They support nurses pursuing higher degrees and continuing education, and they provide networking opportunities to connect members with other nursing professionals. Like NP programs for non-nurses, these accelerated degrees are available in a variety of advanced practice areas. Registered nurses provide patient care, advice, and support in settings such as schools or the military. Cedarville offers a structured two- or three-year plan of study, both requiring three on-campus intensives that include clinical hours and an advanced physical assessment and diagnostic reasoning course. The hour practicum requirement can be completed anywhere in the U. There are two distinct types of accelerated nurse practitioner programs:
Choosing a Program
They must also have an active nursing license and liability insurance. In addition to official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that showcase a GPA of 3. In-state and out-of-state nursing students pay the same tuition rate. Cedarville University offers one of the leading Christian-based nurse practitioner online programs, with a focus on primary care.
The master's of science in nursing—family nurse practitioner is a competitive program that accepts a limited number of students each term.
The program is open to registered nurses who hold an accredited BSN degree and identify with the Christian faith. Application requirements include both a professional reference and a Christian leader reference. Cedarville offers a structured two- or three-year plan of study, both requiring three on-campus intensives that include clinical hours and an advanced physical assessment and diagnostic reasoning course.
The curriculum includes courses in biblical foundations of advanced nursing practice, and physiology, pathology, and genomics.
Online courses are accessed through the Moodle learning management system. University of South Alabama offers a number of nurse practitioner programs online. Students can pursue a master of science in nursing in pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, or adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner.
Each program requires 45 credits and seven semesters to complete, while the pediatric acute care nurse practitioner specialty requires 59 credits spread over the same amount of time. Every program includes onsite clinicals. The family nurse practitioner program also requires two on campus visits.
Successful applicants have two years of professional nursing experience and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3. Applicants should submit official transcripts and proof of an unencumbered nursing license. The university is located in Mobile, AL, and in-state students pay discounted tuition.
The master of science in nursing family nurse practitioner at Columbus State University is a semester hour program that may be completed in five semesters if taken full-time. Students complete 15 hours of core courses before moving onto 23 hours of specialty courses and a six credit practicum.
All courses are delivered asynchronously, but students must complete clinical hours at facilities located near their homes. To graduate, students must maintain a 3. Candidates with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3. Applicants should also hold a current nursing license and must submit three professional letters of recommendation.
As one of the top-ranking online nurse practitioner programs, Graceland University maintains rigorous performance standards, and students must earn a B in all courses in order to graduate. Courses are offered in week trimesters and are accessed via the eCollege learning management system. Both part- and full-time study options are available. Students must complete a 2-day focus session on the Independence, Missouri campus, in tandem with an advanced competencies lab.
The hour practicum requirement can be completed anywhere in the U. During these hands-on experiences, all students are supervised by an approved facility professional and by a Graceland faculty member on-site. Based in Lake Charles, LA, McNeese State University offers an online psychiatric nurse practitioner program and an online family nurse practitioner online program, both awarded as a master of science in nursing. Students may pursue the family program with the standard 42 credit format or as a 45 credit thesis option.
Their undergraduate transcripts should demonstrate of cumulative GPA of 2. A nursing license, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and resume are also required. In-state tuition is discounted. Concordia stands out from other family nurse practitioner programs online because of its use of the online Betty Neuman Systems Model of nursing, which teaches a body systems approach to the study of manifestations of symptoms and specific diseases.
Students also learn other advanced concepts, such as the inner working of cells and their resilience against harmful external stimuli. In addition to core courses like foundations of healthcare informatics, students choose between one of two electives: The FNP program offers a competitive per-credit tuition rate and is available to students in most states, though students in Washington, D. Students complete 24 hours of core courses and 24 hours in the family nursing concentration There are no on-campus residency requirements, though students complete onsite clinical hours at local facilities.
The program concludes with a three-credit capstone course. Only candidates with undergraduate GPAs of 3. Candidates should also submit three letters of reference, a resume, and career statement. All applicants are required to undergo a criminal background check.
