Best Nurse Practitioner Programs In 2020
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed additional coursework that grants them a license to prescribe medications, order and perform diagnostic tests and treat a variety of acute or chronic illnesses. Luckily, many of the online nurse practitioner programs throughout the United States are actually among the best in the country, making it even easier to complete your higher education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for nurse practitioners are about $108,000 annually. The nursing job outlook for nurse practitioners through 2026 is expected to grow at a faster than average percentage of 31% due to the aging population of people born between 1950 and 1964 . In fact, nurse practitioners are among the top five jobs that experts expect will lack enough qualified individuals to fill all open positions over the next decade.
Np Program Prerequisites & Requirements
When you’re applying to nurse practitioner programs, prerequisites and requirements will vary depending on the school, but you can expect to generally need the following:
- A bachelors degree in nursing from an accredited college or university
- An active RN license and work experience, including a specified number of clinical hours
- A minimum undergraduate GPA
- Letters of recommendation
- Application essay
University Of Texas Health Science Center
The campus of UTs Health Science Center is in San Antonio, TX. Registered nurses can earn their family nurse practitioner license by completing the universitys masters of science in nursing degree. Tuition is currently at an affordable $4000. UT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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Accreditation For Nursing Degrees
Prospective nurse practitioner students should always choose an accredited school and program. Accredited NP degrees meet the educational requirement for professional licenses and certifications. Choosing an unaccredited program can thus affect a nurses job prospects after earning a nurse practitioner degree.
The best nurse practitioner programs hold accreditation from either the Accreditation Commission For Education In Nursing or the Commission On Collegiate Nursing Education . Learn more about why accreditation matters in our accreditation guide.
Admission Requirements And Application Process
You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:
- Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
- Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
- Current resume or curriculum vitae
- Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work
Also, you must have:
- A current, valid and unrestricted license as a registered nurse
- Completed an approved undergraduate statistics course
- One year of bedside nursing experience
Fall & Spring
An undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher is preferred however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success. No GRE or GMAT required.
The program director will schedule an interview with qualified applicants.
Tuition reimbursement or discounts may be available through your current employer, contact your employer to learn more.
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Nurse Practitioner Programs: Dnp Vs Msn
One of the first and most important decisions you need to make before applying to a Nurse Practitioner program is whether to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
Each can lead to the same job title, but the additional doctorate-level credentials can make a significant difference in the position and type of organization you work within, your marketability, the respect you receive from physicians and other professionals, and the salary that you can earn.
While obtaining your DNP degree is being encouraged by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties as the appropriate minimum education for nurse practitioners, candidates for Nurse Practitioner education also need to weigh the additional investment of time and money that the terminal degree carries.
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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Top 10 Best Nursing Schools In 2022
With nearly 1,000 baccalaureate programs and plenty of ADN programs, picking the best of the best is no simple task. When selecting the top 10 nursing programs in the U.S., we considered factors including:
- Program outcomes
Based on this methodology, these are the top 10 nursing programs in the nation:
Annual Tuition: 23,241/semester | NCLEX Pass Rate: 98.39%
Recognized as one of the best research schools in the world, Duke University offers some of the top nursing programs. The School of Nursing at Duke only offers only one degree choice for undergraduate nurses: an accelerated BSN.
To enroll in this program, applicants first need to complete a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. However, the program takes 16 months to complete, requires only 58 credits, and students gain 800 hours of clinical experience before graduating. Outcomes for the program are highly positive too.
Duke is perhaps best known for its graduate programs, including multiple MSN and doctoral programs. Nurses interested in becoming nurse anesthetists would be interested in knowing that Duke boasts one of the top programs for nurse anesthesia in the nation
Annual Tuition: $58,503 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
Online: Yes for graduate no for BSN
As one of the oldest private institutions in the nation, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. has an established, well-respected nursing program.
How We Ranked The Nurse Practitioner Programs On This List
As you can see, there may be some surprises in the rankings here if youve done any research elsewhere. However, we stand by our rankings because we grade each school based on what we believe are the most important criteria how much you pay, the student-to-faculty ratio, and the graduation rate. Other factors that we consider included the number of programs each school offered and what students said about each school.
