, which prepares nurses as scholars, leaders and researchers who will make a substantive contribution to the body of knowledge for the discipline of nursing and thereby improve health outcomes for those who receive nursing care.

For more information:

Katie Buys, DNP, MPH, NP-C                             
Specialty Track Co-Coordinator                           
205.934.5727 |                    

Lauren Mays, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC
Specialty Track Co-Coordinator
205.996.0852 |


The Master's Degree Program in Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (