5 Best North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Programs + Requirements

North Carolina is a wonderful seaside state in the south of our country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 3,000 nurse practitioners employed in the state in 2012. They mainly work in primary care, mental health and pediatrics. There are various other specializations in which they can work as well. The North Carolina Board of Nursing regulates nurse practitioners (NPs) in the state.

In order to practice as an NP, you must enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician. This will allow you to diagnose and treat patients, as well as prescribe medication. The average annual salary across the state is $89,760, which is above the national average. Those who work in the urban parts of the state tend to earn the most.

If you want to become an NP in North Carolina, you will need to find the right school for your personal needs and requirements. Below are what we believe to be the 5 best North Carolina Nurse Practitioner programs.

1. Duke University

Duke University offers a number of specialization options for NPs. Each specialization will require students to complete 11 hours of core clinical courses, as well as a clinical residency. The experience requirements are above and beyond those set by the various national credentialing organizations. Once graduated, you can take a certification exam in your specialization area.

  • Campus: Durham, NC
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $16,629 per year for six credit hours per semester
  • Minimum time commitment: Between 42 and 49 credit hours
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, prerequisite courses, GRE, one year clinical experience, RN license, transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume
  • Programs: MSN Nurse Practitioner with various specializations
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. East Carolina University

East Carolina University offers various concentrations for nurse practitioners. Graduates are able to take on both leadership and practical roles. Graduates generally find employment in acute care and community-based agencies.

  • Campus: Greenville, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $4,009 per year for full-time, in-state students, and $15,840 per year for full-time, out-of-state students
  • Minimum time commitment: Between 42 and 51 semester hours
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 2.7, GRE/MAT, RN license, personal statement, 3 letters of reference, interview
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers three concentrations for NPs, as well as the DNP. Classroom education is delivered on campus and clinical placements can be organized across the Charlotte region. The school now also offers a post-master’s certification to allow those with a general master’s to specialize in an advance practice nursing area.

  • Campus: Charlotte, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $6,349 per year for full-time, in-state students, and $18,636 per year for full-time, out-of-state students
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Across the Lifespan, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) or AGACNP Post-Masters Certificate, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been recognized as one of the best nursing schools in the entire country. Their mission is trifold: they want to offer the best possible nursing education, based on the best possible research while offering the best possible practice.

  • Campus: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care with oncology option, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University offers a range of different concentration programs for nurse practitioners at master’s, post-master’s and doctoral levels. The school prides itself on its excellent student resources, giving one-to-one attention to each individual. Additionally, they focus on helping students network with relevant professional organizations in the state.

  • Campus: Cullowhee, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $8,070 per year for full-time, in-state students, and $17,656 per year for full-time out-of-state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 51 to 52 semester hours
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: MS(N) Family Nurse Practitioner Track, DNP, Post Master’s certification
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina

The following steps are required to become a Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina:

1. Get a graduate degree in a nursing related field, or with a primary focus on nursing. Those who graduated before December 31, 1999 need to be able to demonstrate that they took part in at least 400 supervised clinical hours and 400 hours of didactic education.

2. Become nationally certified as an NP. There are a number of different bodies that accredit programs for nurse practitioners. These include the ANCC, the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the AANP and the National Certification Corporation. Generally speaking, the school you have completed your degree with will be associated with one of those certification boards.

3. Apply to be registered as an NP. In North Carolina, registration only has to be done once in your life.

4. Verify your license through the Licensure Verification Service. After you have been approved, you also need to request an initial approval to practice in order to actually work as a nurse practitioner. You will receive written confirmation of this approval, at which point you will need to verify your license as well. You will then also be able to prescribe medication, so long as you are in a collaborative agreement with a physician.

5. Renew your license by demonstrating continuing competence, renewing your RN license and, finally, completing your Nurse Practitioner Approval to Practice, which you must do annually. You will need to show all your continuous education certificates that demonstrate at least 50 hours of training.