The Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in 2021 icon

The Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in 2021

| NurseJournal Staff

The Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in 2021 mini logo

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) rank among the top paid nurses, earning a median annual salary of $117,670. Prospective NPs must hold a registered nurse (RN) license, professional experience, and a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP). The best online NP programs offer quality, affordability, and flexibility. Read on to learn more about nurse practitioner programs, including how to apply and financial aid opportunities for prospective NPs.

Nurse Practitioner Programs Overview

We use our data-driven methodology to rank the best online nurse practitioner 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, program offerings, online flexibility.

Featured Online Programs

What Can You Do as a Nurse Practitioner?

NPs provide counseling, education, and treatment, and their advanced training and education gives them more clinical autonomy than RNs. NPs make key decisions in patient care and serve as primary caregivers, much like physicians. They hold hospital admitting privileges and may prescribe medication under a collaborative agreement with a physician in every state. A few states may allow NPs to prescribe independently.

While some 47% of these advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) work in physicians' offices, others find jobs in hospitals, outpatient care centers, educational services, and health practitioner offices. Around 90% are certified to work in specialized primary care areas. The top certifications include family, adult, adult-gerontology primary care, and acute care.

An NP's earning potential depends on their specialty area and where they work. Emergency departments are the top-paying setting for these APRNs, where NPs earn $135,000 a year. Read about other lucrative career options on this page.

Find Out More About NP Licensure and Certifications

What to Look For in an Online Nurse Practitioner Program

Be wary when NP programs offer a fast track to a six-figure salary in months. While NPs enjoy high salaries, they earn their wages through rigorous classwork and clinical rotations that prepare them to administer high-quality care, shape healthcare policies, and maintain professional standards. Candidates searching for a quality NP program should prioritize the following qualities.

Admission Requirements
Applicants should ensure that they are qualified to attend their chosen NP program. Quality programs vet applicants through a competitive admissions process.
Program Curriculum
Students complete core requirements in nursing research, pharmacology, healthcare policies and ethics, and advanced practice nursing. The best online NP programs offer a student-centered curriculum that allows degree-seekers to pursue specializations such as acute care, family, neonatal, or oncology nursing.
Clinical Experience
Every NP program includes a clinical component, and some programs make it easier for working students to complete clinical rotations. Online NP programs often allow degree-seekers to complete clinical rotations at their workplace, or let online learners work evening or weekend shifts at local facilities.
Accreditation
Earning your degree from an accredited institution ensures that you receive a quality education and make a worthwhile investment. Nursing program accreditation agencies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Often, employers expect job candidates to have completed accredited programs.
Graduation Rate
A school's graduation rate says a lot about its quality. Colleges with high graduation rates tend to prepare students for their future careers in a timely manner. A low graduation rate may reflect a lack of student support or rigorous coursework. That said, high rates may also reflect a less demanding NP program. Remember, students who take longer to complete a degree usually pay more in tuition.
Online Learning Format and Requirements
Some online NP programs are designed to accommodate working RNs. These programs let students complete coursework at their own pace, or feature asynchronous formats without set class times. In contrast, synchronous classes best suit online learners who enjoy a more structured class setting.

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
Online NP programs commonly require applicants to hold a current RN license, clinical nursing experience, and a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited college. Many schools also request GRE or GMAT scores, references, transcripts, and a personal essay.
Program Length
Most programs take about 2-3 years to complete.
Clinical Requirements
On average, NP programs require about 500 clinical hours.
GPA Requirement
Candidates typically need a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies.

Why Is Program Accreditation Important?

Regionally and nationally accredited schools offer a quality education. Accrediting agencies review student outcomes, faculty, and curricula to ensure that they meet the highest standards.

Accreditation also influences the student journey in many other ways:

  • Credits earned at an unaccredited school may not transfer to accredited institutions.
  • Accredited graduate schools may not accept students who attended unaccredited undergraduate schools.
  • Unaccredited schools cannot award students with federal financial aid.
  • Employers often do not recognize degrees from unaccredited schools.

Who Accredits Nurse Practitioner Programs?

How Do I Know an Online Nurse Practitioner Program Is Accredited?

Online and on-campus programs both undergo the same scrutiny to earn accreditation. The nursing program's homepage typically lists its accreditation status. You can also verify a program's accreditation status by reviewing the directories listed above. Keep in mind that all schools listed on this page, and on NurseJournal.org, hold accreditation.

Paying for Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Many students struggle to pay their tuition out of pocket, even when an online NP program lets them work while attending school. College costs add up, especially for online NP programs that require more clinical hours.

