Accredited Online NP Programs

Updated November 18, 2022

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?

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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.

  1. 1

    Admission Materials

    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.

  2. 2

    GPA Requirement

    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.

  3. 3

    Other Requirements

    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

#1 Accredited Online NP Programs

Georgetown University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Georgetown University has an online nurse practitioner (NP) program for family nurse practitioners, adult gerontology acute care NPs, women's health NP (WHNP), and a dual nurse-midwifery/WHNP program. Nursing students must complete 40-49 credits and 600-784 clinical hours, depending on the program.

Each track incorporates objective clinical intensives that are completed on campus. Learners benefit from a network of over 3,700 locations throughout 49 states for clinical placement. NP students are paired with a clinical placement specialist to research and match clinical placement sites.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family health; MSN - adult gerontology acute care NP; MSN - WHNP; MSN - dual nurse-midwifery/WHNP; doctor of nursing practice 
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs; Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME); Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Tuition: $2,358 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, minimum 3.0 cumulative and science GPA, RN license, and 3-credit hour course in statistics with grade "C" or better
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 27 months part-time
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$55,440
Out-of-state
$55,440
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
14%
Students Enrolled
19,593
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Accredited Online NP Programs

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Southern California's master of science in nursing online program prepares family nurse practitioners to provide comprehensive care. Students can attend classes on a full- or part-time basis. 

Some students may be required to take a two-unit, graduate level bridge course to prepare for pharmacology and pathophysiology. The program prioritizes clinical placement and career outcomes.

Details:

  • Program(s): Master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Los Angeles, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)
  • Tuition: $2,045 per unit; $100,205 program total
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, 3.0 GPA, 3-credit course in statistics, RN license and one year of clinical experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months for full-time students; 33 months for part-time students
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes - 2 on-campus intensives
Average Tuition
In-state
$57,256
Out-of-state
$57,256
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
48,321
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Accredited Online NP Programs

Texas A & M University-College Station

  • College Station, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Texas A&M University - College Station offers three master of science in nursing programs. The programs value hands-on experience and require students to find their clinical preceptors. Enrollees must live in Texas.

The part-time program helps working nurses complete the 36-credit hour curriculum with greater flexibility. Clinical practice can be completed in the students' community, but some on-campus class activities and clinical hours are required.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Bryan-College Station, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $6,464 per year for Texas residents
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, RN, "C" grade in college-level statistics, references, volunteer hours, and 2 years of nursing experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months for full-time students; 31 months for part-time students
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.3%
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,941
Out-of-state
$34,190
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
68,726
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Accredited Online NP Programs

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of West Florida only offers a full-time online option for the family nurse practitioner (FNP) track. Princeton Review recognized the FNP program as the "Best Online Nursing School Master's Program" in 2022. 

UWF requires 600 clinical hours for program completion. The FNP program is tailored to the needs of working nurses. You can complete your coursework from wherever you have internet access. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - FNP
  • Campus: Pensacola, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $385 per credit hour for in-state residents; and $1,044 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, 3.0 GPA, undergraduate statistics course with grade "C" or better, and unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 28 months 
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.5%
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
12,557
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Accredited Online NP Programs

George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

George Washington University's online master of science in nursing program requires 48 credit hours and 700 clinical hours to graduate. Learners can choose from six specialty tracks.

At the end of the program, all students must pass a skills assessment on campus and work through a series of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontological primary care; MSN - adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner; MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - nurse midwifery; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; MSN - nursing leadership and management
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1395 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from regionally accredited program, GPA of 3.0, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and active and unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$54,453
Out-of-state
$54,453
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
27,814
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Accredited Online NP Programs

Cox College

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Cox College offers two master of science in nursing tracks: family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. At this time, the school is not accepting students from the following states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Colorado, Nevada, or Washington.

Students are taught evidence-based practice from faculty with professional experience. The school offers help finding clinical placement and preceptors. The program boasts a 96% job placement within one year of graduation. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; MSN - family nurse practitioner 
  • Campus: Springfield, MO
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $600 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a 3.0 GPA; current, unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4%
Average Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
39%
Students Enrolled
956
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Accredited Online NP Programs

Cedarville University

  • Cedarville, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Cedarville University is a Christian university that emphasizes nursing as a ministry. The program offers part- and full-time options and requires four on-campus intensives. 

Students must complete 600 hours of clinical experience. Students can start in August, January, or May.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Cedarville, OH
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $3,115 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a 3.0 GPA, unrestricted RN license, professed belief in Jesus Christ, recommendation from a Christian leader and a professional recommendation
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.2%
Average Tuition
In-state
$31,122
Out-of-state
$31,122
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
4,302
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Accredited Online NP Programs

Georgia College & State University

  • Milledgeville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Georgia College & State University offers an online master of science in nursing, but all clinical rotations must be completed in Georgia. The school helps students find preceptors and clinical placement. 

Students must have computer access and proficiency with Microsoft Office. All courses must be completed within seven years of starting the program. Students also take a week-long advanced assessment course that has 45-hours of hands-on intensive instruction. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; MSN - women's health nurse practitioner; MSN - nurse educator; MSN - nurse midwifery
  • Campus: Milledgeville, GA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $373 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, interview, current and unencumbered RN license, and at least one year of clinical experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.1%
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,508
Out-of-state
$26,688
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
7,031
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Accredited Online NP Programs

Frontier Nursing University

  • Hyden, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

Frontier Nursing University offers rolling admission to students, with application status available 4-5 weeks after materials are accepted. 

Students can enter the program in January, May, July, or October and complete 675 clinical hours in their home community. The University has been a leader in distance learning since 1989. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - nurse-midwifery; MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - women's healthcare nurse practitioner program; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Hyden, KY
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $38,800 per program
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited program and a 3.0 cumulative GPA, background check, and an unrestricted RN license with one year of clinical experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,237
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Accredited Online NP Programs

Samford University

  • Birmingham, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Samford University offers flexible online programs working with professors who have deep clinical and leadership experience. The program is flexible, with all courses taught online. Students complete three required campus visits. 

Out-of-state applicants must be prepared to travel. The program does not accept students from California, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, or Oregon.

Details:

  • Program(s): BSN-to-MSN - family nurse practitioner; BSN-to-MSN - family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; BSN-to-MSN - family nurse practitioner with additional emergency specialty
  • Campus: Birmingham, AL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $906 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a cumulative 3.0 GPA, unrestricted RN license, resume or CV, one undergraduate course in nursing research and health assessment with a grade of "C" or better
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.1%
Average Tuition
In-state
$32,000
Out-of-state
$32,000
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
5,692
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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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