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Family and Child Nursing

Family and Child Nursing is one option of the Independent Master of Nursing (IMN) offered at our school. It provides a focus in the care of families through a planned course of study, designed by the student with a faculty advisor and supervisory committee to meet the minimum requirements of the Master of Nursing. Students may take courses in the School of Nursing or in other UW departments as appropriate to their interests and goals.

Healthcare systems in this country are increasingly dependent on the family for providing the major care for children and adults. These perspectives have guided the development of the Individual Master's Option in Family and Child Nursing, intended to allow a learner to develop an individualized master's program which meets his or her long-term career goals and desired professional nursing roles and responsibilities.

The courses that may be selected in this specialty are related to family transitions such as expansion, development, parenting, and life threatening and chronic conditions. Students can elect an area of family cycle or nursing practice with families for emphasis. This emphasis area would be the basis for the student's related field courses, clinical practice and scholarly project or thesis. Students can develop advanced practice expertise in areas such as case management, advocacy, consultation, and/or program planning, management and evaluation.

Practice Characteristics

The Individual Master's Option in Family and Child Nursing prepares graduates for a variety of roles and settings. Depending on the student's focus during their graduate program, our graduates may be prepared to serve as clinical experts, clinical or academic educators, research nurses, or other advanced practice roles in a variety of health care settings. At the completion of the program, the graduate will have:

  • understanding of family strengths and responses to typical family life and transitions brought on by development and/or illness of family members
  • an evidence-based advanced nursing practice involving a specific client population within a specific health care setting
  • facility to access, evaluate, and use evidenced-based research as a basis for practice
  • ability to incorporate clinical, educational, research, leadership, management, and collaborative skills to an advanced practice role
  • recognition and understanding of the effects of selected economic, societal, legislative, ethical, or legal influences of family health care


Following completion of appropriate post-graduation clinical hours, graduates may be eligible for certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or other certifying bodies.