Students who cannot pay for their tuition up front can access financial aid at the program level. Many institutions distribute scholarships based on merit, and some offer need-based grants specifically for future nurse practitioners. Some nursing students also take out student loans.

Learn More About the Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Schools

Texas A & M University-College Station true View School Profile $$$ College Station, TX 82% 32% 8% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Texas A&M University's online MSN with a nurse practitioner track prepares candidates for primary care roles. Full-time students can complete the 48-credit online nurse practitioner program in six semesters, while part-time learners graduate in eight semesters. This program includes some in-person components, such as clinical hours, diagnostics, and procedures.

Applicants must hold a 2.0 GPA at minimum, provide essays and three letters of recommendation, and undergo an interview with the selection committee. Competitive candidates hold one or more years of professional experience. Individuals must live in Texas and hold an unencumbered RN license to apply.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing-family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: College Station, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $24,791 per year in-state; $31,721 per year out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: RN license; 2.0 GPA
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.28%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Samford University true View School Profile Birmingham, AL 76% 33% 31% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Samford's BSN-to-MSN Family Nurse Practitioner option gives RNs the knowledge and skills required to care for patients across the lifespan. Graduates qualify to take the FNP national certification exam. Samford also allows its MSN graduates to move seamlessly into the DNP program without reapplying.

The program features start dates in the fall and spring semesters. Candidates beginning their studies in the spring can graduate in six semesters, while those who start in the fall can earn their degree in five semesters. Most coursework is offered online, although students must attend three campus visits.

  • Program: MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $888 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA; BSN from CCNE, CNEA, or ACEN and regionally accredited institution; video submission; RN license.
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.08%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 32 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Bradley University true View School Profile Peoria, IL 78% 66% 27% Higher Learning Commission

Founded in 1897 in Illinois, Bradley serves nearly 6,000 students from over 43 countries. The university is home to eight colleges and schools, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which offers multiple advanced nursing programs. Students with an ADN and unencumbered RN license can take advantage of Bradley's RN-to-MSN online nurse practitioner program, which comprises 59 credits and 750 clinical hours.

Bradley's BSN-to-MSN online NP program is intended for candidates with a BSN and a valid RN license. Requiring 50 credits and 700 clinical hours, the program was designed to suit working professionals. Neither program requires in-person attendance, and students can select their own preceptors for clinical components.

  • Program: ADN-to-MSN-FNP; BSN-to-MSN-FNP
  • Campus: Peoria, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $930 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or BSN from CCNE-accredited school; RN license; 3.0 GPA
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 32 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
DeSales University true View School Profile Center Valley, PA 70% 64% 32% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Enrollees at DeSales can consider three different online nurse practitioner programs, preparing them for national certification in their desired area of practice. NP students can choose between an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program, a family nurse practitioner program, or a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner option.

Each NP program features the same admissions requirements and tuition rates, but learners focus on different course content depending on their focus area. Across programs, some course topics include advanced family health, role development with special populations in psychiatry, and advanced physical assessment.

  • Program(s): MSN adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Center Valley, Pennsylvania
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $885 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree in nursing from a CCNE-accredited institution; 3.0 minimum GPA; one year of professional nursing experience; active RN license
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.85%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Maryville University of Saint Louis true View School Profile Saint Louis, MO 72% 49% 56% Higher Learning Commission

Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, Maryville offers a flexible online NP degree that features five opportunities for specialization. Focus areas include family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Prospective NPs complete coursework entirely online, fulfilling all clinical requirements in a location near their home. Regardless of specialization, each curriculum blends theory, research, and evidence-based practice, exposing learners to the field's best practices and training candidates to provide holistic care across patient populations.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; pediatric nurse practitioner; psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Saint Louis, Missouri
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $813/credit
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from a CCNE-accredited institution; 3.0 minimum GPA; active RN license; curriculum vitae or resume; 500-word essay; one year of professional nursing experience
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.97%
Winona State University View School Profile $$$ Winona, MN 64% 60% 26% Higher Learning Commission

RNs considering doctoral-level online NP programs enjoy multiple options at WSU. Located in Winona, Minnesota, the university offers adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializations.

All students enrolled in the nurse practitioner doctoral program must complete clinical hours along with the required coursework. Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner students complete 74 semester hours and 1,260 clinical hours, and family nurse practitioner learners complete 73 semester hours and 1,080 clinical hours. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner enrollees must satisfy 43-54 semester hours and 1,260 clinical hours.

