Online Nurse Practitioner Programs With Spring Start Dates 2022

March 4, 2022 , Modified on May 11, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Explore nurse practitioner programs that offer spring start dates in March, April, or May.

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Online Nurse Practitioner Programs With Spring Start Dates 2022
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Traditional in-person nurse practitioner (NP) programs start in the fall. For a program with flexible options, consider an online NP program with a spring start date.

Physician shortages across the U.S. have opened the door to primary care and specialty NP practices. Online NP programs allow nurses to advance their education and career options while working.

The cornerstone of any NP program is quality education and robust clinical preparation. Each program involves clinical rotations and core science and math coursework. Graduates can take certification exams to practice in their state.

This guide explores NP programs with spring start dates, how the programs work, and what to look for when you apply.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best online nurse practitioner 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.

Keep reading or go straight to our list of the best online NP programs with spring start dates.

Featured Online MSN Programs

How Do Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Work?

To gain licensure and work as an NP, you need a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. An online NP program with a spring start date can give registered nurses (RNs) the ability to earn an advanced education degree on their schedule.

Most online NP programs are for graduates of bachelor of science in nursing programs. However, RN-to-MSN bridge programs can benefit those with an associate degree in nursing.

A working nurse's schedule does not often fit into a traditional in-person academic schedule. Online NP programs with spring start dates create an opportunity to expand the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) population without impacting staffing shortages.

Students can choose to attend full or part time to meet their family and work requirements. Many schools offer entirely online instruction for nursing programs, while other programs may include additional in-person requirements.

After graduation, students can take the NP board certification examination in their specialty. For example, students in a family nurse practitioner (FNP) program must complete a required number of credits and clinical hours before graduating.

Graduates can then sit for the FNP examination from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners or American Nurses Credentialing Center.

What to Look For in an Online Nurse Practitioner Program

There are several important factors to consider in an online NP program with a spring start date. These key points can help you choose the program that best suits your needs.

The nursing profession's schedule does not always fit neatly within standard academic calendars, so NP programs usually offer start times throughout the year. While most NP programs begin in the fall, there are online programs available that have several start dates throughout the year. The online NP program must have a concentration in the nursing specialty you choose. No matter how well the other key metrics fit your criteria, if the program doesn't offer the right concentration, it won't help you meet your career goals. Clinical experience is required for all accredited online NP programs. How those clinicals for online nursing students are integrated into the program may influence your decision. For example, does the school help with clinical placement? Are there clinical placements that meet your program's requirements in your geographical area? Is there flexibility in how the clinical rotations are structured? Accreditation is a strong indicator of the program's overall quality. Accrediting bodies ensure the program meets best practices and quality standards.. Online NP programs typically publish the graduation rate. This tells prospective students the percentage of learners who enroll and graduate.

A program may have a low graduation rate if it does not offer students enough support to complete the program. Also, the school may not use appropriate criteria for enrollment.
Online NP programs with a spring start date include different technology requirements for students, such as hardware and software specifications. The school uses this to assist the student in their academic pursuit.

Why Is Online Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation Important?

MSN programs must be accredited for graduates to take their specialty nursing certification and practice in their state. There are several benefits to accreditation for the student, program, and profession.

Online NP program accreditation generally comes from one of two organizations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The nursing program must pass a rigorous evaluation to demonstrate quality standards. These standards help ensure that graduates are ready to practice.

Government grants and loans for nursing students can only be used at accredited nursing programs.

Credits from an unaccredited program do not transfer into an accredited nursing program. Most state boards of nursing only grant nursing licenses to students who have graduated from an accredited program. Additionally, you must have graduated from an accredited school to enroll in an advanced education program.

To enroll in an online NP program with spring start dates, you must have graduated from an accredited nursing school.

Finally, most employers only hire nurses who have graduated from an accredited program. Nursing schools list accreditation information on their website. If you don't see it, the school may not be accredited.

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs With Spring Start Dates 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Nurse Practitioner Programs


Can you become a nurse practitioner online?

Yes, you can enroll in an online NP program. You may find a program that offers entirely online instruction or one that includes some in-person requirements. However, all NP programs have required clinical hours that must be met for graduation.

What are the most common start dates for nurse practitioner programs?

Most in-person programs begin in the fall. Online NP programs may have several start dates. These can include the spring and summer months. Flexible admission has the advantage of allowing students to start their education when it is most convenient for them.

Can nurse practitioner programs be completed part time?

Yes. Many advanced practice programs offer part-time options for nurses who must work during the MSN program. Part-time flexibility allows students to tailor the program to meet their schedule requirements.

Is now a good time to become a nurse practitioner?

Now is an excellent time to become an NP. With a growing physician shortage, advanced practice nurses are in demand to provide primary and specialty care on an inpatient and outpatient basis.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for NPs is projected to rise 52% from 2020-2030. The average annual NP salary is $114,510, with employment weighted heavily in the Midwest and East Coast.

Related Nurse Practitioner Resources

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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