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Graduate Certificate inFamily/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner

Program summary

This certificate is designed for nurses, prepared with a graduate degree in nursing, who are licensed to practice professional nursing in Pennsylvania and are interested in expanding their scope of practice to patients across the lifespan and preparing for certification as a family nurse practitioner.

Application deadline

Apply by March 1 to start May 13

Credits and costs

22–38 Credits$1,017 per credit

Take Advantage of the Nationwide Demand for Family Nurse Practitioners

The demand for skilled nurse practitioners to assist patients across all age demographics is sharply on the rise. This online family nurse practitioner certificate can prepare you to meet this demand and enjoy a rewarding career as an FNP.

Offered online through Penn State World Campus in partnership with the Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, this graduate certificate program is ideal for individuals who already hold a master’s degree or higher in nursing who are looking for additional opportunities and certification as a family nurse practitioner.

As a student in this program, you will study health promotion and illness prevention, as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic health problems with individual, age-related, family, and special-population considerations. You’ll also focus on ways to empower patients to maintain their health throughout their lives.

Prepare for an Intergenerational Nursing Career

  • Study ways to provide preventative, chronic, and acute patient care across the lifespan.
  • Learn to provide a wide range of family-focused health care services to patients of all ages, including infants, adolescents, adults, and seniors.
  • Focus on the epidemiological, cultural, ethical, and economic factors related to families and individuals in the context of health promotion, disease prevention, treatment options, and quality improvement processes.
  • Build upon your current skills and knowledge to lead change to improve quality outcomes.
  • Prepare for national certification as a family nurse practitioner.

Why a Nursing Certificate from Penn State?

Flexibility — We understand the need for flexible and convenient learning options, using technology not just for convenience, but also to support learning outcomes. Your academic adviser can help you develop your plans for completing your courses in as timely a manner as possible. This certificate can be earned part-time or full-time, with courses based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials and national nurse practitioner competencies.

Our devoted team of graduate faculty and staff are dedicated to student success and provide individualized mentorship and guidance throughout the program, working to ensure students graduate prepared to deliver expert clinical care and improve health outcomes. Penn State is a leader in online education with innovative and engaging classroom experiences designed to enhance your learning.

Reputation — Penn State nursing programs are among the top online programs in the nation. The Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at Penn State are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. Further information can be found at www.ccneaccreditation.org.

Courses

Penn State’s Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate is currently only available to nurses who are licensed to practice professional nursing in the state of Pennsylvania and who also hold a graduate degree in nursing.

The course work will focus on the epidemiological, cultural, ethical, and economic factors related to families and individuals in the context of health promotion, disease prevention, treatment options, and quality improvement processes.

To earn this certificate, you will need to successfully complete a minimum of 22 credits. Additional course work may be required, based on an evaluation of transcripts and prior courses completed.

Required Courses

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive professional practice course in which students learn the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role focused on common acute/episodic health problems in caring for individuals and families across the lifespan.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive professional practice course in which students learn the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role focused on the identification and management of complex and/or chronic health problems in caring for individuals and families across the lifespan.

  • 2
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 5
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 2
    credits

    Nurse Practitioner role with children and their families to promote health, prevent illness, and manage acute or chronic health problems. NURS 875 provides instruction in the Nurse Practitioner role with children and their families to promote health, plan anticipatory guidance, conduct health screenings, prevent illness, and manage primary care health problems.

  • 1
    credit

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role with the pediatric population through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive didactic and simulation experience in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills.

Advanced Practice Core Courses

Additional course work may be required. Any or all of these additional courses may be waived based on the certificate program chair’s evaluation of transcripts and prior courses completed.

  • 3
    credits

    Current conceptual and theoretical models in nursing, including relationship to practice and research in development of nursing science.

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced nursing assessment and diagnosis of physical, psychosocial, and developmental health for adults and families across the adult age spectrum.

  • 1
    credit

    Advanced nursing assessment and diagnosis of physical, psychosocial, and development health for individuals and families across the pediatric age spectrum.

  • 3
    credits

    Integration of advanced physiology, genetics, and pathophysiology as related to specific disease entities and alterations in functioning.

  • 3
    credits

    Pharmacologic therapies in advanced nursing practice.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the relationship of nursing theories to the development of nursing science, as well as current scientific advances that guide nursing practice and research.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,017 per credit
12 or more$12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,027 per credit
12 or more$12,325 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

This program is currently only accepting applications from nurses with a graduate degree in nursing and who are licensed to practice professional nursing in the state of Pennsylvania.

Your certificate application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete:

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 1 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 1 to start January 13

Admissions Help

Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.

Prerequisites

Applicants must hold a graduate degree in nursing from a from an ACEN– or CCNE–accredited institution that is also a U.S. regionally accredited institution or a postsecondary degree in nursing that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

Applicants to Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate program must also be nurses licensed to practice professional nursing in the state of Pennsylvania.

In addition, undergraduate chemistry and statistics are required.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GPA — It is recommended that you have a grade-point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for the baccalaureate degree with a B or better in all science and nursing courses.

GRE or GMAT scores are NOT required for admission. 

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Please note that for entrance into a Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing graduate-level program, the minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 580 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 25 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT). The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 7.0.

References (2) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of two references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.

References should be obtained from academic and professional perspectives. If you completed college-level courses over the past five years, an academic reference is required. Other references should be from a nursing supervisor, preferably holding a degree higher than yours. 