  • Program(s): DNP adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; DNP family nurse practitioner; DNP psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Winona, Minnesota
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $428 per credit
    • Admission Requirements: MSN from a nationally accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; one year of clinical nursing experience; active RN license; NP national certification; three letters of recommendation; background check
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.01%
University of Southern California View School Profile Los Angeles, CA 92% 29% 18% Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

USC offers one of the nursing field's most innovative online nurse practitioner programs. The unique curriculum allows students to build a foundation in both social work and advanced nursing practice, exploring topics in healthcare technology and innovation, pharmacology, and community-based research.

Degree-seekers must complete 49 credits of coursework, 784 clinical hours, and two on-campus intensives. Learners can pursue part- or full-time enrollment. All applicants should hold a BSN or an MSN with a 3.0 minimum GPA. Along with a completed application, prospective students should possess an active RN license and demonstrate proof of one year of clinical experience and completion of a three-credit statistics course.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Los Angeles, California
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,995 per unit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or MSN; 3.0 minimum GPA; active RN license; one year of clinical experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Georgia College & State University View School Profile $$$$ Milledgeville, GA 64% 44% 25% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Milledgeville-based Georgia College's online nurse practitioner program allows BSN-holders to pursue concentrations in nurse midwifery, nurse education, women's health nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner.

Learners must complete their clinical rotations in Georgia with a School of Nursing-approved preceptor. Enrollees must satisfy all degree requirements within seven years. MSN graduates can also earn a post-master's nursing certificate in one of five specialty areas.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; MSN women's health nurse practitioner; MSN nurse education; MSN nurse midwifery
  • Campus: Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $7,286 per year
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited nursing program; active RN license; 2.75 minimum GPA; three letters of recommendation; current resume or curriculum vitae; statement of professional goals
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
George Washington University View School Profile Washington, DC 82% 36% 24% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

GW's online master of science in nursing features concentrations in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing leadership and management, nurse-midwifery, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

GW nursing students experience a unique, hybrid program format that combines in-person training in simulation centers with online coursework. MSN graduates who want to continue their nursing education can also consider the university's DNP program and graduate certificate opportunities.

  • Program(s): MSN adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; MSN adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN nursing leadership and management; MSN nurse-midwifery; MSN psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,395 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; two letters of recommendation; current resume; personal statement; active RN license
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Morehead State University View School Profile $$ Morehead, KY 42% 44% 44% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Located in Morehead, Kentucky, MSU offers online nurse practitioner programs for RNs interested in expanding their career opportunities. The online FNP program prepares learners to take the national FNP certification exam and go into practice as advanced practice nurses.

MSN candidates must complete 49 credit hours. The post-MSN option, intended for nurses who already hold a master's degree, includes 48 credit hours. MSU offers career planning services, internship placement, interview and resume preparation, and job search assistance for graduates.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Morehead, Kentucky
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $374 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or MSN from an accredited institution with a 3.0 minimum GPA; cover letter; goal statement; current resume or curriculum vitae; active RN license; completed criminal background check
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94%
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
The University of Texas at Arlington View School Profile $$ Arlington, TX 49% 41% 51% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Emphasizing experiential learning, UTA's online FNP program prepares RNs to work in a variety of healthcare settings, with patients across the lifespan. The curriculum introduces specialized concepts in advanced research and clinical management, diagnostics, pharmacology, and health assessment.

Degree-seekers undergo intensive training in evidence-based primary care, completing clinical experiences in their local area. Learners can choose from multiple start dates, making the program ideal for those who desire flexible scheduling.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Arlington, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $654 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited program; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.71%
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Loyola University New Orleans View School Profile New Orleans, LA 56% 62% 33% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

U.S. News & World Report ranks Loyola's online nurse practitioner programs among the nation's best. The MSN program lets distance learners choose from three specialization areas: family nurse practitioner, nursing informatics, and healthcare systems administration and leadership.

Candidates who select the family nurse practitioner track complete 48 credits of coursework and 720 practicum hours. Both the nursing informatics and healthcare systems administration and leadership tracks comprise 36 course credits and 180 practicum hours.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN nursing informatics; MSN healthcare systems administration and leadership
  • Campus: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $818 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; statement of purpose; current resume; minimum of 1,800 hours of recent nursing experience; three references
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Simmons University View School Profile Boston, MA 80% 66% 51% New England Commission on Higher Education

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Simmons offers two online nurse practitioner programs. Designed for RNs who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing, the online RN-to-MSN curriculum emphasizes hands-on clinical experiences relevant to the family nurse practitioner role.

