A graduate nursing student takes a patient's blood pressure.

Nurse Practitioner Programs (MSN)

Whether you choose to specialize in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care or Family Primary Care, earning your Nurse Practitioner MSN degree from Commonwealth's nationally recognized nursing program will prepare you to be a leader in healthcare.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Concentration
Location
  • Bloomsburg
Department
College
Program Contact
Chair of Graduate Nursing, Director of Nurse Practitioner Programs
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Advance Healthcare

A Nurse Practitioner MSN program opens doors to a rewarding career in healthcare, offering the opportunity to provide excellent patient care, specialize in your chosen area of interest, and make a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Nurse Practitioner Program Details

  • 2 Concentrations – Adult-Gerontology and Family.
  • RNCareers.org Best Ranked Nursing Programs logo
  • Start Dates – Applications are accepted for the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
  • Coursework – MSN Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology program includes 15 courses (45 credits). MSN Nurse Practitioner Family program includes 18 courses (54 credits).
  • Program Delivery – Core courses are asynchronous online. Clinical courses are synchronous online with minimal on-campus requirements.
  • Flexible Coursework – Curriculum is built with working nurses in mind. 
  • Program Focus – Program's primary focus is on preparing primary care clinicians.
  • Faculty Practitioners – Program faculty are all practicing Nurse Practitioners .

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Courses and Curriculum

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

  • The patient population focus for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) includes adolescents (above 12 years of age), young to middle age adults, and older adults. Our AGPCNP graduates will have the capabilities to practice in community and hospital based primary care clinics, in patient’s homes, in sub-acute/skilled nursing facilities, and in long-term care settings. The AGPCNP works inter-professionally with other members of the health care team.
  • A full-time, part-time, and RN-BSN-MSN are offered for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. The full time program is completed in two years (5 semesters). The Graduate Core Curriculum provides students from any specialty area advanced knowledge in nursing theory and research, community health, epidemiology, evidence-based practice, and socio-cultural issues. Programs with advanced practice role preparation include lifespan physical assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.
  • The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program has met the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC’s) certification eligibility educational requirements. Students who complete this program have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC national certification in this role and population. Applicants must also meet any additional eligibility criteria in effect when they apply for certification. Graduates of the program are also eligible for national certification through examination through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

I. Core Courses: (24 Credits)

  • NURSING 501 Theoretical Bases for Role Development in Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 502 Epidemiology: Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 503 Bases of Research for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 504 Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan for the Advanced Practice Nurse (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 507 Pharmacology Across the Lifespan for the Advanced Practice Nurse (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 508 Lifespan Health Assessment and Promotion for Advanced Nursing Practice (6 crs.) (60 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 520 Community Assessment and Planning (3 crs.)

II. Clinical Sequence: (21 Credits)

  • NURSING 515 Diagnosis and Management of Adult and Aged I (6 crs.) (200 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 529 Comprehensive Assessment of the Older Adult (3 crs.) (60 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 516 Diagnosis and Management of Adult and Aged II (6 crs.) (200 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 534 Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Practicum and Seminar (6 crs.)
  • TOTAL CREDITS = 45

Required Courses (PDF)

  • The patient populations focus for the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) includes children, adolescents, adults, and older and frail older adults. Our program prepares the graduate to value collaborative, family-centered care as well as the interaction among the physical, emotional, mental, and sociocultural systems of patients to meet the individual healthcare needs, as well as those of the family. In addition, the program has a strong emphasis on meeting the needs of the community, underserved, high-risk, and multi-cultural populations. Graduates of the program can provide primary health care in a variety of primary care settings. The FNP works inter-professionally with other members of the health care team.
  • Full-time, part-time, and RN-BSN-MSN are offered for the Family Nurse Practitioner. The full-time program is completed in two and half years (six semesters). The Graduate Core Curriculum provides students from any specialty area advanced knowledge in nursing theory and research, community health, epidemiology, evidence-based practice, and socio-cultural issues. Programs with advanced practice role preparation include lifespan physical assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.
  • Advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology are also online courses where the advanced physical assessment course is offered as an on-campus course with an extensive laboratory experience in the assessment of the client. The core clinical courses provide the student with the skill set and knowledge to provide health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan to patients and families who present with both acute and chronic conditions. Practice-based learning experiences provide the student with opportunities to apply the theory and skills learned in the classroom setting in their role as primary care providers.
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner program has met the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC’s) certification eligibility educational requirements. Students who complete this program have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC national certification in this role and population. Applicants must also meet any additional eligibility criteria in effect when they apply for certification. Graduates of the program are also eligible for national certification through examination through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

