The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

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Updated December 6, 2022

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Which online family nurse practitioner programs best match your needs? This guide to the top online FNP programs will help you find the right program for you.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Credit: FG Trade / E+ / Getty Images

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are in demand throughout the country, and many FNPs earn six-figure salaries.

To become an FNP, you must earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) and pass the board examination, which most students do within two to three years.

With so many online family nurse practitioner programs, how do you choose? This guide to the top family nurse practitioner programs online identifies the top courses, explains what to look for, and describes how to apply.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge 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.


At a Glance: The Top 10 Online FNP Programs

  • 1. Georgetown University
  • 2. University of Southern California
  • 3. Texas A & M University—College Station
  • 4. The University of West Florida
  • 5. George Washington University
  • 6. Cox College
  • 7. Cedarville University
  • 8. Georgia College & State University
  • 9. Maryville University of Saint Louis
  • 10. Samford University


Keep reading to learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program or go straight to our ranking of the best online FNP programs.

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

The right online FNP program for you depends on your experience, background, finances, and attendance preferences. These are some of the most important to consider when choosing which schools to apply to.

1. Admission Requirements

Admission requirements tell you how likely you are to be accepted to a particular online family nurse practitioner program. They also indicate what the school values in students and the types of backgrounds your classmates might have.

2. Specializations

Unlike undergraduate nursing degrees, MSN programs specialize in a particular type of patient care. Choose your specialization carefully, as it determines your scope of practice as a nurse practitioner.

3. Program Curriculum

Because the MSN program is standardized, the core curriculum does not vary significantly from one online FNP program to another. However, the course descriptions and elective options can help you make your choice.

4. Clinical Experience

Clinicals are a requirement for all MSN degrees, whether you attend your FNP program online or on campus. Find out beforehand how you can arrange local clinical placement and what support the school may offer.

5. Accreditation

Accreditation is the most important factor to consider. All the programs in this guide are accredited, so you can review the selection with confidence.

6. Program Length

Most online family nurse practitioner programs take between two and three years, but depending on your background, work schedule, and other responsibilities and goals, you may want a faster or slower pace.

7. School Graduation Rate

The school graduation rate, especially combined with the board pass rate, is an excellent indicator of program quality. When both rates are high, it shows that students are both successful abd satisfied with the program.

8. Online Learning Format and Requirements

Some FNP programs' online formats feature synchronous classes, where everybody attends the lecture and discussions simultaneously. Others are asynchronous, so you can view the class and ask questions at any time. The right choice for you depends on your learning style and schedule.

Featured Online NP Programs

Why Is Online FNP Program Accreditation Important?

During accreditation, an independent group of experts reviews a program for quality, to determine if graduates who pass the board exam can safely practice. This is a crucial indicator of program quality for many reasons.

  • You must graduate from an accredited program to apply for board certification.
  • Employers will not consider a job application from a graduate of an unaccredited program.
  • Most accredited schools will not accept transfer credits from unaccredited programs.
  • Many loans and grants, including federal aid, are only for students attending accredited programs.

Learn More About the Best Online FNP Programs

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Georgetown University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Georgetown University's online family nurse practitioner program blends asynchronous coursework, synchronous class sessions, and on-campus intensives.  The program's curriculum consists of 44 credits and 650 clinical hours. Students use the program's in-person objective clinical intensives to interview and assess standardized patients and learn standard skills such as suturing. 

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $2,278 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 19 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $100,876 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

University of Southern California

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

Description:

The University of Southern California offers an online master's in nursing for RNs with at least one year of professional experience. Students can complete the program in 21 months at a full-time pace or in 33 months part time. The curriculum explores topics including health care management, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Los Angeles, California
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $2,035 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; at least one year of clinical experience 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Texas A & M University-College Station

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

Description:

Master's in nursing candidates at Texas A & M University can choose a family nurse practitioner track. The 48-credit program features primarily online course delivery. Students attend two on-campus intensives during the semesters when they complete diagnostics and procedures. Eligible students must live in Texas and hold an active RN license.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: College Station, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $6,464 per semester for Texas residents; $12,818 per semester for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; Texas resident
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 6 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.3% first-time pass rate, according to College Scorecard
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of West Florida's (UWF) 45-credit online family nurse practitioner master's program caters to working learners. The full-time, accelerated program includes 600 practicum hours. UWF encourages learners to take part in the program's summer immersion orientation and workshop before beginning their practicum.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Pensacola, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $500 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science degree in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; approval from the School of Nursing Graduate Admissions Committee
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 27 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.5% first-time pass rate
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The George Washington University's online offerings include an master's in nursing program with a family nurse practitioner track. The curriculum comprises 48 credits and 700 clinical hours. Students complete on-campus skills intensives and clinical examinations. Course topics include genetics, population health, and nursing leadership.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $1,395 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science degree in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $101,254 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Cox College

