Online Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs

Rankings, Salaries, and Courses

Nurse practitioners often provide specialized primary, acute, and long-term health services. These healthcare professionals work with a variety of patient populations. The high demand for nurse practitioners is due in part to the aging population and the number of retirement-age nurse practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners to increase 26% from 2018 to 2028, a rate much higher than the average growth of 5% for all occupations.

Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs: Become an NP in 2020
Updated on: 06/02/2020

To help individuals qualify for this in-demand profession, many schools offer on-campus and online nurse practitioner programs. Learners researching the most affordable online nurse practitioner master's degrees should also consider each program's accreditation and specialization options. Use this guide to explore the most affordable nursing schools and to find the program that best fits your budget and professional goals.

This guide to online nurse practitioner programs includes detailed descriptions of potential coursework, specializations, career paths, financial aid resources, and links to professional organizations.

Top 10 Online Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs

Rank School Location
1 Maryville University Saint Louis, MO
2 Morningside College Sioux City, IA
3 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME
4 Rivier University Nashua, NH
5 Georgia College and State University Milledgeville, GA
6 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
7 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
8 American International College Springfield, MA
9 Walsh University North Canton, OH
10 East Carolina University Greenville, NC

What are the Best Online Nurse Practitioner Master’s Programs?

Best Online
Identifying programs that offer pertinent coursework and skill development opportunities remains a challenge for students. The list below includes some of the best online nurse practitioner programs that have been vetted through the the U.S. Department of Education and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Factors considered for these rankings include admission policies; graduation and retention rates; tuition costs; and financial and educational resources for distance learners. The ranking process also includes university publications and materials. All universities listed below are accredited.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
1 Maryville University Saint Louis, MO
$15,646 Tuition

Founded in 1872, Maryville University offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in 10 areas of study. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner master's online need 47 credits to graduate. The family nurse practitioner program includes core classes on topics like leadership and quality, adult-gerontology healthcare, and professional role development. In addition to coursework, students complete 745 clinical hours. Learners can begin on one of six start dates per year. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal statement and official college transcripts. Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The online master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2 Morningside College Sioux City, IA
$4,770 Tuition

Based in Sioux City, Iowa, Morningside College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and enrolls around 1,300 full-time undergraduate and graduate students each year. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner degree online must complete 47 credits. The family nurse practitioner program requires 600 clinical hours and three on-site residencies. Core classes cover topics like quality, safety, and informatics; advanced role development; and statistics in advanced practice. The online nurse practitioner program prepares students to sit for national certification exams through the American Nurse Credentialing Center and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and valid RN, as well as basic cardiac life support licenses. They must also submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Morningside College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

3 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME
$8,982 Tuition

Located two hours north of Boston, Saint Joseph's College of Maine enrolls around 2,500 students each year. The school's online master of science in nursing requires 48 credit hours. Students can choose from two nurse practitioner concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner. Full-time learners can graduate in just over two years. Prospective students must hold a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited postsecondary institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

4 Rivier University Nashua, NH
$10,925 Tuition

Based in Nashua, New Hampshire, Rivier University is a Catholic institution that enrolls over 2,000 students each year, including around 770 graduate students. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner degree online take 36-49 credit hours. Core courses include advanced pathophysiology, biostatistics for health sciences, and quality healthcare improvement. The online family nurse practitioner program also requires around 600 clinical hours, three on-site practicums, and a research capstone project. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Rivier University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing (ACEN).

5 Georgia College and State University Milledgeville, GA
$11,835 Tuition

Located in Milledgeville, Georgia College and State University is a public liberal arts institution that offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs. The online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration requires 40 credit hours. Online learners take courses on topics like advanced nursing assessment, primary care of adults, and healthcare research and statistics analysis. They also complete two practicums. Students can transfer up to nine graduate credits toward the degree. Prospective students need an accredited bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA and a current RN license. They must also submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. Georgia College and State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

6 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
$7,757 Tuition

Based in Michigan, Spring Arbor University offers over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs, including several online options. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner degree online can choose from two concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner or Adult-Gerontology, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Regardless of their concentration, all students take core courses like moral and ethical decision-making, theoretical perspectives for advanced practice, and role development and leadership. This program prepares graduates to sit for national certification exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Applicants need a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official transcripts. Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

