There are a number of things to consider when you’re choosing a family nurse practitioner program. Location is important as are these three criteria we recommend asking about. Because the culmination of your NP education will all come down to your ability to pass the national certification exam, looking at the passing rates is a good indication of how well the school is preparing its FNP students.  

Affectionately known as America’s Heartland, the Midwest boasts a plethora of family nurse practitioner programs to choose from. Here are nine programs with a 100% passing rate on the national certification exam.

1. Saint Anthony College of Nursing

Rockford, IL

FNP students enrolled at Saint Anthony College of Nursing have the opportunity to learn in a brand new, state-of-the-art health sciences center which enables them to grow their skills in an environment that encourages open exploration and lifelong learning. The college has seen a 100% pass rate on FNP certification exams for the last four consecutive years.

2. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, IN

The Department of Advanced Practice Nursing at Indiana State University offers both a graduate nursing program for aspiring FNPs as well as a post-master’s certificate with an FNP concentration. While the university has had a 100% pass rate for the ANCC exam, candidates who sat for the AANP certification have not fared as well, having only a 75% pass rate (here’s how pass rates for the two exams compare on a national scale).

3. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

The FNP program at Purdue University takes an innovative approach by integrating knowledge from other disciplines in a blended curricular design that allows for one-on-one interaction between students and faculty. The program features a transdisciplinary 645-hour preceptorship, access to practice in two nurse-managed clinics and research opportunities throughout Purdue.

4. University of Southern Indiana

Evansville, IN

Offered online with minimal on-campus requirements, the masters FNP program as well as the twelve other health professions at the University of Southern Indiana have an outstanding history of graduates achieving excellent pass rates on national and state licensure examinations.

5. Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, MO

The only graduate nursing program physically located in the region, the MSN family nurse practitioner track at Southeast Missouri State University has had a 100% ANCC pass rate for the last 13 years and a 98% pass rate for the 19 years prior. The program curriculum provides students with a foundation for doctoral study and particular emphasis is placed on the health care needs of underserved populations in rural areas.

6. Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Columbus, OH

The FNP program at Mount Carmel College is offered in a hybrid format with online and face-to-face coursework. The program has sustained a 100% pass rate for the last three years.

7. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Students of the FNP program at Ohio State University are taught by colleagues of the country’s most comprehensive university health science center, allowing them to benefit from access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, a diverse selection of elective course and interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare professionals. Although the university boasts a 100% pass rate for the ANCC exam on the first try, in the most recent year, only 88% of its FNP graduates passed on the first attempt of the AANP exam.  

8. Ursuline College

Pepper Pike, OH

Founded in 1871, Ursuline College was the first Catholic women’s college in Ohio and one of the first in the United States. The Breen School of Nursing at Ursuline College offers both MSN and post-masters FNP programs. While there is a 100% pass rate for graduates in the post-masters FNP program, graduates of the MSN-FNP program have a slight lower passing rate at 96%.

9. Mount Marty College

Yankton, SD

FNP students at Mount Marty are taught not only the knowledge and clinical skills necessary for their future practice but how to care for patients with compassion, understanding and a spirit of services as part of the college’s Catholic Benedictine values as well. Clinical experiences are completed in rural and underserved settings and course curriculum is done both online and on campus, which allows most students to continue working in their current field. Mount Mary has had a 100% pass rate for both its masters and post-masters FNP programs since 2014.

10. Winona State University

Rochester, MN

Since the inception of Winona State University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program 20 years ago, the school has enjoyed a 100% pass rate on the national certification exam in all but two years. In these two instances, just one student in the program needed to retest. This track record of success ensures that you’ll be prepared to take the certification exam as a grad of Winona’s program.  


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