The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Gayle Morris, MSN
Updated January 25, 2024
Edited by
Reviewed by
Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members.

Family nurse practitioners are in high demand. Learn about the best online FNP programs for your budget and career goals.
mini logo

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Featured ImageCredit: FatCamera / E+ / Getty Images

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) support patients of all ages and physicians. If you want to become an FNP, there are flexible program options to meet your needs.

Discover the most affordable online FNP programs, including tips on searching, applying, and paying for your degree.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

Learn More About the Most Affordable Online FNP Programs & Schools in 2024

#1 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Texas A & M International University

  • Location-markerLaredo, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,818
  • Out-of-state$13,610
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate54%
  • Students Enrolled8,455
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

University of Southern California

  • Location-markerLos Angeles, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$60,446
  • Out-of-state$60,446
  • Retention Rate96%
  • Acceptance Rate13%
  • Students Enrolled49,318
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

The University of West Florida

  • Location-markerPensacola, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,735
  • Out-of-state$16,004
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled13,288
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment88%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Cedarville University

  • Location-markerCedarville, OH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$33,174
  • Out-of-state$33,174
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate62%
  • Students Enrolled4,643
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

University of the Cumberlands

  • Location-markerWilliamsburg, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,875
  • Out-of-state$9,875
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled19,272
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Rockhurst University

  • Location-markerKansas City, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$39,500
  • Out-of-state$39,500
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled3,626
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment53%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

George Washington University

  • Location-markerWashington, DC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$57,894
  • Out-of-state$57,894
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate50%
  • Students Enrolled26,457
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment26%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Northern Arizona University

  • Location-markerFlagstaff, AZ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,381
  • Out-of-state$16,600
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled28,711
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Saint John Fisher College

  • Location-markerRochester, NY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$35,352
  • Out-of-state$35,352
  • Retention Rate87%
  • Acceptance Rate71%
  • Students Enrolled3,539
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment35%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Most Affordable Online FNP Programs of 2024

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Location-markerSaint Louis, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,766
  • Out-of-state$24,766
  • Retention Rate82%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled10,596
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment84%
  • AccreditationYes

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an Online FNP Program

It’s crucial to consider key factors when choosing an online FNP program. These elements can affect your eligibility and satisfaction with the program. The following data points contributed to the overall rankings and should be evaluated based on your unique needs.

Admission Requirements

Most programs have similar requirements, such as graduation from an accredited nursing program. Check the program’s admission requirements to ensure you are qualified to apply.


Achieving an FNP certification requires graduating from a program with an FNP specialization. Although nearly 70% of all nurse practitioners are FNPs, not all graduate nursing programs offer an FNP specialization.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum should prepare you for your national certification examination and cultivate advanced clinical skills. FNPs must be proficient educators, advocates, counselors, and clinicians. An FNP curriculum should cover evaluating research, promoting critical thinking skills, and helping students assume leadership positions.

Clinical Experience

Information about how clinicals are structured may influence your program choice. Does the school help with placement? Are you limited to certain practices for clinical experiences? How is the time spent in clinical rotations broken up? Each of these factors may impact your decision.


Accreditation is a voluntary process demonstrating a school’s dedication to quality academics, industry best practices, and continuous improvement. You must graduate from an accredited program to qualify for the FNP certification examination.

Program Length

The number of credits you need depends on the program. An MSN FNP program typically requires 37-50 credits and 500-672 clinical hours.

School Graduation Rate

When selecting a school, look for the FNP program’s graduation rate. A high graduation rate can indicate a high level of student satisfaction and support.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Attending an online program allows you to continue working while earning your degree, but you must complete clinical hours in person at approved sites. Online programs offer significant flexibility but require a high degree of dedication and self-discipline.

Why Is FNP Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is vital for the online FNP program you consider. Every program in our ranking is accredited.

