Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

Becoming a nurse practitioner can lead to a rewarding career. Here, we outline the top online programs for nurse practitioners.

Updated September 1, 2022

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

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The growing nursing shortage makes now an ideal time to pursue a nursing career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners to increase 45% from 2020-2030. The BLS projects an 8% growth for all occupations during the same time.

Busy students can earn their nurse practitioner degree online. This guide explores the benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner. The following sections also cover the requirements for online nurse practitioner programs.

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Featured Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Our partner schools offer programs that help you advance your education while accommodating your schedule. Visit their sites to learn more about degrees, course offerings, start dates, transfer of credits, and more.

Questions About Nurse Practitioner Programs


What is the fastest way to become a nurse practitioner?

Students who choose an accelerated program can become a nurse practitioners in as few as six years. RN-to-MSN programs provide a quick route to a master's degree.

Can you go from RN to NP?

RN-to-MSN programs help registered nurses qualify for nurse practitioner roles. These programs typically require 30-36 months to finish. Many schools deliver coursework online.

Can you become an NP without being an RN?

Some employers prefer nurse practitioners to have RN experience. However, people without a bachelor of science in nursing can become nurse practitioners.

Why Get a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

Online nurse practitioner programs prepare graduates for rewarding positions with high pay. According to BLS data, registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $75,330. Nurse practitioners earn a median of $117,670 per year.

Nurse practitioners also have more autonomy than registered nurses. For example, nurse practitioners can prescribe medications in many states.

Current RNs may choose online nurse practitioner programs to continue working while earning their degree. Many online programs use an asynchronous format. Registered nurses can watch lectures and complete assignments between shifts.

How Much Does a Nurse Practitioner Degree Cost?

The cost of an online nurse practitioner degree depends on several factors, including school type. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition and fees at public institutions was $12,410 for the 2019-20 academic year. For the same year, private schools charged an average of $26,597 in tuition and fees.

Online programs often cost less than in-person programs. However, the cost of earning a nurse practitioner degree online varies significantly by institution. According to the Education Data Initiative, in-state students pay an average of $38,496 for an online bachelor's degree.

In addition, some employers may provide tuition reimbursement programs for their employees. For example, employers, such as hospitals or medical centers, with advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) shortages may offer these programs to encourage RNs to become ARNPs.

Additional Online Student Fees

Along with tuition, online students should budget for fees. Many schools do not waive campus fees for distance learners. Online students also often pay a technology fee, which may cover tech support, online databases, and virtual classroom platforms.

Additional expenses may include internet access, textbooks, a new computer, and required software. To save money, learners may rent textbooks or buy digital versions. Some nursing labs require tools, such as stethoscopes. Nurse practitioner students must also typically pay malpractice fees to protect themselves during clinicals.

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners Make?

A nurse practitioner's earning potential depends on many factors, including experience level. According to Payscale data from Jan. 2022, nurse practitioners with more than 20 years of experience earn an average of $111,010 per year. Professionals with less than one year of experience earn an average annual salary of $92,490.

Salary potential also varies by location. According to BLS data, nurse practitioners in California earn an average annual salary of $145,970. Those in Massachusetts earn an average of $126,050 per year.

Position and employer type also influence salary. For example, nurse practitioners who work night shifts at hospitals may earn higher salaries than nurse practitioners at family clinics.

Courses in a Nurse Practitioner Program

Learners should verify the accreditation status of each prospective school and online nurse practitioner program. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online database of accredited schools and programs. Nurse practitioner programs can hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

A typical RN-to-MSN program requires about 40 credits. Most students graduate in about two years. Some online nurse practitioner programs offer concentrations in areas such as pediatrics, family nursing, and cardiac nursing.

The courses below are common to many online nurse practitioner programs. Course availability varies by school. Learners should contact their prospective institution for curriculum details.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Each learner's educational background and lifestyle impacts their path to becoming a nurse practitioner. For example, current registered nurses often choose RN-to-MSN programs, which take about two years to complete. Degree-seekers often maintain full-time or part-time employment. Licensed nurses without a bachelor's degree can enroll in LPN-to-RN programs.

People can become nurse practitioners without a bachelor of science in nursing. Aspiring nurse practitioners must complete clinical hours and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

AffordableCollegesOnline.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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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Licensure for Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners typically need a state license and an MSN degree. They also need certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Most nurse practitioners specialize in a certain patient population and earn a certification in that specialty. For example, aspiring pediatric nurse practitioners can take the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board certification exam. Nurse practitioners renew their certification every five years.