7 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
$34,995 Tuition

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner master's online must complete 56 credit hours to graduate. The family nurse practitioner program includes classes on topics like confronting issues in contemporary healthcare environments, ethical decision-making in healthcare, and quality and safety in healthcare. The mostly online program requires two on-campus intensive courses. The program also requires a family practice practicum. Applicants need a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an RN license. Drexel prefers candidates with 1-2 years of nursing experience. Prospective students must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Drexel University is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

8 American International College Springfield, MA
$11,380 Tuition

Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, American International College enrolls almost 3,500 students each year, including 2,000 graduate students. The school's 46-credit online master of science in nursing offers a family nurse practitioner track that includes a supervised practicum. Classes cover topics like the art and science of advanced nursing, advanced concepts of pathophysiology, and primary care clinical management. Students culminate the degree with an advanced practice capstone project. The fully online program takes two years of full-time study to complete. AIC offers rolling admissions. Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and an active RN license.They must also submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. American International College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

9 Walsh University North Canton, OH
$12,610 Tuition

Based in Canton, Ohio, Walsh University enrolls more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner master's online benefit from small class sizes. The family nurse practitioner program includes classes on topics like care of women, clinical pharmacology, and advanced health assessment. Students also complete 650 clinical hours. Walsh's placement coordinator helps students find appropriate clinical sites. Online learners culminate the degree with a capstone project. Walsh charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing and submit official postsecondary transcripts. Walsh University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

10 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
$11,324 Tuition

Based in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University hosts students from 47 states and 73 countries. The school offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs, including an online master of science in nursing that requires 42-43 credit hours. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner master's online choose from the following concentrations: Clinical Nurse Specialist: Adult Gerontology (43 credits), Clinical Nurse Specialist: Neonatal (43 credits), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (42 credits), and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (not specified). Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited university with a minimum 2.7 GPA and an RN license. They must also submit official transcripts and a personal statement. Some applicants may need to submit GRE scores. East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

11 MCPHS University Boston, MA
$22,530 Tuition

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, MCPHS University offers over 100 healthcare-related degree programs, including an online family nurse practitioner degree. The 42-credit program requires around 630 clinical hours. Every online learner must also attend two, one- to three-day residencies. Core courses include professional role development for advanced practice nursing, family primary care, and advanced pharmacology. Full-time students can graduate in two years. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an RN license. They must also submit official college transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and a professional resume. MCPHS University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

12 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX
$7,699 Tuition

Located in Texas, Angelo State University enrolls over 10,000 students each year and offers a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school's 49-credit online family nurse practitioner program includes core courses on topics like health policy and ethics, advanced pathophysiology, and evidence-based practice and theory for advanced nursing. The program also requires students to complete two on-site practicums and pass a comprehensive exam. Prospective students need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least one year of recent clinical practice as a registered nurse. Applicants must submit official college transcripts. Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

13 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA
$8,505 Tuition

Georgia Southwestern State University enrolls nearly 3,000 students each year, including about 450 graduate students. Students pursuing the nurse practitioner degree online need 44 credit hours to graduate. Courses cover topics like advanced pathophysiology, health promotion of adults, and research for evidence-based practice. In addition to coursework, students must complete 765 clinical hours. Full-time students can graduate in just under two years. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current RN license. They must also submit official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and an updated professional resume. Georgia Southwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

14 Simmons College Boston, MA
$21,894 Tuition

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Simmons College boasts small class sizes offering an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a 68-credit online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The online nurse practitioner program focuses on pathophysiology, patient assessment, pharmacology, and physiology. In addition to coursework, students must complete 836 clinical hours and a research project in collaboration with faculty and other students. Full-time students can graduate in just over two years. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field and submit official transcripts. Simmons College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

15 Wheeling Jesuit University Wheeling, WV
$9,710 Tuition

Wheeling Jesuit University enrolls over 1,000 students through 16 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Based in Wheeling, West Virginia, the university features an average class size of 16 students. Students pursuing the family nurse practitioner degree online must complete 36 credits. Core courses include healthcare delivery systems and economics, advanced health assessment, nursing research, and healthcare policy and politics. In addition to coursework, students complete 728 clinical hours. Learners can transfer up to six credit hours toward the degree. Prospective students need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an RN license. Additional application requirements include three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a completed background check. Wheeling Jesuit University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

16 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
$8,847 Tuition

Located in Georgia, Columbus State University enrolls over 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Learners can choose from diverse online programs, including a 44-credit online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The fully online program features a flexible, asynchronous format. Students take classes on topics like research for evidence-based practice, pharmacology for advanced practice nurses, and health assessment of advanced practice nurses. The program also requires four clinicals. Full-time online learners can graduate in two years. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and official college transcripts. Columbus State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