The college is located in Standish, ME, but in-state and out-of-state students are subject to the same tuition rate. FNPs learn how to create comforting healthcare environments, leverage collaborative approaches to care, and design, implement, and evaluate health care systems. Core and major coursework make up the foundation of the credit program, with an additional clinical hours and 80 lab hours required. Two required on-campus visits during the program allow students to connect with their peers and instructors face-to-face.
Duquesne is one of a few online nurse practitioner programs that assign all students a faculty mentor to serve as a mentor to guide them throughout the FNP program. Look carefully at the details of each prospective program. Degree requirements also vary, so consider each of these factors before selecting a program.
Below are a few sample courses common to many nurse practitioner curricula. For example, a cohort-based program involves working alongside a group of fellow students and may take longer to complete. On the other hand, an individually-paced program is flexible and allows students to complete coursework according to their own timelines.
Learning on a part-time basis may lengthen this time. Whether the program is synchronous or self-paced also plays a role. The current healthcare climate is characterized by a shortage of doctors and other medical professionals.
This shortage has increased the demand for nurse practitioners, who help fill in gaps by providing highly skilled care in a variety of medical disciplines as primary care providers or in supervised specialty positions.
Nurse practitioners have never been in a better position to increase their earning potential and take advantage of new career opportunities.
This ranking of the top online nurse practitioner degrees can help you evaluate which programs and medical disciplines are a best fit for your long-term career goals. The medical disciplines with the highest pay and required training are also the ones with the highest demand. Family nurse practitioners, or FNPs, provide the same services as family practice physicians, such as consulting with patients, diagnosing illnesses, administering treatment, and prescribing medication.
Due to the current shortage in the U. Entry into this rewarding career typically requires an MSN degree and family nurse practitioner board certification.
Many online family nurse practitioner programs online can be completed in just two years. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are highly specialized RNs who work with doctors of psychiatry and other mental health professionals. These professionals perform mental health assessments, provide therapy and counseling, prescribe psychopharmaceuticals and other medications, and develop holistic treatment plans for their patients. As the awareness of the need for accessible healthcare has expanded, employment opportunities in this field have increased.
For instance, there is a high demand for nurses who are highly skilled at serving high-need populations, such as substance abusers, children, adolescents, and the elderly. Many nurses in this field have graduated from online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs. These professionals conduct routine exams, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medications. They typically work under a pediatrician in a medical clinic or hospital, although some operate their own independent practices.
Online pediatric nurse practitioner programs that offer MSN degrees provide are an attractive option for many advanced nursing students. Geriatric nurse practitioners work exclusively with older patients who face distinctive healthcare challenges. As a result, the demand for nurse practitioners is growing in nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, clinics, and home healthcare. Geriatric nurses typically work under the supervision of a physician as part of a team of nursing staff, social workers, physical therapists, dieticians, and other geriatric professionals.
They may also work as independent primary care providers in a private practice. Critical care nurse practitioners provide specialized care to patients with chronic, acute, and critical life-threatening conditions, from brain injuries, cardiac arrest, and strokes to organ and respiratory failure. They are typically employed in intensive care units, emergency rooms, rapid response teams, and burn units.
Nurses who have graduated from critical care nurse practitioner online programs and have received certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses are highly sought after. The demand for skilled and licensed nurses in general — critical care providers in particular — has spurred the growth of online acute nurse practitioner programs. Emergency nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who treat patients in hospital emergency rooms and acute care facilities.
These professionals perform medical procedures and generally administer to patients of all ages who seek emergency attention for a variety of conditions. These conditions range from severe injuries and acute, life threatening illnesses to other urgent care needs such as food poisoning or allergic reactions.
Due to the projected shortage of emergency physicians, licensed nurse practitioners are in high demand. Emergency care nurses typically complete educational programs with dual fields of study. For example, students interested in emergency nurse practitioner programs online often combine this specialization with a degree in family nursing or gerontology.
Their expertise is not restricted to gynecological and reproductive care, and they are often employed in medical offices and clinics rather than in delivery rooms or hospitals. They also provide preventive care and healthcare education about issues that are unique to women. Most schools are regionally accredited, and some may be nationally accredited. The Higher Learning Commission gives regional accreditation to schools that meet its criteria.
The Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education are both recognized accrediting agencies of nursing and nurse practitioner programs. Department of Education handles policies in United States school systems. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation both provide comprehensive lists of their accredited post-secondary schools.
Check their websites to find the best online nurse practitioner degrees. With all the careers available in the nursing field, deciding which is best for you can be difficult. However, if you want a higher salary, consider becoming a nurse practitioner; on average, they earn the highest salaries of all nursing professions. The table below uses data from the U. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare salaries among types of nurses.
Since nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, the table below outlines the median salaries for nurse practitioners in the five most common industries.
Nurse practitioners work in all kinds of settings and environments, from hospitals to rehabilitation centers. Nursing students are valued for their patience, compassion, and strong work ethic, making them especially in demand. Below are examples of careers for nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners , or advanced practice registered nurses, care for patients, prescribe medications, and diagnose acute and chronic illnesses.
LPNs perform basic nursing care activities under the supervision of registered nurses. They generally work in specialized areas, such as long-term care facilities or elderly nursing homes. Registered nurses provide patient care, advice, and support in settings such as schools or the military.
These nurses work with patients dealing with respiratory illnesses, both acute and chronic. They help administer breathing and respiratory treatments. These professionals advise and guide patients needing dietary and nutritional support, helping patients lose weight and lead healthy lifestyles.
Professional organizations offer students resources, opportunities to attend conferences, and ways to broaden their knowledge of the field. These organizations help graduates find jobs and network with other nursing professionals.
Below are examples of prominent professional organizations in the field of nursing. The ANA advocates for the millions of U.
The ANA works to achieve and maintain healthy, safe, and ethical work environments, while promoting excellence in nursing care standards. The AANP is the largest national organization for nurse practitioners, offering members full support and professional development. DNPs also usually require a residency period, where students work under the guidance of a licensed NP. Anyone applying to a nurse practitioner preparation degree program must be a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree.
Some schools require that applicants have a certain amount of experience, measured either in years or hours. While on-campus NP programs emphasize collaborative group work and class discussion, online students do most of their learning alone.
Schools may ask for proof of employment and letters of recommendation from employers. An online Master of Science in Nursing MSN degree with a nurse practitioner concentration prepares nurses for advanced practice roles in the field. Programs focus on advanced nursing theory and principles in the design and delivery of primary care. This training helps students prepare to take the national certification exam after graduation.
Master's NP programs also establish a foundation for pursuing doctoral studies in the field. Applicants to an online nurse practitioner master's program should hold a bachelor's degree in nursing and a registered nurse RN license. Students may be required to complete prerequisite courses such as statistics and basic computer courses.
Once enrolled, NP master's students will generally need to complete credits including clinical practice hours. Full-time students may complete the program in two years, while part-time students may require three to six years. An online master's degree in nursing with a nurse practitioner concentration will include a combination of foundation, clinical, and specialty courses. Foundation courses cover nursing theory, diversity, ethics, health policy, research, and advanced practice nursing roles.
Clinical courses equip students with skills in advanced nursing interventions, anatomy and physiology, assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. Students choose specialty courses that best represent their career interests and complete a practicum to gain clinical experience. Specialty courses may include adults and older adults, health promotion, pediatrics, and women's health. MSN programs also typically include a comprehensive exam requirement in the final semester.
Master's programs help prepare students to provide primary care to individuals of all ages in various settings. Graduates may be able to take up NP positions in clinics, emergency rooms, intensive care units, and physicians' offices. Job opportunities may also available at care centers that specialize in areas such as oncology, nephrology, and women's health. NPs are in high demand in rural and under-served areas, and some graduates choose to pursue careers in the global health arena.
Graduates may also go on to work in nursing administration and research or as faculty members in schools of nursing.
Programs are clinical in nature and train students to play leadership roles in healthcare reform. For traditional DNP programs, applicants must hold a master's degree in nursing and a current RN license.
