Family Nurse Practitioner - FAQs

Is the FNP Program accredited?

  • Our college is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Our nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  
  • All programs at SUNY Poly are registered by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the New York State Board of Regents-Office of Professions.

What degree(s) does SUNY Poly offer for the family nurse practitioner major?

  • We currently offer a Master of Science (MS) and Advanced Certificate for the Family Nurse Practitioner major.
  • There has been NO announcement by any accrediting or state licensing agencies to date when the DNP will be required for licensure or credentialing by ANCC or AANP.
  • The program meets the license qualifying requirements in New York State.

What format is the degree offered?

  • The degree is available in a hybrid format, offering the flexibility of online study along with face-to-face meeting times. Online courses are delivered on Blackboard, the college’s learning management system, with Collaborate, a virtual presentation tool. Online courses may require synchronous participation on specific dates and times.

When should I apply to the Family Nurse Practitioner program?

  • The FNP program only enrolls students for a fall start term (spring enrollment is not available) and the firm application deadline is February 1.
  • The FNP program has become increasingly popular and competitive. It is recommended you apply and complete the graduate application promptly. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed until all required documents are received.
  • To start the application process, file the online Application for Graduate Admission and pay the $60 application fee. The Graduate Admissions Office will follow-up with you regarding required supplemental materials once the application has been received.
  • For detailed information contact Alicia Foster, Director of Graduate Admissions at or 315-792-7347.

When are the admission decisions made for the Family Nurse Practitioner program?

  • Application review will take place in March and decisions will be mailed out in mid-March.

What are the basic requirements to be considered for admission to the Family Nurse Practitioner program?

  • All applicants to the program must possess a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing, a DNP or post Master's certificate, from a program accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved agency for the accreditation of nursing education, such as ACEN, CCNE, CNEA or New York State Board of Regents. With a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
  • All applicants must possess a current unrestricted, unencumbered license as a Registered Professional Nurse (RN) in New York State.
  • All applicants must demonstrate evidence of the equivalent of at least 2000 hours of work experience as a RN by the start of the first semester of study.
  • All applicants must demonstrate successful completion of an undergraduate course in basic statistics with a grade of C or higher.
  • All applicants must have completed an instructor observed lab/clinical based health assessment course with a grade of B or better, taken within five years of registering for NUR 566/567.  For those whose undergraduate health assessment course was more than five years ago, NUR 514 (2 credits) is available as a summer course.

Can I take classes before I am admitted to the program? I would like to complete one course as a non-matriculated student to try out the program to make sure it’s right for me before matriculating. The course listing indicates permission is required to take a course if you are not already enrolled in the program. How do I go about obtaining permission to register?

  • Students may apply to take graduate courses without formal admission to the degree program, on a space-available basis by filing the Non-Matriculated Application with the Registrar's Office.
  • The maximum number of six credit hours is allowed for non-degree study, before matriculation in a degree program. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Graduate coursework taken while in non-degree status may be applicable to the degree program upon formal admission; however, there is no guarantee of credit applicability or admission by completing coursework in non-degree status.
  • Matriculated students have first preference on course seats; you will be notified if there is room in the classes no later than the day that the online courses open. Please check the academic calendar for this semester’s date.
  • Only the following courses are permitted for non-degree study: 
    NUR 500 Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice
    NUR 503 Advanced Leadership and Health Policy
    NUR 531 Family Theory
    NUR 555 Clinical Pharmacology
    NUR 560 Nursing Research Methods 
    NUR 570 Clinical Pathophysiology

Is there a downside to taking courses as a non-matriculated student as opposed to immediately applying and being admitted as a matriculated student?

Key advantages to immediately matriculating are:

  • You are bound to the degree requirements in place at the time of your admission, even if those requirements change in the future. 
  • The core FNP courses are reserved for matriculated students only.
  • Matriculated students register prior to non-matriculated students, resulting in a better selection of course offerings.
  • The nursing program gets resources, such as the number of course offerings and faculty lines, based, in part on the number of students matriculated into the program.
  • Taking a non-matriculated course does not mean you will be admitted to the program.
  • The bottom line is that it’s best to matriculate as early as you can.