17 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH
$9,594 Tuition

Based in Ohio, Cedarville University offers more than 150 programs of study. The 44-credit online family nurse practitioner program qualifies graduates to sit for national certification exams from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Students take courses on topics like healthcare economics and policy, professional role development and healthcare, principles of evidence-based nursing practice, and advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning. Students also complete 600 clinical hours and four, two- to three-day on-campus residencies. Prospective students need a bachelor's in nursing from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unrestricted RN license. They must also submit official transcripts, a Christian leader recommendation, a professional recommendation, and a professional resume. Cedarville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

18 Ball State University Muncie, IN
$15,198 Tuition

Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University boasts almost 200,000 alumni worldwide. The school's 47-credit online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration qualifies graduates to sit for national certification exams from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Classes cover topics like advanced practice nursing and role theory, pathophysiology and nursing practice, advanced health assessment, and advanced clinical pharmacology. Students must complete 690 clinical hours to graduate. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unrestricted RN license. They must also submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

19 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
$14,407 Tuition

Northern Illinois University enrolls more than 16,000 students through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. . The school's online master's in nursing requires 41-51 credit hours and offers the following concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (20 credits), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (18 credits), and Family Nurse Practitioner (19 credits). The program requires core courses on topics like biostatistics in public health, advanced pharmacology across the lifespan, and informatics for evidence-based nursing. Students must also complete a capstone project and several supervised practicums. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and 2,000 hours of clinical experience no more than three years before admission. Prospective students must also submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Northern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

20 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
$16,870 Tuition

Located in New York, Stony Brook University offers six nursing programs, including a 45-credit online family nurse practitioner program. Graduates can sit for national certification exams from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Learners take core courses like family theory and interventions; quality improvement, safety, and healthcare technologies; healthcare policy and advocacy; and clinical pharmacology. They also complete four clinicals. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, an unencumbered RN license, and at least one year of professional experience. They must also submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a resume. Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

21 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
$7,246 Tuition

Located in Cleveland, Mississippi, Delta State University enrolls over 3,000 students each year through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The 49-credit online master of science in nursing takes two years of full-time study to complete. The program features a family nurse practitioner concentration and requires students to complete clinicals in Mississippi or Arkansas. Core courses include advanced theoretical issues in nursing and ethics, health assessment, differential diagnosis in primary care, and advanced pharmacology. Learners culminate the degree with a research project. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA, an RN license, and one year of professional experience. Delta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

22 Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, LA
$16,190 Tuition

Loyola University New Orleans enrolls almost 4,000 students through around 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. Students pursuing the family nurse practitioner degree online need 48 credit hours to graduate. Learners take core courses such as population health management, advanced research methods, advanced health assessment, and integrating behavioral health in primary care. The fully online program also requires 720 hours of a supervised practicum. Prospective students need at least 1,800 hours of recent direct patient care practice and an unencumbered RN license. Applicants must submit official college transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

23 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA
$12,375 Tuition

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette enrolls almost 20,000 students annually. Learners can choose from a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs, including a 42- to 45-credit online family nurse practitioner program. The program requires 600 clinical hours and a master's project or thesis. Students must maintain a minimum "B" grade in all courses to graduate. Core courses include generating evidence for nursing practice, pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nursing, applied statistics for the health sciences, and pathophysiology for advanced practice nursing. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum 2.75 GPA. They must also submit official transcripts and proof of immunization. The University of Lafayette is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

24 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
$10,746 Tuition

The University of Central Missouri enrolls more than 12,000 students each year, nearly 90% of whom come from Missouri. The 44-credit online master's in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration includes courses on topics like methods of research in nursing, healthcare policy and advocacy, and advanced pathophysiology. Students culminate the degree with a capstone clinical experience. Learners must complete their clinical in Missouri or the greater Kansas City area. UCM requires online learners to maintain a minimum "C" grade in all courses to graduate. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA, an unencumbered RN license, and one year of nursing experience. The University of Central Missouri is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

25 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
$23,112 Tuition

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Duquesne University enrolls around 10,000 students through over 200 programs of study. The 42-credit, fully online family nurse practitioner program requires 650 hours of clinical work. Students take classes on topics like foundations of family and individual care, evidence-based nursing practice and policy, and advanced pharmacology. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited school, one year of full-time nursing experience, and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. Duquesne University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