Learners can pursue part-time or full-time enrollment. Some can graduate in as few as 32 months. The curriculum prepares candidates for state board exams and 800 hours of immersive clinical practice.

  • Program(s): RN-to-MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,210 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing; current resume; personal statement; three letters of recommendation
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 32 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Saint Joseph's College of Maine View School Profile Standish, ME 63% 61% 50% New England Commission on Higher Education

SJC's MSN program allows learners to choose from adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing education specializations.

All MSN candidates must complete the same 24-credit common core curriculum before focusing on specialty courses. The core curriculum explores topics in nursing informatics, organizational and systems leadership, and population health and interprofessional collaboration.

  • Program(s): MSN adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN nursing administration; MSN nursing education
    • Campus: Standish, Maine
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $663 per credit
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; resume or curriculum vitae; career statement; three references
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.83%
Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO 69% 47% 63% Higher Learning Commission

Denver-based Regis' MSN program focuses on the neonatal nurse practitioner specialty. The 44-credit curriculum combines healthcare policy, ethics and leadership, and nursing theory with courses that focus on the clinical management of high-risk newborns and diagnostic, therapeutic procedures.

Courses are presented entirely online in a synchronous format, allowing learners to participate in real-time class discussions. Candidates participate in courses once a week from 8am-5pm. Graduates can pursue advanced study in Regis' online DNP program.

  • Program(s): MSN neonatal nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Denver, Colorado
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $910 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 2.75 GPA; active RN license; three letters of recommendation; resume; essay; admissions interview; two years of clinical nursing experience
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.15%
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Central Missouri View School Profile $$ Warrensburg, MO 49% 51% 38% Higher Learning Commission

Ideal for working professionals, UCM's 44-credit MSN program emphasizes advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge. Candidates are encouraged to enroll on a part-time basis and must seek permission to study full time.

Students must hold a Missouri nursing license or licensure in a compact state. Earning a failing grade in any graduate level course results in administrative withdrawal from the nursing program at the end of that semester. Nursing students can initiate a retention form with the instructor of their failed course one time during their program. If a student withdraws from the program on their own accord, they must reapply for admission if they decide they want to re-enroll.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Warrensburg, Missouri
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and National League for Nursing
    • Tuition: $370 per credit
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; at least one year of professional nursing practice
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.67%
Baylor University View School Profile Waco, TX 79% 42% 5% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor offers two doctoral-level online FNP programs: a BSN-to-DNP and a post-master's DNP. The online DNP prepares registered nurses to deliver primary care to patients across the lifespan.

Students in the BSN-to-DNP program complete 75 credits and graduate in just over three years. The post-master's option includes 31-37 credits of coursework and takes about two years to complete. Core courses follow an online format with on-campus immersions weaved throughout. Learners also complete 1,125 practicum hours.

  • Program(s): DNP family nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Waco, Texas
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $1,100 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited school of nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.44%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Duquesne University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA 80% 68% 18% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Students in Duquesne's online nurse practitioner program can choose from a variety of specialization options, including family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner tracks. All complete their studies in cohorts of 12-15 students.

The rigorous curriculum prepares graduates for certification through online coursework and three on-campus visits. Students complete 12 courses in total, comprising 42-44 credits, along with 550-750 clinical hours. Most degree-seekers can fulfill all program requirements in about three years.

  • Program(s): MSN adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $1,509 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license; at least one year of full-time work experience as an RN; resume or curriculum vitae; professional goal statement; two references
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.38%
Angelo State University View School Profile $$ San Angelo, TX 34% 34% 39% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Part of the Texas Tech University system, ASU offers a convenient, flexible online FNP program that prepares graduates to care for patients across the lifespan in many settings. The program is presented primarily through distance education, with minimal on-campus requirements. Students can fulfill clinical requirements in a part of Texas that is convenient to them.

The 49-credit hour curriculum covers topics, such as informatics and healthcare technology for advanced nursing, evidence-based practice and theory for advanced nursing, and advanced health assessment.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: San Angelo, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $614 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; one year of clinical experience; active RN license; three references; personal statement; curriculum vitae or resume
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.16%
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
MCPHS University View School Profile Boston, MA 69% 66% 27% New England Commission on Higher Education

MCPHS lets prospective advanced practice nurses explore the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner role in depth as they learn to help individuals living with psychiatric disorders.