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Cox College teaches a primarily online master's in nursing for family nurse practitioners. The program consists of 42 credits and 660 practicum hours. Course topics include ethical and legal practice in health care, advanced pharmacology, and the role of the advanced practice nurse. The school also offers a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Springfield, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $600 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,959 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard 
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Cedarville University

  • Cedarville, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Cedarville University's online master's in nursing family nurse practitioner program provides a Christian foundation for nursing practice. Students attend four on-campus clinical orientations. Course topics include healthcare economics and policy, biblical basis for advanced nursing practice, and advanced pharmacology.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Cedarville, Ohio
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $648 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; profession of faith in Jesus Christ
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 6 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.2% first-time pass rate
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Georgia College & State University

  • Milledgeville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Georgia College & State University offers an online master's in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The program consists of 40 credits and 630 clinical hours. Students complete periodic on-campus activities, including a 45-hour clinical instruction. Course topics include applied pharmacology, healthcare research, and statistical analysis.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $373 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current Georgia RN license; minimum 2.75 GPA; interview
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 6 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $91,744 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Maryville University offers an online family nurse practitioner master's with no on-campus requirements. The program blends research, theory, and evidence-based practice. Students learn to provide holistic advanced nursing care. Core course topics include disease prevention, evidence-based practice in nursing, and professional role development.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $813 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $93,724 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Samford University

  • Birmingham, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Samford University's online BSN-to-MSN family nurse practitioner option consists of 42 credits and 660 clinical hours.  Students take asynchronous online classes and complete 2-3 on-campus clinical assessments. Course topics include ethical leadership and collaboration; statistics for advanced practice nursing; and research, theory, and quality improvement.

Details:

  • Program: Master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $906 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; video submission
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 5 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $99,380 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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

How Online FNP Programs Work

In addition to attending clinicals in person, some online FNP programs have other in-person requirements, such as onboarding or labs. Most programs schedule on-campus components far in advance to make it as easy as possible for remote students to attend.

Attending a family nurse practitioner program online makes some aspects of the program easier but makes others more challenging. For example, clinical placement can be more challenging if the school does not have a healthcare facility near you. Many online FNP programs will help you to find placement but cannot guarantee it.

Applying to an Online FNP Program

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and submit your application. Talk to your references about anything you would like them to emphasize, and have somebody you trust review your application to make sure it reflects you and your strengths accurately.

1. Admission Requirements

You will need aBSN (though RN-to-MSN programs and direct-entry programs do not require this) and a current and unencumbered nursing license. Most schools, whether they offer their family nurse practitioner program online or in person, require or strongly prefer at least two years of experience.

2. Admission Materials

Application with essay or personal statement; copy of your nursing license; at least two references; transcript from your undergraduate courses

3. GPA Requirements

Most schools require or prefer a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Paying for Online FNP Programs

Many factors affect financing your online FNP program, including financial aid, tuition and fees, program length, how many hours you will work while studying, and any needed travel.

While graduate school is often expensive, there are many ways to pay for it. Nurses are eligible for loans, scholarships, and grants from many different sources.

Some government programs offer scholarships or full loan forgiveness in exchange for working in an under-served area or for the military once you graduate. Your employer may offer tuition remission or reimbursement to help you advance your education.

What Can You Do as a Family Nurse Practitioner?

Family nurse practitioners work in hospitals and health systems, independent medical offices, urgent care centers and clinics, and other healthcare settings. They also work in other places where people need healthcare or healthcare expertise, such as military bases, medical research facilities, or in public health.

While licensed nurse practitioners assess patients, order tests, and prescribe treatment, including prescriptions, their scope of practice varies from state to state, as does practice authority (whether they can work independently or under a physician's supervision or in collaboration with a physician). A growing number of states now give nurse practitioners full practice authority, which allows them to work independently.


Frequently Asked Questions About FNPs


Is a family nurse practitioner degree worth it?

Whether this is the right degree for you depends on your financial and career goals. Family nurse practitioner salaries, currently reported by the BLS, were an annual median of $120,680 in 2021. Many family nurse practitioners enjoy helping people and having a higher level of professional autonomy than RNs.

Are online FNP programs respected?

Whether you attend an FNP program online or on campus, the program has the same accreditation and standards, and you will receive the same diploma. This means that employers respect online FNP programs as much as on-campus programs.

Does it matter where you go to FNP school?

The most important factor is accreditation; attending an unaccredited program is an unnecessary gamble. The next factor to consider is the program specialty, since MSNs focus on one specialty. Finally, a school with a high graduation rate and high board pass rate will likely have a good reputation that will help you find a job and negotiate offers.

Are family nurse practitioners in high demand?

Because of the shortage of primary care providers, family nurse practitioners are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 46% between 2021 and 2031 for all nurse practitioners.


Page Last Reviewed: October 25, 2022

Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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