26 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
$6,233 Tuition

Based in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls State University enrolls around 6,500 students through more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The online master of science in nursing requires 42-45 credit hours and offers two nurse practitioner concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Regardless of their concentration, all students take core courses on topics like theoretical foundations of advanced nursing practice, applied statistics for the health sciences, and pathophysiology for advanced practice nursing. Students also complete 600 hours of clinical work and a capstone project or thesis. Applicants need an unencumbered RN license and a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 2.75 GPA. They must also submit two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose. Nicholls State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

27 East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN
$16,029 Tuition

Based in Johnson City, East Tennessee State University enrolls over 14,500 students through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options. The online master of science in nursing offers two nurse practitioner concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (51 credit hours) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (48 credit hours). Core classes in both concentrations include health assessment throughout the lifespan and nursing research for evidence-based practice. The fully online program also includes 540 hours of clinical work. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official college transcripts, a professional resume, and three letters of recommendation. East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

28 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
$10,989 Tuition

Located in Terre Haute, Indiana State University hosts undergraduate and graduate students through over 100 majors and more than 70 online degree programs. Students pursuing the family nurse practitioner master's online need 47-50 credit hours to graduate. The fully online program includes core courses like health and human performance, health assessment and health promotion, nursing research, and pharmacology for advanced nursing practice. The program also includes 675 clinical hours. Prospective students need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official college transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement. Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

29 Saint Xavier University Chicago, IL
$16,450 Tuition

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Saint Xavier University enrolls over 3,500 students through 86 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The 47-credit online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track requires three hands-on practicums. Students take courses on topics like healthcare systems and financing, nursing inquiry, and information technology and healthcare outcomes evaluation. The mostly online program includes one, two-day residency on campus. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. SXU only accepts applicants from Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin. Prospective students must submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a resume. Saint Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

30 Villanova University Villanova, PA
$19,005 Tuition

Based in Pennsylvania, Villanova University enrolls over 10,000 students through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options. The 47-credit, fully online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration requires 730 clinical hours. Classes include clinical management in family care, issues across the lifespan, advanced physical assessment, and nursing research: the practical connection. Applicants need a bachelor's in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students with a 3.2 GPA or higher do not need to submit GRE scores. All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, and official transcripts. Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

31 Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX
$8,391 Tuition

Texas A&M University -- Corpus Christi enrolls nearly 12,000 students, almost 40% of whom identify as first-generation college students. Around 80% of A&M faculty hold the highest degree in their field. Students pursuing the family nurse practitioner degree online need 49 credit hours to graduate. The program requires 630 clinical hours. Students take core courses on topics like wellness and health promotion, diverse care environments, health assessment and differential diagnosis, and science in nursing. The fully online program begins in the fall. Applicants must submit official postsecondary transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and a professional resume. Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. Texas A&M University -- Corpus Christi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

32 Bradley University Peoria, IL
$16,300 Tuition

Based in Peoria, Illinois, Bradley University hosts around 5,400 students through more than 185 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. The 67-credit online family nurse practitioner program requires five practicums and a capstone project. Students take courses like leadership in healthcare delivery systems, legal and ethical issues in healthcare, advanced health assessment, and advanced pathophysiology. The fully online program features a 12-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and GRE scores. Bradley University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

33 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
$26,524 Tuition

Founded in 1963 and based in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sacred Heart University offers a 42-credit online family nurse practitioner program. Students take core classes on topics like healthcare policy and ethics for contemporary nursing practice, family and community context for healthcare, advanced health assessment for nurse practitioners, and theory and professional roles for contemporary nursing practice. Learners must attend campus for two evaluations and an orientation. They must also complete practicums at an approved local site. Applicants need a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 3.2 GPA and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit official transcripts and complete a criminal background check. Sacred Heart University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

34 Regis College Weston, MA
$41,585 Tuition

Based in Weston, Massachusetts, Regis College offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nursing, health science, and accounting. The fully online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration requires around 700 clinical hours. Students take core courses on topics like concepts and challenges in professional practice, the scientific inquiry for evidence-based practice, and roles and issues for advanced nursing practice. Prospective students need a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited program and an unencumbered RN license. They must also submit two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a professional resume, and a statement of purpose. Regis College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

