DNP Family Nurse Practitioner

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Where Experience Becomes Expertise

Fairfield University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide holistic care to individuals of all ages from newborn babies to end of life. Students work in all care settings with a focus on delivering health promotion and disease prevention to people with acute and chronic disease. Graduates of this program are eligible to diagnose and manage the care of patients across the life span and in all settings except critical care. Students have clinical practica in nearby city and rural clinics, private practices, hospitals, and settings that employ advanced practice nurses or medical doctors. 

The clinically-focused degree prepares graduates to evaluate and apply existing evidence to improve practice outcomes. Taught as a cohort program, students are educated in the fundamental skills necessary to make a difference in healthcare: population-level healthcare, organizational systems, leadership, business management, clinical scholarship, information technology, and policy-making. With this knowledge, DNP Family Nurse Practitioner graduates are prepared for leadership roles in a variety of settings—as executives in healthcare organizations, directors of clinical programs, or faculty programs with a clinical focus, to name a few.

Sneak Peek | Fairfield University School of Nursing and Health Studies

Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing Simulation Center

Contact Us

Janina Gilo-Tomkins headshot

Janina Gilo-Tomkins

Director, Family Nurse Practitioner

Assistant Professor of the Practice

Office of Graduate Admission

P: (203) 254-4184
F: (203) 254-4199

Fairfield Egan Fast Facts

Top 100
Best Grad Program in Nation
- U.S. News & World Report
Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Connecticut
- U.S. News & World Report
Top 5%
Best Nursing Schools in the Nation
- College Factual
Best Nursing Practice Doctor's Degree Schools in the New England Region
- College Factual

Requirements & Curriculum

Required Courses

Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Advanced Healthcare Policy
Research Methods for Evidenced-Based Practice
Advanced Nursing Roles and Reflective Practice
Population Health
Research Translation for Clinical Practice
Finance and Quality Management in Healthcare Organizations
Information Technology for Healthcare Improvement
Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration
DNP Immersion
DNP Seminar I
DNP Seminar II
Advanced Health Assessment
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
Advanced Pharmacology
Adult Health I
Adult Health II
Care of Children and Families
Care of At-Risk Populations
Practicum in Adult Health I
Clinical Conference Across the Lifespan: FNP Practicum I
Clinical Conference Across the Lifespan: FNP Practicum II

A detailed list of course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.

Egan Admission

Applications are considered on a rolling basis until July 1.

Stag Spotlight

Jennifer Blondin, DNP’17, FNP-BC, RN headshot

Jennifer Blondin, DNP’17, FNP-BC, RN

Family Nurse Practitioner at New Hanover Medical Group

Get To Know Jennifer

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University for your advanced degree?

Fairfield University offered a rigorous and competitive Advanced Nursing Degree program, allowing me the opportunity to pursue my Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

What did you like about your Fairfield education?

Most of the courses offered were in person with a small cohort, which ensured optimal 1:1 learning styles. Additionally, Fairfield offered online courses as well which allowed me to both focus my efforts on working full-time as a Registered Nurse simultaneously with working towards fulfilling my doctoral degree in Advanced Practice Nursing. I also cannot speak highly enough about the professors who I worked with. They really treated you as a person, a student one on one, rather than a number. They worked together with each student to optimize both professional and personal growth.

How has your advanced degree at Fairfield has affected your life?

Fairfield has provided me the distinct opportunity to work alongside some of the most compassionate, intelligent professors. The people and contacts that I have made at Fairfield have profoundly shaped my practice as a clinician and have opened up my opportunities for growth tremendously. The amount of time spent on the success of their students really has proven itself. Fairfield has provided myself and my brother with the opportunity to not only be successful, but opportunist individuals.

Katie Howe, DNP’20, BSN’12, RN, CCRN headshot

Katie Howe, DNP’20, BSN’12, RN, CCRN

Registered Nurse at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

Get To Know Katie

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University for your advanced degree?

As a former undergraduate of Fairfield University, I already had insight into the encouraging and supportive faculty, therapeutic learning environment and opportunities that this school has to offer. Going back to my previous home was a no-brainer to me.

What have you liked about your Fairfield education?

Fairfield provides an education where evidenced-based practice is being taught by knowledgeable clinicians. They send us to a number of clinical sites where we get valuable hands on experience but also have an incredible state-of-the-art SIM lab.

What would you tell someone considering an advanced degree at Fairfield?

Fairfield's FNP-DNP program is challenging and some of the hardest work I have ever done. But Fairfield creates excellence and provides its students with the education and tools to deliver exceptional care and make a difference in the lives of our patients.

