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MSN-FNP Program Named One of the Best in Northeast Region

Monmouth University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track has been recognized as one of the best FNP programs in the Northeast region by GraduateNursingEdu.org, ranking sixth out of ten for 2023. The Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies offers programs for career experiences and levels of education associated with healthcare. This program allows students and professionals to get a grasp on many studies like physician assistant, pre-licensure, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and more.

When it comes to the ranking criteria set by GraduateNursingEdu.org, Monmouth checks quite a few boxes. The Monmouth MSN Nurse Practitioner program allows one to become an autonomous advanced practice nurse, allowing students to build confidence in intellectual and clinical proficiency. According to Monmouth University’s website, “The Family Nurse Practitioner track focuses on the care of a patient population throughout the lifespan, from newborn to older adult.”

According to GraduateNursingEdu.org, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner is a dream job for registered nurses (RN), and accreditation is the first filter applied on choosing a school. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) gets a closer look at candidate programs and checks for qualifications. Some of these qualifications include faculty and student participation in program governance, accuracy of documents and publications, and credentials of faculty and preceptors. The first hurdle is cleared when schools meet these kinds of standards.

Narrowing it down to the very best MSN-FNP programs is listed as the second point when it comes to ranking criteria. Focusing on success rates for the national certification exams becomes crucial. When schools post high pass rates for the national certification exams, this puts schools in a great position as it is a good indicator that these programs take their exam preparation and student outcomes very seriously, even after graduation.

Another thing that GraduateNursingEdu.org pays very close attention to is convenience and flexibility. All MSN programs bring focus toward helping working RNs develop greater skills, and with that comes career prospects and improved salaries. GraduateNursingEdu.org highlights that finding a balance among these factors is very important. The site said, “The real trick is in finding the balance between ensuring students get the kind of hands-on training it takes to assimilate advanced theory in pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology, and the right level of convenience and flexibility it takes to see a program through to completion.”

A couple of more aspects that the site spotlights are experiences that support specific career paths, funding and research grants, scholarships, and student satisfaction. Location is also relevant in nursing education, even with online FNP programs. When it comes to partnerships, these schools find themselves connecting with clinics and hospitals nearby for clinical training. This is where those hands-on opportunities come into action, and the environment becomes very important when looking into FNP programs. All of these components were taken into consideration with Monmouth’s ranking.

The University stands out for many reasons. According to their background on Monmouth.edu, the University has distinguished faculty, most of which have doctoral degrees and have been recognized for their excellence in the field. Entry options for ADN-prepared (associate degree in nursing) RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree are also offered. Forty-five credits are divided between graduate nursing core courses, APN courses, and FNP specialty courses as well as no entrance exam requirement.

GraduateNursingEdu.org emphasized how Monmouth makes efforts to accommodate. The site said, “And you can’t help but love a program that makes an effort to accommodate all types of nursing students, including an entry point for ADN-educated RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s.”

Colleen Manzetti, DNP, RN, CNE, Associate Professor & Graduate Faculty for the School of Nursing & Health Studies, and the Chair of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, believes that Monmouth is ranked as one of the best for numerous reasons and spoke on how distinguished and doctorly the faculty are. She said, “Our small class sizes allow faculty to provide personalized guidance.” She continued by mentioning that the faculty works with their students closely which helps them address their specific learning needs. “All of this contributes to the 95% completion rate for the Family Nurse Practitioner program,” Manzetti said.

Rose Knapp, DNP, RN, APNC, Associate Professor, Graduate Faculty, and Coordinator of the APN Program, has been running the program since 2010 and is very satisfied with the University’s ranking. She said, “We are a faculty that is doctorly prepared.” She explained that the FNP is their largest program and every professor that teaches the classes is actively practicing. This makes it better for students because they are learning from actual nurses and doctors. She said, “It’s not like teaching out of a book, we actually have hands-on knowledge and are very current.” Knapp described Monmouth’s program as unique and highlighted that several professors teach in a hybrid model so they can have direct contact with their students. This goes along with the Department capping their course admittance so they can have that close relationship with their students, as well.

Monmouth was ranked as one of the best FNP programs in the Northeast before back in 2019, as well. “We are maintaining up there, and I’m proud of that too,” Knapp concluded.