35 University of Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City, MO
$16,544 Tuition

The University of Missouri -- Kansas City offers more than 50 degree and 20 certificate programs for graduate students, including an online nurse practitioner program. The 46-credit program includes two nurse practitioner concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Students enrolled in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program must reside on campus during clinical courses. Both tracks require hands-on practicums. The university offers all other classes fully online. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and submit official transcripts and letters of recommendation. The University of Missouri -- Kansas City is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of science in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

36 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
$9,510 Tuition

Established in 1969, Clayton State University offers an online MSN with a family nurse practitioner concentration that comprises 47 credits. Learners take classes like advanced nursing practices, population health and emerging diseases, and advanced pharmacology. In addition to coursework, students complete 585 clinical hours to gain practical experience in the field. The online nurse practitioner program starts in the fall and uses a synchronous format. Full-time students can graduate in two years. Applicants need a BSN degree and a valid nursing license. They must also submit GRE scores. Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the degree. Graduates qualify to sit for certification exams from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and American Nurses Credentialing Center. Clayton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

37 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
$23,422 Tuition

Founded in 1856, Seton Hall University introduced its nursing college in 1937. Today, the school offers a variety of nursing programs, including several online options, like an MSN with an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner concentration and an MSN with a pediatric nurse practitioner concentration. Adult-gerontology students can choose between primary care and acute care tracks. The acute care track requires 675 clinical hours, while the primary care track includes 600 clinical hours. Pediatric nurse practitioner students complete 540 clinical hours. Online classes combine asynchronous and synchronous delivery formats. Graduates can sit for certification exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Seton Hall University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

38 Catholic University of America Washington, DC
$46,800 Tuition

Established in 1935, the Catholic University of America offers an online MSN program with nurse practitioner concentrations in adult-gerontological primary care; family and pediatric primary care; and dual acute and primary care pediatrics. Nurse practitioner students typically graduate in 2-3 years. In addition to core and concentration courses, learners complete 540-870 hours of supervised clinical practice, depending on concentration. Graduates can sit for certification exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Catholic University of America is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

39 Cedar Crest College Allentown, PA
$14,238 Tuition

Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest College enrolls nearly 2,000 students across more than 40 majors. The college offers two online nurse practitioner MSN programs: family and individual nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Full-time learners can graduate in less than three years. Both programs include core and specialization courses and clinical components. Students complete most courses online, but they must also participate in two 2-3-day, on-campus immersions. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Cedar Crest College prefers applicants with clinical experience. Graduates qualify to sit for certification and licensure examinations. The school also offers post-master's certificate programs. Cedar Crest College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

40 Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN
$17,300 Tuition

Established in 1980, Tennessee Technological University launched online nursing programs in 2018. The school's 46-credit, online MSN with a family nurse practitioner concentration includes core and advanced practice courses and requires 540 clinical hours. The program offers start dates in the fall and spring, and most students graduate within 30 months. Online courses feature a mix of asynchronous and synchronous formats. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Graduates qualify to sit for certification exams from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Tennessee Technological University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

41 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
$13,447 Tuition

The largest university in North Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington was founded in 1865 and enrolls more than 60,000 students each year. The school offers an online nurse practitioner MSN program with concentrations in family care, pediatric primary care, pediatric acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, and adult-gerontology acute care. These online nurse practitioner programs comprise 41-46 credits and take 2-3 years to complete. Courses use a mostly asynchronous format. Applicants need a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Some applicants must submit GRE scores. Students can transfer up to 10 credits toward the degree. Graduates qualify to sit for certification exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses, and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. The University of Texas at Arlington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

42 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN
$14,211 Tuition

Austin Peay State University hosts three physical campuses and an online division. Its 43-credit, online MSN with a family nurse practitioner concentration comprises core and concentration courses. In addition to coursework, students complete clinical hours to gain practical experience in the field. The mostly online program includes three on-campus visits, which allows students to participate in simulations and network with peers. Most of the online courses at APSU run asynchronously, though some classes may require scheduled sessions. Applicants need a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. The school also offers a post-master's certificate. The online MSN program meets standards put forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

43 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
$15,126 Tuition

In addition to 14 campuses across Michigan, Davenport University hosts an online learning division that offers 35 degree programs. The online MSN with a family nurse practitioner concentration prepares students for professional licensure. The 45-credit program includes advanced nursing foundations, advanced nursing care, and nurse practitioner concentration courses. Students culminate the degree with a capstone experience. Full-time students can graduate in less than two years. Most of the online courses at DU run asynchronously. Students who pursue the nurse practitioner master's online always begin classes in the fall. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. The online MSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

