Post Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate (FNP)

The Post Master’s FNP certificate program is an accelerated course of study tailored for nurses who possess a master’s or doctorate nursing degree and desire to become a nurse practitioner. 

The program comprises 31 units and is 15 months in duration on a full-time basis. Classes are hybrid meet every other week, however, students are required to have sufficient flexibility in their schedules to complete the clinical practicum hours during regular business hours (M-F). Nurse Practitioner faculty provide advising and mentoring to assist students in balancing work, study, and personal life responsibilities. In addition, small class sizes facilitate support among students in the cohort. Upon completion of this program, students become eligible for California NP license & national board certification. Please see SF State bulletin for additional information about the program including student learning outcomes.

Through advanced education and clinical training  with a family population focus, students who pursue this area of study are prepared for both California NP license and national board certification (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners & American Nurses Credentialing Center). Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are licensed to practice autonomously and in collaboration with other health care professionals to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage the health needs of patients of all ages. NPs can also serve as health care researchers, interdisciplinary consultants and patient advocates. The purpose of the nurse practitioner education program shall be to prepare a graduate nurse practitioner to provide competent primary care and/or acute care services in one or more of the categories.

Nurse practitioner means an advanced practice registered nurse who meets board education and certification requirements and possesses additional advanced practice educational preparation and skills in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment, and management of health-illness needs in primary care, and/or acute care. Primary care means comprehensive and continuous care provided to patients, families, and the community. "Primary care" focuses on basic preventative care, health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, patient education and the diagnoses and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. "Acute care" means restorative care provided by the nurse practitioner to patients with rapidly changing, unstable, chronic, complex acute and critical conditions in a variety of clinical practice settings.

Students are required to complete a clinical component to determine competence, "Clinically Competent” means the individual possesses and exercises the degree of learning, skill, care and experience ordinarily possessed and exercised by a certified nurse practitioner providing healthcare in the same nurse practitioner category. The clinical experience must be such that the nurse received intensive experience in performing the diagnostic and treatment procedures essential to the provision of primary care.

“Clinical practice experience” means supervised direct patient care in the clinical setting that provides for the acquisition and application of advanced practice nursing knowledge, skills, and competencies.

“Direct supervision of students” means a clinical preceptor or a faculty member is physically present at the practice site. The clinical preceptor or faculty member retains the responsibility for patient care while overseeing the student.


The Post Master's FNP Certificate program is a School of Nursing program jointly administered by the SF State College of Professional & Global Education and approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing.

  • All classes are taught by School of Nursing faculty
  • All students are assigned a School of Nursing faculty advisor
  • Tuition is $675 per unit for the 31 unit program
  • Students register and pay for classes via the College of Professional & Global Education
A student checking a blood pressure of an elderly patient

Eligibility Requirements and Prerequisite Information

  • Master’s degree or higher in nursing
  • Valid California RN license
  • One year RN clinical experience
  • Personal Statement; Will be available on NursingCAS when application cycle opens. 
  • A set of official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended to input in NursingCAS.
  • Three reference letters - at least one of these must address health-related work or volunteer experience
  • Resume

Admission into the program occurs each summer:

Summer Admission

  • Summer classes begin in June.
  • Length of program: 15 months

Application Deadline

Cal State Apply Application Period

October 1 - January 15

We strongly recommend that prospective students complete the Cal State Apply application as early as possible during the application period to allow time for an SF State ID number to be issued and all required university documentation, including a set of official transcripts, residency status information, etc., to be submitted, received and processed. Late applications will not be accepted.


NursingCas Application

October 1 - January 15, 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time

Prospective students must submit both applications and the required materials by the deadline. Late application/ required materials will not be accepted.