I. Core Courses: (27 Credits)

  • NURSING 501 Theoretical Bases for Role Development in Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 502 Epidemiology: Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 503 Bases of Research for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 504 Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan for the Advanced Practice Nurse (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 507 Pharmacology Across the Lifespan for the Advanced Practice Nurse (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 508 Lifespan Health Assessment and Promotion for Advanced Nursing Practice (6 crs.) (60 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 520 Community Assessment and Planning (3 crs.)
  • NURSING 522 Family Theory Across the Lifespan (3 crs.)

II. Clinical Sequence: (27 Credits)

  • NURSING 515 Diagnosis and Management of the Adult & Aged I (6 crs.) (200 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 516 Diagnosis and Management of the Adult & Aged II (6 crs) (200 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 517 Diagnosis and Management of Pregnant Women and Children
    (6 crs.)
  • NURSING 529 Comprehensive Assessment of the Older Adult (3 crs.) (60 clinical hours)
  • NURSING 541 Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Practicum and Seminar (6 crs.)
  • TOTAL CREDITS = 54

Required Courses (PDF)

The Nurse Practitioner program admits students on a rolling basis. Completed applications should be submitted to the Office of Graduate at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which a student is applying.

Completed application packets consist of the following information (all application materials should be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 161 Arts & Administration Building, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, or electronically to gradadmissions@commonwealthu.edu).

  • Graduate school application and fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  • Copy of current, unencumbered professional nursing license
  • Resume which includes description of professional nursing and clinical experience
  • Career Goals
  • One completed recommendation form and 2 additional names with contact information
  • One year of current acute care experience. 
  • Interviews with the Graduate Nursing Department Admissions Committee will be conducted via a rolling admission process.

For more information contact Jennifer Sheaffer, DNP CRNP, Chairperson, Graduate Nursing.

  • Q: Do I need professional experience in order to be admitted?
    A: Yes- Students need 1 year of acute primary care experience in order to be considered for admission. 
  • Q: What career opportunities will a master's in nurse practitioner open up?
    A: By completing our MSN Nurse Practitioner degree, you're more likely to advance your scope of practice, have increased level of autonomy, and increase your salary potential.
  • Q: How is the program delivered?
    A: Core courses are offered 100% online and clinical courses are offered in hybrid format. Program is available in part-time and full-time formats.
  • Q: When can I start?
    A: Applications are accepted for the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
  • Q: Do I need to take the GRE in order to apply?
    A. No- the GRE is not required for admission.

ONWARD AND UPWARD

#4
Top Rated Program
Our MSN Nurse Practitioner program is ranked #4 in the state of Pennsylvania by RNCareers.org.
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Accreditation
The master's degree program in nursing at Commonwealth University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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Mission and Philosophy

Recognized as a leading accredited undergraduate and graduate level nursing program, Commonwealth University prepares future nurses for a wide range of careers in critical care, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, trauma, home care, and other clinical specialties and case management.

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CCNE Accredited

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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PA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners

PCNP is the state organization that promotes and protects the practice of more than 7,500 Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs) in Pennsylvania. Formed in the 1980's by only 3 forward thinking NPs, PCNP now has 18 Regional groups and over 1,350 members! Each regional group offers networking opportunities and has a representative on the PCNP Executive Board that meets quarterly to discuss issues and set organizational goals. Member dues are used to support our central office, executive staff and maintain a Government Relations Specialist who represents us in Harrisburg.

Health Professions

Out-of-state licensure and certification

Professional licensure laws and regulations vary from state to state and are subject to change without notice. A Commonwealth University program that leads to state licensure in PA may not meet all requirements in another state. Please review each state’s licensing board contact information and whether CU’s MSN-NP programs provide all educational prerequisites towards licensure in a specific state. If you're planning to pursue a professional credential in a state other than PA, it's highly recommended you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance and verify the provided information prior to starting a program. Visit the state authorization page for details.

Program Faculty

Professor Jennifer Sheaffer

Jennifer Sheaffer

  • Chair of Graduate Nursing, Director of Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • Bloomsburg
Lori

Lori Parke

  • Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Bloomsburg
Lori

Lori Metzger

  • Associate Professor, Director, MSN/MBA Program Director, MSN Informatics Program
  • Bloomsburg

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