Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Can You Be A Nurse Practitioner Without A Nursing Degree

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When Will Nps Need A Doctorate

What you can do with a Nurse Practitioner Degree

As an RN weighing whether to go into advanced practice, you should be aware that there is currently a push in the industry advocating that all MSN nurse practitioner degree programs switch over to the DNP level by 2025.

Some of the reasoning behind this movement comes from the fact that other health professionals that hold a similar amount of responsibility as a nurse practitioner role, such as dentists, psychologists, physical therapists, audiologists, and pharmacists are all required to hold a doctorate for licensure, while the APRN licensure requires a masters in nursing.

In 2018, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties announced that it would advocate to make the DNP the new educational standard for NPs. However, the announcement was met with some pushback.

While the intention to have higher educational standards is something that could benefit patients, the move would likely create a harder and more lengthy road to becoming an advanced practice nurse. For employers, this means it would be harder to fill and keep up with the growing demand for qualified NPs.

Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners cites two key schooling requirements for NPs. A candidate must hold at least a bachelor of science in nursing to enter graduate-level NP school. Secondly, candidates must complete a general or specialized master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice degree.

An MSN is the minimum education needed to qualify for NP licensure. However, organizations like the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses advocate for the DNP designation to become the new standard for APRNs. Therefore, prospective NPs may avoid the need to upgrade their credentials in the future by opting for a DNP instead of an MSN.

Notably, multiple nursing schools offer BSN-to-DNP programs that allow students entering with a bachelorâs degree to graduate with terminal credentials. These programs generally demand a greater time commitment, but they also maximize studentsâ career potential since they culminate in the highest degree designation.

Meanwhile, experienced RNs seeking quick advancement may find more value in accelerated MSN programs. The links below detail the various educational paths a student can follow to earn the educational credentials needed for NP licensure.

Apply For Nurse Practitioner Licensure

This is the final step to getting licensed and beginning your nurse practitioner career. There are typically fees required to get licensed.

Research the nurse practitioner requirements for the state you want to work in so you can stay on track as you work toward licensure. Once you have your nurse practitioner license, its important to meet renewal requirements to stay active.

Information on this page was retrieved in August 2020.

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Dnp Vs Np: At A Glance


NP with an MSN degree NP with a DNP degree
Years of Educationnote: certain specializations require additional coursework and/or clerical hours BSN to MSN Path:
based on 2018 BLS data Ranges from approximately $80,670-$182,750 depending upon specialty, work environment, experience, and education. Ranges from approximately $80,670-$182,750 depending upon specialty, work environment, experience, and education. DNP may open the door to higher-level roles like Chief Nursing Officer.
Specializations -Psychiatric and mental health care -Pulmonology Same as NP specializations plus other APRN specializaties including: -Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist -Nurse Administrator

Master Of Science In Nursing


While earning your BSN is the only major education degree a registered nurse needs to practice, nurse practitioners must earn both a BSN and a graduate degree in order to practice. One of the most common graduate degrees pursued by aspiring nurse practitioners is the Master of Science in Nursing , which is really going to be the lowest level of education you can complete and work as an NP.

Earning an MSN prepares nurse practitioners with the relevant knowledge, skillset, and expertise to become a leader within the healthcare industry and provide specific, hands-on patient care. It is during their master of science in nursing that most nurse practitioners will choose a specialization, of which there are many.

At Regis College, for example, MSN students can pursue roughly 10 education tracks, split between two specializations: nurse practitioner and nurse leadership. The nurse practitioner track consists of pediatric, family, psychiatric-mental health, womens health and adult-gerontology specializations, while the nurse leadership track encompasses clinical research, health administration, health informatics, health policy, and clinical nurse leader specialties.

As with BSN programs, there are many ways to earn your MSN. At Regis College, for example, you can learn both in-person and online, participate in an RN to MSN program, or opt for the accelerated direct entry to MSN route.

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How I Decided To Earn My Dnp

My certainty regarding the DNP did not come full circle until the beginning of my third year. At times, I did not exactly understand what I was doing, but at my core, I knew I wanted to help lift the profession to the next level.

I learned to trust the process and not only grew as a researcher, leader, and clinician but grew exponentially as a human being through the degree.

I feel equipped to educate new nurses, lobby for nursing policy, implement evidence into practice, and I have a better understanding of historical aspects of nursing that have led us to our current state.

Bridge Programs For Nurse Practitioners

Bridge programs for NPs offer RNs without a BSN, or with a bachelors in a different field, a pathway to earning their MSN. Ideal for RNs or LPNs with an associate degree, bridge programs connect these learners current academic background with the necessary requirements for becoming an NP.