The 24-month, part-time program combines online coursework with clinical experiences that take place in students' own communities. The curriculum surveys conditions, such as anxiety, dementia, and depression. Graduates are qualified to sit for the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification exam.

  • Program(s): MSN psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,235 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license; letter of recommendation; resume
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Morningside College View School Profile Sioux City, IA 51% 73% 53% Higher Learning Commission

Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Morningside's MSN program features a family nurse practitioner emphasis that prepares candidates for national certification. The curriculum explores topics in advanced pharmacology, education in practice, and evidence-based research. Graduates are qualified to care for patients across the lifespan.

Learners complete a total of 47 credit hours, including 25 credits within the FNP specialization and 22 credits of core coursework. Students must also satisfy a 600-hour practicum requirement and participate in three on-campus residencies.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Sioux City, Iowa
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $570 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; valid RN license; BCLS certification; two letters of recommendation; professional goals essay; resume or curriculum vitae
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87%
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Northern Arizona University View School Profile $$ Flagstaff, AZ 52% 45% 43% Higher Learning Commission

NAU's online NP program trains RNs to become family nurse practitioners. The program emphasizes concepts and skills needed to pursue national certification and enter professional practice.

Candidates complete at least 30 core course units, conduct individualized research, and complete a thesis. Enrollees should maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete all degree requirements within six years of beginning the program.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Flagstaff, Arizona
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $575 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license; three letters of recommendation
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.27%
King University View School Profile Bristol, TN 52% 67% 67% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

King's online MSN stands out among online nurse practitioner programs for its customizability. Licensed RNs can tailor the curriculum to align with their career goals and academic interests by choosing from three specialization options: pediatric nurse practitioner, administration, and nurse education.

Depending on the concentration, learners must satisfy between 35-45 credit hours of coursework. All candidates survey core topics in healthcare informatics, global health awareness, and a theoretical basis of nursing practice. Nursing students also complete 420-600 practicum hours, depending on their concentration.

  • Program(s): MSN pediatric nurse practitioner; MSN administration; MSN nurse education
  • Campus: Bristol, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $605 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license; three letters of recommendation; personal essay; current curriculum vitae
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Olivet Nazarene University View School Profile Bourbonnais, IL 61% 73% 39% Higher Learning Commission

Illinois-based ONU offers a 52-credit MSN program with a family nurse practitioner track for RNs who hold a BSN and want to transition into advanced practice nursing.

The accelerated master's program consists of eight-week online classes. Learners can double their course load to graduate sooner, finishing the program in as few as 24 months. Olivet graduates who want to teach nursing students can also complete a post-master's nursing education certificate.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner
    • Campus: Bourbonnais, Illinois
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $690 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 GPA; active RN license; at least 2,000 hours of professional experience working as an RN
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89%
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Stephen F Austin State University View School Profile $$ Nacogdoches, TX 48% 57% 40% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Students enrolled in SFA's online nurse practitioner program can focus on the family nurse practitioner specialty or the nursing education option. The university also offers a post-master's certificate for graduates interested in becoming family nurse practitioners.

The family nurse practitioner MSN features a part-time, online format and requires degree-seekers to complete 46 credit hours of coursework and 720 clinical hours. Nursing education students complete 36 credit hours of coursework and 180 clinical hours within their own community or at the nursing school.

  • Program(s): MSN family nurse practitioner; MSN nursing education
    • Campus: Nacogdoches, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $613 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution; minimum 3.0 minimum GPA; three letters of recommendation; active RN license; one year of full-time professional experience as an RN
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.83%

Online Nurse Practitioner Program FAQs


Can you become an NP online?

Yes. Online nurse practitioner programs make it easier for working RNs to attend school. That said, nursing students must complete clinical requirements and labs in person. This may require commuting to campus and/or a local healthcare setting.

What is the fastest way to become a nurse practitioner?

RN-to-MSN and RN-to-DNP degrees offer the quickest pathway to becoming an NP. These accelerated programs often award proficiency credits for current RN licensure and allow students to complete clinical hours at their workplace. Students can typically graduate in 18-36 months.

Does it matter where you go to NP school?

Yes. A school's reputation and accreditation can influence your career prospects and performance on the job. Postgraduate certificate programs also prefer candidates who have graduated from accredited NP programs.

Are nurse practitioners in high demand?

Yes, and more so than all other APRNs. The BLS projects that the job growth rate for NPs will reach 52% from 2019-29 as employers are projected to add 110,700 NP jobs during this time. This increase is driven by a nationwide emphasis on preventative healthcare and an aging baby-boom population.

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