Accredited Online NP Programs

November 12, 2021 , Modified on May 10, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Become a nurse practitioner by enrolling in an online NP program from a nonprofit university. Learn how to apply for an online NP program in this guide.

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Accredited Online NP Programs
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Do you want to excel in your nursing career to become a nurse practitioner (NP) without having to travel to campus? Online NP programs train registered nurses (RNs) to enter specialized areas of nursing and become certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.

Nonprofit universities rely more on state and federal funding than tuition. As such, programs at nonprofit universities, unlike for-profit universities that have private stakeholders, prioritize students and their education. Learn in this guide how to apply to NP programs from nonprofit universities and what to expect.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best Accredited Online NP programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about Accredited Online NP programs, or go straight to our list of the best Accredited Online NP programs.

How do Accredited Online NP Programs from Nonprofits Work?

Online programs at nonprofit universities and colleges have different formats, time frames, and coursework. Programs function in asynchronous, synchronous, or blended formats. Students may have self-paced assignments that they turn in by deadline or they meet online for scheduled live classes. Nursing programs let students take nursing core credits and electives online, but students usually need to complete practicum experiences in person.

Online NP program curriculum at nonprofit universities provides specialized studies in adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, psychiatric mental health, or family care.

Class completion time influences the length of the program. Depending on the semester, nursing schools have 8-16 week courses. The average online program takes two years to complete.

That said, accelerated online NP programs let students graduate in less than 24 months by taking on heavier course loads in shortened semesters. Students can choose from part-time or full-time studies, which affects graduation timelines. Learners need to complete about 30-60 credits to graduate.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Applying to an Accredited Online NP Program from Nonprofits

Admitted students start online NP programs after working in nursing. These nurses often hold a bachelor's in nursing degree (BSN) or associate in nursing degree. Students must earn a master's in nursing degree (MSN) to become an NP. They need to meet the graduate nursing school's requirements to enter the program and complete a practicum.

Prospective nursing students need to complete and submit an online application with fees and requested materials. What a school asks from applicants depends on the program. Common materials include a personal statement about an applicant's career goals or personal background information. Students also submit resumes or CVs, and letters of recommendation from their supervisors or former professors.

Schools require a minimum GPA score for admission. Often, students with lower GPA scores can get conditional admittance if they earn a minimum grade in their core nursing courses. NP online programs often require a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate coursework. Students need to submit official transcripts.

Applicants to online NP programs from nonprofit schools also need current RN licenses and BSN degrees. Schools may specify that candidates need to have at least 1-2 years of nursing experience. Sometimes candidates need to submit GRE scores. If the school does not require GRE scores, applicants can still use their scores to boost their application.

Why is Accreditation for Online NP Program from Nonprofits Important?

All the programs in this guide hold accreditation — for good reason. Programmatic accreditation of nursing programs means students know the education they receive meets industry standards. The curriculum, campus, faculty, and student outcomes also measure up to nursing requirements.

Online NP programs do not need to hold accreditation, a voluntary process. However, employers prefer to recruit from accredited nursing programs. Graduate programs and nursing certifications required for NP specializations may also require that candidates have graduated from an accredited nursing program.

MSN degrees receive accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Learn More About the Best Accredited Online NP Programs & Schools

Frequently Asked Questions About Accredited Online NP Programs


Which nurse practitioner is most in demand?

Employment for all NPs will outpace other nursing occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and NPs will grow by 45% from 2020-2030, with employers adding 29,400 positions every year during that time.

The highest employment levels of NPs are in physician offices, medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, and healthcare services. Popular and fast-growing specialties include psychiatric mental health, adult-gerontology, and pediatrics.

What is a PA vs. NP?

Physician assistants (PAs) train in general medicine, while NPs study nursing. These two healthcare roles have similar duties, but different educational backgrounds and medical training.

They also work in different environments. NPs and PAs work on teams with physicians to diagnose and prescribe treatment plants. NPs choose specializations and work in specific nursing units such as adult-gerontology, acute care, neonatal, or women's health.

Can a PA or NP write prescriptions?

In most states, NPs can prescribe medications independent of doctors. Similarly, PAs have prescribing authority, meaning they can order, prescribe, and dispense medications. Patients often make appointments directly with NPs to seek a diagnosis and receive medication.

Will nurse practitioners be in demand in the future?

Yes. Jobs for NPs will grow faster than average growth for all occupations, at a rate of 45% from 2020-2030. Employers currently employ 220,300 NPs, and by 2030 workplaces will have 335,200 NPs on staff. States such as Texas, California, and New York have the highest employment level of NPs with 17,810-15,190 positions on staff.


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