In cases where there was no available information on a point, we tried to rank the school accordingly based on what information we possessed. For example, some schools did not share their graduation rates, making them fall a little lower than they may have done otherwise.
We prefer the three main criteria that we included because it gives you an idea of how much debt youll have when you finish, your chances of success, and how much interaction youll get with professors during your training a factor that is critical when finding nurse practitioner programs that you can trust for your needs. The graduation rates are based on the average between full-time and part-time students, with the latter usually graduating at a lower rate, bringing down the overall average.
Who Accredits Online Np Programs
All schoolsand programs profiled on NPSchools.com have been accredited by one ofthe following reputable entities. These organizations have beenrecognized by the U.S. Department of Educations Commission onHigher Education Accreditation .
|CCNE Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education||The CCNE, the programmatic accreditation body for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing , approves nursing programs at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree levels, in addition to post-masters certificates and residency programs. It is also working toward accrediting NP residency and fellowship programs.|
|ACEN Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing||The ACEN approves nursing programs at all levels, including certificate, diploma, degree, and transition-to-practice pathways.|
|ACME Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education||As the premier accreditation body for nurse-midwifery and midwifery education, the ACME approves certificate, direct-entry, and graduate degree programs in this discipline.|
Program Of Study: Required Courses
- NUR 502 – Contemporary Issues and Trends in Advanced Nursing Practice
- NUR 508 – Role Development Within Professional Organizations
- NUR 525 – Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
- NUR 527 – Health Policy & Finance: Application for Advanced Practice Nurses
- NUR 574 – Nursing Research I: Methods
- NUR 575 – Nursing Research II: Project
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Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation
When selecting a nurse practitioner program of any type, you’ll want to make sure it’s accredited. Accreditation is the process that evaluates nursing programs to determine if it is meeting specific state and national standards. The purpose of accreditation is to focus on the same standards and criteria across all Nurse Practitioner programs. This ensures that there is some level of sameness within the programs. The accreditation process ultimately improves the quality of nursing education and keeps the curriculum up to date on current trends in advances in nursing and healthcare. Accreditation continues to further the nursing profession and enhances the overall care provided by nurses.
There are two primary accrediting organizations for NP programs:
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing , formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, is an organization designed to support nursing education and ensure it is done in a safe, reliable, and consistent matter. According to the website, the purpose of the ACEN is as follows:
The CCNE approves accreditation for bachelors and masters nursing programs. The CCNE evaluates programs based on the following:
- Mission and goals of the program
- Performance of program
Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification
This designation from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board is offered to emergency nurse practitioners.
- Requirements: To qualify, applicants need an active nursing license and at least 2,000 hours of clinical work in an emergency setting
- Exam format: 150 multiple choice questions
- How long does the certification last? Five years
Primary care nurse practitioners who specialize in pediatric nursing can earn this certification.
- Requirements: A master’s or doctoral degree concentrating on pediatric primary care nursing and an active license
- Exam format: 175 multiple choice questions
- How long does the certification last? One year
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Courses In A Nurse Practitioner Program
Nurse practitioner programs strengthen students clinical and research skills. During a nurse practitioner degree, learners study topics like advanced health assessment, clinical diagnosis, and primary care across the lifespan. Students also take specialized courses depending on their concentration. Options available for concentrations include psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners, neonatal nurse practitioners, and womens health nurse practitioners.
In addition to classroom training, degree-seekers complete hands-on, experiential requirements. The best NP programs connect nursing students with clinical practicum opportunities in various healthcare settings.
While classes may vary depending on the school and concentration, the following list outlines courses commonly found in NP programs.
Before Looking At Nursing Schools Ask Yourself These Questions:
So before applying for degrees, ask yourself:
- Do I want to study at a large or small school?
- Do I want a private or public education?
- Do I prefer to study in a busy city or a small town? Am I planning on starting a nursing career in the same city or town as the college/university?
- Nursing licenses are offered by states, so is there a specific state where I want to start my nursing career?