Aspiring nurse practitioners must pass the NCLEX-RN exam from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The exam costs $200 and takes up to five hours to complete. The test covers topics including client rights, pharmacology, and care management.

Nurse practitioners must hold a state license in each state they practice. So, if a nurse practitioner moves to a different state, they must obtain a new state license to practice there. Some states may require nurse practitioners to have a supervising physician to earn state licensure.

Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022

#1

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.

Based in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The school offers 55 total online master's programs.

The institution delivers an online master of science in nursing that is ideal for busy degree-seekers interested in advancing their nursing skills. Graduates of the nursing program can apply for positions in the field or advance their current career. Students in the school's master's programs can access faculty mentorship, career counseling, and experiential learning programs.

Online enrollees at the school pay affordable tuition rates, making graduate studies more accessible. Students with financial need can submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants, scholarships, and loans. Learners may also qualify for scholarships and fellowships. Degree-seekers with transferable graduate credits often complete their degree more quickly and save money on tuition.

University of Southern California at a Glance:

Average Tuition Per Credit: 1,948

Students Receiving Aid: 69%

Students Receiving Loans: 26%

Total Master's Programs: 199

Total Online Master's Programs: 199

Accepts Transfer Credits: Yes

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#2

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.

Based in Pensacola, The University of West Florida offers undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to in-person options, the school offers multiple online graduate programs. Students at the institution can pursue an online family nurse practitioner MSN.

In addition to rigorous coursework, the master's program features access to faculty and career advising. Learners with personal or professional obligations often benefit from the online nursing program's flexible scheduling options. Master's degree-seekers typically graduate with their nursing degree in 1-2 years.

Students at the accredited institution can qualify for federal grants and loans. According to the school, 64% of its enrollees use loans to pay for their education. In addition, financial aid assists 90% of the institution's learners with the cost of their education.

The University of West Florida Numbers:

Total Programs: 93

Number of Online Programs: 26

Online Master's Programs: 31

Number of Online Students: 8,296

Average Per-Credit Cost: $390

Religious Affiliation: Non-affiliated

Transfer Credits Accepted: Yes

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#3

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.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a leader in distance learning. Graduate students in the accredited nursing administration program build advanced knowledge through a rigorous curriculum and expert faculty. Like on-campus students, online students work with advisors, IT support professionals, and other support staff. The online MSN program relies on video lectures, assignments, and class discussions.

Learners can reduce the cost of earning a degree by applying for grants and scholarships. Master's students use financial aid such as loans and scholarships to help cover tuition expenses. While completing their master's program, students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to impress employers.

The University of Texas at Arlington at a Glance:

Number of Online Students: 26,081

Number of Online Master’s Programs: 13

Grad School Tuition: $8,474 in-state; $21,206 out-of-state

Average Per-Student Aid : $8,603

Average Price After Financial Aid: $14,445

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#4

Purdue University Global

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.

Degree-seekers can enroll in Purdue University Global's undergraduate and graduate programs online or on campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. The master of science in nursing is one of the best online nursing degrees.

Enrollees complete rigorous coursework and can access faculty and career advising. The online nursing program features flexible enrollment options, which are ideal for busy learners. Graduate degree-seekers typically require 1-2 years to earn their nursing master's degree if enrolled full time.

Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs. Of the student population, 48% take out loans. In addition, 76% of learners receive financial aid.

Purdue University Global Facts:

Total Programs: 105

Number of Online Programs: 105

Online Master's Programs: 29

Number of Online Students: 37,913

Average Per-Credit Fee: $402

Religious Affiliation: Non-affiliated

Transfer Credits Counted: Yes

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#5

University of the Cumberlands

School Information
Location Williamsburg, Kentucky
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers can pursue University of the Cumberlands's programs online or in person. Working professionals often pursue one of the school's 10 online bachelor's programs and any of its 25 online master's programs.

The institution's family nurse practitioner MSN program prepares online degree-seekers to succeed in nursing careers. After earning the master's degree in nursing, graduates can apply for positions in the field or advance their current career. Master's students can access support services such as academic advising, career-planning resources, and faculty mentorship.

Enrollees at the school access affordable tuition rates and institutional funding, which can reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The institution holds accreditation, which means students can submit the FAFSA to receive federal grants and loans. Additional financial aid options include private scholarships and fellowships.