Can I work while getting my master’s degree?

  • Our program is rigorous.  The faculty does not recommend that graduate students work full-time while concurrently enrolled in the program full-time as this does not promote success nor work-life balance.   We encourage you to consider either full-time study/part-time work or part-time study/full-time work.
  • Please review the sample plans of study to plan accordingly:  Full-time | Part-time

How often do I have to be on the Utica campus for course work?

  • The sample plans of study detail the course formats, credit hours, and time requirements for each option: Full-time | Part-time
  • The purpose of this template is for time management and potential planning - it's a sample plan of study and is subject to change.
  • There may be additional activities for the above classes that you may need to be on campus for; you will be made aware of this at the beginning of each semester.
  • First year classes typically run on Thursdays and second year classes on Wednesdays.

What are the clinical requirements for the FNP program?

Clinical expertise is acquired through clinical placements in a variety of public, private, and community-based primary care agencies.

  • Clinical hours may be done at an approved clinical location near your home in New York State ONLY!
  • The FNP student will complete 800 hours of clinical practice in this 45 credit-hour program of study.
  • For each credit of clinical you take you must do 5.5 hours x 15 weeks to fulfill this requirement.
  • For NUR 580 Beginning Clinical, 670 Intermediate Clinical and 680 Advanced Clinical there are weekly clinical experience requirements. For example there are 165 hours total required for NUR 580 Beginning Clinical which is approximately one day a week, 247.5 hours for NUR 670 Intermediate Clinical which is approximately 2 days a week and 330 hours total required for NUR 680 Advanced Clinical approximately 3 days a week.
  • Clinical hours may vary for Intermediate and Advanced Family Clinical depending on full or part-time plan of study.

Will I need to buy software or hardware to take FNP classes?

  • Computer hardware and software compatible with Medatrax and the SUNY Poly Learning Network as well as a headset and camera are required.

What is the maximum time that I can take to complete the graduate program?

  • Courses completed more than seven (7) years before the term in which the degree is awarded may not be used for credit toward the advanced degree. In the event that attendance has been interrupted due to extenuating circumstances, exceptions may be made by the academic unit with approval of the Provost. (SUNY Poly Graduate Catalogue, 2017-2018)

How can I find out what graduate nursing courses are being offered any particular semester?

  • Visit our online Course Schedule. Click on “Master Course Schedule”.  Select your term of interest from the pull-down menu. Select “Nursing” from the pull-down menu. 

Where can I find graduate nursing course descriptions?

What is the cost of the degree at SUNY Poly?

  • Current rates for tuition and fees are available on the Bursar’s Office website.

Does SUNY Poly provide financial aid?

I was previously admitted and took graduate classes at SUNY Poly and want to return to the Family Nurse Practitioner Program? What should I do?

  • Readmission is required if you were previously matriculated but have been out for three or more consecutive semesters.
  • To apply for readmission, complete and submit the Readmission Application for Graduate Study with the Registrar’s office. Upon receipt, the Registrar’s Office will consult with the Nursing Department and a decision will be made.  Readmission is not guaranteed.
  • Degree requirements are determined by the academic catalog under which the student is readmitted.
  • Courses taken more than 5 years prior to readmission will be evaluated by the Nursing Academic Standards Committee for applicability to the student’s new program of study.

Are there any special academic policies that I should be aware of?

All students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate.

  • Students must achieve a minimum final grade of “B” (82%) in each course in the program.
  • Students must receive a minimum grade of "B" or 82% in all required components (clinical and theory) of a course to receive a minimum final grade of "B" or 82% for the course.
  • Students that do not meet the minimum final course grade requirement of “B” (82%) may repeat the course once with a maximum of two (2) repeated required courses while enrolled in the program.
  • Students may transfer up to twelve credit hours, if applicable, from another graduate program.
  • Students must maintain continuous registration, equal to or greater than one credit while completing degree requirements. MS Nursing students can do this by registering for CMT 600 – Continuous Registration. This only applies to students who have an incomplete in their last semester and it can only be applied once. Students must be registered at SUNY Polytechnic Institute during the term they intend to graduate.
  • All students must satisfactorily complete a culminating examination to graduate




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