Online Nurse Practitioner Programs With Spring Start Dates 2022

March 4, 2022 , Updated on May 11, 2022 · 6 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.

Program Start Dates

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.

Nurse Practitioner Program Concentrations

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

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

Accreditation is a strong indicator of the program's overall quality. Accrediting bodies ensure the program meets best practices and quality standards..

School Graduation Rate

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 Learning Format and Requirements

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

#1

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:

George Washington University's online master of science in nursing (MSN) program offers a hybrid learning experience that includes online courses, in-person training in simulation centers, and a clinical experience where students are encouraged to find their own preceptor.

This NP program with a spring start date offers two different nurse practitioner (NP) concentrations with spring start dates. Each concentration requires students to complete 48 credit hours and 700 clinical hours. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; family nurse practitioner 
  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $1,395 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), minimum 3.0 GPA, active RN license, CPR certification
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
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#2

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 and State University's nursing school offers online MSN programs in four NP concentration areas that require 38-45 credits to complete. Students must also complete anywhere between 450 and 810 clinical hours, depending on their concentration.

Learners can complete their program in nine semesters when taking classes on a part-time basis, while full-time students can finish the program in six semesters.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - certified nurse midwife; psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner; women's health nurse practitioner; family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Milledgeville, GA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $373 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by the CCNE or the Commission or Education Nursing (ACEN), minimum 2.75 GPA, unencumbered RN license, interview
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
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#3

Purdue University Global-Indianapolis

School Information
Location West Lafayette, Indiana
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Purdue Global's online MSN program offers four different NP concentration options for graduate nursing students. Each specialty requires learners to earn between 60 and 90 credits, which typically breaks down into 15 hours per week.

Independent learners with strong experience can earn the MSN faster by participating in Purdue's ExcelTrack. This option provides experienced nurses with the ability to skip information they already know, allowing them to complete the program in less time.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: West Lafayette, IN
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $420 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, minimum 2.5 GPA, unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
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#4

Duquesne University

School Information
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Duquesne University's online MSN program provides students with three NP specialization options from which to choose. Each option ranges between 30 and 44 credit hours, and 225-750 clinical hours. The curriculum focuses on both historical and contemporary foundations while stressing the importance of ethics.

Outside of the required coursework, Duquesne also offers preparation courses for the certification exams and access to writing centers, conference opportunities, and online orientation.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN -adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $1,635 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited college or university, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license, at least one year of full-time work experience as an RN, completion of an undergraduate-level statistics course with "C" or higher
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
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#5

The University of Texas at Arlington

School Information
Location Arlington, Texas
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 51%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

The MSN program at the University of Texas at Arlington offers five NP specializations that cover most populations. Programs comprise 36-46 credit hours and require an average of 700 clinical hours.

Courses are available 24/7 and include professional experiences that ensure students can apply their knowledge immediately upon graduation. The MSN program also provides interactions with other students so they have exposure to a variety of perspectives.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric acute care nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Arlington, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $515 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license, two years of clinical RN experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No (except for neonatal NP program)
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.7%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $106,420
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#6

Sacred Heart University

School Information
Location Fairfield, Connecticut
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 73%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Sacred Heart University offers an online family nurse practitioner program comprising 42 credit hours. Asynchronous coursework gives students scheduling flexibility.

Graduates can sit for family nurse practitioner certification exams offered by the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Fairfield, CT
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): CCNE
  • Tuition: $695 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered Connecticut RN license, interview, undergraduate statistics course, undergraduate health assessment course (30 hours or more)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $92,830
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#7

Simmons University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

The online family nurse practitioner program at Simmons University comprises 48 credit hours and 672 clinical hours. Students who attend the program full time can complete requirements in six terms (24 months), while it takes part-time students seven terms (28 months). The university also provides an extended program option (32 months) for nurses who need additional time.

As part of the program, nurses must complete a project requiring them to use qualitative and quantitative research. The project allows students to enhance their skills and provides networking opportunities with other professionals.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Boston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $1,210 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited college or university, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,240
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#8

DeSales University

School Information
Location Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

DeSales University's online MSN program offers three concentrations that take two years to complete as a full-time student and three years to complete as a part-time student. The program comprises both synchronous coursework, which are live, and asynchronous coursework, which allow students to learn on their own schedule.

The university is also home to a state-of-the-art simulation center that houses two clinical skills labs, five human-patient simulator rooms, a standardized patient suite, and a gross anatomy lab.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Center Valley, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $910 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a CCNE or ACEN accredited institution, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license or eligibility for licensure in Pennsylvania, 12 months of full-time nursing within the last three years
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.9%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $99,250
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#9

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

School Information
Location Marion, Indiana
Graduation Rate 38%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global offers a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, each requiring 49 credit hours broken up into 13 and 16 courses, respectively.

The university's family nurse practitioner program requires students to complete 700 clinical hours, while those enrolled in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program must complete 525 practicum hours.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Marion, IN
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $539 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution, minimum 3.25 GPA, unencumbered RN license, and at least one year of professional practice
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 28 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $98,510
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#10

Regis College

School Information
Location Weston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Regis College provides nurses with six concentrations, ranging 46-64 credits for students with an ADN or a BSN. Those with an associate degree can complete a bridge program that includes an additional 15 credit hours.

All concentrations require the completion of 600 clinical hours in addition to the 124 hours included in the core MSN courses. Full-time students can complete any of the six specialties in a little over two years.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Weston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $990 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or BSN, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license, completion of a college-level statistics course, 15 bridge credit hours for applicants with an ADN
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 28 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.2%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $86,620
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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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