44 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
$19,114 Tuition

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers an online nurse practitioner MSN with three tracks: primary care adult-gerontology, primary care family, and psychiatric mental health. All three tracks comprise 47-48 credits and include core and specialization courses. Practicum requirements are built into the specializations, and students can also choose to complete a thesis. Students need a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. The online nurse practitioner program combines asynchronous and synchronous study. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Some applicants may need to submit GRE scores. The online MSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

45 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre, PA
$25,968 Tuition

Established in 1933, Wilkes University offers an online MSN with three nurse practitioner concentrations: family care, adult-gerontology primary care, and psychiatric mental health. The program comprises 40-43 credits and includes core and specialization courses. Students also complete clinical hours to gain practical experience in the field. The mostly online program includes one on-campus residency for a health assessment course. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Graduates qualify to sit for national board certification examinations. Wilkes also offers a post-graduate certificate program. Wilkes University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

46 Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH
$16,530 Tuition

Founded in 1910, Kent State University established its nursing college in 1967. KSU offers an online MSN with a women's health nurse practitioner concentration. The 42-credit program includes core and concentration courses and requires 675 clinical hours. The program offers start dates in the fall and spring. Most online classes run asynchronously, though some may include synchronous sessions. Full-time students typically graduate in two years. Only students in the following states can apply: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

47 Albany State University Albany, GA
$10,376 Tuition

Founded in 1903, Albany State University offers more than 45 online programs. The school's 44-credit, online MSN with a family nursing practitioner concentration includes core and concentration courses. Classes cover topics like advanced nursing research, introduction to family primary care, and nursing theory development. Learners culminate the degree with a thesis and practicum. Full-time students can graduate in two years. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a valid nursing license, and at least one year of clinical experience. The online MSN is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing. Albany State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

48 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
$14,506 Tuition

Northern Arizona University offers a 48-credit, online MSN with a family nurse practitioner concentration. Learners take courses like advanced principles in evidence-based practice, family nursing theory and practice, and rural theory and health policy. Students also complete a series of practicums to gain experience in the field. Learners may also complete an optional thesis to enhance their learning. Students need a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Most online classes run asynchronously, but some may require scheduled meeting times. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Graduates qualify to sit for licensure examinations. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

49 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
$19,081 Tuition

Old Dominion University offers more than 100 online programs, including 10 nursing degrees. ODU offers an online MSN with nurse practitioner specializations in family care, pediatrics, psychiatric mental health, and neonatal care. The program requires 49-50 credits and includes clinical requirements to give students practical experience in their specializations. Most courses are fully online, but some classes require students to participate in practical training at the Virginia Beach campus. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a preferred minimum 3.5 GPA and a valid nursing license. Applicants with a lower GPA must submit GRE or MAT scores. Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

50 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA
$12,923 Tuition

Southeastern Louisiana University began offering online nursing programs in 2008. Today, Southeastern offers an online MSN with family nurse practitioner and family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner concentrations. The program requires 42-51 credits, depending on the concentration, and includes a 600-hour practicum and clinical component. Students can begin on one of three start dates per year. Graduates qualify to sit for national certification examinations. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a valid nursing license. Some applicants may need to submit GRE or MAT scores. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education. Southeastern Louisiana University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

What Can I Learn in an Online Nurse Practitioner Master's Program?

Many students pursue online courses or programs because of the increased flexibility and convenience. Many schools charge all online learners the same tuition rate, regardless of residency, which can lead to substantial savings for out-of-state students.

Admission requirements for nurse practitioner programs vary by school. However, applicants must typically have a bachelor's degree in nursing, along with a valid RN license. Some programs set a minimum GPA requirement.

Online nurse practitioner programs typically take 2-4 years to complete. Degree-completion time depends on students' academic background and whether they study full or part time. Full-time students with a bachelor's in nursing and a registered nurse license can often earn their master's degree in two years. Part-time learners and students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field may take longer to graduate.

Nurse practitioner students prepare to perform physical exams and health assessments and manage patient information. They also learn to create treatment plans and communicate treatment options to patients and other medical professionals.

What Courses Are Available in a Nurse Practitioner Master's Program?

The curricula of nurse practitioner programs vary by institution, with each program requiring different courses. However, many colleges and universities offer similar foundation courses that prepare students for advanced coursework and clinical practice. The courses below are common to many of the best and most affordable online master's programs in nursing.