- Do I want to earn a two-year ADN or a four-year BSN? Or, do I want to go even further into advanced practice by earning a master’s of science in nursing , doctorate of nursing practice , or a Ph.D. in nursing?
- Do I want to become a nurse educator after practicing in the healthcare setting for a few years?
- Do I need an online or hybrid option?
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% Ncc Certification Exam Pass Rate
Our high-tech, learner-centered curriculum focuses on your development towards advanced nursing practice. You will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to manage acute chronic conditions, promote health, prevent disease, educate, and provide counseling services to individuals and families across the lifespan.
At the core of the curriculum is teamwork and collaboration, providing you with the opportunity to develop a peer network a valuable career resource.
Upon graduation, you will be eligible to sit for board certification as a family nurse practitioner through the American Nurse Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners . The program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
The curriculum for the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program meets the requirements for national board certification and APRN licensure in all U.S. states and territories.
The Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2021
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse and a type of mid-level practitioner. NPs are trained to assess patient needs, order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnose disease, formulate and prescribe treatment plans. NP training covers basic disease prevention, coordination of care, and health promotion, but does not provide the depth of expertise needed to recognize more complex conditions. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, an organization that aggressively lobbies for the expansion of the scope of practice of NPs, NPs are educated at the graduate level to provide “primary, acute, chronic, and specialty care to patients of all ages”, depending on their field of practice.
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Applying To An Online Nurse Practitioner Program
Admissions qualifications and materials depend on the NP program and the applicant’s educational background. While the following list does not represent every NP program’s admission process, we have outlined a few common requirements below.
Admission Requirements:Program Length:Clinical Requirements:GPA Requirement:
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioner online program students who want to pursue this specialization should gain expertise on menopause, prenatal and postpartum care, and reproductive health. These professionals provide services such as preventive screenings for breast cancer, HPV and cervical cancer care for menopause symptoms and fertility evaluations.
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How Do You Become Certified As A Nurse Practitioner
After completing an accredited nurse practitioner program, you’ll need to become certified in whatever NP specialty you have chosen. There are different certification organizations depending on what you’re specializing in. They include:
Each certification board will have different requirements, though all will require you to have completed an accredited nurse practitioner program and to pass a certification exam.
What Students Are Saying
I graduated in 2019 and grew so much, personally and professionally, over four years because of this program. Clinical placements were very good but you need to prepare for them. Ask questions before you begin and expect to practice, practice, practice, because class work won’t fully make you ready for what happens in a real health care setting. But I was given plenty of help in areas where I needed it.For nurses who want research specialties, there are better nursing programs out there, like UofT, UBC and McMaster. I am interested in paediatric nursing and will need more experience and training in this field, but what I learned was certainly enough to pass the NCLEX. Western’s NCLEX rating is higher than most universities!Best of all was the community. Great people supporting each other 100% of the way, especially important during these trying times.
Cynthia S., Nursing
What Youll Learn
In the collaborative program, students spend two hours per week in clinical lab settings, learning and applying introductory health assessment techniques necessary to begin the process of developing clinical judgment. Students gain experience in clinical simulation environments, which increases in the second year. Courses include human anatomy, holistic health assessment, human physiology and more. Health promotion, understanding the social determinants of health, social justice and person-centred collaborative care are emphasized.
About Queens University
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What Is The Best Method To Study
For every 30 minutes, you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Make studying less overwhelming by condensing notes from class. Underline or highlight keywords. Create visual aids like charts, story webs, mind maps, or outlines to organize and simplify information and help you remember better.
How Much Do Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost
The costs of Nurse Practitioner programs vary depending on numerous variables, including whether you choose to attend an in-state public program or a private university, whether you will need to relocate to attend a full-time program where you will need room and board, and whether you are taking the program on a part-time, per-credit basis or a full-time tuition basis.
The costs for MSN nursing programs can easily reach $60,000 to $100,000, with DNP programs costing almost twice that as a result of the additional coursework required.
Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities for full-time students to take advantage of financial aid such as the FAFSA program and nursing scholarships, and for those who are studying part-time or online while working to seek tuition reimbursement from their employers.
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