University of the Cumberlands Numbers:

Students Receiving Aid: 99%

Students Receiving Loans: 43%

Total Master's Programs: 26

Total Online Master's Programs: 26

Transfer Credits Allowed: No

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#6

Texas A&M University

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.

From its campus in College Station, Texas A&M University offers in-person and online graduate programs. Learners located anywhere in the country can enroll in online master's programs from the public institution. The school's online offerings include a flexible MSN in family nurse practitioner for students planning to pursue family nurse practitioner careers.

During the first year of the online program, master's students explore foundational principles through core family nurse practitioner classes. The curriculum also features advanced nursing coursework and elective options. Master's students can prepare for careers in the field through faculty mentorship and experiential learning opportunities.

After earning the MSN, graduates often qualify for raises and promotions. Faculty advisors and career counselors help master's students and alumni identify career opportunities.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal aid, including grants and loans. Learners can research funding options including grants, fellowships, and employer-sponsored tuition plans. Of the school's graduate students, 76% obtain financial aid to pay for their degree.

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#7

Northern Arizona University

School Information
Location Flagstaff, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A great option for distance learners, Northern Arizona University offers a nursing e-learning program. The school reports that 7,915 students take online classes. The college offers an online master's degree in nursing. Employers value the rigorous education in the accredited program. The degree’s advanced training prepares students for the workplace.

Degree-seekers benefit from a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1, giving students one-on-one attention from faculty. Students can learn more about online support services at the program's website. The program charges affordable tuition rates and offers financial aid. This helps graduate students complete a master's degree with less debt. Students can expect a graduation rate of 57% at the school.

Northern Arizona University Numbers:

Total Online Enrollment: 14,098

Number of Online Master’s Programs: 25

Graduate Tuition: $10,305/year in-state, $19,522/year out-of-state

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $12,831

Average Net Price: $14,236

Northern Arizona University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

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#8

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.

From its campus in the District of Columbia, Georgetown University offers in-person and online graduate programs. The private institution's master's programs include fully online options for distance learners. The school's graduate-level offerings include a flexible psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner MSN for students interested in becoming nurse practitioners.

Master's students begin the online program by completing core coursework in psychiatric mental health. In addition to taking nursing classes, degree-seekers can choose electives based on their career goals. Faculty mentorship and experiential learning opportunities help graduate students prepare for careers in the field.

Graduates with an MSN often qualify for raises and promotions. Graduate students and alumni can receive professional assistance and resources from the institution's career counselors.

The school charges an average per-credit tuition rate of 1,885 for online graduate programs. The institution holds accreditation, which means degree-seekers can receive federal grants and loans. Learners can use grants, scholarships, and fellowships to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. At the school, 55% of graduate students fund their education through financial aid.

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#9

University of Cincinnati

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Cincinnati offers a variety of top-ranked graduate programs, including an online nursing program. The public institution enrolls 19,270 students in online programs. Online programs' scheduling flexibility is ideal for learners balancing academics with personal and professional obligations.

The master's in family nurse practitioner curriculum emphasizes career skills and field-specific knowledge. Students can customize the master's curriculum based on their interests and professional goals. Learners in the online program develop specialized industry skills and knowledge. After earning the master's degree in nursing, graduates often qualify for promotions or raises. Current and former students work closely with career services to transition from the program into the workforce.

Learners in the school's master's programs can access career advising and financial aid counseling. Graduate students at the accredited institution can take out federal loans to cover costs. Additional funding options for graduate-level learners include private scholarships and institutional fellowships. Degree-seekers in the school's online programs pay an average of $732 per credit.

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#10

Anderson University

School Information
Location Anderson, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Situated in Indiana, Anderson University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in virtual and in-person formats.

Distance degree-seekers can pursue an online MSN in family nurse practitioner from the institution to prepare for nursing administration careers. The family nurse practitioner program prepares learners to pursue new positions in the field or advance their current career. To help students succeed academically and professionally, the school provides a variety of support services, including academic advising and career counseling.

The school charges online enrollees affordable tuition rates. Students with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans. Learners pursuing a master's degree can research additional financial aid options, including private scholarships and fellowships.

Anderson University at a Glance:

Students Receiving Aid: 100%

Students Receiving Loans: 71%

Total Master's Programs: 8

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Permits Transfer Credits: No

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