Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

March 4, 2022 , Updated on April 21, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Online family nurse practitioner programs offer working nurses the flexibility to join this in-demand profession. Consider these factors when considering online schools.

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Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

Did you know there is a primary care physician shortage? According to a 2021 Association of American Medical Colleges report, the shortage may result in up to 124,000 openings by 2034. The majority of nurse practitioners are prepared with a primary care focus. This includes FNPs, which is the most common category of certified nurse practitioners.

Yet, there continues to be a need throughout the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job growth for NPs will reach 52% from 2020-2030. This rate is much faster than the rate for nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives.

An online FNP program offers working nurses the opportunity to finish an advanced degree. Most programs blend asynchronous and synchronous class sessions. They also have in-person clinical experiences to meet the requirements for accreditation. Candidates benefit from the program's flexibility, many of which allow students to attend part time.

Some online FNP programs enroll candidates from across the U.S. Online programs may also be less costly than in-person programs.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best online family nurse practitioner programs, making it easier to find the 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, or go straight to our list of the best online family nurse practitioner programs.

How Do Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs Work?

The flexible structure of online FNP programs generally allows working students to complete their degrees. Some schools offer the entire program online, and others require students to attend several in-person evaluations on campus.

Online programs may be a disadvantage for students who find it difficult to get motivated to complete the classwork. On-campus programs may suit those who enjoy direct peer or professor interactions. The coursework and curriculum are fairly consistent across accredited programs. Accredited programs offer student support and highly qualified faculty.

Candidates can evaluate the program's academic calendar, admission requirements, and curriculum on the school's website. Some master of science in nursing FNP programs are open to nurses with an associate degree in nursing. But most require candidates to have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree to apply. FNP programs may also award a doctor of nursing practice.

Most FNP programs post the required coursework and descriptions online. The academic calendar offers students insight into application deadlines and when classes begin. This gives the student a big-picture view of the program and what it might entail.

Students who need more flexibility to maintain outside responsibilities should speak with an admissions counselor. Candidates may find some schools offer additional options for students that are not published on their websites.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Applying to an Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program

An online FNP program offers candidates the curriculum and clinical experience needed to become certified. Candidates should research their options to choose a program that best meets their needs. This can include support, contact with faculty, and peer engagement.

1. Admission Materials

Candidates should contact an admission counselor with any application-related questions. Schools generally require a combination of the following:

  • Completed application

  • Active and unrestricted RN license

  • Application fee

  • Transcripts from your BSN program

  • Undergraduate statistics course

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Official GRE scores (not common)

  • Resume or curriculum vitae

  • Criminal background check

  • Statement of purpose, goal statement, or letter of intent

  • Interview

  • 1-2 years of RN experience

  • Additional requirements for international students

2. GPA Requirement

An online FNP program requires an overall GPA in your BSN education of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Many schools consider your overall application. They will review your application if your GPA is slightly lower. Some schools also have a prerequisite for grade C in statistics and a 3.0 GPA in science classes taken in the BSN program.

3. Other Requirement

Not all online FNP programs can be completed 100% online as students must complete clinicals in their local areas. Some schools require in-person clinical evaluations. This must be considered during the application process.

Why is Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation Important?

It is essential that the online FNP program is accredited. Graduates qualify for the certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Professionals need this to practice as a nurse practitioner. The school must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation.

Not all online FNP programs are accredited. It is essential candidates know the school's accreditation before enrolling. Accreditation demonstrates the school meets minimum quality standards. Candidates should be familiar with accreditation and why it's important.

Learn More About the Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs & Schools

#1

Georgetown University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 14%
Graduation Rate 95%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#2

University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#3

Texas A & M University-College Station

School Information
Location College Station, Texas
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#4

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#5

George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#6

Cox College

School Information
Location Springfield, Missouri
Admission Rate 39%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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 
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#7

Cedarville University

School Information
Location Cedarville, Ohio
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 75%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#8

Georgia College & State University

School Information
Location Milledgeville, Georgia
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#9

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#10

Samford University

School Information
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 76%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs


What type of nurse practitioner makes the most money?

According to a 2019 survey from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the highest-paid nurse practitioners were psychiatric/mental health practitioners. This was followed closely by neonatal and acute care practitioners.

Where do family nurse practitioners make the most money?

A nurse practitioner's salary is dependent on several factors, including geographical location, certification, and experience. The BLS reports that NPs practicing in California, New York, and New Jersey make the most money.

Is NP higher than PA?

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants play similar and equal roles in patient care. Nurse practitioners are educated and certified in a specific area of patient care. PAs have a generalist education and gain specific patient care training after graduation. This allows PAs to move between specialties easily.

Both NPs and PAs play a significant role in primary and specialty care. Both also have prescriptive privileges, and both can operate their own practice in certain states.

Which nurse practitioner specialty is most in demand?

Nurse practitioners in primary care are the most in demand. The BLS estimates the growth in primary care nurse practitioners is fueled in part by the physician shortage, a large baby-boomer population reaching retirement, increasing demand for primary care health services, and changing state laws that expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.


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