Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)


The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner Program is designed to prepare the graduate to use an expanded skill, theory, research, and knowledge base in advanced practice nursing. The program emphasizes preparation of students to meet the dynamic needs of the international, multicultural, and multilingual society of the Rio Grande Valley. The curriculum promotes the development of advanced critical thinking and inter-collaborative skills to be used in conceptualizing, synthesizing, and evaluating nursing and health care.

Graduate Outcomes 

The major outcomes of the graduate programs are to develop the ability to:

  1. Function as a scholar with critical thinking skills supported by theories from the behavioral, physical, and nursing sciences
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership in the application of client/patientcare interventions, incorporating informatics and health care technology to improve population health care outcomes
  3. Collaborate as a member of an inter-professional health care team to advocate for safe and effective client/patient care, being cognizant of cultural, societal, economic, political, and ethicolegal issues
  4. Promote quality improvement in the provision of culturally competent care to diverse populations through integration of health policy, planned programs, education, and advocacy
  5. Translate and integrate scholarship and research into masters-level practice that is grounded in the sciences and humanities

Graduate Programs

Each student will be assigned an advisor to assist in preparing the graduate program of study before or during their first semester in the program. Advisors will be available throughout the program for guidance. Students must complete all course work prior to graduation.

Students who have been suspended may apply for readmission into an M.S.N. program by the procedures outlined in the Academic Probation and Suspension section of the Graduate Catalog. Such applications will be considered on a case by case basis, and readmission will be granted at the discretion of the MSN program’s admissions committee.

Transfer courses from other graduate nursing programs will be evaluated on an individual basis for acceptance.

Registered nurses who have an earned bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing may qualify for application to the MSN Administration and MSN Education programs by completing the Transition to Graduate Nursing course (NURS 5600). A Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) is a requirement for the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Program. 

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the graduate program in nursing – family nurse practitioner, prospective candidates must first meet all requirements for graduate admission to UT Rio Grande Valley, as well as the other requirements listed below:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN)
  2. All new applicants whose coursework is older than 3 years must score of 900 on the APRN HESI Specialty Assessment Exams: Assessment, Pathophysiology,Pharmacotherapeutics.
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Letter of intent
  5. Resume
  6. Successful completion of undergraduate statistics course
  7. Holding an unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse in the State of Texas
  8. Cleared Criminal Background Check
  9. Evidence of current immunizations required by the Texas Department of Heath for students in health-related academic programs

Application for admission must be submitted prior to the published deadline. The application is available at

Licensure Updating

It is the responsibility of each student to update program records each time the nursing license is renewed. Students must maintain a current Texas License as a Registered Nurse at all times during their educational experience.

Liability Insurance

Student liability insurance is required when enrolled in any course with a clinical component having patient contact. Fees for the student program policy will be assessed in the Fall semester for the academic year and be included in registration fees. Students entering in a spring or summer semester will have a prorated fee assessed. Student liability insurance policy only provides protection for students while they are participating in clinical practice as required for their academic coursework and does not cover students in employment.

Inactive Status and Readmission

Students in good standing who desire not to enroll one term may do so. Students must submit a letter to the MSN Program Coordinator indicating their wish to remove themselves from the program for a term. Students must notify the Dean of the Graduate College and the MSN Student Development Committee in writing when they wish their files reactivated. Readmission is not automatic and dependent upon final recommendations from the MSN Student Development Committee and space availability.

Requirements for Progression

The grading system in the MSN program is based on a letter grade system using grades of A, B, C, and F. The mechanism for determining grades is described in each course syllabus. In order to remain in good standing and progress through the MSN program, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation.

The student bears full responsibility for completing graduate study before his or her own time limitation date. A one-year extension may be granted by the MSN Student Development Committee upon submission of a petition by the student which contains:

  • Documentation of extenuating circumstances
  • Documentation of a history of satisfactory performance
  • Preparation of a time table and plan to complete the requirements for the Master’s degree within a reasonable period of time.

Requirements for the MSN

The general requirements for the masters in nursing are as follows:

  • A degree plan approved by the Master of Science in Nursing Program coordinator.
  • Satisfactory completion of all courses within five years of admission to the MSN FNP Program and within seven years of admission to the MSN Administrator and MSN Educator Programs.
  • Satisfactory completion of the thesis or non-thesis option.

Program Requirements

Required Courses - 30 Hours

NURS 6301Theoretical Foundations in Nursing


NURS 6302Research in Nursing


NURS 6303Statistics in Nursing


NURS 6304Advanced Pathophysiology in Nursing


NURS 6305Advanced Health Assessment


NURS 6306Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing


NURS 6307Health Care Policy, Organization and Financing


NURS 6308Nursing Informatics


NURS 6310Advanced Practice Health Promotion


NURS 6311Advanced Practice Rural Health Nursing


Practice Courses - 15 Hours

NURS 6347Role Development for the Nurse Practitioner


NURS 6612Family Nurse Practitioner I


NURS 6613Family Nurse Practitioner II


Capstone Requirement

Choose one of the following options:

Thesis - 6 Hours
NURS 7300Thesis I Proposal


NURS 7301Thesis II


Project - 3 Hours
NURS 7302Practice Intervention Project


Total Credit Hours: 48-51