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner" as the certificate

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements

Review the technical requirements for this certificate program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by March 1 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

A group of nurses sitting at a table together having a meeting

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

A Head Start toward a Doctoral Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Practitioner (DNP–NP) degree.

Degree Program Related to This Certificate

All the required credits in this graduate certificate can be applied toward the following doctoral degree program, if you apply and are granted admission:

Prepare to provide direct and specific client care through an expanded nursing role with this online nurse practitioner doctoral degree program, available exclusively to nurses who are licensed to practice professional nursing in Pennsylvania. Choose from four specializations.

Learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Practitioner

Contact Us

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner, offered in partnership with the Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors 
Phone: 814-863-5386 
[email protected]

Cody Hoffman 
Student Enrollment Recruiter 
Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing 
Phone: 814-865-0865 
[email protected]

To learn more about additional, highly respected nursing programs from Penn State, visit the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing website.

Faculty

  • Dr. Barbara Birriel, Ph.D., ACNP-BC, FCCM

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      Post-grad certificate ACNP, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      MSN, Thomas Jefferson University
    • Degree
      BSN, Bloomsbury State College (University)

    Dr. Barbara Birriel is an assistant research professor and an acute care nurse practitioner. Her research interests include ethics for the practitioner, palliative care, and family caregiving experiences in heart failure patients.

  • Kristen Bransby, CRNP, CPNP-PC

    • Degree
      DNP, University of Maryland
    • Degree
      MSN, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Track, Drexel University
    • Degree
      B.S., Nursing, Penn State

    Dr. Kristen Brandsby, associate teaching professor, is a doctoral-prepared pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist who teaches the pediatric course work in the family nurse practitioner track and mentors and facilitates learning for the DNP students. Her practice interests include adolescents, pediatric mental health, health policy, and concussions.

  • Sandra Halbruner, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC

    • Degree
      DNP, Wilkes University
    • Degree
      M.S., Penn State
    • Degree
      BSN, Johns Hopkins University
    • Degree
      B.S., Franklin & Marshall College

    Dr. Sandra Halbruner is an assistant teaching professor for the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing. She has more than 21 years of experience in the field of medicine. Her research interests include active learning techniques in the multi-site or online classroom.

  • Sharilee Hrabovsky, D.Ed.

    • Degree
      D.Ed., Adult Education, Penn State
    • Degree
      Post-master’s certification, Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, Widener University
    • Degree
      MSN, Villanova University
    • Degree
      BSN, Thomas Jefferson University

    Dr. Sharilee Hrabovsky is an assistant research professor with the  College of Nursing. She teaches online courses in the graduate school. She has been a practicing nurse for the last 36 years, 23 of them as a nurse practitioner, and has presented on tobacco use, treatment, and regulation research for the last eight years. She is a nationally certified tobacco treatment specialist and has worked with hundreds of tobacco users through clinical trials or direct patient care in their quest to reduce or quit tobacco use.

  • Susan Leight, Ed.D., ARPN-BC, NP-C, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

    • Degree
      Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      Ed.D., West Virginia University
    • Degree
      MSN, West Virginia University
    • Degree
      BSN, State University of New York at Buffalo

    Dr. Susan Leight is the director of the NP programs, the WE Lead program, and innovation at the College of Nursing. Dr Leight’s research interests include vulnerable populations, focusing on rural health and women’s health. She also spends time in Central America providing care for the underserved.

  • Paul Logan, PH.D., CRNP, ACNP-BC

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      MSN, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      BSN, Messiah College

    Dr. Paul Logan is an assistant research professor for the College of Nursing. His research interests include outcomes, quality, and value in health care, particularly the quality of care provided by nurse practitioners. His clinical interests include acute care, critical care, and cardiovascular disease.

  • Brandi Peachey, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

    • Degree
      DNP, Penn State
    • Degree
      BSN, West Virginia University

    Dr. Brandi Peachey is an assistant teaching professor in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. She is an FNP who practices in pediatrics. Dr. Peachey’s interests include adolescent substance abuse and screening techniques.

  • Nicole Peterson, DNP, A/GPCNP-BC, CRNP, RN

    • Degree
      DNP, University of Iowa
    • Degree
      MSN, University of Iowa
    • Degree
      BSN, University of Iowa

    Dr. Nicole Peterson is an assistant teaching professor and emeritus associate professor of instruction at the University of Iowa. She has been an adult and gerontological primary care nurse practitioner since 2008, with clinical practice experience in long-term care, community care, home care, and primary care. This includes providing geriatric and primary care to the Meskwaki Nation community (Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa and their employees). She has teaching experience in undergraduate and graduate nursing, including master’s and doctorate levels, as well as serving as a geriatric nurse practitioner.

  • Beth Ann White, DNP, CRNP-BC, RN

    • Degree
      DNP, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S. and Adult Nurse Practitioner, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Nursing, Penn State
    • Degree
      RN, Diploma, Geisinger School of Nursing

    Dr. Beth Ann White is the coordinator for the FNP program and is an associate teaching professor in the College of Nursing. She has worked as a case manager, disease manager, and regional manager for the Medical Home project, along with her continued practice as an adult nurse practitioner. Her research interest includes improved oral care in long-term care.

  • Sheilah Yohn, DNP, AGNP-BC, RN

    Degree
    DNP, Wilkes University

    Dr. Sheilah Yohn is an assistant teaching professor. She is a practicing NP in a family care setting. Dr. Yohn’s interests are in providing care to the underserved.

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by March 1 to start May 13. How to Apply