Students with only a Bachelor of Science in Nursing may be interested in a BSN-to-DNP program, which enables them to enroll in doctoral studies without a graduate degree. BSN-to-DNP programs last four or five years, requiring approximately credit hours and over 1, clinical practicum hours. Traditional doctoral programs require completion of credit hours and approximately practicum hours, which takes two to three years.
Part-time students may take up to five years to earn a doctoral degree. The doctoral curriculum places heavy emphasis on research methodology. Prerequisites may include graduate-level statistics, advanced health assessment, advanced human physiology, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, and nursing research.
Students enhance their skills in applying evidence-based practices in the field and gain the knowledge and expertise needed to play lead roles in quality improvement initiatives.
Coursework covers areas such as epidemiology, ethical issues in practice, genetics, healthcare finance, healthcare policy, health systems management , informatics in healthcare, models of care, quality improvement, and the US health system. In addition to the more general coursework, DNP students may take specialized classes if they elect to focus on an area such as adult-gerontology, family practice, mental health, and women's health.
Online students may be required to visit the school campus to complete some of the coursework. Doctoral programs also usually require completion of a clinical research project and practicum. The 24 colleges on this list offer the top online DNP degrees based on affordability and academic strength.
The most common NP certificates are for family practice nurse practitioners , but there are also certificate programs for adult-gerontology , neonatal, and psychiatric care. Certificate programs range from credits and last two to five years, depending on whether students attend full-time or part-time. Because most online NP certificate programs are designed for currently practicing nurses, they are often offered in a flexible, part-time learning format to accommodate students' work schedules.
Admissions criteria for online NP certificates typically include a current license to practice as an RN, a resume, letters of recommendation, a written personal statement, undergraduate and graduate transcripts with a minimum GPA requirement, and clinical experience in a nursing specialization. Some schools may also have state residency requirements or require an interview with a faculty member or graduate exam scores.
Online NP certificate programs provide students with opportunities to perform evidence-based research and advanced analysis in their specialization. The curriculum will depend on the particular specialization chosen, but some examples of coursework include advanced pharmacology, human physiology and pathophysiology, clinical management principles, health assessment, theory for the practice of advanced nursing, research methods for advanced nursing, and specialty care courses for the population students are training to provide care for.
Some online certificate programs may require students to visit campus or complete a clinical practicum in their community or in the state where the online school is located. Completion of an accredited NP certificate program will typically qualify students to take a certification exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
There are two distinct types of accelerated nurse practitioner programs: These programs often utilize online courses for the didactic portion of the degree; students still complete clinical classes in their local area.
Like NP programs for non-nurses, these accelerated degrees are available in a variety of advanced practice areas. Accelerated NP programs for non-nurses usually take around three years to complete. Accreditation is an important factor to consider when deciding which online degree or certificate NP program to attend. One of the most important reasons for attending an accredited program is that most professional nursing certification exams are only open to candidates who have completed an accredited degree program.
When a program is accredited, it means that it meets the nationally-recognized standards set by independent agencies with regard to curriculum and the qualifications of faculty, among other things. Accreditation also helps to ensure that the credits you earn will be transferable to other accredited institutions and that you will be eligible for federal financial aid.
Prospective NPs should choose online degrees that are accredited by programmatic accrediting agencies, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. All US states regulate the practices of nurse practitioners. Many states still accept an MSN with a concentration in NP studies as qualification to earn a license to practice; however, some states are slowly phasing this degree out in place of a doctoral degree. Applicants should consult their state's licensing board and talk to current NPs in their state to determine if the laws are likely to change soon.
The vast majority of those working to become NPs have already received a bachelor's degree in nursing at an accredited school and are licensed as an RN. Only after working two or more years as an RN can people pursue an advanced nursing degree to become a nurse practitioner. Although there are a few programs you can take to become a licensed NP without having previously obtained a bachelor's degree, they will require quite a bit more time to complete than traditional NP programs.
An online master's degree in nursing will take about two years to complete, while an online doctorate in nursing practice can take up to five years.
Additionally, in order to graduate, you must complete a certain number, usually hundreds, of clinical hours. To work as an NP anywhere in the United States, you must obtain a license through your state's nursing board.