Family Practice Nursing Education Program
The Family Practice Nursing Education Program (FPNEP) is designed to prepare registered nurses to work in primary health care settings. The program is ten months in length, taking into consideration that many RNs enrolling into the course will have competing work and personal commitments. The program uses a competency-based methodology to achieve its performance–based certification.
Shifting from a focus of presenting learners with an abundance of theoretical content, the FPNEP has adopted a conceptual learning approach that organizes knowledge and skills into concepts that are illustrated using real-life patient situations. Learners study a concept, actively apply the concept to a patient scenario, and then learn a new concept. Each concept is then integrated with others so, by the end of a program, graduates can apply all concepts to various patient populations in a variety of primary health care settings. This is an active, learner-centered approach that fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of clinical knowledge by building on previous knowledge. In turn, learners are better prepared to meet the dynamic and complex needs of patients in family practice settings
The FPNEP utilizes active learning strategies to engage learners in applying course concepts to real life situations. The online lessons include instructional activities that focus on the essential points that facilitate application to the family practice setting. These also act as a tool for self-assessment and reflection to help the learner identify areas of strength and those requiring further development. Interactive opportunities, including group discussions, small group work, observation days, skill labs, simulation exercises and faculty consultation are provided to enhance learners’ knowledge and skill development.
Assignments, written examinations, skill testing and objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs) will be used to assess learners’ knowledge and skill levels.
200 hours of integrated clinical provides the opportunity for learners to consolidate learning and develop competence in family practice nursing. Prior to participating in this clinical experience, learners must be employed by the primary health care setting where the clinical will occur. If the learner is not employed in the primary care setting prior approval will be required. The clinical experience will be facilitated by faculty and a preceptor.
Benefits for the Patients and Primary Health Care Setting
Requirements for the FPNEP Program
Part-time study: February 28, 2018 - December 21, 2018; Program in Session
September 4, 2018 to June 28, 2019: Program in Session
Registrations will be accepted for nurses supported by an employer to participate in the FPNEP.
Program Admin: Dee Mason Dee.Mason@nshealth.ca
Academic Fees (for payment options, click here):
Course materials: $200.00
(available at the Dalhousie University Bookstore or online from bookstores such as Amazon.com)
Diabetes Canada. (2018). Clinical practice guidelines: Quick reference guide.
The guide can be purchased at