Generally, these programs require some prior nursing education for admission, like a diploma or associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution. Applicants must also hold an active RN license for admission. Each program may hold different cumulative GPA requirements, but programs often seek out applicants with at least a 3.0 average.

Bridge programs typically require between 45 and 52 credit hours, allowing students to complete coursework in about two years of study.

Also Check: Coppin State University Nurse Practitioner Program

Pursue A Graduate Education

While an undergraduate degree and completion of state licensure will in most cases be enough to allow you to practice as a registered nurse, you will need to complete a graduate degree in order to ultimately become a nurse practitioner. Depending on the state in which you hope to practice, the employer you hope to work for, and your personal career goals, this requirement may be fulfilled by earning either a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice .

Not sure whether you should pursue your MSN or DNP? While an MSN can still enable you to become a nurse practitioner in some cases, the DNP is increasingly becoming the required degree. A DNP is also a more advanced degree that prepares you for more senior roles in the healthcare industry. DNPs and MSNs also vary in their clinical practice, research, and specialties.

Because many students enter college knowing that they would like to become a nurse practitioner, and because earning either an MSN or DNP are required to reach that goal, many colleges and universities offer joint programs or bridge programs designed to enable students to earn multiple degrees in a shortened time frame. For example, at Regis the following degrees are offered:

Earn Your Bsn In 16 Months

Becoming A Nurse Practitioner Worth It? Other Things You Can Do With Your Nursing Degree

If you have a non-nursing bachelors degree, our full-time accelerated nursing program makes it possible to earn a quality BSN in as few as 16 months. And, just as long as you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, we dont care if you come from a science or liberal arts background. We leverage your existing education so you can jump right into nursing courses on your first day of the program.

Keep in mind that you must meet a series of prerequisite requirements before you can start our ABSN program. You must earn a C or better in eight prerequisite courses, four of which are science-based. Your previous field of study often dictates how many of the prerequisites youll need to take.

Once you begin our 16-month ABSN program, you can expect a rigorous blend of online coursework, hands-on skills and simulation labs, and in-person clinical rotations in diverse areas of nursing practice.

Read Also: Accredited Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

Nurse Practitioner Salary And Job Outlook

Nurse practitioners earn an average of $113,270 a year in the United States.

The salary of a nurse practitioner, on the other hand, is decided by a range of parameters, including years of experience, geographic location, and healthcare specialty.

Between 2019 2029, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 45 percent increase in employment opportunities for nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners.

According to the BLS, this is faster than the average predicted to increase for most other occupations. This growth is expected, according to the BLS, in part due to increased demand for expanded healthcare services aimed at aging seniors in the United States.

According to the BLS, the number of states that allow nurse practitioners to deliver healthcare without the supervision of doctors is expected to rise, resulting in increased demand for nurse practitioners.

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Especially, there are online programs available to get you started on the road to getting a masters degree in nursing, whether you are already a registered nurse or not.

Also, if you decide to pursue one of these programs, be prepared to work hard and put in a lot of effort. It doesnt imply it wont be difficult because it takes less time and is typically less costly.

It may be more difficult than a typical MSN program at a university. These online classes will put your critical thinking, time management, and other abilities to the test.

Bachelor Of Science In Nursing

In order to become a nurse practitioner, youll first need to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing . Earning your BSN prepares you for a career as a NP in a few ways.

First, like earning an associates degree in nursing, it will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which you must pass before you can become a registered nurse. You must be a registered nurse in order to become a nurse practitioner.

Second, as you will see below, becoming a nurse practitioner will require you to earn a graduate degree, and virtually all graduate nursing degrees will require you to hold a bachelors degree before you can enroll.

Of course, in some states you can become a registered nurse by only earning an associates degree in nursing. In these cases, you will need to complete your bachelors degree before enrolling in a graduate program. There are, however, many accelerated nursing programs that you can consider to make this process as quick as possible.

After becoming an RN, you can choose to work in the field as an RN for a time , or you can immediately continue your education to become a nurse practitioner.

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Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs

Accelerated NP programs offer students a fast-track option for earning an MSN. Geared toward students with a strong academic record who can manage a larger course load in a shorter period of time, accelerated programs often take around three years to complete.

Some accelerated programs may look specifically for students with a nursing background, and others may accept students with a non-nursing background, much like direct entry options. Each program holds different requirements, although all accelerated NP programs lead directly to certification. Some schools that allow students with non-nursing backgrounds may look for those learners with some nursing prerequisite courses already completed.

