5 Best Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioner Programs + Requirements

In Pennsylvania, nurse practitioners (NPs) are incredibly valuable. Additionally, it is believed that demand for these professionals will grow exponentially, particularly now that the Affordable Care Act has been implemented. As an NP, you will be expected to deliver primary care including specialized care.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 3,500 NPs were employed in the state in 2012, earning an average annual salary of $80,000. As an NP, you will enjoy a great deal of autonomy. However, you do have to have a collaborative agreement with a physician and you must also complete more training if you wish to prescribe medication.

There are a number of schools in Pennsylvania that offer NP programs. This means that you have the opportunity to find the school that best meets your personal needs and requirements. Below are what we believe are the five best Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioners programs.

1. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania offers two NP specializations. They are known across the country as offering one of the best programs nationally. Their target are adult learners who have clear professional goals. The curriculum is highly challenging and very progressive and graduates are ready to take on the complex roles that exist in nursing practice with the right skills and knowledge.

  • Campus: Bloomsburg, PA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $429 per credit for in state students and $644 per credit for out of state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 5 semesters for AGPCNP or 6 semester for FNP
  • Online availability: Blended
  • Degree requirements: Transcripts, RN license, resume, career goals, 3 letters of recommendation, one year acute care experience
  • Programs: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. Drexel University

Drexel offers a range of different programs at various levels for aspiring NPs. They exist at master’s level, post-master’s certification and doctorate level. Additionally, the school offers various specializations. Students become part of a community of professionals, with each member of the community dedicated to the professional advancement of the student. Drexel offers so many pathways because they want to make sure all students are able to meet their personal goals.

  • Campus: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $835 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: Nurse Practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate Programs, DNP, NP programs in a variety of tracks
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. Duquesne University

Duquesne offers both a master’s degree and doctorate degree programs. Both are offered online, although all students must attend campus on three different occasions. Graduates are able to initiate, plan, evaluate and effect change in the way health care is delivered across the board. There is a strong commitment to improving the quality of care for both patients and consumers. Additionally, graduates are able to truly enhance and improve nursing as a whole.

  • Campus: Pittsburg, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,036 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: Yes, three campus visits required
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: MSN Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. La Salle University

La Salle University offers both master’s and doctorate degree programs to aspiring nurse practitioners. These both come in a range of different concentration areas to ensure graduates able to find the specialization they are interested in. The degree program is designed to prepare them for national certification. Classes are held at the school campus, but also at a variety of different other settings and hospitals, where students can gain clinical experience as well.

  • Campus: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $815 per credit for MSN and $890 per credit for DNP
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies, please inquire
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: RN license, 2 letters of reference, statement of goals, resume, one year’s work experience
  • Programs: MSN Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Post-Master’s Certificates
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Millersville University of Pennsylvania

At Millersville, students can take part in the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Program. Students must not only complete 43 hours of theoretical education, as well as 672 hours of clinical work. Once the FNP program has been completed, you can take the national certification examination through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Both are recognized by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.

  • Campus: Millersville, PA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $17,670 per year for in state students and $30,374 per year for out of state students
  • Minimum time commitment: 43 theory hours and 672 clinical hours
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, prerequisite courses, 3 letters of reference, RN license, one year’s clinical experience, resume, interview
  • Programs: Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania

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

1. Get a graduate level degree that is accredited by CCNE, ANCC or NLNAC.

2. Become nationally certified as a Nurse Practitioner through an institution recognized by the state (such as the ANCC, AANP or AACN).

3. Apply for your state certification.

4. Renew your license every other year, together with you CRNP certification, your prescriptive authority approval and your CNS authorization.