Pharmacology

Students in this class develop an understanding of the major pharmacological drug classes that often influence therapeutic decision-making. Coursework examines topics such as pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism, dose-response correlations, and pharmacokinetics. Degree-seekers explore the applications of pharmacological principles to advanced nursing practice.

Advanced Assessment and Diagnostic

Students learn how to collect, interpret, and synthesize patient information. Learners prepare to formulate holistic treatment protocols based on each patient's genetics, biological factors, medical history, and psychosocial and physical data. Professionals also apply these skills to create plans for disease prevention and the promotion of patient health.

Pathophysiology

Students in this course explore physiological factors and disease processes that impact diagnosis and patient care. Degree-seekers learn to synthesize information to assess each patient's health, develop reliable and accurate diagnoses, and create comprehensive treatment plans.

Healthcare Policy

In this course, students learn about the financing and delivery of healthcare services in the United States. Learners also examine healthcare-related advocacy issues, industry regulations, and public policy. Coursework covers the history and future directions of healthcare reform, and students analyze key factors including patient access, cost-containment strategies, and health disparities.

Clinical Practicum

While completing a clinical practicum, students gain hands-on experience in their specialty area. Students practice working with patients and collaborating with other medical professionals involved in patient care. Learners also become familiar with diagnostic equipment and workplace processes. Most schools allow online students to fulfill practicum requirements in their community, with approval from the program head.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Nurse practitioner programs typically include a culminating experience. Many programs require a capstone project or a comprehensive examination, while other schools require students to complete a master's thesis. Learners typically focus their culminating project on a specific area of the field.

Graduates often sit for a certification exam, depending on their career goals. For example, master's degree-holders who aspire to a nurse anesthetist position can pursue the certified registered nurse anesthetist credential. After obtaining certification, graduates typically apply for licensure from the state in which they plan to practice.

What Specializations are Available in an Online Nurse Practitioner Program?

Nurse practitioners can specialize in an area such as mental health, gerontology, pediatrics, neonatology, or women's health. Learners pursuing a specialization area gain in-depth knowledge about a specific patient population or medical practice arena. Specializing can position graduates for leadership roles with advanced responsibilities.

Many nurse practitioner programs offer several specialization options. Below are three specializations commonly available to students in accredited nurse practitioner programs.

Acute Care

This specialization focuses on treatment options for patients who are severely ill. Students also learn to treat chronic pain caused by an ongoing medical condition or a serious injury. Nurse practitioners who specialize in acute care often treat newborns, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens. Some acute-care nurse practitioners specialize further and work with patients in a specific age group.

Gerontology

This specialization focuses on the physical, mental, social, and emotional effects of aging. Professionals in this area use treatment plans and therapeutic interventions, such as strengthening exercises. Nurse practitioners in the field work to improve patients' physical condition, socialization opportunities, and daily living assistance. These nurse practitioners often work in nursing homes or treat patients in their own homes.

Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists help patients manage pain after major medical procedures, such as surgeries. Nurse anesthetists oversee each patient's recovery and help stabilize their medical condition. These professionals may prescribe pain medication or therapeutic interventions.

What Can I Do With a Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree?

The BLS projects jobs for nurse practitioners to grow 26% from 2018 to 2028. Depending on their specialization, nurse practitioners can work in hospitals, private doctors' offices, nursing homes, and rehabilitation clinics. Nursing professionals choose from a variety of specializations, focused on different patient populations. In addition to licensure, some states require individuals to hold certification to practice in certain specialization areas.

Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners who choose this specialization area often work with elderly patients who have age-related physical or medical conditions. These nurse practitioners also coordinate with patients' family members and caregivers to ensure patients receive proper care. They also prescribe medication and therapeutic services. In some states, gerontological nurse practitioners can set up a private practice.

Midwife Nurse Practitioner

Nurse midwives often serve as primary maternity care providers. They perform gynecological exams and provide family planning services, prenatal care, and postnatal care. Nurse midwives help women during childbirth and can assist doctors during cesarean births. They also advise patients on reproductive health issues and educate them on disease prevention and proper nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy.

Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists ensure patient safety prior to, during, and after a major procedure. They take each patient's complete medical history, including medications and previous illnesses, to prevent any adverse effects from anesthesia. They also monitor the patient's vital signs during the procedure and adjust anesthesia levels as needed. Finally, nurse anesthetists prescribe pain medication to help patients recover.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners sometimes work under a doctor's supervision. However, these highly trained professionals can maintain a private practice in some states. These nurse practitioners provide primary care services for patients of all ages. They often conduct health exams, diagnose patients, prescribe medication, and dispense health education. Family nurse practitioners can work in hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, and addiction centers.

Professional Organizations

Many professional associations help members connect through regional and national conferences. Large international organizations often provide global connections that allow members to share research findings and recent developments in their field. Below are several U.S. nursing organizations that provide opportunities for aspiring and professional nurses.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

AANP members can access services including continuing education courses, state and federal advocacy resources, and research opportunities. The organization also publishes scholarly journals and newsletters with current information on topics such as licensure requirements and scholarship opportunities for nursing students.

American Nurses Association

In addition to continuing education opportunities, ANA provides certification preparation courses, online workshops, and webinars on trending nursing topics. The association offers a scholarship program for nursing students, and members can find professional opportunities through the active online career center.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

AACN provides services for critical-care nurses, including certification tools and handbooks, scholarship opportunities, and continuing education courses. Through the organization's online practice resource network, members can find answers to specific clinical questions regarding critical-care nursing practice.

Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)

NPWH maintains an online learning portal that provides study materials and continuing education activities. The organization also publishes a journal for nurse practitioners who specialize in women's health. The journal explores recent developments in certification regulations, clinical research findings, and local and national policies that impact the nursing profession.

How Much Can I Make as a Nurse Practitioner?

Pursuing a master's degree in any field requires significant time and financial investments. However, BLS data demonstrates the correlation between education levels and salary potential. Higher levels of educational attainment tend to lead to higher earning potential. According to the BLS, professionals with higher levels of education also enjoy lower unemployment rates.

Data from the nursing field reflects this trend. The BLS reports that nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $115,800 in 2019. These positions require at least a master's degree. On the other hand, registered nurses need less education but earned a median salary of $73,300 in 2019.

Research from the Journal of Nursing Regulation projects that about one million nursing professionals will retire by 2030. This will likely create openings in the field and contribute to the above-average demand for nurse practitioners.

The table below shows the median salaries for nurse practitioners in various disciplines, along with each position's projected growth. The data illustrates the benefits nurse practitioners receive from their advanced education and the current nursing shortage.

Job Title Median Annual Salary Job Growth 2016-2026
Gerontology Nurse Practitioner $109,820 28%
Midwife Nurse Practitioner $105,030 16%
Nurse Anesthetists $174,790 17%
Family Nurse Practitioner $109,820 28%

Source: BLS

Online Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program Accreditation

To earn accreditation, higher education institutions undergo a voluntary review process to ensure their educational offerings meet set standards. Accreditation demonstrates the quality of an institution's programs to stakeholders, including students, parents, and academic partners.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) oversee accrediting agencies in the United States. CHEA and ED recognize regional and national accrediting agencies. Regional accrediting agencies typically focus on degree-granting nonprofit institutions, while national accrediting bodies often accredit career-oriented, trade, and sectarian schools.

In addition to institutional accreditation, learners can look for programmatic accreditation. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing evaluate programs in the nursing field. Earning a degree from an accredited nursing school or program ensures that employers will recognize your degree. Additionally, many federal grants and scholarships are only available to students at accredited schools.

How to Pay for an Online Nurse Practitioner Degree

Students can expect to make a substantial financial investment in an online nurse practitioner program. While they should consider government financial aid, they should also explore other options. Many organizations set aside funds for students returning to school by offering fellowships, scholarships, and grants. The list below includes four possible sources.

  • Federal Financial Aid

    Because many parts of the country are experiencing a shortage of healthcare professionals, nurses often qualify for a variety of federal assistance options. Many nursing students pursue federal loan forgiveness programs, which require recipients to work in a medically underserved area or a health professional shortage area after graduation.

  • Scholarships and Grants

    Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment. Many scholarships are available from private associations and colleges and universities. Some institutions secure funds for scholarships through fundraisers or special endowment programs. Grants typically come from state and federal agencies, which disburse funds through accredited schools.

  • Tuition Reimbursement

    Some teaching hospitals offer tuition reimbursement programs to nursing students. Recipients must typically work for the hospital for a specific amount of time after graduation. Often, graduates commit to working for the hospital for the same amount of time that they benefited from the tuition reimbursement program.

Also Consider These Other Nursing Options…

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