How has working toward your advanced degree at Fairfield affected your life?

My background as a nurse is in pediatric critical care. Fairfield gave me the foundation to be a successful new graduate RN in a fast pace acute environment. I developed core nursing skills and learned how to critically think and advocate for my patients and families. Fairfield has now provided me with a second foundation to be a successful NP where I will be diagnosing and managing patients independently. Fairfield believes in their students and has given me the confidence to know that I am capable of achieving great things in the health care field. My future opportunities are endless.

More About Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practice-focused doctorate comparable to advanced clinical degrees in other health disciplines such as Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The degree represents the highest academic preparation for nursing practice, focusing on expanded scientific knowledge related to providing comprehensive direct care across all settings. Grounded in clinical practice, the DNP moves the focus of advanced practice nursing from the level of the individual patient to the population level by using a cross-population perspective to assess, manage, and evaluate common problems.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), safe nursing practice in today's increasingly complex health care system requires improved translation of scientific evidence into practice. With a DNP, you'll be able to assume a leadership role in an increasingly complex healthcare system during this critical era of healthcare reform.

The future of nursing rides on the DNP, and the shift in the industry is occurring right now. Members of AACN voted in 2004 to support advanced practice nursing at the doctoral level. This means that the DNP is the preferred degree for students wishing to be a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse midwife (CNM), or nurse anesthetist (CRNA); it will soon be required in some areas of advanced practice such as nurse anesthesia. For more on the DNP, visit AACN.

The DNP is the preferred degree for advanced practice nursing (AACN, 2004). While programs are still available at the master's level, the DNP is expected to become the standard in the nursing practice.

The primary difference between the two is that a PhD is research-focused and the DNP is practice-focused. The PhD is specifically designed to teach students how to conduct original investigation that advances the knowledge of a discipline. In contrast, a DNP is comparable to clinical doctorates in other health disciplines such as pharmacy, physical therapy, and medicine. DNP students focus on advanced practice areas of specialization, acquiring a population perspective in addressing common patient problems within a specialty. DNP students complete a practice dissertation that applies existing knowledge to address a clinical problem. The practice dissertation results in a publishable paper that demonstrates the effectiveness of a clinical innovation on patient outcomes.

  • Personalized attention & strong faculty-student mentorship opportunities
  • A rigorous, experiential, and inspirational academic experience
  • A reputation for graduating highly skilled nurse practitioners
  • Stellar on-site technological resources
  • A state-of-the-art simulation laboratory
  • Exceptional media resources available onsite and remotely
  • In keeping with our Jesuit mission, an emphasis on the ethical, legal, and socially-just implications of patient-centered care

We accept applications for family or psychiatric nurse practitioner specialties as well as nurse midwifery and nurse anesthetists.

BSNs who pursue the DNP on a full-time basis will take three years; four years if they do so part-time. The approximate cost is $70-75,000 for the program, depending on the tuition rate per credit which could change slightly over the course of those years.

Yes, the many of our students attend school part-time while working full-time; we have both full-time and part-time curricular plans available.

View the Fairfield's Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies graduate admission requirements.

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties is responsible for developing the nurse practitioner competencies. This is true for both MSN and DNP preparation.

A certified Family Nurse Practitioner is prepared to work with patients across the life span except for patients in critical care and high risk pregnancy areas. Family Nurse Practitioners can work in primary care or specialized areas of medicine such as cardiology, infertility, interventional radiology, oncology, and pediatrics at this time. The program at Fairfield University prepares the graduate to be able to work with all age groups. Clinical practica are arranged to prepare the student to gain experience in primary care and, if desired, in one or two specialty areas.

The Family Nurse Practitioner degree will prepare you to work as an FNP in pediatric settings as well as with adults of all ages in case you change your mind as your career evolves. Primary care is being offered in many family practice centers so being a FNP prepares you for both adult and pediatric practice. If you feel you want to specialize exclusively in pediatrics, you should seek information at institutions offering a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track.

Being a Family Nurse Practitioner will make you most marketable and enable you to work in any practice setting with patients of all ages [except critical care and high risk pregnancy].

Students can transfer up to 6 core credits if the courses are similar. Evaluation of transfer credits are approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

The GRE exam is not required for Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthesia Tracks; however, for BSN applicants that have earned a GPA below 3.0., or MSN applicants that have earned a GPA below 3.2, GRE scores may strengthen your application by demonstrating your ability to achieve the academic standards required at the doctoral level.

Call or email Dr. Janina Gilo-Tomkins, or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2757 for more information.

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