Accreditation is a third-party peer review to ensure the program meets educational standards and prepares students for the field. Reasons to attend an accredited program include:

  • Accreditation ensures quality education that meets industry standards
  • Both the ANCC and AANPCB require graduation from an accredited program to sit for the FNP licensure exam
  • Credits from an unaccredited program do not transfer
  • Without accreditation, you may not qualify for federal aid
  • Without accreditation, your license may not transfer through reciprocity
  • Accredited programs receive more educational funding

How Online FNP Programs Work

Online vs, in-person requirements vary depending on the FNP program. Some schools allow students to complete all coursework online, while others require in-person labs or seminars.

All programs require at least 500 hours of clinical experience. Some online FNP programs help students find clinical placements, while others do not. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both in-person or online options.

Applying to an Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program

There are several steps to the application process, including ensuring you meet admission and GPA requirements and gathering the necessary documentation.

Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited BSN program
  • Verified, valid, unrestricted RN license
  • Two years of full-time experience in the past five years
  • Schools consider volunteer work, time shadowing an NP, and certifications favorably

Admission Materials

  • Completed application
  • College transcripts
  • Personal statement, goal statement, or letter of intent
  • Resume
  • Interview
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Direct entry or accelerated programs require a passing NCLEX score to finish the program

Before starting clinicals students must provide:

  • Health status
  • State and federal background check
  • Malpractice insurance

Prerequisite classes may include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Biomedical statistics
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrition

GPA Requirement

GPA requirement varies and may range from 2.7 to 3.2

Paying for FNP Programs

Several factors determine how much you will pay for your online FNP program. These include the length of the program, cost per credit, whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition and fees, and whether you can work while taking classes.

Many nursing students entering graduate school may still be making loan payments for undergraduate degrees if their loans are not yet eligible for federal loan forgiveness. You can also defer loans until you complete your FNP program. Some financial aid options include scholarships, grants, and student loans.

Additionally, some hospital benefits include tuition reimbursement. It is important to understand the reimbursement terms before accepting the aid. You may need to work at the hospital for several years after graduation.

What Can You Do as an FNP?

FNPs enjoy a broad scope of practice, but many specialize by earning certifications in areas like pain, obesity management, or diabetes. These certifications are not required, but they may increase an FNP’s employment opportunities and salary potential while meeting the needs of patients.

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for an FNP in the U.S. is $103,030 as of December 2023. Years of experience, location, additional certifications, and practice setting can affect salary.

FNPs can work in:

  • Hospitals
  • Urgent care centers
  • Doctor’s offices or private clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospice centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • College campuses
  • Health departments
  • Occupational sites
  • Private practice in states with full practice authority

Frequently Asked Questions About Online FNP Programs

Yes, many online FNP programs exist. However, some programs may require students to attend in-person labs or seminars throughout the program. All FNP candidates must complete at least 500 hours of in-person clinical experience.

FNPs need an RN license, certification from one of two national organizations, and at least an MSN. One of the fastest ways to earn FNP credentials is by enrolling in a two-year MSN program with a BSN and RN license. Generally, becoming an FNP can take 2-7 years, depending on your current education level, whether you have an RN license, and whether you enroll in a program part or full-time.

Some options include RN-to-MSN programs, which can take 3-4 years. A student could also become an FNP within 6-7 years by completing a two-year ADN, getting two years of experience, and then enrolling in an RN-to-MSN program.

Yes, it does. All FNP students must choose an accredited school to ensure they are eligible for licensure and employment. Graduates from prestigious schools may have an easier time getting their first job. However, employers tend to value experience and credentials more than your alma mater.

Ensure the FNP program fits your career goals. For example, if you aspire to work in research, teach at the university level, or become a school nurse, you’ll want to seek out an online FNP program with strengths in those areas.

Yes, FNPS are in high demand due to a nationwide nursing shortage. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there’s an expected shortfall of up to 48,000 family medicine physicians by 2034. This provider shortage opens greater opportunities and demand for FNPs to work in family medicine.

Page last reviewed on January 23, 2024. Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.

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.