Np Requirements By Degree Type

A Complete Guide to Becoming a Nurse

NP programs for individuals with an associate degree in nursing typically require an RN license. While other admissions requirements depend on the individual school, applicants are often required to hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Additional admissions materials may include GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a completed application, and a statement of purpose. Learners can also explore RN-to-NP bridge programs and ADN-to-NP bridge programs, allowing students to satisfy degree requirements at an accelerated pace.

Many colleges and universities offer BSN-to-NP programs that require candidates to hold an RN license and a BSN. While admissions requirements vary between institutions, applicants can expect some similarities between programs.

Prospective BSN students should provide a completed application along with their official high school transcripts. Most schools expect candidates to meet a minimum GPA requirement usually, between 2.5 and 3.0. Other admission materials can include letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and ACT or SAT test scores.

Some programs require degree-seekers to demonstrate at least one year of prior nursing experience, although many BSN-holders go directly into an NP program without practicing as an RN first. In addition, students can often earn their degree online and complete their clinical hours at a location near their residence.

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Can You Become A Nurse Practitioner Without A Nursing Degree

Well, to say the truth, no. You cant become a nurse practitioner without a nursing degree or BSN. Here are reasons why this is not possible.

Nurse practitioners usually have to work on sensitive and complex medical cases, and can serve on many of the same cases that primary care physicians do, which requires more extensive medical knowledge. In addition, advanced practice registered nurse careers, which also include nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife and clinical nurse specialist, all require at least a masters degree in nursing.

Here are some of the duties that a nurse practitioner is required to perform on the job:

  • Provide basic primary or specialty care to individuals and families
  • Diagnose patients through physical examination and diagnostic tests
  • Analyze test results and determine appropriate steps for treatment
  • Assess symptoms and prescribe medications
  • Set up care plans for patients and explain what to do at home to help treatment succeed
  • Treat some acute as well as chronic illnesses, including bronchitis, colds, flu, diabetes and obesity

Nurses who have many years experience under their belt are still required to go back to school and get a Master of Science in Nursing degree before they can take on the responsibilities required of a nurse practitioner or other APRN.

What Is Nursing Career

Few career paths give you the chance to have such a positive impact on the lives of others. No matter what nursing specialty you choose to pursue or how far you choose to advance your career caring for the injured, sick, and dying is part of your job description. Any shift you work could see you improving or potentially saving the lives of your patients.

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How Our Absn Program Works

The ABSN program at Concordia University, St. Paul allows you to earn a BSN sooner. If you have at least 60 non-nursing credits, CSP can prepare you for the nursing profession in as few as 16 months by leveraging your prior education.

We offer two program locations in Portland, Oregon, and one in St. Paul, Minnesota. With three start dates per year in January, May and September, the ABSN program at CSP lets you begin your studies as soon as youre ready.

Prerequisite Requirements Please note that before beginning our ABSN program, you must have earned a C or better in seven prerequisite courses. Your admissions counselor will help you determine which courses you have left to take once your previous education is accounted for.

General Education Requirements Prospective CSP ABSN students must have completed 38 semester credit hours in general education prior to the start of the nursing program. General education courses are transferrable with a D grade or higher in Minnesota and a C grade or higher in Oregon.

Keep in mind that the 16-month ABSN program at CSP is a rigorous track, comprised of online coursework in nursing theory and fundamentals, hands-on skills and simulation labs and in-person clinical placements at leading healthcare facilities.

How To Become A Nurse Practitioner With A Non


1: Earn a BSN. The first step toward becoming a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelors degree is enrolling in a BSN program. Generally this takes four years to complete with a traditional BSN program. Or, if youd like to enter the field sooner, you can enroll in a full-time accelerated nursing program such as …

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Obtain Your Rn License

To legally practice as a registered nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Its a tough exam that uses complex multiple-choice questions to gauge how well you apply your critical thinking skills when making clinical judgments. Its best to sign up to take the exam one to two months after earning your BSN because everything you learned is still fresh in your mind.

Become A Nurse Practitioner With A Non

There arent any academic shortcuts to becoming a nurse practitioner or advanced practice registered nurse . However, if you have a non-nursing bachelors degree, there are streamlined education options that can help you achieve some steps on an accelerated timeline, including Marian Universitys 16-month ABSN program.

Below, well break down how to become a nurse practitioner into six steps, as well as discuss how Marians ABSN program has helped two alumni pursuing NP careers excel at every stage of their journeys.

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Apply For A Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Earn a certificate as a nurse practitioner in the medical field of your choice. Some prospective nurse practitioners engage in a credential program that requires them to take extra higher education courses.

If your chosen area of medicine is more specialized, such as infant or older adult care, a certificate course may be the best solution.

You might also choose to take a reputed medical organizations national nurse practitioner examination.

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